Deadlock in Division 2

 Bedford C   Leighton Buzzard B 
1Robert S Walker175801Kevin J Williamson1953
2Richard McMorran16530.50.5Adrian Matthews1878
3Callum T Shields166010C Fred H Dorn1743
4Giuseppe Valerio172810Tony Readman1518
5Oscar Tucker1500e01Lee Davies1791e
Played: 17/02/22      

Thursday saw a show down between Bedford C and Leighton Buzzard B, the two unbeaten teams in Div 2, and at the end of a long evening not much had changed and both were still unbeaten.

On Board 5 Oscar started brilliantly and got much the better of the opening. All minor pieces were exchanged early on leaving Oscar a solid pawn up with very active major pieces and every prospect of a second pawn. However with his King home alone he overlooked a bank rank check, which cost him his Queen and the game.

On Board 3 Callum was up against the wily Fred Dorn and boldly flung his pawns forward. He soon won a pawn with check and established a vice like grip on Fred’s King side, which he never relinquished. Eventually, with Callum about to promote to a Queen, Fred raised both hands in surrender!

Next to finish was Richard on Board 2 following a cagey encounter with both players initially reluctant to advance beyond the third rank. Eventually all minor pieces were exchanged and they reached a rook and pawn ending in which neither side had much prospect of attacking and agreed a draw.

Joe was next up on board 4 – a lowly board for a player with his pedigree due to Callum’s good form. He got good pressure from his favourite Queen”s side fianchetto against his opponent’s backward Queen’s pawn and eventually crashed through to win a piece.

That left Robert on top board against the County Captain Kevin Williamson. Robert had fallen behind on the clock but reached a tense ending in which Kevin had two Bishops against Robert’s Bishop and Knight and 5 or 6 pawns each. Kevin had a pawn on a7 threatening to promote if only he could dislodge Robert’s Bishop on a8. I had thought it was just a question of a win for Kevin or a draw, but Robert managed to swap his Knight for Bishop, and that put the game on a knife edge – so easy for either player to make one small but fatal error. Finally after both players had promoted to Queen Robert, under severe clock pressure, left his Queen en pris. It was a very exciting game watched by a small crowd most of whom had strong, but differing, opinions on what they had just witnessed.

We were tantalisingly close to winning the match but, significantly outrated, a draw was a good result.

Peter Gill, 18th February 2022