|Bedford A||Bedford B|
|1||Steven C Ledger||194||1||0||Qais Karimi||167|
|2||Paul F Habershon||175||0||1||Alex Taylor||168|
|3||Ravi Arulnandhy||170||0||1||Nick Collacott||170|
|4||Richard T Bodily||173||0.5||0.5||Marc ON Obi||160|
|5||Darren Reed||167||0||1||Toby Cox||164|
Bedford A hosted Bedford B in the opening game of the season for both teams. In recent years the matches have been close, and with the A Team not at full strength, the B team were hopeful!
Richard and Mark were the first to finish on Board 4. A closed Sicilian opening led to a tight game, where Richard had a very cramped position and was under pressure on the queenside, but no obvious weaknesses. Marc lost/sacrificed a pawn and seemed to have good compensation for it, but a draw was agreed soon after.
The next to finish was Board 1, where Steve and Qais played an English opening. Qais decided to be active on the queenside, and Steve focussed his efforts on the kingside. Although chances looked even, Qais posted a rook on b6, but unfortunately for him, a tactic from Steve led to a devastating fork on king and rook to win the game.
Board 5 saw Toby take on Darren. Toby sacrificed a pawn in the opening which gave him a lot of space and good counter-play. He won the pawn back and entered an endgame with a R & 4 pawns each, but Toby had a passed d pawn. A rook exchange allowed Toby to consolidate his advantage and win the game.
A complicated tussle took place on Board 3 between Ravi and Nick from a King’s Indian opening. Ravi played an aggressive f5, but it was loosening and Nick was able to parry away any threats and then break through on the g file, which led to Ravi’s position collapsing rather quickly.
The decisive game was therefore the Board 2 clash between Alex and Paul (see below). A far too common inaccuracy in the opening led to Paul winning an early pawn and he managed to establish a passed pawn on d6 and with two bishops as well, he looked in the driving seat. Some desperate queenside pawn thrusts, coupled with some defence in front of the d pawn allowed me to hold out and suddenly turn the tables. Ultimately my queenside pawns proved decisive and secure the game and match.
A 3.5 – 1.5 victory for the B Team was therefore the slightly surprising (but deserved) outcome on the balance of play.