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20th April 2021 - MK Phoenix 1 vs The Rook1Es

Another four-team night for the club, but with me sitting this one out, I can write it as it happens. Top journalism here. Maybe we even need a live newsfeed.

Downend 1 3½ - ½ Wessex Some Stars A

Reznak, Attila vs Lock, Gavin

For what feels like the first time in the season, Attila had a higher grade than his opponent. Black exchanged off quickly though, and a level pawn endgame was reached in short order. A draw was a fair result.

Pye, David vs Thompson, Robert

White tried an ambitious, but apparently solid try against Rob's defensive setup. Ordinarily that would mean pawn structure doesn't matter, but Rob was never in danger and a loose white pawn fell. The slight advantage carried through to a full point for black.

Meek, Stephen vs Wilson, Jaimie

Steve's game stayed in the realms of theory for longer than you might guess if you look through it. Whether you believe it or not, the game was definitely sharp and you'd have a hard time guessing the moves by either player. Fortunately for us, Steve's surprising moves were better in the end!

Martinez-Sykora, Antonio vs Stubbs, Oliver

Oli won an exchange early on, and then if you blink you'll miss it, he won a piece by returning the exchange. Despite the extra knight, black was able to grab another pawn so the a-pawn could be a problem for white. It wasn't needed, however, as black was able to win another extra piece as white got themselves tangled.

MK Phoenix 1 2½ - 1 The Rook1Es

Tippleston, Charles vs default

I don't want to name names, but someone may have forgotten to let me know they were unavailable.

Gao, Ian vs Freeman, Richard

Black tried a Dutch/Modern style opening that always feels like it should work, but it never works in my experience. That was black's experience too because Ian quashed the menacing attack and won a piece in the process. Time trouble made black's task harder but Ian managed to convert smoothly.

Friedgood, David vs Saunders, Aron

Aron's game was a theoretical storm. I've no idea what the books say but it was double edged. While black was doubtless making progress on the queenside, a surprising sacrifice from white left the king without any defence.

Goodhew, Finn vs Brown, Alan

Finn won a pawn early on thanks to some good play, and it seems like the intiative that black got in return was worth about half a pawn. The game flitted back and forth about whether white was truly a pawn up but when the double minor piece endgame appeared with only 3 kingside pawns each, the point was sensibly split.

East Kilbride Strollers 1 - 3 Downend 2

Madhavan, Sanjith vs Williams, Stephen

There was a wild Portuguese Gambit to begin with, and black was gaining the edge in development, piece placement, and initiative. White may have sacrificed their queen for rook and piece, but it didn't stop the attacking momentum and it wasn't long before Steve claimed the full point.

Pickup, Ian vs Shrestha, Unnabh

Ian wasted no time in cracking open the centre in his Advanced Caro-Kann. It didn't take long for a discovered check to win the black queen and from there, as you'd expect, Ian made it look easy.

Peakman, Jonlee vs Tipper, Dave

If black's point in the King's Indian Defence is to sacrifice king guards to hammer the white king, while white expands on the queenside, it seems positively unfair when white castles queenside. Despite some good efforts by Dave to gain some counterplay, white was just a few tempo ahead.

Walsh, Shaun vs Tandon, Ashley

Shaun went right in with a Panov-Botvinnik Attack and for the small cost of a king on f1, white got the rest of the pieces in to attack. After a merry chase forcing the black king to h5, white won the point with a checkmate on a5!

Wantage C 1 - 3 Downend 3

Kachkanov, Slava vs Woods, Nicholas

Nick's game was a tough less in the important of castling. White was able to open files in centre and direct the heavy pieces at the king. Black put up a good try for defence but white held all the initiative.

Bleeg, Elliott vs Mahon, Paul

Elliott's gone 2/2 now, storming in with the initiative in the opening to leave him with a middlegame up two pawns. From there, it was a clinical swap-off to the endgame where two connected passed pawns embarrassed black's remaining defences.

Richards, Edward vs Lewis, Catherine

Catherine had a level-looking start to the game, but decided the time was right for an exciting sacrifice on the kingside to open up attacking possibilities. White struggled to find accurate defence and the game was over very soon after.

Platt, Bella vs Richards, Toby

Bella scored an excellent first win, and extremely quickly too! A pawn was dropped in the opening, but black left the light-squares weak and Bella was able to pounce with a very strong queen and bishop attack.

The club has certainly done extremely well this season (with players helping out more than they may have anticipated) and building on that success, we are pleased to announce that we will be breaking away and forming our own European Super League. See you next season (or maybe even OTB)!

Michael Meadows