Good Win for Ilford

ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE  DIVISION 2   2 December 2021
Jef Page – Captain

Ilford won the toss, White on odd boards.
Time control: 1 hr 20 minutes plus 10 seconds a move.  

BARKING II  2 – 4  ILFORD
1908   COLIN RAMAGE 0-1  TOM BARTON 1908
1670            KEN CLOW 0-1  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1923
1690 MIKE CRESSWELL  ½   ADRIAN JOSEPH 1888
1683    STEVE BERKLEY 1-0  CHARUKGAN MUHUNTHAN  1852
1683      JOHN FIGGINS 0-1  VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1818
1593        M BLAGIANU  ½   ANURAG s CHAUHAN 1773

Whilst Ilford’s score looks impressive we were a bit lucky. Standing outside the Curfew Tower* at St Margaret’s church Barking like a sentry waiting for lost late comers to arrive, I was very worried that a number wouldn’t make it, but when I sloped back to the match room disheartened, everyone was calmly sitting down and playing. How they all got past me I’m still not sure.

It’s still a rare luxury to be non-playing captain. Riches indeed.

Anyway Venkatesh soon got the ball rolling for us when he advanced his c-pawn down the Queenside to victory. Advanced pawns were much in evidence on the night. Of the two draws Adrian could never quite make his minor pieces produce a weakness from Cresswell who defended his pawn structure well, whilst Blagianu had the same problem against Anurag and when the game drifted into an opposite-colour Bishop ending a draw was inevitable. But then the match got a complicated.

Barton quickly got the better of Ramage who could never get his King safely castled Kingside, his Queen was open to attack by Tom’s Rooks and when Colin tried to escape by castling Q-side he ran into even more trouble overlooking a simple Queen check which forced the win for Tom. Muhunthan’s position was always vulnerable to Berkley’s** two strong Bishops and when Steve got a Rook up to the 7th rank he could stop Charukgan’s pawn, which had made it down to b2, and the game was over. So with Ilford just 1 game ahead it all depended on Neville who was completely penned in fighting-off Ken Clow’s continual attacks. But somehow Neville also forced a pawn down to b2 and when Ken misplayed his attack he blundered into losing a piece and we won the match. So we are 3/3 with Wanstead who are also unbeaten and we face them next in January.

*The Curfew Tower may have got its name by bell being rung to signify the end of the day at Barking Abbey and everyone should head for home.

**Tom reports that in the 1980s he and Steve Berkely were chess playing and drinking pals in Ormskirk at the Snigs Foot? I’m not sure what that means, but maybe it was to snig or snag (drag?) one’s foot and stay for a not so swift pint, or two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: