Essex D2 Win to put Ilford well top

Ilford 1 v Barking2, 27 February 2023.
Essex D2, 6 board match, G80 + 10. Toss won by Ilford-  White on odd boards.
Jef Page, captain.

The match started well when I refused to offer a draw and pounced on a disastrous pawn-move by Vladmir whose Kingside disintegrated with an offered Rook sac’ which he couldn’t take, and I mated him. So from here on we were always ahead.

Venkatesh forced his a-pawn up the board supported by both R’s & King. Neville got a pawn ahead of Clow but in an opposite colour Bishop ending it took a while. Neville targeted an isolated pawn, held his advantage as his R, B & K aimed for the pawn which Ken’s K tried to defend. Nev slowly advanced up the board and succeeded in not just threatening the pawn but checkmating Ken. Tom had the advantage over Robinson’s opening but with his time running out & unable to find the winning moves took a draw. The match finished when Adrian who had superior development against Blagianu- whose his K-side pawns had raced down the board- forced a fatal error against Mihaita who lost his Queen. 4 wins, 2 draws& no losses- very good- the advantage of a strong and reliable team.

A 7th straight win so we finish the 1st part of the season undefeated: who would have believed it possible at the start of the season. Still 3 matches to go to find out who’s won the division, trophy, and whether we can book the open-top bus for a victory parade around Ilford: Ilford 7/7 14 paints, Barking 4/7 8 points, Thurrock 8, Witham 7. So to win the division with a final accumulated score we need just 1 win and then we‘re uncatchable and can look upwards.


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