A pretty start

5th September 2017 - Downend C vs Horfield C

Horfield certainly got their season off to at least half the start they wanted with a pretty crushing win against our C team. We were pretty out graded too and sadly the only thing that was not pretty was some of our chess. (For the other half you'll need to potter over to Mike's A team report.)

Being the last to finish, I didn't see too much of the other games. It looked like Nigel had sacrificed a pawn for promising pressure against Thomas but in the end the pawn told. Andrew decided to use the evening to get in some practice pressing the new clock for about 35 moves more than was strictly necessary against Brent. Dominique had a complex middle game with some chances of reaching a level ending but time pressure eventually told coupled with his slightly inferior position against Mike. I had a murky opening with a number of second best moves on both sides until I chose a fourth or fifth best move which lost an exchange. Although I had a good bishop which held Rob up for twenty odd moves the writing was on the wall. On another day we might have scored better against their top two 170-plus players but not yesterday, so that was 4-0.

It was left to Richard to get a solid draw against Prakash and James to get a slightly more fortuitous one (I understand he was playing on the increment at the end) against Nigel: well done for getting those two draws to prevent an absolute horror score line! I would say all the games were over slightly earlier than might have been the case under the old regime so, if that becomes the norm, at least there will be a little more time at the bar.

Our C team is certainly not as strong as last season, so we can probably rule out a repetition of silverware - or should that be "possibly"? Whatever, I think we can expect to be Horfield very much in the running for promotion based on the squad they brought yesterday. They were certainly too good for us last night.

Ian Pickup