15.05.17 – Thames Valley League: Wimbledon B v Hammersmith
Wimbledon’s venue at the Trinity Club was the stage to host Hammer’s TV team in a double header last week.
First up was a match on 15th May, where Hammersmith faced the Wimbledon B team. This was a crucial match for both teams in their quest to retain Top Flight status. The atmosphere was tense from the start!
We started with a win on Board 4 where Pavel was playing Yasser. Paul on 3 got a draw in a game that was even from the beginning.
Next to finish was your Captain, and unfortunately I lost my game so we were back to level-pegging, at 1.5 a piece. This only served to increase the pressure on the rest of the team.
Sheikh and Marios were next to finish, and they both did well to score wins. Marios commented afterwards: “I played the Black side of a Sicilian accelerated dragon. My opponent allowed me to play Ng4, exchanging his dark squared Bishop early on. I continued to attack on the dark squares and won a pawn later on in the exchange. He resigned a couple of moves later in a completely lost endgame.”
This was followed by Matteo dropping a point, to give Hammersmith a slight edge at 3.5-2.5, with Jeremy and Carsten still playing.
Both games were very dramatic right up to the end. Jeremy’s game ended up with both players going for the win on either side, move by move. His opponent missed two opportunities for a Queen mate(!), allowing Jeremy to hold his nerve and convert the win, taking Hammer to 4.5-2.5 and with it the victory!
Carsten had a tough game too, playing very carefully right up to the end and securing our last point of the evening: 5.5-2.5.
This victory secured our Division 1 status for next season! A great result, and well done to all involved.
18.05.17 – Thames Valley League: Wimbledon A v Hammersmith
The second game on the 18th was against the A-team – a crucial match for them if they were to win the Division, being level on points with Surbiton but with an inferior board scoring. A win or a draw would be enough to secure top spot.
Our brave Hammer heroes were outgraded heavily on almost every board, but we were hungry for the game regardless!
With both teams defaulting a board to start on 1 game a piece, Jeremy and Paul were first to finish. Both put up a great fight against far stronger opponents, but it wasn’t to be, and we quickly fell to 1-3
Sheikh played another fine game, eventually securing a draw despite missing a move that could have won it. Bad luck! 1.5-3.5
Matteo produced a solid performance to secure victory, bringing Hammer up to 2.5-3.5
This was swiftly followed by Carsten with his first draw in the TV league(!), bringing the score to 3-4, and Hammer in sight of an extraordinary result.
Your correspondent was the last to finish. I had a small advantage from the beginning of the game, and managed to hold on to it throughout. With a prepared checkmate trap, I managed to capture my opponents Knight and finished the endgame in some style!
It was a great performance from the team, securing a 4-4 draw against a terrifically strong team.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated during the season for their commitment and effort for the team. It’s been a tough season, but we can look forward to improving next season and staying out of the relegation dogfight! Table below, with one match to go.