Kingmaker Richard Bodily beat Marc Obi on Thursday to take second place himself and leave Steve Ledger as the winner of the Club Championship – many congratulations to him! Marc looked favourite for most of it, but time was a major factor.
In this final game of the season, Alex needs to win to avoid relegation and Mike needs to win to have a chance of it. Sadly for each of them, the outcome and the results of other games condemned them both but they had a wild game to get there.
A club “Best Game” competition in a season in which Marc downs Gary Kenworthy seems unlikely to offer the judges much trouble. But having been sternly reminded by your webmaster that although living in Norfok I am NOT excused (sic), this is how I ended my season and is an entry for the ridiculous and insane categories. By way of background, I play regularly for Wymondham’s first team in Division 2; I was a “guest” for Wymondham’s second team in Division 3 for their last match of the season. Nothing hinged on the result. Which, as you will see, is just as well.
Neither Nick nor Mike have had the best seasons (they both tell me!) but Nick shows some good technique to win efficiently in this crucial end of season battle.
As Paul knows only to well, having to beat Steve Ledger to win the county championship often doesn’t work out too well although the clock had a big part to play on this occasion.
Raymon’s impressive win from a less than promising position helped Bedford A clinch third place.
This game from Ravi is a bit of a metaphor Bedford B’s season – I’m not quite sure how he won it but he did!
Mindaugas’ play was near enough flawless except for one missed opportunity. See if you can spot where he went wrong.
Richard had a great season for Bedford B. Here’s a typical crucial win In the middle game Michael seemed to have the advantage with a pawn thrust to d3 looking like it was going to be decisive. However, somehow Michael got his knight to b1 and it looked misplaced and Richard was able to generate some mating threats against the black king. At the end a nice finish allowed Richard to force his b pawn through (saving him the unenviable possibility of winning a bishop and knight v king ending!).
A terrific attacking win by Toby against an opponent over 50 grading points higher. Here’s the game, it doesn’t need annotation, just remember what it’s like to be young!
Marc played Gary on Board 1 in this critical match and was certainly not overawed by his opponent’s strength. From a King’s Indian-style opening the position looked level. Marc had extra space and was building pressure on the kingside. Gary decided to exchange his queen for a rook, knight and pawn, but Marc maintained pressure on the kingside, which led to him being a queen for two knights up. A neat finish giving the queen back was going to lead to a pawn queening and a won game.
– probably because of games like this one! Richard and Paul give a master class in madness. Apologies to both playes for my annotation efforts.
Being board 1 in division 1 is a thankless task, but Marc took the game to Evgeny. Out of the opening Marc won a pawn and seemed to have a good position. A slight inaccuracy allowed an exchange sacrifice which then allowed Evgney to force a draw by perpetual check.
An inaccuracy on move 31 made all the difference.
Peter:- as a reluctant Board 1 again and being the wimp that I am, I duly offered a draw to ensure a drawn match. Perhaps Adrian didn’t hear it or perhaps he didn’t believe his ears because we played on. At this point Robert appeared and told me that Nigel had drawn but should have won. Fortunately I wrongly thought he said “You should win”. It would of course have been improper but nevertheless I could hardly agree a draw after that! I managed to convert the extra pawn into an attack on Adrian’s King and though (according to our next door neighbours) I missed several mates along the way it was still good enough to win his Queen.
In the crucial match against Leighton Buzzard, Mindaugas was allowed a big centre and was always in control. I like the way his king found a safe haven at the end.
Another crucial game against Leighton Buzzard.
I (Paul) wasn’t expecting to play Andy Tinker and got into a tricky Benoni variation which I hadn’t mugged up on since a previous occasion against him. I used up lots of time grovelling but Andy can’t have found the most accurate moves. After a time I stopped hoping he would offer a draw as my position gradually improved.
A number of club members visited the London Classic at Olympia in December. Aside from Mr Carlsen and chums in the Elite event, we were also impressed by the very strong Open event. 38 of the 288 players were GrandMasters of whom 11 were rated above 2600 ELO (roughly 253 ECF!).
The top board for Bedford A, Mindaugas Beinoras, competed and finished tied 44th with the very creditable score of 5.5/9. Here, he kindly shares his round 2 game (and more interestingly his thoughts) with us – I have missed off the final move which I will publish in the New Year (my Fritz doesn’t really agree with Mindaugas but his move gets the job done instantly so I do!).
White makes the most of somewhat ill-judged decisions by his much higher rated opponent.
The first mistake isn’t always costly but the last one usually is!
Chess is a very individual sport but sometimes the draw needed to get the team over the line is required.
A cautionary tale.
To the untrained eye (ie mine!) the position towards the end looked very difficult to hold at best, but some skillful defence meant
that Marc escaped with a draw
Sometimes the hard work invested in attaining a winning position can be thrown away by the smallest of inaccuracies.
Its incredible how a fairly innocuous inaccuracy can turn a promising position into a disaster. Tony takes full advantage!
In German, the word for a knight is Springer which is well coined given the following game. Paul makes 13 moves with his kingside knight alone but sadly, for him at least, misses a nice combination at the critical moment.
Original annotation by Paul, Mike has added some comments which I have marked MB.
A speculative attack, a strong counter attack, a missed queen sac, a ill-advised exchange and finally a draw. There was a lot going on in this game!
One game that the loser was trying to forget has been contributed by Graham Borrowdale – impressively he sent it to me from memory without sight of board or computer , “.. for our mutual embarrassment” – I have marked his comments GB, mine are with the benefit of silicon assistance.