First the result…
Essex Chess League Division 2 Tuesday 17th January, St Laurence Church Hall, Upminster.
UPMINSTER II 3-5 ILFORD
1. 159 AIDAN CORISH ½ NEVILLE H TWITCHELL 173 w
2. 144 N KHODA 0-1 TOM BARTON 167 b
3. 144 ROB IANNETTA 0-1 TONY KENT 153
4. 147 STEVE ABBOTT 0-1 SYD KALINSKY 148
5. 168 J HANNAFORD 0-1 JEF PAGE 130
6. 145 P ROSENFELD 1-0 default
7. 131 PETER BIGGS 1-0 LEONARDO STEFANONI 109
8. 112 NIGEL NICE ½ LAVANAN AINKARAN 103
The match started badly for Ilford as unfortunately one of our players failed to arrive and Leonardo grabbed a pawn but lost a piece. so we were 2-0 down.
But from here on we went on a winning sequence as Hannaford made a complete mess of a Morra gambit Accepted opening and Jef was well on top. Anthony Kent turned a centre counter into a Caro Kann and built up a big advantage in an open game, eventually going a whole Rook up (see diagram below). Syd’s long-range bishop on the diagonal enabled him to control the centre, then send a pawn up the board, and run it home to queen. Lavanan with good Queen & Knight counter-play, did just enough to hold off Nice’s strong Queen attack and get his draw.
So the match was tied at 3-3 and the result hinged on the top two boards. Tom got the worst of a Sicilian Dragon, Soltis Variation, and was forced to give up his Queen for 2 Rooks. However, Khoda then blundered, losing his Queen for a Rook. Photo below shows Tom’s position when a Rook for Bishop and pawn up. On board 1 Neville was under pressure in a cramped position and was reduced to giving up his Bishop for pawns. But with only seconds left Neville held his nerve, and with Aidan playing cautiously was unable to mate, so he got the draw.
This win takes us back to the top of division 2 though Southend have matches in hand.
All to play for
Boards 1 and 2 Iannetta v Kent, Black to move