|Home Team: Leighton Buzzard B||Away Team: Bedford C|
|1||Adrian Matthews||159||0||1||Peter S Gill||134|
|2||C Fred H Dorn||148||1||0||Richard McMorran||130E|
|3||Edward P (Ted) Brown||149||1||0||Robert S Walker||117|
|4||Titas Vdovycia||0||1||Toby Cox||112|
|5||Tony Readman||113||0.5||0.5||Nigel B Walker||86|
An away trip to play the mighty Leighton Buzzard is not the most appetising of prospects particularly in the depths of the winter. And when in the morning Joe Valerio had to pull out with what sounded like a very nasty case of flu it didn’t look any better. As luck would have it however young Toby Cox’s teachers had decided not to set him any homework and he turned up, complete with chauffeur, to ensure we didn’t default. Actually he did a lot more than that! I didn’t see much of his French defence as black on Board 4 but against new Leighton Buzzard member Titas Vdovycia (not all Lithuanians are International Masters!) he seemed to equalise comfortably, won a minor piece. and then efficiently exchanged off into an easily won ending.
I got so excited that I can’t say who finished next. Both Richard McMorran and Robert Walker on Boards 2 and 3 managed to win pawns against the wily duo of Fred Dorn and Ted Brown. Richard had also saddled Fred with isolated doubled pawns but meanwhile Fred had doubled his rooks on Richard’s second rank and compared with that the material advantage counted for nothing. With material reduced (I think) to bishop and rook and a handful of pawns I thought Robert had a win with a pin of Ted’s bishop. He would have won the exchange ( to add to his extra pawn) but for the inconvenient fact that the bishop took Robert’s own bishop with check, winning both Robert’s pieces – a nasty end!
Meanwhile our other Walker, Nigel, who looks a lot better this season than his grade of 86, appeared to have an overwhelming position as White against Tony Readman with his major pieces lined up against Tony’s King supported by what looked to me like a gigantic Knight on e6. But the Knight was a disappointment, his opponent had his own attack on the Queenside, and it petered out into a draw.
As a reluctant Board 1 again I found myself in the unaccustomed position of playing alongside Tupketov and Kenworthy playing in a Division1 match (apparently Leighton Buzzard’s A and B home games are all played on the same nights). Perhaps that inspired me because after a pretty feeble start against Adrian Matthew’s Pelikan I managed to win a safe pawn. Expecting Nigel to win, 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 (see game below).
Even though Leighton Buzzard were without Brian Valentine and Peter Taylor they outgraded us by around 15 points a Board so we have to be happy with a draw, a whilst a tiny bit disappointed that it wasn’t a win.