No, we’re not talking about legendary lone warrior John Rambo – it is of course our opening fixture of the 2018/19 season. Read on for a plot almost as thrilling…
24.09.18 – Middlesex Division 3: Hammer 4 vs. Hammer 3
Sparks were set to fly in our opening match-up as Hammer were pitted against Hammer, in a no-holds barred grudge match to kick off another great season of chess.
Dipender’s Hammer 3 team (lead in his absence by the tactful Dave Lambert, while Dipender was sunning himself on a beach in Greece) were pitted against the Hammer 4 team captained by Wyatt in the third Middlesex League.
The 4th team was outgunned in every matchup and looking to take first blood straight away with a no-show on board 7, when Abakar bravely stepped up at the last minute to his first shootout for the club. Needless to say he was off guard and quickly thrown by one of the formidable Auchi trio, but he showed true Hammer spirit and will be a valuable asset in the future Hammer arsenal.
Being new to fatherhood clearly hasn’t hurt Simon’s game, with a strong performance against Shiraz on board 4, with some analysis from Simon below:
The only draw of the evening came on board 5 as old-hand Dave took on young-gun Kostis. In truth, it wasn’t a classic. Dave emerged from the opening with the slightest of edges but he couldn’t force any meaningful concessions, and the game fizzled out into a straight pawn vs. pawn endgame. A creditable result for Kostis who ended the match with the initiative on his debut.
On board 3 we saw a captain stand-off with Adam (Middlesex 2) coming head to head with Ben (London League 3), where after an exchange by Ben of two pieces for a Rook, Adam managed to come away with the win:
However, the upset of the night came from our very own recently-crowned most improved player, Andrew Macleod, who successfully turned giant-killer in taking down Brian. What a great result from the promising young talent!
After the dust settled and the night was over, the under dogs were unable to cause enough of an upset and the stronger Hammer 3 team came out victorious, with bragging rights to boot. With a rematch already scheduled for the end of November, Hammer 4 has time to regroup and rethink their strategy in order to prove themselves as formidable contenders for the top spot.
Coming up next week, another Hammer v Hammer grudge match beckons, with Ben’s London 3 team playing Dave’s London 2 squad. Stay tuned!