|1||Qais Karimi||167||0||1||Andrew Perkins||183|
|2||Alex Taylor||168||1||0||Damon D’Cruz||161|
|3||Michael T Botteley||160||1||0||Samir Vora||159|
|4||Marc ON Obi||160||0.5||0.5||Pete Montgomery||146|
|5||Toby Cox||164||1||0||Marek Gladysz||140|
The B Team hosted Luton for their second match of the season as they looked to build on their victory the previous week.
Marc and Peter were involved in a royal struggle on Board 4. With kings castled on opposite sides of the board, Marc mounted a strong attack on the kingside, while Peter sought to break through on the queenside. At one point Marc appeared to be about to crash through, but Peter made desperate knight sacrifice, which in his words “proved to be rather good” and Marc had to play very carefully avoid traps and eventually accept a draw by perpetual check.
Qais faced Andrew on Board 1 and out of an English opening the position was balanced. Some queenside pressure allowed Andrew to win a pawn, but this advantage was not immediately conclusive. The position simplified to Q,R & B v Q,R & N, with Qais’s active pieces giving him good chances. Qais’s attacking instincts go the better of him, and a knight thrust rather than a retreat led to the loss of material. At one point, it looked like a perpetual check could be forced, but not quite, and Andrew simplified and won the game.
Mike always seemed to have the upper hand in his game against Samir. From a Sicilian-style opening kings ended up on opposite wings. However, Mike was able to launch his queenside pawns much more effectively and once he opened up the diagonals for his bishops, it always seemed to be a matter of time before he broke through to win the game.
Board 2 say me play Damon. A Ruy Lopez opening gave me a space advantage and always some nagging pressure on the kingside. Some tactical manoeuvring eventually allowed me to win a vital pawn and a mistake by Damon allowed me to win a second one and subsequently the game.
I have to confess I did not see much of Toby’s game, but from a Dutch Defence he managed to establish a strong pawn on e3 which hampered Marek’s pieces. At one point I thought that this pawn was going to drop, but I am sure Toby had it all under control and he eventually found a way to break through and win the game.
Another 3.5 – 1.5 victory sees the B Team briefly top of the table. Next the toughest challenge – Leighton Buzzard A