How the Welsh Cs saved the Bs

11th January 2018 - South Bristol A vs Downend B

I arrived early, as I usually do at The Folk House, and so had our brace of C team players, Richard and Robert, who had come over from Wales to help out the B team. We were able to get in and watch Tony set up the room, though we did help a bit. People arrived and we chatted, they are friendly people at South Bristol. Strange board order Tony has produced, but I suppose he has his reasons.

Humphrey arrived about 10 mins late. He shook hands with a big beaming smile and started to rattle out moves. I joined in and we soon had a jolly rhythm. Sequences of forced moves and I am a pawn ahead. Chess is fun, chess is easy. True my king is still in the middle but it looks safe. But then...OMG...I have lost my queen and the game is over. Oh dear! Looking round the room everyone else is serious and barely out of the opening.

I wandered around and saw that Stephen was a piece for two pawns ahead in what looked like his pet line against the Sicilian. Andrew had misplayed the Queen's Indian and was a pawn down. Robert's Alekhine had produced a cramped but solid position in which he had castled long against Shane's short castling; that could blow up later. Dave had a big centre against against Jason's Pirc or modern but there was a long way to go there. What's this on board six? Richard had used an open g file to get his rook to the seventh rank where it severely restricted David's development. Apart from major pieces there were just bishops of opposite colour left and Richard's was much the superior force. Looks promising.

Heavens, don't these people move slowly! I go round and round and nothing seems to change. John Stubbs arrives and a brief chat relieves the monotony. Eventually things happen. Stephen converts his advantage into a win. It was 1-1.

It later transpired that Dave had been up at 5 am and had already fitted in 10 hours work, a funeral and given his dog a walk, so he could be excused if he was flagging. He felt he had to win and over pressed a bit. Both kings became exposed and were in great danger, but Jason had the initiative and that proved decisive. We were 2-1 down.

David had fought back on board 6 getting rid of the immediate danger to his king but leaving a rook and bishops of opposite colour ending a pawn down. Richard was determined though and played with vigour and, as far as I could see, good accuracy and duly produced the win. The "Welsh Duffer" as he likes to call himself had won his first ever game in Division 1 and a vital one at that. He was grinning from ear to ear and quite rightly so. Well done Richard!

The remaining two games were critical and we were slightly worse in both. Robert had long been suffering the discomfort of Shane's knight occupying d6, but had himself been advancing his K side pawns against Shane's king. Both sides were looking menacing. I didn't see the end but was relieved when I saw a draw had been agreed. Andrew had been fighting magnificently all evening against Patryk's pawn advantage and they had reached a position where Patryk had R, B and 3 pawns against Andrew's R, N and 2 pawns. There were two pawns each locked on the Q side and Patryk was trying to convert a passed pawn on the K side. But a knight is a good blockader against a bishop and a rook can be mighty troublesome against a king. Patryk tried and tried again but with less than a minute left against Andrew's twelve had to agree a draw.

So, after my carelessness and stupidity the team had a draw with great thanks to our Welsh friends.

Michael Brigden