Bedford C wins the derby opener

Bedford CBedford D
1Darren Reed167e10Steve Pike163
2Joe Valerio14010Andy Chapman160
3Peter Gill13510Lucian Cox113
4Robert Walker12810David Cox77
5Callum Shields13701Andy Evans100e

Having published many match reports from other captains over the years, suddenly it is my turn to reflect on the performance of others. I hadn’t appreciated how hard it was to have any clue about what was going on in other games! Anyway, I’ll make the most of the fact that Peter is away for a couple of days to get my version in. Please would the participants correct my ramblings and I will try better next time!

Mr Gill played a master stroke before the match had even started, somehow convincing me to part with my new best player (Darren Reed, recently arrived from Finland) because Mike Botteley was stuck at work. In return, I got Andy Evans on debut which, on reflection, turned out well!

Half an hour or so into the match, there was some interest in board 5 – Andy had trapped Callum’s queen! – I publish a bit of the game below (sorry Callum) – this is clearly not going to be the only match Andy plays for the club. Callum struggled on gamely but the damage was done.

A short while later, I noticed a queen imbalance on board 2 also! Joe had pulled some subtle trick (so he told me later?) – Andy had seen it two moves earlier but …? Again, Andy struggled on and Joe made hard work of it (his words) but a queen is a queen.

David’s game looked very entertaining – opposite side castling and open files against the kings. It looked to me like both sides were trying to find the sac, sac, mate strategy rather than the sac, sac, oh dear I’ve run out of stuff strategy. Robert’s attack eventually prevailed.

Young Lucian was showing very little respect for Mr Gill, gambiting pawns with abandon. I rather lost track of this game but sadly, when I next looked up, Peter was a knight up in an endgame and the inevitable followed. Peter – “Lucian launched the King’s gambit against me. Having no idea how to play it properly I responded with the daft looking Qh4 check on move 2. Lucian did not appear in the least bit perturbed (he probably expected something odd from one of the club’s oldest codgers) but finding himself in unfamiliar territory left a piece undefended after which it was only a matter of time to whittle down to an easily won ending. “

My game against Darren was quite a roller coaster (see below). I think I got a bit carried away with my pawns in the opening and he probably had it all under control the entire time but I (and even Fritz right up until about move 48) felt the game was in the balance. Any which way, both Darren and Andy look like great assets for club teams going forward.

All in all, the result was obviously a bit disappointing for Bedford D but all the games were interesting. It did look a bit like some people on both sides (including me) were still playing in Cordon Trophy-style, but hopefully next time we play (in February), it will be a top of the table clash!?