Bedord A win smoothly

MK BBedford A
1Richard CP Freeman18201Mindaugas Beinoras228
2Francesca Matta17501Steven C Ledger194
3Dominic Bartram16310Paul F Habershon175
4Peter Edwards15701Richard T Bodily173
5Ali Kheyrollahi155e01Steve C Pike163

We travelled to Milton Keynes for our third match of the season . Unfortunately James Gardner had to withdraw through illness on the morning of the match but Steve Pike stepped in to save the day.

First to finish was Steve Ledger who was black in a Benko, same opening as last year against the same opponent. I didn’t see what happened but apparently in a position where Steve had an edge, Francesa left a knight en prise. When a second piece was lost all inside 20 moves, she resigned.

Next was Steve Pike who obtained a solid advantage out of the opening and continued this into a double rook ending a pawn up (there was a brief opportunity for black between those two phases but fortunately for me, it passed unnoticed – Ed). It appeared to me that it may be tricky to convert but Steve managed this neatly.

I defended a closed sicilian and opened the centre at a good time just as white was preparing an attack. A temporary knight sacrifice netted a crucial pawn and with a better position I was able to set up a mating attack sealing the match.

Mindaugas played against Richard’s modern defence and soon established a strong pawn centre and more space. As the pressure told, Richard gave up a pawn to try to obtain activity but Mindaugas was able to reduce the material to rook and knight v rook and bishop. Richard then went for a mating attack (which looked dangerous) conceding further pawns but this was successfully repulsed and he had to resign.

Paul was last to finish. He had a small advantage from the opening, a grand prix attack against the sicilian but this disappeared into a drawish endgame of rook and bad bishop against rook and good knight. When the rooks were swapped, black’s king became very active and invaded the kingside with Paul’s pieces remaining passive in defending pawns. Paul then missed his one chance to save the game and had to resign as a pawn was lost.

A good result against a team that caused Bedford A problems last year

Richard Bodily, 25th November 2019