Top of Essex D2 Clash – Disappointing Result

ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE  Division 2   17.1.2022
Jef Page, Captain

                                        ILFORD  2½ – 3½  WANSTEAD II

1908                      TOM BARTON    ½  TERRY WHITTON     1924   b
1923            NEVILLE TWITCHELL    ½   MARK MURRELL     1861  w
1888                   ADRIAN JOSEPH  0-1  PHILIP STANILAND 1851
1818 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1-0  KEITH JONES      1840
1750                    ANTHONY KENT  ½   PAUL BARCLAY   1803
1773            ANURAG CHAUHAN 0-1  ROBERT PARKER 1705
Av grade: 1844                                             1831

Ilford won the toss and were White on odd boards.
Time control: 80 minutes plus 10 seconds a move.

A disappointing result as we let a match win slip away. Wanstead came with a strong team but remarkably the team average grades show that Ilford was marginally stronger. So we can’t have any complaints.

Kent & Barclay soon took an amicable draw but we were doing OK on the other boards. Chauhan quickly sent Parker’s King on a walk-about from e1 out to f3 & e3. At one point his King was his best developed piece and Anurag backed that up by forcing a supported pawn up to c3. But as the win slipped away Robert was able to bring his King safely home & unravel his pieces to win the endgame.

Adrian got nothing out of Phil Staniland’s defence but conversely Venkatesh worked hard to successfully break down Keith Jones’s position with his 2 very strong fianchettoed Bishops.

The match hinged on our top 2 boards and although both played well we couldn’t find a match-saving win. Neville’s game went 1 d4 Nc6 2 e4 e5, a Kevitz Defence transposing to a Nimzowitsch! It allowed him to win a pawn with his 2 Knights hopping around the board but then he got a knight trapped, Murrell managed to win a passed pawn but with opposite colour Bishops Neville held the endgame for a draw. Tom’s solid position out of the opening yielded him little and as his time ran out he won Rook for Bishop but at the expensive of two pawns and with little time remaining he took a proffered draw as Terry’s Q,B & extra pawns were dangerous.

So Wanstead go clear top with 4/4, with Ilford on 3/4: an opportunity missed. I want to thank those players who made themselves available and wore a mask to protect everyone. Next up are Loughton for our last home match- though not till 7th March, then the final two games are away.  A rare luxury being non-playing captain. 1 or 2 players have missed games so I will give them a chance.

Tom (white) has Rook for Bishop, but under pressure

Neville’s game on board 2 which ended in an opposite Coloured Bishops draw

Board 4. Black slowly building up pressure on white’s king

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