Coming off the back of an excellent season as the “defending Bristol Champions”, the A Team delivered a strong performance.
Our first opponents this year were Horfield and Redland A. They are a very strong team with their former Board 1 now playing on Board 3! Despite missing our former teammate Dan Varney, we arrived at the venue with hope that we would be able to field a full team. Many thanks to Jonas for filling in last minute despite recovering after a day of mind-bending set theory. We also welcome Zachary to team!
The match couldn’t have started off any better, with Fergus grabbing a quick win in aggressive attacking style. Just what we like to see 1 – 0. There were no results for a while and tensions were building on all boards, other than Tom’s which was getting dryer by the second. My opponent was forced into a piece sacrifice and I managed to neutralise any counterplay, eventually forcing a trade down into a piece up endgame 2 – 0. Talking with my opponent afterwards, we agreed that we would be looking forward to a potential rematch!
Next to finish was Zachary who played an excellent game that eventually provoked his opponent to try a dubious sac which was simply out-calculated. A great start to the team and hopefully more brilliance to come! 3 – 0.
26…Qb6 27.Qf5+ Nf6! Keeps the mate threats going and secures a win
Now things were looking good as a draw would secure us the match. Unfortunately, Tom “solid President” Shepherd didn’t get the memo and ended up outplaying his opponent from an equal position with excellent class. 4 – 0.
With the match now decided it left Dan and Jonas still fighting on. Dan found a brilliance that almost led to mate and Jonas fought on bravely, dealing with a hard position to play. Both ended up losing after some excitement, leaving the final score to be 4 – 2.
This season looks to be a very strong team and after this match we’re one step along the way to reclaim the crown.