Good start to 2020 for the B team

 Leighton Buzzard A   Bedford B
1Stephen Law17810Qais Karimi167
2Peter Hunt1730.50.5Alex Taylor168
3Peter C Clarke1830.50.5Marc ON Obi160
4Kevin J Williamson16801Ravi Arulnandhy170
5Brian J Valentine1670.50.5Toby Cox164

The B Team kicked off 2020 with a trip to Leighton Buzzard, looking to do the double over them.

Traffic meant that 4/5 of the team were a little late,  but Kevin kindly did not start the clocks.

There were no New Year fireworks in my game with Peter Hunt.  After 20 moves or so the game was dead level when Peter offered a draw.  I looked in vain for a plan which could work, but not being able to see one, accepted.

Marc’s game on Board 3 was more interesting.  Out of the opening he had an advantage – although Peter had the open a file, he had a backward pawn on c6 which was vulnerable, plus Marc’s bishop was threatening the kingside.  Marc did manage to win a pawn, but the rook ending looked drawn, but as you can see from the game below, even at the end he missed a chance!

Qais endured a slog against Steve.  From the opening Steve managed to create weaknesses in Qais’s position in the form of two backward pawns on c3 and e3 and then forced the knight to Na2.  Qais tried to generate some activity on the kingside but it was not enough to save the game.

Toby always had a space advantage in his game against Brian, but the position looked equal throughout.  There was a moment of excitement, when Brian (mistakenly) thought that Toby has not made the time control.  Toby did not let himself be distracted, and pressed a slight advantage in a knight and pawn ending.  In the end once knights were exchanged the game was dead drawn.

Ravi’s game against Kevin was a topsy turvy affair.  Slightly worse out of the opening, Ravi was then thoroughly tied up in knots by Kevin.  However, Houdini then turned up and after the sacrifice of the exchange and a pawn, Ravi countered against Kevin’s king on the h file.  After queens were exchanged, Kevin’s pieces were in poor positions and Ravi’s bishop pair started to exert influence.  In time trouble Kevin avoided losing his last bishop, only to lose a rook instead!

A 2.5 -2.5 draw was a really good result for the team to build on.

Alex Taylor, 8th January 2020