Remember chess? I mean, I do. I’m just checking that you remember. Fine, keep your secrets…
Eighteen months after University A’s triumph return to Division 1, Grendel A were our first opponents. A lot can change at the university in a couple of seasons. We said goodbye to a few of our regular teammates but welcome James Clarke and new club president Rasi Kahane to the squad. They both had one of the easier introductions to the team, with both players winning quickly; James taking just 12 moves as Black.
11…Nxd4! wins very loads of material and after 12.Nxd4 Qxg2 White resigned.
Rasi gave the University an early 2-0 converting a Caro-Kann/Stonewall, that isn’t a thing, and I was given early finish with a draw when my opponent could have tried to play on a drawn position a pawn up a lot longer. Dan Varney then sealed the match 3.5-0.5 for University with a tactical win on the White side of a Pirc, when his opening offensive meant Black felt obliged to sacrifice a piece.
With the match in the bag, we still wanted a good finish to set us up nicely in the Division for the rest of the season while we play catch up. Dan Savidge lost his Sicilian gambit despite initially getting good compensation for the pawn. Reigning Bristol champion, Alex Belsley won a convincing game from the Black side of the Reti, which made loads of sense when he was explaining it to me! A final score of 4.5-1.5 from a strong team, which potentially more strength in depth.