Round 3

14th January 2017 - Warwickshire Select 2 vs Downend & Fishponds

Warwickshire 2 were rated a little below us so we were expecting good things from the match, and the high boards particularly were looking well placed. So after a few minutes cursory examination your unreliable observers went off to the city centre where they found a coffee shop called Muffins Galore and gossiped about chess players then came back to survey the damage. Which fortunately was limited to the bottom two boards.


Team shot

Very harsh Jerry, very harsh.


After a short sleep the situation turned out to have become a bit more understandable. Max had tried a sacrifice in the opening which backfired leaving him a pawn then a piece down. Mike had an optically better position which led to a better opposite coloured bishop ending, but he agreed a draw which proved premature when his opponent demonstrated the win of a pawn. Phil had a fairly peaceful draw. The other boards were mostly going well: Steve Dilleigh was a pawn ahead and looked good, Nigel was two pawns up with a comfortable position, Richard and Dave looked to have advantages, and only Steve Meek seemed a little awkward after a pawn sacrifice.


Team shot

You can actually see the level of concentration decrease as you go down the boards.


These games continued for a long while and the first to be resolved was Steve Meek's, with a sacrifice followed by perpetual. At this point the match was very clear - we needed three points from four winning games, of which both Nigel and Steve Dilleigh were very advanced and they duly delivered within a few minutes of each other.


Richard had to make a decision after his opponent tried to get counterplay by sacrificing a passed pawn, and though the resulting pawn ending looked like a win he analysed the game in some depth before declining the pawn and keeping the knights on for a very easy victory. David had a similar decision a pawn up in a rook ending, and kept the rooks on for a certain but long win; it later turned out that the pawn ending was unclear, even after an analysis session, so his decision was fully justified.


Buckers

Downend & Fishponds, sponsored by Costa, apparently.


After the match we celebrated the victory at an Indian restaurant down by the river, and started to consider how we would line up our sights on the young and fairly decent Sussex team in round 4.


Grensemble

Phil rocking the all-grey ensemble.

Jerry Humphreys