A quick turnaround for the A team with another long distance away game this time at Clevedon. After a much better attempt at using public transport and some remote assistance for the drivers, the full team converged on a small cricket ground. Alice was making her first appearance of the season and Conor kindly stood up last minute to make one of his three regular trips to Clevedon.
The games didn’t really start in an orthodox fashion with the top two boards both opening with a push of the b pawn. In my own game, 1.b4 f5 2.Bb2 e6?! is already a slight inaccuracy although both sides were quickly making up their own theory. For a change, Ethan decided to have a winning position out of the opening for a change after his rusty opponent declined a Scotch Gambit.
Play settled down somewhat and it took a while before the results came in. Alex had a positionally excellent game winning with two knights against knight and bishop where his opponent was stuck with an isolated queen pawn blocking his bishop. I assume this took a lot of skill to convert into the full point so well done to Alex for doing just that.
Ethan conversion of his position sadly did not go as smoothly going into an opposite coloured bishop ending to keep his extra pawn when possibly giving up his extra pawn to keep on minor pieces would have done the trick. Let’s put this down to karma after his previous win, the universe is now balanced, and normal service will resume in future.
Dan won his first game for the first team although he didn’t really anything from his 1.b3 opening. However, he gave his opponent enough rope and he seemed to go down trying to force something in the position. Cool defence and some tricks with Black’s weirdly placed pieces was enough to win.
The university were looking good but with the remaining three games heading towards time trouble. Unfortunately, Conor lost in one of the craziest Sicilians I have seen in a long time and will probably be immortalised if his opponent ever gets around to writing that best games book. That’s why people play the Morra Gambit! The two separate rook sacrifices by White were approximately sound (although the follow up was less good) but with the clock ticking Conor missed the only defence.
I was not able to catch the end of Alice’s game as I was elbow-deep in my own time trouble, which ultimately resulting in us missing the last bus home. So, not only, did Alice secure the winning point for the team, she also very kindly drove the whole team back to Bristol, which is going above-and-beyond for any team player. You really could not ask for more on a return to the first team!
Next game is at home against Horfield C on 31st October so lots of time to learn your Halloween Gambit theory.
University A 4-2 Clevedon B
Daniel Savidge 1-0 Andrew Chapman
Ian Gallagher 0.5-0.5 Stuart Iles
Alice Lampard 1-0 Thomas Beardwood
Alex Vaughan 1-0 Steve Roberts
Ethan Luc 0.5-0.5 Andy Bellingham
Conor Newton 0-1 Leonid Chindelevitch