B teams all square

Bedford B were away at Milton Keynes B on Thursday.

There has been a symmetry to the teams’ results recently, in that both finished above their A teams last year, but had lost their opening matches to their big brothers this time around.

Qais suffered a frustrating evening. He dominated his opponent from the outset and had built a winning position being an exchange up and a better position. However, he forgot the danger of a potential discovered attack and dropped a knight and his position deteriorated very quickly.

Mike played a French-style position (without the bad white-squared bishop). The game was closed, but he managed to create some space on the kingside and some knight manoeuvres allowed him to firstly pick up one pawn and was poised to win another one in a rook and pawn ending when his opponent resigned.

Rob, who very kindly stepped into the breach, had a seemingly even game from the opening. However, he always struggled with a backward pawn on e3 and this, combined with some horrible back-rank mate threats led to the loss of the exchange. The ending was always difficult, and a last attempt to force a pawn through did not quite work and the game was lost.

My game was a struggle for much of it. I managed to get my knights in a tangle in the middle of the board and although cramped, my position did not have any major weaknesses. My opponent grabbed a pawn on the queenside but this allowed me to launch an attack, which helped by a missed chance for a riposte by my opponent, was ultimately successful.

With the match tied at 2-2 Marc was fighting Richard on board 1. He always had an advantage, which led to him being briefly a piece up, but after a time scramble he still reached a queen and pawn ending a pawn up. Despite having two queenside passed pawns, Marc was not able to force them through and it fizzled out to a draw.

Overall the match was drawn. Could we have won it? Could we have lost it? Yes and Yes – so a draw was probably fair.

Alex Taylor, 16th November 2018