Another away game, another travel hiccup. I’m getting pretty sick of writing about them. Thankfully our opponents, Bath B, were kind enough to delay the start after a 20-minute delayed train and an unplanned taxi journey to the venue. Hopefully, I will not have to write something like this ever again!
Things didn’t start well with Dan Varney playing quickly but not particularly well putting us down a point. We bounced back fairly quickly with Alex Vaughan winning a Carlsenesque game against his young opponent. Alex confidently went into a double rook endgame with the better pawn structure straight from the opening and turned the screw with over an hour left on his clock at the end.
The other Alex also won soon after, missing a puzzle worthy mate, but making more than good enough moves to win.
29… Kc6 wins quickly but can you spot the mate in three? Solution at the bottom of the post.
University were 2-1 up but some of the boards where not looking good. Asha had a debut for the A team that she probably wants to forget losing a piece in the opening and, despite a good struggle, she was unable to save the game. Alice also lost a piece although for the second week running, I managed to miscount rooks and thought she had saved the game.
I was last to finish in mutual time trouble needing to win to save the match. After winning a pawn in the opening with an unusual tactic, I had finally weathered some pressure to win and draw the match.
12… b5 13. cxb5 Bxb5 14. Nxd6 Bxe2 15. Ne8!?
I could not resist playing such a move so early in the game. White wins a pawn but the computer tells me there was a better option with 15. Nc4 because 15… Qxf4 16. Qxf4 Bxc4 does not win three pieces for the queen due to 17. e5! winning a piece by a double attack.
15… Qb6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Nxe2 Black has some play for the pawn and converting the advantage into a win was no easy task.
So, our first dropped points of the season, but given the state of the match this feels like a point gained. Next game is away at Thornbury on 20th November; a huge game against top of the league.
Bath B 3-3 University A
Clive Walley 0-1 Ian Gallagher
Christian Brown 0-1 Alex Belsley
Edorado Mancini 1-0 Dan Varney
Peter Diamond 1-0 Alice Lampard
Matthew Timbrell 0-1 Alex Vaughan
Anthony Sage 1-0 Asha Jina
Problem: 29… Rec3+ 30. Kb4 Rcb3+ 31. Kc4 Rb4#. Surprisingly tricky to spot as the White king switches back to his original square so it doesn’t feel like Black is making progress.