4NCL: 18 - 19 September 2004

Saturday 18 September

    BETSSON.COM  

v

WESSEX 1  
1 w Ledger, Andrew J 2452 0 - 1 Corkett, Anthony R 2310
2 b Hunt, Adam C 2434 1 - 0 Webb, Richard M 2309
3 w Williams, Simon K 2427 1 - 0 Allicock, Rawle A 2292
4 b Eames, Robert G 2309 - Rutter, Nicholas 2140
5 w Ledger, David J 2285 1 - 0 Yeo, Michael J 2208
6 b Nelson, Jonathan 2282 0 - 1 Clark, Ian C 2111
7 w Naylor, John 2235 1 - 0 Pye, David E 2145
8 b Lyell, Meri (F) 2003 1 - 0 Evans-Quek, Debbie (F) 2013
        5-2    

The first problem we encountered on our return to the 1st division was how to get some kind of team to the match on time. Various weddings had already depleted our resources when, the night before, we were forced to replace a very sick Ian Upton with a slightly less ill Ian Clark. Losing his chauffeur left Rawle to the mercies of British Rail, who kindly delivered him 58 minutes late to face the opposition man in form. He was duly flattened.

After about two hours, an 8-0 whitewash looked a nasty possibility, but then a few things started to turn our way. Ian was a pawn down but characteristically maintained some compensation until he was able to win the exchange which his opponent turned into a whole rook. Nick had very optimistically sacrificed the exchange in a Yugoslav Dragon. His opponent sacrificed two exchanges back in return but this only seemed to help Nick's attack as he looks to have missed a win before the time control. Dave Pye's king was taken for a walk up the board where it perished. Richard was disappointed to have lost from a very equal middlegame. I was losing a pawn for nothing, so decided to let a bishop get trapped instead, but this didn't produce quite enough chances in time trouble.

Tony survived some slight pressure to win neatly after the time control, thereby maintaining an amazing record against his opponent (4 wins, 0 losses). Board 8 was an extraordinary mess. Arriving 40 minutes late due to traffic (and 5 minutes before her opponent), Debbie predictably got into time trouble, but reached the time control threatening mate as well as queening a pawn. Unfortunately, her opponent was able to conjure up sufficient threats of her own.

Evans Quek,D - Lyell,M

39.Qf6? [ 39.Qxg3 Qxg3 40.b8Q+ Qxb8 41.Rxb8+ Kh7 42.hxg6+ Kxg6 43.Bf8 should be a draw] 39...Rh4+? [ 39...Be5!-/+] 40.Kg1?! [ 40.Qxh4 Bxh4 41.Bf4 Qxf4 42.b8Q+ Qxb8 43.Rxb8+ Kg7 44.hxg6 draws] 40...Qa7+ 41.Kf1 Qa6+ 42.Kg1 Qa7+ 43.Kf1 Rh1+ 44.Ke2 Qa2+

45.Rb2? [ Allows a forced win. I think 45.Qb2 should still draw e.g. 45...Qc4+ 46.Kd2 Bf4+ 47.Bxf4 Qxf4+ 48.Ke2! Qe4+ 49.Kf2 Qh4+ 50.Ke2 Qxh5+ 51.Kd3 and the b pawn forces perpetual] 45...Qc4+ 46.Kf3 Qd3+ 47.Kg4 gxh5+ 48.Kg5 Qe3+ 0-1

 

Despite (or because?!) half the attendees not having met the other half before, dinner was an entertaining event, although I was surprised that Rawle tolerated being referred to as Ainsley!

Sunday 19 September

    NUMERICA 3CS 1   v WESSEX 1  
1 w Davies, Nigel R 2523 - Webb, Richard M 2309
2 b Gordon, Stephen J 2338 - Allicock, Rawle A 2292
3 w Ashton, Adam G 2270 - Corkett, Anthony R 2310
4 b Longson, Alexander 2264 0 - 1 Rutter, Nicholas 2140
5 w Bentley, John L 2216 - Yeo, Michael J 2208
6 b Walton, Alan J 2208 0 - 1 Clark, Ian C 2111
7 w James, Dale R 2199 1 - 0 Pye, David E 2145
8 b Martin, Katie (F) 1977 - Evans-Quek, Debbie (F) 2013
        3-4    

 

This was an extremely tense match that we looked like losing narrowly for most of the time.

Rawle had a very comfortable position until a lot of pieces got exchanged to leave a drawn R+P ending. Tony had lured his opponent on with the bizarre 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Na5!?? (an interesting bad move!), which I still don't understand, even if it has been played before (including a game where Tony was white!) The depth of the cunning plan became clearer when his opponent sent his queen out to the edge of the board to capture the knight, thereby giving Tony enough counterplay in the centre. Nick played a very impressive game winning a pawn and resisting a number of subsequent tempting sacrifices. Dave Pye lost on time from a position where he had fully equalised. I spurned a drawish R+P ending in favour of losing a pawn. This time I was able to create sufficient mayhem in time trouble, but could only reach another drawn ending. Richard had survived intense pressure after his opponent sacriced a piece for 3 pawns and an attack. He looked worn out at the end when otherwise he might have played on.

