|Home Team: Bedford B||Away Team: Milton Keynes A|
|1||Marc ON Obi||166||1||0||Gary Kenworthy||202|
|2||Alex Taylor||163||1||0||Graham E Borrowdale||193|
|3||Richard T Bodily||168||0||1||Graham Smith||188|
|4||Steve Pike||161||0.5||0.5||Adrian G Elwin||183|
|5||Ravi Arulnandhy||161||1||0||Eric Meichel||158|
The B Team hosted Milton Keynes A on Thursday, with the away team looking to avenge their narrow defeat earlier in the season.
After about 40 minutes play all the games looked pretty level, so a close finish looked likely.
Marc played Gary on Board 1 and was certainly not overawed by his opponent’s strength. From a King’s Indian-style opening the position looked level. Marc had extra space and was building pressure on the kingside. Gary decided to exchange his queen for a rook, knight and pawn, but Marc maintained pressure on the kingside, which led to him being a queen for two knights up. A neat finish giving the queen back was going to lead to a pawn queening and a won game (see below).
Ravi was next to finish. His opponent decided to sacrifice a piece for three pawns to open up Ravi’s king. From the outside the position looked a little hairy, but Ravi always seemed to have the position under control. He was able to neutralise any attack his opponent had and with a bishop pair dominating the board a win ensued.
On Board 5 Steve was up against Adrian and it proved to be a tight affair. An early exchange of queens led to Adrian being a pawn up briefly, but doubled b pawns were hard to defend and Steve easily won the pawn pack. From there it was a question of manoeuvring pawns around, but neither side was able to break through and a draw was agreed. This gave the B Team at least a draw, but could they secure the match?
Richard and Graeme’s game was another game of tactical manoeuvres. Richard appeared to have a bit more space and pressure in the centre queenside, but the real action was on kingside. Graeme managed to push his f pawn and then bring his queen and rooks round. Unfortunately for Richard, the pressure led to material loss and although he had two rooks for a queen and pawns, the position was not tenable.
This left my game against Graham Borrowdale to finish. A French Defence opening led to a complicated middle game. With kings castled on opposite sides of the board both sides launched attacks and it was a question of who would succeed first. Graham had the better attack, but just about created enough to make it difficult. Graham sacrificed a rook and it looked enough for a draw, but he missed a crucial move, and once my king escaped the game was won.
A fantastic 3.5 – 1.5 victory keeps the B Team in second place, just 2 points behind Leighton Buzzard.