Southbourne C vs Poole C

Going into this week everyone was full of nerves, the table showed that we needed a point from Southbourne, but as you no doubt read elsewhere results went our way. This meant this pressure was off so we could enjoy the game and not worry about our poor hearts with the stress. More on that side of things later.

We were short of Simon F so Richie was drafted in. His game against John Harris was fairly closed with the Rooks sulking behind a wall of 16 Pawns and a lone Knight dancing with a Bishop in no mans land. With a position like that, from standing behind I could tell Richie was scowling at it. It could have been agreed as a draw but pushing for a result – or some interesting chess – resulted in some nice combinations, but an check changed the combination by a single move shifting momentum and the win to John.

I was given the job of taking on Brian Curran on top board. As a lowly 132, suddenly playing a 158 was slightly intimidating, I knew I had to be on top of my game and a single slip up would mean losing. Keen to not repeat my previous match where I blundered a piece on move 8, I took more care and didn’t blunder a piece until move 25! Progress! I figured the King could only move to one of two places when if I checked him, and then worst case was a perpetual. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and the game was over. A Queen swap would have left an interesting end game. It was an interesting position:

Board 2, Simon P was supposed to play Len Laker, but after he didn’t show up Paul Sandy was swapped in to give Simon a match. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the opening moves were c4, c5, g4.

But I’m sure I must have been mistaken. Anyway, the game continued with Simon building a lot of pressure glaring down on a compromised King side. Before it could be properly resolved, Paul’s flag dropped but the players hadn’t realised. The two captains agreed to step in and show that the swanky new digital clocks were saying the game was over. Perhaps we need to make sure people know how different digital clocks behave, especially when and how they add the extra 15 minutes as this one hadn’t reached 35 moves. In this particular case Paul had 6 left (minutes? Seconds?) and then at next glance had 14 left, this is after 25 moves. What actually happened was it ran out, added 15 minutes and illuminated a flag on the display. Neither player either spotted or realised the significance of this.

Finally we have Mike who was a playing a more sensible game against David Bryant, a player above 140 against 117. David had more pressure in the opening and managed to win a Pawn, but that shifted momentum to Mike who had some good attacks but his opponent forced a Queen exchange which took the sting out of it.

The final score was 3-1 to Southbourne with Simon P providing the only win to prevent a whitewash straight after winning the league! Perhaps we would have played differently if we needed the result but we all played an honest game and had some interesting positions.

This is the final game in B&DCL Div 3 and the final result is Poole C winning by 1 point ahead of Wimborne D. A huge thank you to our regular players of Simon P (all 10 games!), Simon F, Mike and Eric. Also special thanks to those who came in when our regulars weren’t able to play: Richie, Seth and Dave Burt. It’s been an impressive season where I think we’ve really outdone ourselves and managed to get a very unexpected result. After the first two games were lost, and the third was a draw, our Chairman told me we had to improve for fear of relegation – I think we’ve done as instructed.

Onwards, into Division 2, where we’ll be facing A teams, and grades of 144 on bottom board and 166 on top board. Should be interesting! Good luck to Poole D, there’s a space in Division 3 for another Poole team, go get it!


[edited 20th May at 10:39]

May 19, 2018