Blink and you missed it!

22nd November 2016 - Downend & Fishponds vs South Bristol

And that's assuming you were in attendance.

Board 1

Ricard appeared to want to close up the centre while Paul expanded rapidly on the queenside. The opening and middlegame were lessons in how to seize control of an open file as either colour. Unfortunately the lesson is 'exchange pieces' and a symmetrical rook and pawn endgame was reached by move 25. A few more moves were played but once the rooks came off the pawns proceeded to lock the kings out of each other's territory and a draw was sensibly agreed.

Board 2

I'm still struggling to understand Stephen's game. Stephen was clearly trying to create some spicy complications but black was careful to neutralise the tactics. Even so, white managed to force the gambit of a pawn and gained some tremendous pressure in compensation. In order to let off some steam Iain gave a pawn back and just as white's kingside hack attack was set to begin a draw was agreed.

Board 3

Casting no aspersions this game started in a tragically symmetrical fashion. With no clear differences between the sides until move 13, it's surprising that there was a decisive result within the next 10. While Andrew was making progress by gaining space on the queenside it was an unforeseen intermezzo with check during a queen exchange that cost white a bishop. The resulting endgame was pretty hopeless for white and Tony resigned.

Board 4

Charlie's game was the last to finish but after a disappointing weekend at the 4NCL he was set on getting the full point. Despite an unusual opening the position that resulted was rather level. Taking advantage of black's attempt to swap off the heavy pieces for an opposite colour bishop ending, white was able to control the open a-file. Despite the time pressure Charlie was able to nick a few pawns and although black did win them back it was enough to cause black's flag to fall.

Board 5

Mike had a particularly difficult game and a severe blunder cost him dearly. After that mistake the position collapsed very quickly.

Board 6

There are absolutely no prizes on offer for guessing what happened in Martin's opening. In a bizarre twist black ended up with a number of pawns in the centre while white had given the e-pawn, but it left a semi-open g-file with which Martin could have some fun. After provoking the push of a passed pawn a quick rook lift gave white a slight edge. Then, most unexpectedly, David moved a rook into position for a skewering rook check which ended the game immediately in our favour.

Board 7

Jerry drew.

Board 8

Dave's game began fairly quietly with a semi-slav structure but another surprise blunder in our favour that stemmed from miscalculated intermezzos won Dave a bishop. White was quickly able to take control of the d-file with a rook battery and although black got his queen in for a few checks Dave was able to hide his king in centre and start a serious attack. With black's queen out of play Dave finished the rest of the game very smoothly, albeit during some trademark time trouble.

Michael Meadows