At last! A win in the North Circular League

North Circular League Div A – 4 Feb 2019
Ilford 1   3½-2½   Wanstead 2
Report by Jef Page

GradeIlford 1ScoreWanstead 2Grade
166BARTON
Tom
1 – 0CHIREA-FLORICA
T Alin
177
168TWITCHELL
Neville
0 – 1STANILAND
Paul
170
166MUGALU
Hassan
1 – 0 MURRELL
Mark
164
153KENT
Anthony
½ – ½JONES
Keith S
150
138KALINSKY
Syd
½ – ½SMITH
David
132
132PAGE
Jef
½ – ½HARTE
Ben
130

Brexit, Trump, the weather. Forget about them! At last a real headline: Yes! Ilford win a match for the 1st time this season in the North Circular League.

We’ve broken our duck in the tough A division and dragged ourselves, kicking and screaming- off the bottom of the table to be replaced by Wanstead II – well at least for the moment as they have matches in hand on us.

It was a match of two halves. We won 2 out of 3 games in the top 3, and drew all the bottom 3 boards.

I wriggled out of a weak Dutch Defence to sac’ a pawn but with Harte unwilling to risk a piece sac’ follow-up or try for a lengthy endgame win, he too easily took my offer of a draw. And mine of course was the match winning draw! Kalinsky got no advantage against the steady play from Dave Smith’s Pic Defence and likewise Tony Kent couldn’t again any advantage either from his opening against captain Keith Jones.

But on the top boards the games were sharp. Hassan forced Marc Murrell’s King out from the centre to win Marc’s Queen for a Rook whilst Tom was all over Chirea-Florica completely surrounding his King- caught in the centre to sweep home with a powerful attack of a Q, R & B checkmate. Only Neville suffered as Paul Staniland gained complete control of the centre with a strong d and e pawn wedge & even though Neville held off the threat of being mated and won R for B, he couldn’t hold back the tide of pawns in the end.

It will be touch and go as to who get’s relegated out of this division- but a win is a win for us- at last. Thanks to everyone who played!

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