| ||Manningtree A ||06/03/19||Ipswich D |
|1||Lewis, Andrew P ||216 ||½ - ½||Sheerin, Alex ||177|
|2||Burnett, Leon P ||168 ||1 - 0||Gregory, Stephen J ||183|
|3||Buis, Jim ||154 ||½ - ½||Matthewson, Edward ||179|
|4||Hutchings, Philip J ||153 ||1 - 0||Paez, Alonso ||135|
| || || ||3 - 1 |
The Manningtree A players lined up against a full-strength Ipswich D team knowing that a 3-1 win on the night was the bare minimum to keep alive
a slender chance of retaining the Division One title. By the end of play, the target had been achieved after Andy eventually had to concede a
draw in a topsy-turvy encounter, Leon benefited from his opponent's lack of resistance as the clocks started to run down, Jim demonstrated his
resourcefulness in an inferior ending and Phil reaped the reward of a below-par performance on the other side of the board. |
Andy's opponent opened in uncompromising style: sacrificing not one, not two, but three pawns for a king-side attack. If these were somewhat
dubious, his fourth sacrifice, that of a piece, was excellently judged and, had he followed this up correctly, Andy would have been forced
to resign. However, Andy just about survived, and his extra material should have been decisive, but short of time, he missed the most exact
way to convert his advantage. The game concluded in an interesting theoretical endgame of two bishops and rook's pawn against rook, in which
Andy's opponent found a neat way to draw by sacrificing rook for bishop, leaving Andy with an extra bishop and the "wrong" rook's pawn for a
For the second time this season in a match against Ipswich D, Leon found himself facing a Dutch formation against his English Opening. The
opponent was different, but the result was the same. It was a cagey affair until black decided to force the issue with a central pawn advance.
This was what Leon had been waiting for, instead of initiating a conventional advance of pawns on the queen's side, and he pounced, seizing
control of the centre. Black responded by grabbing a hot pawn and duly got his fingers burnt. Two slightly inaccurate tactical shots on Leon's
part could have allowed his opponent back into the game with a fair chance of making a draw, but the clocks were ticking (metaphorically speaking
nowadays) and some hurried moves by black made life easier for Leon, who wrapped up the point and ended a sequence of six draws in league matches.
Jim, up against a redoubtable board three, essayed a variation of the classical King's Indian Defence from years gone past, rumoured to have
been a favourite of Tal, but seen infrequently in the twenty-first century. It did not turn out too well, however, and Jim found himself defending
a difficult endgame, but some of the trickery for which Tal was famous must have rubbed off for he found an ingenious way of holding a draw in a
knight-versus-bishop ending that had threatened to end badly.
Phil chose to respond to his opponent's Sicilian with a b3 system that quickly led to a closed position, with white having a spatial edge in the
centre and a knight on f5, but no real prospects against correct defence. His opponent, however, advanced his g-pawn rashly, allowing white to
target it with queen, bishop and h-pawn. He missed the chance to defend it with a timely f6 and soon lost it, exposing his king to a direct attack.
When, five moves later a knight fell victim to a pin on the h-file, with further material loss inevitable, black resigned.