The Only Way is Up for Bedford B

 Home Team: Milton Keynes A   Away Team: Bedford B 
1Richard CP Freeman211810Alex Taylor2050
2Francesca Matta196010Qais Karimi1949
3Phillip Ekhaesomi19450.50.5Richard T Bodily1968
4Robert Whiteside189310Paul F Habershon1949
5Thomas Evans168301Okwose Marc Obi1938
Played: 03/02/22      

(The captains have started writing (directly or otherwise) their own headlines so don’t blame me – I think it makes a pleasant change from my tabloid efforts! – Ed. On this note, I rather ignored Peter’s previous effort which he was distressed about so I have re-christened it thus.)

The B Team went on their travels to play MK A, the only other pointless team in the division.

On board 5, Marc played an extremely controlled game, giving his opponent very few chances.  Marc calmly watched his opponent castle on the kingside, castled himself on the opposite wing, advanced on the kingside, cracked open the position – job done!

Paul had walked into some home preparation from Rob, who had anticipated the Alekhine defence and prepared a sharp line.  From the opening Paul’s position was not good but during the middle game he did manage to improve it.  However, he was never quite able to equalise and Rob duly converted the endgame.

My game against Richard Freeman was my first against him for over 10 years (when I lost after a blunder).  From an English opening there was a lot of unresolved tension in the middle of the board, with both sides waiting to see who would release it first.  Having decided to do this, I thought my position was good and I had won a pawn…. only to discover that, history had repeated itself and I had blundered.

Richard Bodily looked to have the upper hand in his game, which was another Alekhine defence.  Early pressure converted into the winning of a rook for bishop and Richard looked like he was simplifying the position and heading to a winning endgame.  Philip continued to fight on and managed to grab a pawn and ultimately this was good enough to draw the game – he may even have been slightly better at the end.

Qais played the Dutch Defence against Francesca and the position looked reasonably level out of the opening, albeit Qais was slightly cramped.  Qais sacrificed one pawn to try to free up his position and then another one to generate an attack.  However, this proved not to be successful and he ended up in a ending with a struggle to even draw the game.  Despite his best efforts he was not able to hold on.

So another defeat, this time by 3.5-1.5, which leaves the team rooted to the bottom of the league.  As Yazz sang in 1988 “The only way is up!”

Alex Taylor, 4th February 2022