01.12.16 – Middlesex League – Muswell Hill v Hammersmith
After notching up three fine wins in the first three games of the season, the Middlesex League team were on cloud nine. However, as with most things up on that ninth cloud, we were eventually going to come crashing back down.
Twenty minutes walk from the nearest tube station, Muswell Hill United Reformed Church was our venue for the night. With no less than four players pulling out in the week of the match, and the substitutes pool fully depleted, we showed up with just six players and started the match 0-2.
On another day this might have been all right; after all, we did out grade them by 22 points on average. You would not have guessed this looking at the chess though. It was a night for blunders and missed chances.
Nick was the first to lose. His young opponent played well and one too many mistakes forced an early resignation.
Matt’s game seemed a little closer, but he entered an endgame an exchange down that he was never going to hold.
Jeremy did not look comfortable form the start. Some overly passive opening play allowed a devastating attack down the Kingside. A vicious pin from which it was impossible to escape led to our third loss and a 5-0 scoreline.
John and Adam had very different games but finished with the same result. John had the black pieces and equalised easily from the opening. He couldn’t find a way to improve any more though, and the game slowly petered out into a dead draw.
Adam found a nice tactic in the middle game to win a pawn and seize a big initiative. Instead of continuing to press though, he decided to swap off pieces. A miscalculation at the start of the endgame gave the pawn straight back, and there wasn’t much left to play for.
If there was any honour to be saved, it was Carsten to the rescue. Despite showing up half an hour late, he played a good game. Carsten’s moves were very accurate, and it wasn’t long before his opponent was forced to give up a piece for a pawn. There’s no coming back form that sort of deficit against Carsten; the night ended with the Danish Dynamo scoring our only win.
Result: Muswell Hill 6 – 2 Hammersmith
On a more positive note, we are top of the league and guaranteed to still be there at Christmas!
We have also had 19 members playing in the team this year – a testament to the club’s huge recruitment efforts and increasing strength in depth.
As you can see, we’re back underway very early into the new year, with crucial away matches on the first two Thursday’s of January. Please contact Adam if you’re keen to play in either of those.