Having drawn the away fixture, just missing out on a win, and bolstered by Mike Botteley on top board, I had high hopes for this fixture against the leaders in Division 2 last night particularly when they turned up without Graham Borrowdale. We comfortably out graded them but it was not to be!
I failed to convert a middle game rated by Hiarcs at one point as 5 points better and when still just about level I left a Rook en prise to a pawn. My opponent Dominic Bartram has won 7 games in the league so far with one draw and no losses mostly against much higher rated opponents. He didn’t play the opening at all well but outplayed me in the ending. I think I was the first to fall but Joe soon followed. I can’t say much about his game against Josue Fernandez – one moment it looked fine and the next he and his opponent were analysing a mate. And to complete the rout of our middle order Richard had all his major pieces aiming at Colin Solloway’s King but got nowhere and ended up in a pawn and minor piece ending a pawn down against an opponent he had beaten twice before this season. He battled on but could not resist a monstrous pair of connected passed pawns in the centre which hatched into a Queen – more than enough to squash Richard’s own hopes of promoting a pawn.
Mike did the business on Board 1 against James D’Alexander converting pressure from a pawn advantage to a classic bank rank mate against the fianchettoed King position with Rook and Bishop. That just left Robert playing on board 5. (When did we last have a Club Div 1 Player on bottom board for the C team?). He didn’t have things all his own way but eventually managed to free his extra pawn to promote.
So a very disappointing 2-3 defeat.
Mike Botteley 1 – 0 James D’Alexander
Joe Valerio 0 – 1 Josue Fernandez
Richard McMorran 0 – 1 Colin Solloway
Peter Gill 0 – 1 Dominic Bartram
Robert Walker 1 – 0 Paul Endersby
2 – 3
Peter Gill, 8th February 2019