Poole Position 2.5 – 3.5 Southbourne Seagulls

We arrived with an army of kids, and David (aged more than all others in the team combined). Opposite us were our five opponents…after some chasing we decided that five wasn’t enough so Southbourne managed to draft in an emergency player for top board shifting everyone down.

The maths put Southbourne at 84 points average difference meaning Southbourne needed 3.5 to win. Then we noticed my maths was wrong due to an updated grading. Recalculating and it took the average difference to 89…agonizingly close to needing 4.

Much of the muttering seemed to be around Finn. Where the juniors knew each other from their tournaments, this seemed to be the game they were the most nervous about, unfortunately for Leo, he seemed to have drawn the short straw.

Zander was on top board against the substitute Brian, it was the first to finish and both sides got off the mark with a draw.

Next to finish was David on board 5 against Anton. Things were going fine until a mistake left a nice tactic which threatened the queen and a checkmate. A nice spot by Anton to give Southbourne their first win.

Harry was against Ken and had left his queen in line with his opponents rook with only a bishop between. Ken was able to move the bishop with a threat to a rook so won the exchange. After that Ken showed his experience and slowly piled the pressure onto a Harry who I think has been looking forward to the end of term.

Jonathan was playing John, as someone who has seen a lot of Jonathan’s games, I wasn’t surprised to see him attacking the kingside heavily with a very advanced pawn and even saccing the exchange. The sac was well worth it as a reveal with check won the queen. John battled on with Ellis looking on calculating how many moves there will be a checkmate in. Jonathan kept the pressure and sealed the game.

This left Leo vs Finn and Ellis vs Michael, with 1.5 points needed from the two games.

Leo and Finn looked very level, but Finn was able to take a pawn, losing the knight but using that to deflect the rook away from supporting the bishop. This resulted in an advanced passed pawn and activity for Finn. This was very difficult to come back from, and after a battle Finn was able to take the point from the game and for the match.

Ellis had a very slow and congested match by his standards, refused a draw offer whilst Leo’s game was still in the balance and when he was the only one left playing, took the grandstand position and finished the match off with another game won for Poole. Unfortunately the match was already lost.

Well done to both sides. It has been great fielding a team of juniors (where possible) and they have shown great skill, I’m really proud of them all but unfortunately this draws Poole Position’s run in the knockout to a close. Congratulations and good luck to Southbourne who progress on to the next round after some excellent games.

May 26, 2023