|Bedford B||Bedford A|
|1||Alex Taylor||2050||0||1||Steven C Ledger||2185|
|2||Qais Karimi||1949||0||1||Ravi Arulnandhy||2073|
|3||Richard T Bodily||1968||0.5||0.5||James Gardner||2080|
|4||Paul F Habershon||1949||0.5||0.5||Michael T Botteley||2043|
|5||Okwose Marc Obi||1938||0||1||Toby Cox||2066|
(apologies for late publication – Alex was prompt as ever but I was halfway up a French mountain)
The B Team kicked off the second half of the season against the A Team hoping to kick-start their season.
You needed to be in your seats early to catch the result of James v Richard. The opening lead to alternating doubled pawns on the e-file, fianchettoed bishops on b2 and b7 and peace was declared once queens came off – I don’t think it will win Game of the Season!
Boards 2 and 5 ended up being a tale of two kingside attacks.
Toby sacrificed a pawn against Marc, which meant that Marc had a knight and black-squared bishop stranded offside on the a file and bishop and rook still at home on the queenside. Toby did not even bother castling, but just aimed his queen, black squared bishop and a knight at Marc’s kingside (with a pawn or two shoved forward for good measure) a devasting discovered attack on black’s queen then finished the game.
Qais tried an English opening against Ravi. Ravi soon neutralised any pressure on the queenside and the proceeded to push his kingside pawns, ably supported by his bishops. The attack acquired its own momentum and having tied the defensive pieces in knots, Ravi was able to complete the process and win the game.
I played a Dutch Defence against the anticipated 1 d4 from Steve and although had a cramped position initially had managed to at least be no worse heading into the middle game. I overlooked a small tactic which allowed Steve to swap a knight for my black squared bishop – and after this my position became much harder to defend. Steve opened the d file and his bishop pressured my kingside and although I staved off mating attacks this lead to a double rook and bishop v double rook and knight ending where I was a pawn down – and then two so the game was lost.
Paul seemed to have an edge over Mike for much of his game, but it never seemed to be a decisive one. Paul had more space and control of the open a file, and once queens were exchanged had the slightly more active pieces in the rook and knight ending. However, after rooks came off the position was pretty much level, with perhaps Mike slightly better. A draw was agreed.
So yet another defeat, this time 4-1 leaves the B Team almost certain to finish bottom of the league and the A Team retaining their slim title chances.
Alex Taylor, 11th March 2022