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End of Season Drama!

Both A and B teams were playing tonight. Early on things seemed to be going well in both matches. Oliver and Lana both won quite quickly on boards 5 and 6 for the A team. Tim looked in trouble on board 3 but did really well to scrape out with a draw. Edward drew the short straw on board 4 and played against their usual board one. It was a close affair and Edward mostly held his own but eventually went down to a player who is really on form at the moment. That left Dan on board 1 and Andrew on board 2. Dan and his opponent agreed to start the game 1.h4 h5 2.a4 a5 bizarrely although common sense soon returned. It was very close but Dan managed to engineer a couple of dangerous hanging pawns on d5 and c5 together with pressure against a backward pawn on b3. I thought it looked very good for Dan as long as he didn’t play the very logical Rb4. Backward knight moves are very difficult to see and after Nf4-d3 Dan lost a pawn and eventually lost. So it was all down to our captain Andrew. Andrew had a very solid position and was pressing on the queenside, probably with a small advantage, while his young opponent defended well. Andrew’s offer of a draw was declined. Somewhere along the lines something went wrong and Andrew was a a piece down for a pawn albeit with active rooks on the seventh and a passed d-pawn. Unfortunately his opponent also had a an advanced pawn and, to my mind it looked lost. His opponent started slamming out the moves and Andrew, our seasoned veteran, calming asked him to stop it as it was off-putting - brilliant! His opponent then tries to finish the game off tactically but underestimates the resources in double rook endgames. Andrew wins his piece back and it looks all square and his opponent offers a draw which was accepted, a fair result, and drew the match 3-3. Actually the final position wasn’t drawn but that is another story. A fantastic performance from our club captain.

The B team match started very promisingly and we had great chances in all of our games. As often happens, a lot of very good work is undone by one rushed or careless move. So we lost 1.5-3.5 - but there were highlights. SJ held here own against a strong opponent, Curtis established a great position to build on, Al came back from an opening mistake to develop a scary attack, Alice was building up an attack on the kingside and James was playing well in a very cramped position. In the end there was no way through for James. Alice, however, produced the performance of the night. A smooth build up employing a London System against the Dutch, together with a break in the centre, led to a complicated position in which her opponent dropped the exchange. A mis-step put her back in trouble but her greater accuracy delivered a well deserved win in which she was always pressing.

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Al_ S
Al_ S
Apr 30

Congrats everyone for repping for Portishead!

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