Bedford A beat Luton (again!)

 Bedford A   Luton 
1Steven C Ledger1940.50.5Andrew Perkins183
2James Gardner1870.50.5Damon D’Cruz161
3Paul F Habershon17510Samir Vora159
4Richard T Bodily1730.50.5Pete Montgomery146
5Ravi Arulnandhy17010Marek Gladysz140

In an unusual fixture arrangement Bedford A hosted Luton in a reverse of the away match from only 2 weeks ago. We’ve now played Luton twice having not played 3 other teams at all. Mindaugas was unavailable which gave Andrew Perkins a break as Mindaugas said that he’s played almost 50% of his total Bedford matches against him. Ravi deputised on board 5. Luton were slightly stronger than in the earlier match.

On board 4 I played Pete Montgomery and thought that I had a decent aggressive position out of the opening, a Pirc. However a couple of poor moves from me and effective counters by my opponent and I could see that I was going to get much the worst of it, so I offered a draw which was accepted.

Board 5 and Ravi was black in a favoured Kings Indian defence against Marek Gladysz. After a level opening, Marek unwisely opened the b file and then castled long. Ravi occupied the file and brought several pieces into the attack whilst his opponent couldn’t generate much counterplay on the kings side. In an already difficult position, white allowed a knight fork of king and queen, losing the queen for 2 minor pieces. Ravi finished nicely – see game

Paul was next to finish, playing an Alekhine’s defence against Samir Vora. Paul seemed to have a small edge when white, already with one bishop exchanged for a knight, swapped off the black square bishop with the resulting position favouring Paul. With a timely ‘f’ pawn push, Paul was able to fork queen and knight leaving him a piece up. Sensible play then followed, combining attacking the king and exchanging off pieces resulting ultimately in a pawn ending with Paul still a bishop up. After a few desperate moves white resigned.

On board one, Steve had a long struggle with Andrew Perkins. From an English opening and some exchanges, Steve obtained a decent edge with complete control of the d file by his rooks although opposite colour bishops were in place. Steve then seemed to miss his best chance to win a pawn although following an exchange of one pair of rooks he did manage to win one pawn and pressed hard and seemed to be making progress but with doubled pawns it was never quite enough and a draw was agreed.

Finally on board 3 James Gardner took on Damon D’Cruz. Damon elected to defend against the queens gambit with a Slav defence and appeared to be better in the early stages. After 23 moves all minor pieces had been exchanged but few pawns resulting in cagey manoeuvring. Although both players tried hard, there was never much in it and once an equal rook ending was reached a draw was agreed.

A third win out of 4 and Bedford A are joint top of the table for a short while at least.

Richard Bodily, 30th November 2019