Board Ilford Kings 0.5 v Wanstead Wanderers 3.5
1 Tom Barton 1908 gandto W 0 – 1 John Hodgson 2103 EastCoker https://lichess.org/WeCJKqeg/white#0
2 Venkatesh Subramanian 1818 B qvenky 0 – 1 Ian Hunnable 1968 Chesstera1h8 https://lichess.org/LB8dDNTN/black#0
3 Anthony Kent 1750 W Chessbore ½ – ½ Mark Murrell 1855 WWJammyDodger https://lichess.org/zOY9TtfW/white
4 Jef Page 1630 B JefPage100 0 – 1 Matthias Lataille 1578 SanMatthias https://lichess.org/2VYwxbva/black#1
At least we avoided a 0-4 bagel against our nearest neigbours Wanstead, with a solitary draw giving a match score of 0.5 – 3.5.
On board 1, Tom played the opening OK, but then traded into a position with a poor bishop against a good knight, not the sort of thing to do against John Hodgson who is very adept at exploiting small advantages. Tom entered a knight versus bishop endgame a pawn down, but could not find anyway to hold it. The Stockfish computer analysis agreed with him. Black to move below (move 47) can bring his knight round to d4 and manouver his king. White has no counter-play.
Venkatesh, playing back, was getting pushed back by Ian Hunnable. His exchange of a knight for 2 pawns eventually yielded some attacking play and created some pressure. It was very difficult to keep having to find the right move in such an open, interesting encounter. The computer threw up one opportunity for black on move 37 where Rc4 (hard to spot under pressure) is very strong. Black played the solid 37….f4, but could hold the game.
Anthony’s game was a Hopton Attack against the Dutch (1.d4 f4 Bg5) . White emerged well from the opening, but went badly astray against a sort of Stonewall Defence. In the position below, black has just played 27….Re8-e6, when he could have won a pawn 27…Bxd due to a back rank mate threat. Relieved, white went 28. Be5. White is still worse off due to black’s strong queenside, but 28 …BxB 29. dxB RxB 30. f4! won white’s pawn back due to 31. NxB, and equalised for a draw.
Jef had chances in his game with Black. He went from a cramped position to having counter-play. The computer analysis shows the advantage swinging widely between Jef and his opponent, and he built up a good position as shown in the diagram below. Short of time, Jef played 44….g4 which is effectively drawn after white played g3. Unfortunately, in pushing for a win he lost. 44…f4 would have posed white a lot of problems.