Like London buses …

The B Team headed to Milton Keynes to play their penultimate match of the season, hoping build on their first win of the season last time round.

Richard was up against Graham Smith on board 3, looking to improve on his less than impressive record against him.  The opening was a Sveshnikov Sicilian and changes were pretty even throughout the game.  Once queens came off the position remained level with Richard perhaps having a little edge.  In the final position, Richard had the chance of winning a pawn on the queenside, but worrying about Graham pushing his kingside pawns agreed a draw.

My game against Dominic was a cagey affair.  There was plenty of manoeuvring of pieces, but with no pawns off the board the cramped position did not make it easy for either of us to make progress.  I did finally manage to open the e file and get control of it, but there was not really anything in it and a draw was agreed.

Paul was up against Adrian on board 2 and was in control for pretty much all of the game.  After 11 moves Adrian had a very long think and drifted into severe time trouble – leaving about a minute plus increments for about 17 moves!  Paul was able to capitalise on this an calmy started to pick up pawns to leave a winning position.

Marc always seemed to have a solid position against Alan.  After queens came off he was able to establish a strong bind down the a file against the a7 pawn and also had the advantage of a good knight against a very bad bishop which ended up stuck on d8 with not many squares to play with.  Having activated his king Marc won a pawn and simplified the position and was poised to create a decisive passed pawn on the kingside.

With the match won, attention turned to Qais’s game against Peter on board 4.  The position always looked better for Qais – with doubled rooks controlling the a file and Peter’s pieces uncoordinated.  As the game headed to the endgame Qais had a clear advantage as he had tied Peter’s king into the corner and his bishop on h2 with almost nowhere to go.  It was then a case of attacking and winning the weak queenside pawns and then creating passed pawns.  By the end it was a question of which of Qais’s four pawns were going to queen first – the honour falling to the g pawn and with it the game.

Overall an impressive 4-1 score line made it back to back victories (having waited so long for a first win) and lift us of the bottom of the table.

Alex Taylor, 11th April 2022