4NCL: 1 - 3 May 2004

Saturday 1 May

1 w Simons, Martin J 2285 - Swanson, Stephen 2283
2 b Webb, Richard M 2348 1 - 0 Posazhennikov, Alex 2253
3 w Corkett, Anthony R 2314 1 - 0 Harley, Andrew 2238
4 b Allicock, Rawle A 2279 - Moore, Gerald 2225
5 w Upton, Ian J 2224 - Byway, Paul 2213
6 b Yeo, Michael J 2244 - Morgan, Ben 2204
7 w Hopkins, Jamie R 2136 1 - 0 Rosen, Daniel B 2145
8 b Khoo, Teresa (F) 2044 1 - 0 default  
        6 - 2    

Originally, I thought this might be our toughest match of the three this weekend. In the end, we produced our biggest win of the season (and also equalled the biggest win in the division so far). While the match was taking place, it wasn't nearly so easy!

The opposition knew over a week before that none of their three registered female players was available. Despite extensive advertising, they were unable to find a suitable wild-card, but thankfully were good enough to save Teresa a wasted journey. (The dearth of alternative female players is a concern, which Wessex have suffered from on previous occasions.) Jamie's opponent did turn up, but not for long. Having grabbed a rather warm pawn, Jamie was delighted to then be presented with a piece as well. 2-0 up encouraged Ian to stop looking for artificial means to make progress, but by then a number of the remainig games looked rather dubious.

I played a particularly risky line of the Chigorin, not helped by putting my queen on the wrong square. However, my opponent had developed a mindset of not taking most of my proffered material and this allowed me to bale out with a draw. To the impartial observer, Tony looked to be in some trouble having shed a couple of pawns, but he was then given the opportunity to demonstrate the power of his two bishops. Martin won a pawn but allowed a lot of compensation to appear until he made one of his better moves by agreeing the draw which won us the match. Richard reached an ending with 2Bs v 2Ns and an extra pawn and neatly hobbled the knights.

Rawle's game was almost indescribable. After a bizarre opening which suggested that he was trying to play draughts with his pawns, he lost a pawn while attempting to consolidate. At the time control, I assessed his position as worse but possibly winning. He was then duped into swapping into a bishop ending that looked winning, but was in fact lost.

Moore,G - Allicock,R

Having reached a winning position, his opponent blundered with: 55.Kg5??

[ 55.Ba4! wins e.g.:d3 56.Be8+ Kg8 57.Bd7 Kf7 58.Be6+ Kxe6 59.g8Q+] 55...Kxg7 56.h6+ but Rawle then returned the complement with 56....Kh7?? [56...Kf7 wins] 57.Kf6 d3 58.Kxe5 Kxh6 59.Kd4 Kg5 60.Bxd5 d2 1/2-1/2


Sunday 2 May

    NUMERICA 3CS 2   v WESSEX 1  
1 w James, Dale R 2200 - Webb, Richard M 2348
2 b Juanoobi, Ali * 2264 - Simons, Martin J 2285
3 w Shaw, David A 2165 0 - 1 Yeo, Michael J 2244
4 b Adams, Phil 2077 - Allicock, Rawle A 2279
5 w Walton, Alan J 2126 - Corkett, Anthony R 2314
6 b Plant, Paul 2097 - Upton, Ian J 2224
7 w Kosteniuk, Oxana (F) 2113 - Hopkins, Jamie R 2136
8 b Martin, Katie (F) 1993 0 - 1 Khoo, Teresa (F) 2044
        3 - 5    

The scoreboard suggests a solid performance - in truth it was not so comfortable.

Jamie somehow persuaded Kosteniuk minor to agree to a draw just as his position started to look difficult. Richard spent most of his time considering two draw offers and working out what was happening in my game. He was still in theory when he called a halt.

My game was unusually violent even by my own high standards!

