Downend A vs Downend Ex
This match report comes as a result of the keen work of Dave, who was spectating (and no doubt showing off his fine recent win), and Ian, who very kindly compiled Dave's notes into a first draft of this report. I have subsequently toned down their crude language.
Before the match, word on the street was that South Bristol A were packing a stronger punch than they did for their previous encounter this season, with their team looking more like the one that had won the division two seasons ago (though with 4/6 players having once played for Downend & Fishponds it could be argued they looked like a team of ours). In addition to that, Henry was still reeling from his loss the previous week and had come up with an excuse that could satisfy even the most sceptical of captains. Worse news yet was that Chris was available. Fortunately, Generalissimo Jerry and his team of remaining übermensch were not phased.
Within the first hour, Dave's emails signalled that Charlie was dealing with threats from Tony in a Sicilian where attacks were flying on both wings, and Javier was finding himself with difficulties against Humphrey.
Chris, perhaps imitating his liege, had flung himself into an endgame as early as move 10 after Richard confused his move order at the cost of a pawn. Our Richard and Tyson were rattling off the mainest of main-line theory until Tyson deviated from the well-known game between Nguyen, Hoang Duc and Duong The Anh on move 13 with a sharp novelty. Nigel was also playing a sharp mainline with attacks developing against opposite side castled kings.
After two hours, the emails Dave was firing off took a less than optimistic tone; Nigel's attack wasn't crashing through as quickly as Paul's and although Deep Komodofish might be able to find defensive resources, they're not easy to find with 30 minutes on your clock.
With Chris converting his game, Richard and Tyson agreeing the draw (despite both sides no doubt holding, or at least claiming, a significant edge) and Nigel resigning after a wonderful queen sacrifice, the score was level at 1½ apiece.
Not long after, Dave's update told of Javier ripping open the position in an attempt to gain some counter-play which had succeeded but at the cost of a significant portion of the time on his clock. Jerry's game was described as "even but not much happening", which practically writes its own joke. An assessment of Charlie's game was not included, which is fair because it was utter nonsense. Both sides had abandoned king safety and were pointing their heavy pieces at the enemy and pawns were all but a distant memory, though it appeared that Charlie had a plus.
There was then an hour and a half radio silence which implies that Dave was both at the bar and amazing the crowds with his game.
Happily, strong chess was being played upstairs too. Javier, relishing the time pressure, won his game after Humphrey ran out of material to give up in order to prevent checkmate. On board 5 one of the players, though after playing through the game a few times I still can't decide which, went for a flawed tactical combination and Charlie found himself up a piece. Jerry was also in the process of converting his endgame... I'll be honest, Jerry's game is the only one I've not seen but this must be the case.
With three wins in the latter stages, the A-team managed a rather convincing final score of 4½-1½. Defending a 100% win record, they only have 3 matches left before Christmas; Horfield B and University A, both of whom have been struggling in the opening months, and future title winners Downend B. Well, someone has to stop them.