|Bedford B||Milton Keynes A|
|1||Qais Karimi||167||0.5||0.5||Graham Smith||174|
|2||Alex Taylor||168||0.5||0.5||Adrian G Elwin||172|
|3||Ravi Arulnandhy||170||1||0||Dominic Bartram||163|
|4||Toby Cox||164||0.5||0.5||Josue Estevez Fernandez||170|
|5||Marc ON Obi||160||1||0||James NO’D Alexander||157|
Bedford B took on Milton Keynes A on Thursday as they looked to keep the pressure up at the top of the table. The gradings suggested that it would be a close match.
Marc always looked to have an edge in his game on Board 5. Pressure on John’s king led to the gain of a pawn, and although Marc’s knight looked temporarily exposed on e2, after the exchange of queens, he won another pawn in a 2 knights v two bishops ending. After winning one of the bishops, the game was won.
Ravi was up against Dominic, whose grade has been improving rapidly. An early win of a pawn gave Ravi the initiative and he pushed hard against Dominic’s king. By his own admission, Ravi got slightly carried away in the search for a pretty win, which made life a little harder than it could have been. However, in the end the pressure was maintained for victory.
Toby faced a Sicilian Defence on Board 4 against Josue. For much of the middle game it appeared to me that Toby’s position was solid, but he was having to work hard in defence. Once the major pieces were exchanged, the position became much simpler and a draw was agreed.
My game against Adrian was a cagey affair. After a Caro-Kann opening I had much more space and seemingly the possibility of launching an attack against Adrian’s king. However, my edge was never really enough to convert into a clear advantage and a draw was agreed at the time control.
Qais was up against Graham on top board. Graham appeared to have all the attack, with significant pressure down the e-file, however Qais’s position did not have any real weaknesses and he was able to manoeuvre his knights to great defensive effect. Draw offers started flying around after the position simplified, but perhaps unaware of the overall match score (we had already won!) they kept going. However, peace did eventually break out.
A 3.5 – 1.5 victory sees the A Team’s lead cut to a single point, although we have now played a game more –even so could lightning be about to strike twice?
Alex Taylor, 14th February 2020