PooleA v RingwoodA (BDCL 1)
Well I was very pleased to be asked to make up the numbers for the A Team tonight. Either Chip was desperate or he quite liked the idea of asking me to do the report; probably a bit of both.
Two reasonably well matched teams.
I will start with my favorite subject, me, on Board 4 playing Graham Willetts. Now Graham and I have had a few games over the years but I think that it can be said that none were as dull as this one. An exchange French, half a dozen minor pieces exchanged and a draw agreed with completely symmetrical pawn structures. I blame the masks reducing the oxygen flow. So one game down and only half way through the evening.
Chip played with the White pieces on top board against Kevin Goater, fresh from their recent interesting but drawn 4NCL game.
(As a side note, and to add an addendum to the previous 4NCL report, Chip advised me after the 4NCL weekend that he was checking this game with Fritz or similar and was very surprised to see the evaluation jump from level to +9 when he entered the move with the draw offer, there was a hidden tactic that was not spotted by either player it seems. Kevin, if you did see it and are good at acting, then I apologise)
A cagey opening led to an odd position with lots of good squares for pieces on both sides, only one main pawn break possible on the Black side, and a bit on manoeuvering ensued.
Martin v Niall on Board 3 looked very even all game, a typical Sicilian type set up with White having some activity but Black coiled ready to counterpunch with everything defended. Martin was obviously not happy to hang around for a half point and looked to push, but a good sequence of moves from Niall suddenly activitated everything. With a couple of minutes plus increment left for both players a tactic won a piece and Niall took the point.
At about the same time on Board 1, again down to two minutes plus increment, Kevin had made his pawn break and unfortunately for Chip a Knight got trapped in the centre. And so the match result was settled.
Meanwhile John and Martin had a very interesting game on Board 2. A nice tactic from Martin resulted in a late middlegame of RBN+4p v RR+5p. It did indeed look promising for Martin as he consolidated the position nicely with John low on time. But you can not underestimate piece activity, nor a few pawns making life difficult. One of those pawns reaching the seventh caused the defence to become difficult and one of the White pieces dropped. Bad luck Martin. As was commented afterwards, it really did look as though slow and steady would convert the promising position, just like Game 6 in the recent World Championship Match.
So an even match I think, but Ringwood pinched the points. Well done.
December 13, 2021