London League 5: Pimlico v Hammersmith – 23.11.17
Welcome to returning veterans David Lambert and John Ryan, who debut this match on division 5.
John was the first to finish on board 4, dealing an inexperienced opponent a sharp object lesson in chess, quickly going a piece up, then mopping up pawns in rapid style. 1-0
The Hammersmith captain on board 3 with the white pieces, bungled the move order in the Korchnoi gambit to the French defence. Quickly, the young Pimlico junior gained the advantage with a dangerous knight assay into the white kingside.
The Hammersmith captain desperately sacrificed a piece for two pawns, to gain counter play and force the queens off. The board saw two rooks and two pawn islands each side and black was a piece for a pawn up! The junior then studied the board for nearly 20 minutes, before launching a vicious two rook attack on white’s 2nd rank.
However, this did not end in mate as expected, but it did allow a rook swap and the simplified endgame was ultimately lost, with white resigning. 1-1
David on board 2 had the black pieces against the Pimlico captain. Their board saw the open Sicilian Defence, with David playing early pawns to c5 and e5 (the Maroczy Bind), a rock-solid defence. Draw agreed, and the score was 1.5-1.5
Having to deal with the lightning fast junior on board 3, I saw little of the other games.
In the dying moments of the match, we gathered to watch Brian Dodgeon staving off defeat on the clock, with perhaps 5 minutes to go against 20 minutes.
I saw an entrenched position with perhaps 7 or 8 pawns each side, the white pawn array appearing as a strong, symmetrical arrow-head. There were also all major pieces and one bishop on both sides.
White looked to have dangerous pawn pushes possible on c5 and d5, each supported by rooks from behind. White had a bishop landlocked behind his own pawns, black on the other hand had a bishop supported by a pawn, near white’s castled king.
The image of a GO board came to mind where each side, in the famous Japanese board game, tries to strangle the other in a strategy of global dominance. With much to ponder, black offered a very sporting draw which Brian mulled over for a while, then accepted.
A draw it was at 2-2. David later pointed out that it was a good result, as Pimlico had just trounced a strong team 4-0.
I am indebted to David for stepping in at the last minute. Nadhmi had to withdraw understandably for a school event.