Reversal of Fortunes

21st May 2020 - Early Knights 1 vs Downend Upstarts

The Upstarts bounced back from last week with every player scoring at least one point, while the Bishops suffered a narrow loss despite a large grading disparity

Early Knights 1 1½ - 6½ Downend Upstarts

Maton, Emily vs Saunders, Aron: Game 1, Game 2

In the first game, Aron put aside his usual tactical maelstrom in favour of a positional demonstration of how to play against a backward pawn. The second was just as positional as a number of pawns were won for an exchange, though black's dark squared bishop got buried in pawns and the queenside became indefensible.

Ahmed, Bilal vs Ball, Charlie: Game 1, Game 2

Charlie put the pressure on Bilal in the first game, but the time taken to do so was too much and white was able to claim the win. More pressure followed in the second as white punted the Smith-Morra, but Bilal was able to hang on against a sacrifice and launch a mating attack of his own.

Ball, Katie vs Goodhew, Finn: Game 1, Game 2

White looked imposing at first and pushed very hard, but Finn clung on and found a way to get to a better rook and pawn ending. When the rooks came off Finn played a textbook demonstration of taking advantage of the opposition to promote his pawns. In the second black went for an attack with no queenside development and Finn nearly pulled it back, but after the exchange was won the bishop pair and rook were able to guide a pawn through.

Mullaney, William vs Petcov, Nichiforos: Game 1, Game 2

Bravery was order of the day for William as neither king castled in the first game, but white was able to take better advantage with a very pretty mate. In the second white sacrificed two minor pieces but without them the best white could manage was force William into a repetition for a draw.

Bristol Bishops 3 - 5 Ojays F

Bleeg, Elliott vs Li, Reya: Game 1, Game 2

Both games were Italian set-ups, but with plenty of excitement. Black's Bc5 got trapped by a queenside advance, but black won three pawns back. In the second Elliott got a development and bishop pair advantage for the low cost of a pawn, but in both games back rank mates earnt the points.

Genc, Guven vs Clegg, Anya: Game 1, Game 2

An opposite side castling race came from the first and white was able to win a good amount of material for the endgame where the final rook dropping off ended the game. Anya got revenge in the second with a calm Qxh7 mating attack as black struggled to develop.

Manouvel, Maëlys vs McAndrew, Rory: Game 1, Game 2

Maëlys' winning ways sadly came to an end after a mighty 8-game streak. While tempo was gained against the black queen, black was able to sneak a formidable attack against the castled king. A similar attack went disastrously wrong in the second and but the most audacious king march I've seen in a long time won a material lead, which was enough to win the endgame.

McAndrew, Max vs Saha, Soumil: Game 1, Game 2

In an advance French, Soumil won an exchange at the cost of some imposing pawns running up the board. Fortunately, a quick queen and rook invasion meant they never got going and black won the first point. The second game was more by the book with classic Exchange Queen's Gambit Declined play by white only to nab the queen when available. The final mate was inevitable by Soumil took the fun option of making it with the knight.

Chess in Schools 4½ - 3½ The Numerators

Kan, Toby vs Dupuis, Denis: Game 1, Game 2

Our intrepid Division 1 reporter had a fantastic time with two wins. In the first game Toby focused his attention on the queenside until white dropped their kingside guard and wham! Black's queen was gone. A black pawn sat menacingly on e3 throughout the second battle until the very end and an exchange rook sacrifice won the point. Clearly The Numerators don't always come out on top*.

A night of very entertaining games to be sure leaving the Upstarts safely in the middle of the pack while the Bristol Bishops sit a very respectable 29th in a field of 78.

* With no maths exams happening this year, I suspect this terrible and inaccurate pun is safe for now.

Michael Meadows