As I wandered around occasionally the other games were hard to judge: the typical complicated, level material, positions that we all get into. How we managed to lose them all is a mystery. All I can say is well done to the O.U. players.
In my game a dodgy “theoretical novelty” at move 5 led to a decent position where I eventually won a pawn. Disaster struck as I was coasting to victory, with more spectators than time.
Leighton Buzzard away on a January school night doesn’t work for our youngsters, so thanks to Qais for filling the gap and also to Richard M for being willing to play if necessary.
In order of finishing…
Ben played a Benko-like sacrifice but I’m told was soon a rook down.
Gerry played well and slowly got the best of Adrian, before (his words) making a stupid move and losing.
David played the opening well then allowed his opponent too much space. Down in material, he kept the position complicated to take advantage of his opponent’s time shortage. This worked when Thomas’s flag fell.
I was outplayed in the opening, lost a pawn in the middle game, then had my hopes of holding the ending dashed.
Qais and Brian traded blows all night before Qais finally managed to achieve a R+P vs R ending. This he played confidently and pretty well perfectly (IMHO).
Qais maintained a small edge throughout against Graham Borrowdale, but was unable to convert it to the win he deserved.
The advantage ebbed and flowed in my game with James and I finished with a slight material advantage (RR+3 vs RB+4). I offered the draw when the match could no longer be saved.
The two Richards reached a position with an interlocking fence of pawns across the board and each playing in his own garden. I didn’t see the conclusion but the result was not a surprise.
Gerry won’t be repeating his opening, since allowing White to quickly establish a pawn on d6 didn’t work out well. The loss was all but inevitable.
David’s position looked fine early on, but when I next looked he was a pawn down with little compensation beyond a bit of pressure. He fought long and hard, but it was another inevitable result.
The evening got off to a poor start when Callum interpreted “Our next match is this coming Thursday home to Northampton” as “Get ye to Northampton” only to be told on arrival that their club night is Tuesday.
My game got complicated early on as I departed from theory at about move 6, so once again I had little time to spectate and don’t have much to say about the other games. By the time I managed to go for a wander Gerry had agreed a draw, I was winning, Toby was a pawn up, and Lucian was a couple of pawns down.
Well done to Toby for another fine win. His opponent makes a couple of mistakes and is ruthlessly punished for them.
My game was fun, though the phrase “more luck than judgment” comes to mind.
Fine wins by Lucian, Callum and Gerry (game added – welcome back Gerry! – Ed), a boring draw from me, and a win on time by Toby when he dropped a pawn and Joe needed more than the 15 seconds he had left to process this fact.
More details later if I anyone can think of anything interesting to say…
The C team captain had told us we needed to beat Milton Keynes C to lift them out of the Div 2 relegation places. We thought we had failed, but it turns out that a draw was enough to do the job.
Milton Keynes C v Bedford D
Toby was first to finish after a bold attack, pushing the pawns in front of his castled king, rebounded on him.
Qais “sacrificed” first one pawn, then another. His position looked poor to me, but I was still expecting him to be explaining later on how he was “always better”. It wasn’t to be…
Robert and John took about 2 hours to exchange any material. I was otherwise engaged as Robert won first a rook and then the game.
James came out on top against Alan in a complicated, tactical affair. When glancing at their game I never felt I knew what was going on.
I got my pieces into a tangle, but after the first exchanges was able to build up a strong-looking king-side attack. This came to nothing, and we entered a R+B endgame with me a pawn down. When Colin offered a draw I nearly grabbed his hand off.
The D Team performed well against Northampton, though this will be a bare-bones report as I sat tight for the evening trying to forget about my allergy to dogs whilst being steadily crushed by Chris Ross.
Qais continued his recent good form, finishing off by skewering Nigel’s Q and K.
Callum received a generous draw offer from Shane late in the evening. I suspect that given more time white’s extra pawn could have been converted into a win.
I first saw Toby’s game when he was swapping of the last pieces to go into a K+P ending three pawns up. Dave resigned a couple of moves later.
And Lucian’s game I saw not at all. Sorry.
If any of the spectators (Peter?, Paul?, Mary?) can provide more details I’ll update this report.
The OU came to Bedford looking for revenge, as we had hammered them 3-2 when we visited the canteen in November. Sadly they found it, in spades.
Lucian and David were the first to succumb. I didn’t see enough of their games to comment.
Next was Qais. His opponent, Pete Clarke, told me afterwards that Qais had played well, but went slightly wrong playing too quickly in some crucial positions.
Next was me. I had a lovely looking position after about 20 moves, but once again demonstrated little idea of what to do with it. Robert (Whiteside) slowly untangled his pieces and achieved some pressure, which ended with him sacrificing his knight for the three pawns in front of my king. It proved enough.
Toby played a complicated game with Black against James Alexander (grandson of the ’38 and ’56 British Champion and Bletchley Park stalwart C H O’D Alexander, so I’m told). For the last hour of the game he was fighting on a pawn down in an ending, and with much less time on his clock. He did so brilliantly, and the position had simplified to a R+P vs R ending that looked drawn when Toby unfortunately allowed his time to run out.
So, our first whitewash of the season, and hopefully our last.
1. Brian Valentine ½-½ Qais Karimi
2. Pete Taylor 0-1 John Harbour
3. Fred Dorn 0-1 Toby Cox
4. Titas Vdovycia 1-0 Ben Pike
5. Tony Readman 1-0 David Cox
First to finish was David on board 5. He sacrificed a piece, presumably for “insufficient compensation”, given the result.
Pete and I played a tight game and swapped off all of the big guns to go into N+7P endgame where his doubled f-pawns gave me a clear advantage. I blundered this away, and was fortunate that he soon returned the complement. Not a classic.
Ben won a pawn with a sneaky Bxf2+, and looked well set as he reached an endgame with B vs N and his extra pawn converted into a passed h-pawn. His opponent pushed his pawns whilst Ben didn’t, and the wheels came off.
Toby contrived to trap his own queen on b7, and Fred could and probably should have swapped Q+P for R+R. They ended up in a R+P endgame with Toby two pawns down, but Fred allowed Toby’s rook to rampage along the 7th rank, and a draw was certain. Except for the fact that Fred ran out of time.
Qais had what looked like a slight advantage against Brian: a not very good extra pawn and a lot of extra time. But Mr V. is a tough nut to crack, and they finally swapped off all the remaining pieces whilst everyone else was packing up to go home.
Qais looked under pressure a pawn down in the middle game, but comfortably held out for the draw.
I was in the process of winning a pawn when I played two moves in the wrong order and lost a piece instead.
Ben fought hard in a difficult position, with no reward.
Toby played well and probably should have won. A pawn up in a R+P endgame he had the worse rook so John was able to force a draw.
Robin was a pawn down with a restricted bishop, but with queens on the board he had chances. After the queens were swapped off he had none.
All in all, not the D team’s finest hour. Better luck next time!