|Home Team: Milton Keynes A||Away Team: Bedford B|
|1||Gary Kenworthy||202||1||0||Marc ON Obi||166|
|2||Graham E Borrowdale||193||0||1||Alex Taylor||163|
|3||Graham Smith||188||0.5||0.5||Raymon Gompelman||173|
|4||Adrian G Elwin||183||0.5||0.5||Richard T Bodily||168|
|5||Eric Meichel||158||0||1||Steve Pike||161|
The B team ventured to Milton Keynes for a stern test against their A Team. With the exception of the bottom board, we were outgraded on all board, so a tough fight was anticipated. It proved to be an interesting contest.
Board 3 saw Richard take on Adrian Elwin, against whom I was reliably informed he had a shocking record. After a Queens Gambit Accepted opening, Richard had a solid position as black, but the slight advantage lay with Adrian. Richard offered a pawn sacrifice to free up his position, but his opponent generously declined it and after this the advantage, if any, lay with Richard. In a tight position, with neither side having any clear prospects of making progress, a draw was agreed.
On Board 5 Steve was playing Eric Meichel (edited this a bit as Alex was too complementary). A Ruy Lopez opening saw Steve with more space but this rather evaporated in the middle game. The Queen exchange cost Steve a pawn but left Black with a difficult position, especially under some time pressure. A subsequent misjudgement cost Black the exchange leading to a relatively straightforward victory.
Marc faced the toughest challenge of the evening, having to play Gary Kenworthy on Board 1. Marc’s position was solid after the opening and he chose a line which although gave him a rook for a bishop and pawn, gave black the bishop pair and a supported passed pawn on d4, which looked very strong. The position looked difficult, but an inspired return of the exchange and sacrifice of a bishop led to an ending of rook and four pawns (three connected on the queenside) versus a rook, bishop and two pawns. The connected pawns looked strong and gave Marc good drawing chances, but one imprecise move led to his king being trapped in the middle of the board and the loss of the game, when a draw was so close.
My game against Graham Borrowdale was a fluctuating affair. Out of the opening the game looked pretty level, but Graham decided to launch an attack on the kingside, which opened his king up – if I could survive it. A timely pawn-thrust relieved the pressure on my king and enabled me to get into a double rook and queen ending. I managed to equalise and the position looked drawish, but the exchange of queens allowed me to create a passed pawn on the a-file which distracted Graham’s king, which allowed me to mop up the kingside a win the game.
The match depended on Raymon’s game against Graham Smith (see below). The opening saw Raymon create space on the queenside and pressure on Graham’s advance e-pawn. Exchange of queens saw Raymon acquire double h-pawns, but having the compensation of an extra pawn. Graham created a strong attack on the kingside and Raymon had to be defend his position carefully. In the ending an exchange of material saw Raymon have a rook and five pawns v rook, knight and two pawn advantage. Slightly short of time but with a better position, a draw offer was made (for the team!), which was accepted.
Overall a fantastic 3-2 win for the B Team. Another stern test against Leighton Buzzard A is our next match.