So close

4th June 2020 - Marshall Artists vs Downend Upstarts

For the second week in a row, the Upstarts scored a win, while the Bristol Bishops split the points in their match.

Marshall Artists 2 - 6 Downend Upstarts

Shek, Daniel vs Saunders, Aron: Game 1, Game 2

An invasive bishop won an exchange early in the middlegame in the first, after which was a calm endgame grind with a flashy exchange sacrifice to seal the win. The second, continued the brave endgame technique to win a level rook and pawn endgame.

Goodhew, Finn vs Hamilton, Melissa: Game 1, Game 2

Finn took the advantage in the first game but an outside passed pawn provided enough problems to let the advantage slip away. The next game had a wild ride of tactics where black came out with a slight advantage in the endgame. Despite pushing hard, a draw was the result.

Deacon, Nicholas vs Ahmed, Bilal: Game 1, Game 2

Bilal's first game was a perfect example of black's plans in the King's Indian Defence. Let the queenside fall because you're crashing through against white's king! Next Bilal went into a difficult Accelerated Dragon line that I've fallen foul of a few times. Unlike me, Bilal didn't mind the material deficit and went straight back at it and was able to compel black to offer the draw.

Mullaney, William vs Blin, Henri: Game 1, Game 2

Queenside collapse was the theme when William had white. Black's pieces on the kingside never got a chance to come to the rescue. With black, development wasn't needed to launch the attack, but once the advantage was secured black brought the rest in to seal the win.

Bristol Bishops 4 - 4 St John's College C

Bleeg, Elliott vs Kulkarni, Arnav: Game 1, Game 2

Elliott lost an exchange but gained an ominous passed pawn. While it may objectively have been drawn, time trouble in the endgame made it too difficult to hold. While a draw was available in the second, Elliott pushed on for a winning endgame.

Baranidharan, Kritthik vs Clegg, Anya: Game 1, Game 2

Time trouble was the problem for these games. The first game was lost after black's attack was too ambitious, but the second was a winning endgame. It was just a shame the time was so low.

Manouvel, Maëlys vs Omidvar, Dominic: Game 1, Game 2

Back to winning ways, in the first game white went to a winning endgame with a surfeit of pawns and scored the point comfortably. Black held a small plus in the second but a rook blunder was really what sealed the second win.

Singh, Ayush vs Saha, Soumil: Game 1, Game 2

Going in for a wild Latvian Gambit, Soumil was able to gain an advantage but generously offered the draw. It was a similar story in the second where white gained a good lead, but the tricky level endgame saw the point split again.

Toby had an easy night as the Forest Hall Dæmons failed to appear and Chess in Schools were able to claim the default wins.

The results leave the Upstarts in third place, just one point off a promotion spot, which is nevertheless an excellent achievement considering the strong opposition. The Bristol Bishops finished 34th out of 78; another strong result considering the field.

Michael Meadows