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Portishead vs South Bristol - resumed

So my previous post covered the first four wins. The next two finished very suddenly! In both cases there was little in it until both South Bristol players went badly wrong.

Santosh was playing his first game for us and both he and his opponent played an error free game until move 21 when we reached this position with black to play

As you can see this is a totally even position. Materially it is equal, most pieces have been swapped off, both side have equal activity, there are no weaknesses in either position and the pawn structure is symmetrical. There is only one possible source of danger for black and that is if white can get a rook to the 7th rank - but it is Black's move, so 21...Bc6 stops that. Even 21... Kf8 meets 22. Rd7with Re7, or 21...Re7, or 21...Bf5. But NOT 21...Bb1?? When you move a piece you should try to improve it, not move it to the worst square on the board. In the centre this bishop controls lots of squares, so why shove it into a corner on b1 where it doesn't even threaten a2 let alone cover d7. Once Santosh got his rook to d7 it was all over as he mopped up black's pawns.

Finally we have Curtis' game playing with the Black pieces. White has played a solid Colle type system and Curtis has responded with a King'sIndian/Benoni type structure. It all looks very solid and we could expect both sides to castle and the white aim to expand in the centre with e4 etc, while Black seeks play on the queenside with moves like Rc8, a6 and b5, Na5 and Bc4.

Instead white played 8.Qb4?? - I can only assume that white intend 8.Qb5, or was about to play 8.Qb3 and but noticed just in time, panicked and plonked it on the next square. After 9....Nxb4 it was all over.

Good play puts our opponents under pressure and when under pressure they make bad moves and lose - at our level, it is bad moves that lose the game rather than great ones that win it. In this match that is what happened to South Bristol but in previous matches it has happened to us. So, when you have decided on your move - don't play it! Look away from the board, have a stretch, shake your head or whatever - and then have another fresh look over the whole board before playing your move!

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