D3 match – long trip to Southend.

Essex D3 match – Southend 2 v Ilford 2 – Friday 3 March 2023.
5 board match, G80 + 10
Tom Barton, captain.

A long trip to Southend is not conducive to playing a game of chess and it seemed to affect the Ilford players who didn’t get off to a good start. Muhammed dropped a piece coming out of the opening, Euan lost two queenside pawns after falling to a clever tactic coming out of the opening, and was under pressure, and Biel’s opponent gained a favourable position and took a tactical opportunity to win an exchange. Euan and Muhammed lost so we were two down.

Jef had the much better position against Mick Saunders French but couldn’t find a way to exploit the advantage and fell well behind on the clock. Taha had a complex position with interesting possibilities.

Biel fought back to get the exchange back and managed to hold the rook and pawn endgame for a draw. Jef launched an attack but he couldn’t find the right moves under time pressure and he lost on time trying. Taha and his opponent reached a position where neither was sure of having an advantage and agreed a draw. They analysed the position as given here

31. White to move
Lacey v Undre

It looked like White should play h4 to break up the pawns protecting Black’s King, and indeed computer analysis says this is the best move and that White has a clear advantage.

The final score was 4-1.

Result with latest OTB grades on LMS
Board                   Southend II                        Ilford II            
1 (B)       1671      Saunders, M. J.  1 – 0       Page, Jeffrey   1674
2 (W)     1657      Lacey, Nick J       ½ – ½      Undre, Taha      1597
3 (B)       1612      Clancy, Mark      ½ – ½               Obiols, Biel         1576
4 (W)     1536      Davis, Joshua     1 – 0               Faheem, Muhammad     1496
5 (B)       1528      Duke, Taylor       1 – 0               O’Connell, Euan 1233
                                                              4 – 1      

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