For the second time in consecutive weeks Milton Keynes A travelled to Bedford this time to take on the A team. Bedford were strengthened by the return of Mindaugas on board 1 for the third time this season.
In order of finishing:-
Mindaugas was black playing a Pirc against Graham Smith and after a level opening and queens exchanged with if anything a small edge to white, accurate play was needed. Graham made a small error and the position quickly rebounded against him with black’s remaining pieces very active. Graham resigned more in general disillusionment with the position rather than an immediate loss of material (see game below).
I played Robert Kowalczyk on board 5 and defended a c3 Sicilian, won a pawn in the opening and maintained this through to a double rook and bishop ending. Steadily all the pieces were swapped off leaving me to slowly work out how to win the king and pawn ending which i managed in the end with some difficulty.
Paul took on Ali Kheyrollahi on board 4, the game beginning life as another Pirc, transposing to a sort of Kings Indian and what seemed to be a blocked position although some scope for attack on the kings side by Paul and queen side by Ali. Black then played quite defensively allowing Paul to open up first the kingside and then the centre crashing through for a well deserved win.
On board 3 James played a Petroff defence to Josue Estevez Fernadez e4 who played an aggressive king side attacking line in exchange for doubled pawns although James then castled on the queenside. In a very level position, James erred and dropped a central pawn and in trying to stave off a mating attack had to give up a second pawn a few moves later. He survived to a rook and pawn ending but the result was never in doubt and he he had to concede the point.
Finally, Steve was up against Adrian Elwin on board 2 and a Trompowsky resulted. Having quickly swapped bishop for knight, Steve then found himself in the early middlegame with rooks and a bishop v rooks and a knight as Adrian decided that it was in his best interest to reverse the exchange and more. However Steve always had more space and slowly advanced his queen side pawns in a minority attack. Steve was able to penetrate the position with a rook on the seventh rank, winning a pawn and obtaining a passed pawn, then winning the exchange whereupon Adrian resigned.
All in all a good result and maintains the league position for now.
Richard Bodily, 23rd February 2020