Come out fighting

14th May 2020 - Downend Upstarts vs Warwickshire Bears A

The Upstarts had a tough start going down 0-4, but they very nearly pulled it level with a hard-fought comeback, while the Bishops were able to regain complete control with another fine win.

Downend Upstarts 3 - 5 Warwickshire Bears A

Saunders, Aron vs Dicen, Imogen: Game 1, Game 2

Aron defended tactically a tough invasion excellently in the first, but the black pieces were too active for the defence to hold forever. The second was a much more positional struggle, with black making small positional gains until crashing through with two promotions. The battery set up on the first rank should henceforth be known as Alekhine's bazooka.

Chen, Daniel Xingyu vs Mullaney, William: Game 1, Game 2

It was ultimately the famed dark squares that caused problems for William in the first game, where even an exchange wasn't enough to keep up with the pawns racing up the board. In response, the light squares were the target in the second and Finn was able to fill all the outposts with knights before crashing through against the king.

Ahmed, Bilal vs Wong, Tristan: Game 1, Game 2

There must be a mate in Bilal's first excellent king chase, but as the black king ran from g8 to e2 via c6 (nearly a third of all black's moves were the king!), a rook blunder swindled the point. Unfazed by white attempting the same style attack, Bilal was in much more control in the second game and saw the pawn through comfortably.

Dicen, Elis Denele vs Goodhew, Finn: Game 1, Game 2

Even by French Exchange standards, the first game was symmetrical. In black's haste to recapture material white launched in with a threat that won the game. In the second, white mate a heroic effort to mate the black king but it resulted in black cheekily trapping white's!

Uxbridge Juniors 1½ - 6½ Bristol Bishops

Knight, Michael vs Bleeg, Elliott: Game 1, Game 2

Both kingsides were opened in the first, but white's king was the only one to have castled, which meant more options for black., but it was a queen blunder that won the first point. Play was trickier in the second as black snagged a piece, but Elliott was resilient and raced his king up to sneak a checkmate.

Saha, Soumil vs Aurangabadkar, Anish: Game 1, Game 2

White was doing well out of the opening in the first, but the time control is short and queen blunders are hard to recover from. The win of an exchange early on the second looked good, though the white king became very active in shepherding a pawn up the board and a draw by repetition was agreed.

Shotton, Alex vs Clegg, Anya: Game 1, Game 2

Anya made short work of the first game, grabbing material when possible and then cruising through a smooth endgame for checkmate. In the second, even shorter work was made. Aim your bishops at the king, throw a knight and queen in to loosen it up and deliver another checkmate.

Manouvel, Maëlys vs Ng, Jacob: Game 1, Game 2

There was some material gifted in the first game, resulting in an endgame where Maëlys had an extra rook, bishop, and four pawns, which as you would imagine, didn't last long! The second was more level, but white's king was too exposed to survive the onslaught.

Misty Minors 2 5½ - 2½ Chess in Schools

Akeya-Price, Robert vs Kan, Toby: Game 1, Game 2

Toby's ongoing loan to CSC means yet more tough games for our chap. Despite black knights finding every outpost, white had control of the centre and it won the point first. In the second white maintained a small edge the whole time, before a level endgame was agreed too drawish to continue.

Certainly there were some excellent games, and the Upstarts are chasing the top teams with plenty of time to stage a comeback, while the Bishops continue to push well despite their one game handicap.

Michael Meadows