Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Fenton 'B' On Top Of The World

A 2.5 - 1.5 win against Meir 'B' on Monday evening sent the 'B' team to joint top of Division 4, along with Crewe Pawns. We now only have 2 matches left to play and the last one is against Crewe so it's going to be an exciting finish to the season.

Ray Hyde has sent the following report on the evening's activities :

The 'B' team survived a couple of scares but emerged with a 2.5 - 1.5 victory over Meir this evening.

Mike Smith was first to finish. Mike, who had been under some pressure on the Queen side for much of the game but seemed capable of withstanding the attack, inexplicably blundered the loss of a piece, by allowing his Rook to pinned, at the very moment when he had an opportunity to consolidate and re-group. So, a good start for Meir.

Ernie Wilkinson will probably admit he enjoyed some good fortune in his game. His opponent, with Black, counter-attacked down the King file, forcing White to defend a cramped position, which, unsurprisingly, led to the loss of a piece for Ernie. Black had a material advantage and much the better position but missed many opportunities to turn it into a win, then, perhaps out of frustration in trying to  finish the game, his opponent relinquished the extra piece. With equal material restored, Ernie's draw offer was accepted. Phew!

On Board 4 Robert West, fresh from his triumph at the Newcastle Mini-Congress, seemed to be achieving a safe enough position with the black pieces. However his King remained in the centre and White launched an attack on the Queen side, resulting in a passed pawn on c7. Perhaps his opponent could have handled the position with more accuracy but, by playing routinely, he allowed Robert to reorganise his defence to surround and capture the Pawn on c7 and Black emerged into an ending of Knight plus 5 Pawns versus Bishop plus 3 Pawns. Robert missed a couple of chances to finish the game quickly but he chose to swap down to an advantageous King and 5 Pawns v K and 3 Pawns, which he handled without fuss. Scores now level.

On Board 1 Rob Taylor played the English (surprise!) against Clive Ferry who defended solidly but passively which ruled out much chance for counter-play. Rob enjoyed typical Queen side play, gained space and commanded the b and c files and forced Black into a severely restricted defensive position. Rob gained a Pawn and, in a position when there seemed to be several  strong options available, after he'd forced open the g file, he made a pseudo-sacrifice of his Queen. It was a complex position for Black: take the Queen and be forced to give back his own Queen on the next move or ignore the "sac" but lose another Pawn and the game. Both lines lost for Black who chose the first option but resigned soon after.

You can click here to view the full match score card.