Team match against Wimborne.

Chandler’s Ford Chess Club had recently played Wimborne Chess Club online on lichess.org, and the return match was played on Friday 19th March. Graham Stuart reports.

Online match Wimborne v Chandler’s Ford

The return match against Wimborne Chess Club was held Friday 19th March. Going into the return fixture we were always the underdogs, as we were out graded on every board.

After having my Covid Vaccine I was pleased to be just watching and there were some very interesting games being played.

All games were played as 45 minutes + 15 seconds per move, although Mike Henbury was playing at 30 minutes plus 20 seconds, as his opponent had selected a different time control. Something for me to make sure I correct for future matches to make clear you can just reject the game and contact your opponent. This was still classical chess and I don’t think it made any difference in the match.

First to finish was Steve Saunders. Both he and his opponent played extremely quickly. Steve slipped into a worse position and never recovered and his opponent check mated him on move 44. As mentioned the moves were being played at a rapid pace and Steve ended up with 49 minutes left on his clock and his opponent 46 minutes!

Next to finish was Rose, who was playing the quickly improving junior GW60, who beat Steve Dunleavy in our previous match. This was a well balanced game from the opening, but Rose’s opponent pawns suddenly sprung to life, advancing in a very dangerous way. These distracted Rose it seems as there was a quick check mate from the Queen on g2.

Mike’s game was even until Mike found a really great tactical combination.

Mike found a really great tactical combination

Nxd4, ed, bxd4+, Be3 and Qxc5 won two pawns and the exchange. From here it was plain sailing for Mike and brought us our first win of the night.

Nobby’s game was even, but he fell to a combination from his opponent and despite causing some issues, could not stop the break through which was going to lead to mate.

On top board Sam showed his experience and also keen eye for a tactic as he managed to take advantage of his opponent leaving his queen on a5 too long from the Scandinavian open. Maybe black should have played the Qd6 line as David Culliford does to great effect! From the position below Sam played Nd5, Qd8, Nxe7+, Qxe7, allowing the errant Knight on e5 to be taken. Soon after Sam won the Queen for Rook and Bishop and soon brought our second point.

Sam soon brought our second point

This left the score at 3 – 2 to Wimborne with two matches still in play. We were therefore in with a shout, but unfortunately it was not to be.

Steve Dunleavy was holding his own against their almost 40 points higher graded opponent. All was looking even, but his opponent seemed to really know how to play endings and slowly outplayed Steve to win. But this was valuable experience for Steve and certainly held his own for 90% of the game.

The last game to finish was Pat’s. This was a real humdinger of a match, with both players standing better at different times in the game. Near the end this was Rook, Bishop and 6 pawns against Rook, Knight and 6 pawns. This can often favour the player with the Bishop, but Pat managed to win a pawn whilst also swapping off the rooks. But with pawns on both sides and an active Black King this was not over. Unfortunately time was short for both players and Pat miscalculated a Knight sacrifice. Despite being 2 pawns for a Bishop down there were still some drawing chances, but incredibly difficult with four minutes on the clock! His opponent managed to win the pawns one by one, whilst keeping his own two pawns, and Pat finally lost on move 70 after almost 2 hours after the start. An extra 15 seconds per move can soon mount up in long games, so not as much free time for Pat on Friday night that would normally be the case!

A 5 – 2 loss at the end, but well done to Wimborne for their win, but a huge thanks to our players for their great effort.

Cheers

Graham

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