| ||Manningtree B||13/10/21||Ipswich C|
|1||Jones, Graeme||1818||0 - 1||Riley, Simon||1620|
|2||Webber, Simon||1608||0 - 1||Lunn, Ken||1503|
|3||Sanderson, Adrian||1540||½ - ½||Wilson, Adam||1465|
|4||Welsh, David||1533||1 - 0||Smith, Roger N||1383|
| || || ||1½ - 2½|
We were unlucky tonight, after all, at one point a 3½-½ victory was looking a distinct possibility, which would have been more in keeping
with the average 130+ rating difference between the teams. There were a few other peculiarities in tonight´s match you might be interested to
know. The top two boards had been set up with the white pieces occupying the ranks labelled 7 and 8. While board two swapped the pieces around, board
one played on regardless, and while this may be slightly confusing to some, it didn´t stop Graeme steaming ahead, setting no end of complications
for his opponent to consider. After nearly half an hour of play they had only reached move five, and while Graeme's clock was still at 1:15, his
opponent´s was at 0:49. In contrast, ALL the other boards were at move 15, and every clock face was either 0:49 or 0:50.|
Adrian finished first, having deployed his Sicilian against an opponent who didn't appear in the mood for taking any risks. After fairly solid
play by both parties, it came as no surprise when the draw was eventually agreed.
Simon´s game however was quite different. Facing a King´s Indian, Simon built up a clear advantage. Typical of a KID, the centre
solidifies, and white storms the queen´s side. The plan was working well, Simon was a pawn up, which although isolated on the a-file,
was also passed. Another thing typical of a KID is that black throws everything into a king´s side pawn storm. And that´s when things
unravelled as Simon missed the correct defence and his King´s position was overwhelmed.
David finished next, levelling the score. He had faced a French, and after several exchanges of pieces, David had doubled his opponent´s
pawns on the f-file, and established a powerful protected passed pawn on e5. After all the remaining pieces were exchanged, a queen and pawn
ending presented itself. And as they had seven pawns each, it was not so easy for David to press his advantage. But then, the opportunity for
a bit of a swindle was in the offing. In advancing his h-pawn to attack his opponent´s g-pawn, two things were catastrophic - the pawns could
not be exchanged and nor could the attacked g-pawn be advanced. His opponent failed to see the looming catastrophe, exchanged pawns, and was mated
in the middle of the board. It was so unexpected that his opponent didn´t realise he'd been mated until David pointed it out.
With the score now level, things were looking good for a team victory. Especially as Graeme was doing all the running, and his opponent´s
clock had gone below one minute. It was incredibly complicated, with several piece sacrifices thrown into the mix, and at the point where it
looked curtains for Graeme´s opponent, he threw in a desperate rook sacrifice on h6, right in front of Graeme´s king. Graeme turned
that down in favour of getting a second queen. The second sacrifice of the rook by taking the pawn on h7+ could not be declined, and now we
were treated to the second swindle of the night. At this point we´ll leave it to Graeme to conclude this report - "Apologies for totally
blowing it, I would like to say the mating move was difficult to spot - except it wasn´t!"
As a footnote, Jim reported that Simon Riley must be blessed with a lucky charm as he was only one move away from resigning to him in the
Manningtree A v Ipswich B match the previous evening.