The B Team headed to Milton Keynes for a tough encounter against their A Team.
Despite being heavily outgraded, the match proved to be a competitive one.
Marc faced Gary Kenworthy on board 1 and early on passed on the opportunity of castling and position his queen and rook on f1, g1 and h1. The position opened up on the queenside, but looked equal going into the endgame. However, a mistake in the time scramble led to the loss of the exchange, and finally the loss of a further piece.
My game against Graham Smith was a fluctuating affair. A familiar tale of going wrong in the opening led to a cramped position. Graham opened up the position, but this allowed me to free my game and win a useful pawn. It looked like Graham was going to crash through against my king, but I managed to counter effectively, and had a won position when Graham lost on time.
Qais always seemed to be in control against Adrian on Board 3. Out of the opening Qais has space, a better bishop v knight and pressure down the e-file. He then opened up the a-file and managed to win a pawn. Qais kept up the pressure in the ending and after simplifying to a rook and pawn ending and finally crashed through for a clinical win.
Mike showed great restraint against Graham Borrowdale on 4. Faced with a quiet position Mike resisted the urge to try to force matters, and he ended up in a bad bishop v knight endgame. Graham’s attempt to put the knight on almost every square possible did not produce a breakthrough . A draw was offered and accepted, meaning that the team could not lose the match.
On Board 5 Toby made his B Team debut against Robert Whiteside. An enterprising knight sacrifice on f7 for two pawns gave Toby a lot of play, but the knock-out punch was never quite there. Robert manage to simplify into an ending maintaining the bishop for two pawn advantage. Toby played valiantly to try to draw the game, even as both players fell short of time. However, the pressure finally told and as the pawns fell, the game was lost. Toby should not be downhearted and on this evidence will be a B Team regular before too long.
Overall a 2.5-.2.5 draw was a good result, which moves the team a further point further away from the bottom.