|Bedford D||Leighton Buzzard B|
|1||Steve C Pike||163||0||1||Peter C Clarke||183|
|2||Andrew J Chapman||160||0.5||0.5||Kevin J Williamson||168|
|3||Richard McMorran||138||0||1||Brian J Valentine||167|
|4||Lucian Cox||112||0.5||0.5||Adrian Matthews||158|
|5||Anthony P Lawrence||45||0||1||Peter Taylor||151|
Bedford D had a difficult evening against a very strong Leighton Buzzard B team, featuring their A team board 3, the county captain and no player under 150!
Andy was first to finish. Playing White against a Scandinavian, he always seemed to be on the front foot but Kevin played solid and peace broke out relatively early.
The other 4 games went more or less the distance and were well contested, rather giving false hope against the odds. What was required was for the captain to set a good example!
Sadly, this didn’t occur. Having had a bit of a grovel against Peter all evening, I reached a Q+B v Q+N ending, pawns equal although his were better. Had I sat on my hands, I might still have lost but would probably have been the last game to finish. Distracted by the heating (or lack of – I have to blame it on something!), I (a) made the inept decision to swap queens and (b) did it in such a way as to lose a pawn. Capitulation followed shortly.
Richard’s game looked difficult to me – a Sicilian with not too much counter attack. Brian looked to have the happier position but, in later complications (and with some confusion), Richard failed to make the 35 moves before his clock hit zero.
Tony, out-graded by over 100 points(!), had played a solid game. Despite thinking (and preparing so he told me) he was going to be White (sorry Tony!), his Queen’s Indian held firm for a long time. With 2xR+N each, he miscalculated and pawns (and the game) were lost, but he should take great heart from his efforts.
Lucian had to wait a while for his game to start. Adrian (unavoidably) arrived some 40 minutes late but Lucian (and I) was happy to play. A characteristically energetic, exacerbated by Adrian’s new 35 in 30 time control, game saw Lucian go a pawn up but ultimately go a pawn down but not lose his nerve in a K+PvK ending.
All in all, a disappointing scoreline but mostly (myself excluded) decent individual efforts. Against weaker opposition (there is surely some somewhere in this division!?), who knows!
Steve Pike, 14th November 2019