Shaw,D - Yeo,M

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kf1 Qe7 7.Nxh8 d5 8.exd5 Nd4

9.c3? [I suspect this loses by force. Better is 9.h3, 9.Be2 or 9.d6!] Bg4 10.Qa4+ Nd7 (Richard wanted to know whether I was concerned about my isolated pawn on e5!?) 11.Kxf2 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qf6+ 13.Ke1 Qf3 [13...Qf5!? has been played before as if 14.Rf1 Nc2+ picks up the queen] 14.Rf1 [ 14.cxd4 Qxh1+ 15.Bf1 0-0-0 wins] 14...Qe4+ 15.Kf2 0-0-0 16.cxd4 [ If 16.Nf7 Rf8 17.Kg1 Nf3+ ( 17...Bh3 18.Nd6+ cxd6 19.Rxf8+ Nxf8 20.Qe8+ Kc7 21.Qf7+ Nd7-+) 18.Rxf3 Bxf3 19.Qxa7 Qe1+ 20.Bf1 Nb6-+] 16...Rf8+ 17.Kg1 Qxd4+ 18.Kg2 Qe4+ 19.Kg1 Rxf1+

20.Kxf1 [ I have subsequently found a game where White presumably saw what I missed and gave up his queen with 20.Bxf1 Qxa4 but still lost after 21.Nc3 Qd4+ 22.Kg2 e4-+] 20...Bh3+? [ Missing mate in 8 with 20...Qh1+! 21.Kf2 Qxh2+ 22.Kf1 Bh3+ 23.Ke1 Qg1+ 24.Ke2 Bf1+ 25.Kf3 Qg2+ 26.Kg4 Qe4+ 27.Kh5 Nf6+ 28.Kg5 h6#] 21.Kf2 Qg2+ 22.Ke3 Qg1+ 23.Kf3? [ The best chance was to give up the queen with 23.Kd3 Nc5+ 24.Kc2 Bf5+ 25.d3 Nxa4 but Black is a lot better] 23...Bg2+ 24.Kg4 Qd4+ 25.Kg5 h6+ 26.Kg6 Qg4+ 27.Kf7 Qf5+ 28.Kg8 Qf8+ 29.Kh7 Be4+ 0-1


Ian's game was uneventful. Teresa spent some time untangling her pieces before breaking through. This put us 3-1 up but we were struggling to various degrees in the remaing games. Tony was trying once again to demonstrate the power of two bishops while being two pawns down, this time in an ending. Somehow he won one pawn back and swapped most of the rest off. By the time the fire alarm went off, matters looked rather more comfortable. Martin managed to swap into a drawn K+P ending. Rawle had been worse out of the opening, sacrificed a piece, spurned various draws by repetition as by then he was better and then blundered into a lost position in which his opponent chose to repeat moves rather than win. He promised to play more classically on the Monday. (Some would say that he had already played two classics.)

Monday 3 May

    WESSEX 1   v BARBICAN 4NCL 3  
1 w Corkett, Anthony R 2314 - Taylor, Peter 2270
2 b Webb, Richard M 2348 0 - 1 Lewis, Andrew P 2236
3 w Simons, Martin J 2285 - Mack, Andrew 2262
4 b Allicock, Rawle A 2279 1 - 0 Hodgson, John H 2219
5 w Yeo, Michael J 2244 - Rich, Mark 2198
6 b Upton, Ian J 2224 - Bhatia, Kanwal K (F) 2065
7 w Hopkins, Jamie R 2136 - Flower, David 2125
8 b Khoo, Teresa (F) 2044 - Smith, Lucy (F) 1624
        4 - 4    

The opposition had been weakened by the loss of a player from their second team, but we failed to take advantage.

I had an early initiative which had evaporated by the time I was offered a draw. Martin had also gone slightly wrong, thus wasting two of our whites. Richard always looked in some trouble out of the opening. By the time he lost, there was a real possibility of draws on all the other boards. Ian couldn't make progress in a knight ending. Teresa stood a bit worse in a cramped position. Jamie won a pawn but was very concerned by his opponent's two bishops. Happily, Rawle played another magnificent game, grabbing a pawn, spurning a draw by repetition and taking advantage of his opponent's severe time-trouble.

All square with one to play. Tony had been conserving a small advantage into a knight ending, when his opponent blundered a pawn in time-trouble. I left at the time control thinking he had an 80% chance of winning. Analysis in the car with Martin raised our estimate to 95%, so it was something of a shock and disappointment to learn that he had blundered in time-trouble ahead of move 60 and only drawn.


This still leaves us first equal in the table, but with two rather difficult games in the final weekend when one win might not be enough for promotion.

Last modified: May 6, 2004

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