21.11.16 – Middlesex League: Ealing v Hammersmith
On a wet and dark November evening, what could be more enjoyable than playing in our third (and first away) Middlesex League match?
Our hosts Ealing 2 were as friendly as ever. Their venue is one of the nicest to play in, with large tables, big comfortable chairs and digital clocks combining to make for a supremely enjoyable experience.
Having resoundingly beaten them 6.5-1.5 at our venue, we went into the match with a lot of confidence, despite a smaller grade gap than before.
In the spirit of squad rotation, no less than five players were making their season debuts in the League. A particular mention has to go to Carsten and John for stepping in following late dropouts.
Only one game was over within ninety minutes. Newcomer Danny blundered in a winning position, and for the first time this season we were losing the match.
Fortunately boards five through seven were on hand to rectify the situation. Solid wins from Hammersmith stalwarts Robin and Nick, and a top class performance from new member David, saw us take a 3-1 lead. This meant that John’s loss on board four was not the end of the world, and left us needing three draws on the top three boards.
Adam was pleased to be up against the same opponent he had played in the return fixture, again with the White pieces. Unfortunately, his opponent had done his homework and this time played a much better defence to Adam’s London System. The game headed into a Rook +3 pawn vs. Rook +2 pawn endgame, but after much manoeuvring in time trouble all Adam could do was to settle for the draw.
Carsten and Paul heavily out graded their opponents, and were therefore both surprised by the resistance they came up against. Neither looked to get a significant advantage from the opening or middle game, but their experience and technique were always a little too much for their opponents. In a time scramble at the end, the victories were sealed, as was the team’s win.
Next up is likely to be our toughest test so far – a trip to Muswell Hill on December 1st. Our sights are now firmly set on the Christmas #1 spot!
Result: Ealing 2.5 – 5.5 Hammersmith