This left the match 3-3. Unfortunately, we appeared to be losing the other two games.

Ian's game had started quite promisingly, but he missed his best chance for an advantage:

Clark,I - Walton,A

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.f4 0-0 8.Nf3 c5 9.Bd3 [ 9.Qd2 is more usual] 9...f6 10.exf6 [ 10.0-0 Nc6 11.exf6 Qxf6 12.dxc5 Nxc5 was a 4NCL game between the same players in 2003, which was eventually drawn.] 10...Qxf6 11.g3 cxd4 12.Nb5! [ Most games in this position have seen 12.Nxd4 Nc6 leading to a dull equality. Ian's move is much more interesting!] 12...e5!? [ In the only other game I found that reached this position, Black played the more cautious 12...Na6 After 13.Qe2 White is slightly better.] 13.Nc7 e4

14.0-0?! [ The right move here is 14.Nxd5! Ian was concerned that his bishop would be left trapped on the e file, but his knight can park on e5 to block it e.g. 14...Qd6 15.Bxe4 Re8 ( 15...Nc6 16.Ng5+/=) 16.Qxd4 Nc5 17.Ne5 Nc6 18.Qc4 Nxe5 19.fxe5 Qxe5 20.0-0 is much better for White] 14...exd3 [ 14...Nb6! is a better plan] 15.Qxd3 Qd6 16.Nxa8

Sadly, the knight is now trapped and was taken a few moves later. Despite surviving until the time control, things looked bad, but his opponent then went into self-destruct mode:

Clark,I - Walton,A

41.Rd8+ Kc5 42.Rc8+ Kb6 43.Rg8 Rf1+ 44.Kg3 g6 45.Rg7 Nd1 46.Rxh7 Nxc3 47.Nxg6 Ne4+ 48.Kg2 Rf2+ 49.Kg1 Rf1+ 50.Kg2 Nf6 51.Rh4 Rb1? [ 51...Kc5 52.f5 Ne4 53.Rh8 Rf2+ keeps White's king back] 52.f5 Rb2+ 53.Kg3 Rb3+ 54.Kf4 Kc5 55.Ke5

55...Rb6? With this move Black offered a draw. Unfortunately for him, it is a blunder. [ 55...Ne8 is probably the best chance to hold, but White is already a bit better.] 56.Nf8 Nxg4+ [ This looks a bit desperate, but if 56...Be2 57.g5 Ng4+ 58.Rxg4 Bxg4 59.Nd7+ Kc6 60.Nxb6 Kxb6 61.f6 wins] 57.Rxg4 Rb2 58.h4 Re2+ 59.Kf6 Kd5 60.Ne6 Rh2 61.Nc7+ Kd6 62.Nxa6 bxa6 63.Ra4 Kd7 64.Kf7 a5 65.Rd4+ Kc6 66.f6 Kc5 67.Rg4 Re2 1-0

 

So with the score at 4-3, it all depended on whether we could salvage anything from Board 8. Initially this looked rather unlikely, but gradually various saving possibilities emerged.

Evans Quek,D - Martin,K

46.f5? leads to a lost position. [ 46.Ng2 looks like the best chance to hold.] 46...Re4 47.fxe6 Rxe3+ 48.Kf2 Rxe5 49.exf7+ Kxf7 50.Ra5 Be3+ 51.Kf3 Rf5+ [ There seems nothing wrong with 51...Bb6! winning the exchange for a pawn, but preserving the h pawn] 52.Kg4 Rf4+ 53.Kg3 d4 54.Ra7+ Kg8 55.Re7 White somewhat optimistically offered a draw 55...Rf5 56.h4 h5 57.Red7 Bf2+ 58.Kh3 Rf4 59.Rd5 Rxh4+ 60.Kg2

60...Be3? After this natural looking move, I think White can always force a draw. [ 60...Rf4! 61.Rxh5 Kg7-+ allows the king to join in] 61.Rf5 Bh6 62.Kg3 Re4 [ 62...Rh1 63.Rxd4 Ne6 64.Rh4 also only draws] 63.Rxh5 Bg7 64.Kf3 [ 64.Rf5 Kh7 65.Rdxf8 Bxf8 66.Rxf8=] 64...Re6 [ 64...Re3+ 65.Kg4 Bf6 66.Rhd5 Rd3 67.Kf5 Bg7 68.Ke4 Re3+ 69.Kf5=] 65.Rg5 Kf7 66.Rxg7+ Kxg7 67.Rxd4 1/2-1/2

Now it only remains for Tony to explain to Allan why half his preferred team are now ineligible for the first matches for the second team!


Last modified: September 24, 2004

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