Sunday, 7 December 2014

ECA 2 Holmes Chapel 4

Considering that we lost 5.5 - 0.5 to Holmes Chapel a few weeks ago and John was away we did not hope for many points this time. However the games were all close and we were only one win from a draw in the end.

1. Steve 0 - 1 J Blackburn (190)

Steve used the Dutch defence again but this time there was no quick win. His opponent created pressure on the Queenside and won a pawn. Steve created pressure on the Kingside but his opponent played carefully and Steve eventually gave up a Rook for two Bishops and couldn't hold the endgame.

2. Phil 1 - 0 J Turner (181)

My first win of the season! We played a symmetrical English which stayed symmetrical for about 12 moves! I gave up a Knight for a Bishop with the plan of a pawn break in the centre but then decided against opening the board for his Bishops so was just left slightly worse. However the endgame was complicated and in the end my opponent lost on time in a drawn position.
3. Dave N 0 - 1 P Bennett (173)

Dave achieved a promising Benoni type position but in the end get crushed by his opponents advancing pawns.

4. Tudor 1 - 0 M Hancock (178)

Here are Tudor's comments on this game:

How a loss became a win

I lost the opening, played at speed. Sort of Q pawn with Bishop fianchetto on b7. Black hoovered  up my Queenside, winning a pawn and strong position. If I had found reasonable moves I would have near three hours of grind before losing. 

I found a move that gives chances. If necessary, risk worsening your position to get chances. One line created chances, including a win of an exchange by me, through dodgy pawn advances in centre, which even then gave black more positional and material advantage, three pawns for exchange, with passed pawns if the game reached the endgame.  My Q, Kn, R vs Q, B and Kn plus three extra pawns. Black hadn't seen the loss of exchange, but I suspect Fritz would have, and would have encouraged black to accept the loss of exchange.

But my R had penetrated the black defences and was trapped on the 8th rank. A black central pawn was advancing, but there were a few ways of setting up many checks, some of which lost because of a rook capture of Kn winning Queen only supported by the Kn.

First time I tried this, Black saw and avoided trap. Next time the check seemed desperation by me, as it left the black central pawn threatening to Queen, and Q threatening back rank checkmate.  

One 'trick' I wanted to make was to invite  the Q move to stop the checks and make the move look as attractive as possible. Also, if he didn't play it, I would have picked off the advanced pawn with some drawing chances. He did. So in one move, a Black win changed to a loss of Queen and Knight for Rook, and with my Queen I was able to stop the pawn Queening.


5. David T 0 - 1 I Bates (160)

David used his "Fort Knox" French Defence once again to good effect and achieved a solid middlegame. However he was eventually ground down in the endgame.

6. Alan 0 - 1 B Scattergood (156)

Alan used his solid London System to get a playable middlegame. However he lost the exchange in the last middlegame and this was enough to lose the game.

So a solid performance we should take encouragement from. We are fighting well at this level and not being outclassed.