We have not had much joy in this league, so 2 wins is very welcome. There is no relegation this year as Barnet have withdrawn, but we don’t want to win the wooden spoon.
|Tuesday 11th February. Wanstead House|
|WANSTEAD II 2-4 ILFORD|
|169 PAUL BANCROFT||0-1||NEVILLE H TWITCHELL w|
|167 IAN HUNNABLE||1/2||SID M KALINSKY b|
|165 P STANILAND||0-1||VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN|
|152 PAUL BARCLAY||1/2||JASON KLIMACH|
|141 BEN HARTE||1-0||JEF PAGE|
|120 I Singh||0-1||TAHA UNDRE|
|Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 24th February|
|ILFORD 3½ – 2½ WANSTEAD II|
|NEVILLE TWITCHELL||1-0||167 IAN HUNNABLE w|
|HASSAN MUGALU||1-0||1-0 A CHIREA FLORICA b 171|
|ANTHONY KENT||1-0||CARLTON SIDDO 143|
|VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN||0-1||KEITH JONES 142|
|SID KALINSKY||0-1||BEN HARTE 141|
|JEF PAGE||1/2||PAUL NICKALS 132|
The match started well for us when Taha caught Singh with a knight check that forked a Rook. But other Ilford players were under considerably more pressure. Kalinsky held off Hunnable’s strong Q&B attack and Phillip Staniland sent his pieces swarming into the attack against Venkatesh’s King but came unstuck. Jef got the advantage over Harte in the opening & middle game but trying to press for a win, blundered in a time scramble rather than asking for a draw earlier in the game. On top board, Neville played a very open attacking game. He sent his a-pawn into the attack up to the 6th rank and with Bancroft’s B pinned in front of his King on the open g-file by Neville’s Queen, Bancroft’s defences on both sides of the board was impossible.
Doing the ‘double’ over any club or team is always pleasing so after beating Wanstead II at Wanstead 4-2, we managed to repeat the trick at home & beat them again, this time by a narrower margin. They arrived at Ilford with a stronger team all the way down but it was on the top boards that we won and held the match.
Hassan quickly got the better of Chirea-Florica and won a R to give Mugalu 2 B’s against a lone Knight which was hopelessly overworked. Neville beat off Hunnable’s good opening and his counter attack paid dividends. Anthony Kent took took control of the centre to slowly but surely ground down SIddo’s game. But, on the lower boards it all changed where Venkatesh lost to Keith Jones (again) and Sid, although playing well, his 2 B’s against 2 N’s seemingly had a draw in hand at least, until he blundered at the end. So it came down to Jef’s game where his development was good held Nickal’s King in the centre. But as black unravelled his pieces, it then came down to an endgame where with only had seconds left, Jef did enough so that his extra pawn advantage was squandered in the time scramble and they ended the game with just 2 Kings on the board.
This result takes us off the division’s bottom, one place above Wanstead II and both clubs have 1 match each to play. We finish against Chingford (23/3/2020) whilst they will face Barking. The race for the wooden spoon is still open.