04.05.17 – London League 5: Streatham & Brixton v Hammersmith
We were expecting a battle royale to make amends for our prior 3-1 defeat… (“An Evening of Roosters & Foxes” – a great writeup from back in January!)
Board 4 saw Chris Moore attacking on the Queenside from the English Opening. But Black prevailed and started pressing on White’s undeveloped Kingside. Only the Knight had moved.
With sparks flying, Black finally a touched a Rook, found he preferred something else, and let go. Game rules said he had to move the Rook, which meant the Rook was captured and the game all but lost a few minutes later.
Next to finish was John Woolley on Board 2, who had a standard looking Queens Pawn opening. After reaching a critical position, Black and White repeated moves, and a GM style draw was agreed. John is our draw-master, 5 games in a row. Kudos!
Here is what Brian Dodgeon on board 1 emailed me: “My game as Black was pretty tricky: my opponent (graded 144) played the Trompowski system (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5). I played 2… g6 and he took the Knight before I could fianchetto, messing up my central pawns. As a result he got a lot of pressure in the centre, supported by his White-squared fianchettoed KB.
I was often about to lose a pawn and he had a dangerous Queen and Rook doubled on the a-file, but just in time I gained control of the long Black diagonal and won his pawn on b2, which allowed my Queen to penetrate his back rank and get a perpetual check.”
Finally your Captain, who reported that: “In my game a conventional defence got my Queenside weak. I should stick to the obscure gambit.”
“After meeting the first clock dealing, and a tough position more or less locked-up, I had 5 minutes more than my opponent, so the position finally opened up. Funny how I finally got a Rook free to go pawn hunting, got careless, in a scramble to win the ending and got King and Rook Knight forked. The game was lost as a pawn majority broke through on the King side.”
So…. the final result was 2-2; a drawn match. All in all, I feel it was a good result as Streatham were lying second in the league table.