Leighton Buzzard B 2½-2½ Bedford D

1. Brian Valentine ½-½ Qais Karimi
2. Pete Taylor 0-1 John Harbour
3. Fred Dorn 0-1 Toby Cox
4. Titas Vdovycia 1-0 Ben Pike
5. Tony Readman 1-0 David Cox

First to finish was David on board 5. He sacrificed a piece, presumably for “insufficient compensation”, given the result.

Pete and I played a tight game and swapped off all of the big guns to go into N+7P endgame where his doubled f-pawns gave me a clear advantage. I blundered this away, and was fortunate that he soon returned the complement. Not a classic.

Ben won a pawn with a sneaky Bxf2+, and looked well set as he reached an endgame with B vs N and his extra pawn converted into a passed h-pawn. His opponent pushed his pawns whilst Ben didn’t, and the wheels came off.

Toby contrived to trap his own queen on b7, and Fred could and probably should have swapped Q+P for R+R. They ended up in a R+P endgame with Toby two pawns down, but Fred allowed Toby’s rook to rampage along the 7th rank, and a draw was certain. Except for the fact that Fred ran out of time.

Qais had what looked like a slight advantage against Brian: a not very good extra pawn and a lot of extra time. But Mr V. is a tough nut to crack, and they finally swapped off all the remaining pieces whilst everyone else was packing up to go home.