|Bedford B||Leighton Buzzard A|
|1||Qais Karimi||167||0.5||0.5||Gary Kenworthy||211|
|2||Alex Taylor||168||1||0||Evgeny Tukpetov||202|
|3||Nick Collacott||170||1||0||Peter C Clarke||183|
|4||Marc ON Obi||160||0||1||Stephen Law||178|
|5||Toby Cox||164||0.5||0.5||Peter Hunt||173|
Bedford B faced their toughest challenge of the season as they hosted Leighton Buzzard A on Thursday. Heavily outgraded on all boards, the odds were stacked against us, but after the first two results we were in good spirits.
Looking at the games from early on we all seemed to be at least holding our own – but could we convert the changes.
I had the white pieces against Evgeny and after a closed Sicilian opening seemed to be holding firm. I managed to neutralise any threats down the h file and went into a queen and bishop ending no worse. My draw offer was spurned, but then managed to open the queenside up and win a pawn. A mistake by my opponent then allowed me to force queens off go into a won endgame.
The next result came in soon after. Nick had a very closed position against Peter, but had a space advantage and a slight edge, but nothing overwhelming. Peter then chose the wrong moment to exchange central pawns which opened the c file, and then gave Nick the chance to win a vital pawn which then opened up Peter’s position to force a win.
Bottom board saw Toby take on Peter Hunt. Toby’s position always looked comfortable and he managed to win a pawn in the middle game, although it was doubled, which limited its use one they went into a double rook ending. After one pair of rooks were exchanged Peter offered a draw, which was accepted.
So with two games left, we were guaranteed at least a draw in the match – but could we get over the line?
Marc spent much of the evening with a very comfortable game. Kings castled on opposite flanks led to a complex middle game with both sides attacking Marc’s attack always seemed a little bit more potent and this meant that he had a clearly winning position in the endgame. The frustrating thing with chess is that you can do all the good work and then you miss something – which happened to Marc as he missed a tactic which allowed Steve to push through a pawn to queen.
Its was therefore all down to board 1 where Qais faced Gary. In the early part of the game it looked from the outside that Gary was creating weaknesses in Qais’s position which looked prime for exploitation. However, Qais then won a pawn and the exchange and although Gary had a strong attack against the king, Qais looked to be holding comfortably. In the end Gary sacrificed his queen in order to force perpetual check. However this was good enough to win us the match 3-2.
An amazing result by the team, and it is not an exaggeration to say that the scoreline flattered our opponents. Who would have believed it?
Alex Taylor, 9th November 2019