After our adventures in Division 2, most players on the team haven’t played against Grendel at their old ground in the centre of Bristol. Instead, we had some mild adventure when our captain got confused between the 2 and 2A buses, only to find two other team mates on the bus as well. Regardless, the whole team got there in time for the match, unlike their board six, meaning Rasi Kahane had a bus journey just to show off his lovely new Bristol University chess fleece.
Despite the 1-0 gift, the match was very close throughout. Dan Varney was the first to win but this was cancelled out by a nice finish by Grendel.
Dan Savidge was playing on for tricks with 27…Ke6 hoping for some swindles on the h file if White gets greedy and gives up the bishop to win the queen. However, his opponent, Jerry Humpreys, finds a nice finish, 28.Re7+ Kf5 29.R7xe5+ fxe5 30.Qxe5#. At least Dan was gracious enough to allow the checkmate on mate.
James Clarke scored another win for University continuing to sure why the rest of the team trust him on board one. Sadly, with BUCA moved online, there is less pressure to get his rating improved in time, but still getting it done. The match now guaranteed a draw at worst, I blundered a rook in a game, which was perfectly pleasant for me all game up until that point but played on (rather than allowing checkmate) until Tom had won the match for us in a model game.
All-in-all, a good result but a little worrying first outing for the chess fleeces, going 1-2 plus a victory against D. Fault. We’ll get used to them for the next match.