|Home Team: Bedford A||Away Team: Bedford B|
|1||Steven C Ledger||2185||1||0||Alex Taylor||2050|
|2||James Gardner||2080||0.5||0.5||Qais Karimi||1949|
|3||Ravi Arulnandhy||2073||1||0||Richard T Bodily||1968|
|4||Toby Cox||2066||0.5||0.5||Paul F Habershon||1949|
|5||Michael T Botteley||2043||0||1||Okwose Marc Obi||1938|
The A Team hosted the B Team, looking to reverse the result of the previous encounter. Recent matches have been tight affairs, and it looked like it was going to be similar this time- after half an hour’s play only two pairs of pawns had been exchanged across the five boards.
Boards 1 and 2 saw English openings as I did battle with Steve and Qais took on James. For me, after a solid opening it was a case of not being brave enough when I needed to play my pawn to f4, only to do it a few moves later when it led to my position weakening and then falling apart. Qais had James under a lot of pressure, building up good chances on the kingside. However, having missed his chance, exchanges occurred, leaving a level knight and pawn ending and an agreed draw.
On the lower boards things were equally tight. Toby and Paul were engaged in a tactical fight and it looked as if Toby had a slight advantage in the middle game, but once it boiled down to a knight and rook ending it looked as if Paul had a slight advantage, but it was only minimal and a draw was agreed.
Richard and Ravi were involved in a ding-dong affair. Richard sacrificed a pawn in the opening, but in return obtained a strong bishop pair and Ravi’s pieces looked tied up in knots. Escapology is one of Ravi’s talents, and they entered the rook and opposite coloured bishop ending game with Ravi a pawn up, but with Richard having a good defensive shape. However, an incautious bishop move by Richard lost a second pawn and the game.
Marc seemed to have the initial advantage over Mike with much more space and managing to lumber Mike with double a pawns. However, Mike countered down the middle and managed to force a pawn to d3 backed up with his queen and rooks. At one point this looked like it might be decisive, but Marc was able to exchange pieces and get to a rook and pawn ending. Even though he was a pawn down it looked like it was going to end in a draw, until Mike overstepped the time control.
Another 3-2 win for the A Team sees them maintain their good start to the season. The B Team move on to an encounter with Milton Keynes B in the New Year (Covid permitting!).
Alex Taylor, 21st December 2021