|1||Andrew Perkins||183||0||1||Qais Karimi||167|
|2||Damon D’Cruz||161||1||0||Alex Taylor||168|
|3||Samir Vora||159||0||1||Toby Cox||164|
|4||Michael Joseph||163||0||1||Ravi Arulnandhy||170|
|5||Aleksandar Juhasz||121||0||1||Marc ON Obi||160|
The B Team gave up the opportunity to eat lots of pancakes to head to Luton as they looked to close the gap at the top of the table.
My views of the games was a bit limited, as I ended up in a bit of bother against Damon (see below).
Marc was first to finish his game. From the opening he had an immediate space advantage pressure against his opponent’s king. This pressure told and with a nice bishop pair, Marc was able to finish off for a good win.
On Board 3, Toby gambited an early pawn to give him a distinct space advantage and good pressure against Samir’s king. The black squares proved particularly weak, and Toby’s knights looked like they were exploiting these. My only other glance at the position was just as Toby was checking and about to win a piece, and this was good enough for the game.
On Board 4 it was good to see Michael Joseph back in action against Ravi. The position was pretty equal in the middle game, however Ravi had two distinct advantages – namely the bishop pair and Michael’s week pawn structure. Ultimately, these two factors proved decisive.
Qais was up against Andrew Perkins on top board. Andrew tried to create some pressure down the c file after a Sicilian opening, but Qais took the opportunity to attack down the kingside. This led to the gaining of a couple of pawns and more active pieces in the endgame. Qais was able to win a piece, but still had to play carefully to avoid allowing Andrew drawing chances. Once down to R,N & P v R, Andrew resigned.
A rush of blood to the head meant that I tried to cling on to the extra pawn out of a Queen’s Gambit. At one point, I thought things were OK, but I underestimated a pawn thrust by Damon, and suddenly the position exploded. There were pawns en prise everywhere and with both kings still uncastled it was very unclear. Once the smoke had cleared I was a pawn down in R&B ending, where I managed to trap my rook in the corner and lost!
Overall a 4-1 victory kept our vague title hopes alive – and sets up an interesting encounter with the A Team in March (Corona virus permitting)!