Points for All
There were points for both teams as the Upstarts recorded a narrow win, while the Bristol Bishops split the points in their match. Not a bad night for the teams!
At this point you'd be a fool to not expect anything other than fireworks in one of Aron's games. Possibly more if the opening is traditionally considered a dry one. The drier the wood, the better the fire? In the first, the Alapin, there was a real battle in the middle before active rook and pawn play held the draw. In the second, a piece for two pawns sacrifice saw an exchange won meaning a crushing endgame where the rook snapped off both white pieces.
Bilal's first game saw quick attacks from both sides against opposite side castling kings. It was the white pieces that landed first and black had a difficult time coordinating the rest. In the second Bilal was playing a magnificent sacrificial attack against the Dragon, but the rapid time control took it's toll and a queen was dropped.
A Barry attack trap saw an exchange won early on for William at the start. The rest was effectively a mop-up job as white consolidated and opened up files. The second saw a club favourite Maroczy Bind. White pressed hard to run a pawn through, but black had resources and one of them was a surprise e4#.
The first was a tricky game as a queen was lost for a bishop and pawn, and later an exchange. In the second, an exchange was won early in this game, but black fought back with a strong attack and the material imbalance was changed to a piece for three pawns. The endgame looked tough but white had used too much time and black snagged the win on time.
Both sides had tricky knights in the first game, but white's got themselves tangled and one dropped off. From there, Elliott was able to convert without any difficulty. The second was probably the most symmetrical game of the night, but white won a piece here too and was able to find a great checkmate to prevent the endgame being drawn out.
Jumping up the boards this week, Soumil took full control in the first game and was surely on the way to a win when black found a sneaky back rank mate that didn't quite look like the standard. Revenge was sweet in the second as white piece's never managed to defend each other and black was able to go ahead before finding a nice checkmate at the side of the bnoard.
There was trouble in the first game as a bishop got trapped by its own pieces. Despite a spirited fightback, white remained in control from there. The second was a difficult one to hold as well from the level endgame, as black had the outside passed pawn.
The first game saw a patient attack on black, as a cheeky knight took advantage of the queen's defensive duties and went for a fun Nh4-f3-d2xc4-e5-f7#. The second was harder as an exchange was lost. An opposite-coloured bishops ending was the result but white had too much activity (and pawns) for black to find a solid defence.
Ojays A 5½ - 2½ Chess in Schools
As ever, Toby was up against the strongest players Division 1 had to offer. The first had an unusual b3 opening and while black had the space, holes were appearing. White took advantage of the most worrisome on g7. The second game had some Evans Gambit fun, but white took the material advantage. An exposed white king and some active pieces, meant black was able to hold for a draw.
The pressure is still on the group leaders after the Upstarts got another win, and the Bishops maintain a good position in their Swiss. On to next week!