Bedford B keep title hopes alive

 Luton   Bedford B 
1Andrew Perkins18301Qais Karimi167
2Damon D’Cruz16110Alex Taylor168
3Samir Vora15901Toby Cox164
4Michael Joseph16301Ravi Arulnandhy170
5Aleksandar Juhasz12101Marc ON Obi160

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)!

One Reply to “Bedford B keep title hopes alive”

  1. It was good to see a strong team from Bedford play against Luton A that evening for reasons I’ll come to later.

    Across the campus over at the library, about twenty of us were playing at the University of Bedfordshire Student Chess Club at the same time. Peter Montgomery and Samir Vora are excellent mentors for the students but since Samir was playing on board 3, we borrowed David Cox (who was driving Toby) for the evening to give chess lessons to some of the students new to chess at the University. We hope to encourage as many students as possible to learn to play our game at whatever level they find enjoyable.

    Toby Cox came across at the end of his game and played a few bullet chess games with our new top playing student Octavian Arsenie, (who remarkably has never played a serious game of chess over the board before) later in the evening and when we shut the club, at around 10pm, a few of us wandered over to the match to watch your end game against Damon. It was educational and absorbing not just for the game over the board but for the tension and atmosphere of chess fans watching an exciting game reach it’s conclusion.

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