Christmas Bust-Up at The Anvil – The Muswell Hill Gang ran out of the Wild West of London
The Muswell Hill gang mounted a daring raid on Mother Anvil last week, and were met with Fire and Hammer. Yes, the Middlesex Division 2 circus was back on the road last night with a round 3 clash between our clubs.
Hammer has started well in this Division and Captain Clueless wanted to notch up another good performance before the Christmas break.
Now I know this is the season of goodwill and peace on earth is what we all should be embracing, but when it comes to competitive chess, this is a step too far for Hammerites!
So, would it be “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, or a “Miracle on 34th Street” scenario??
The Hammer Heroes in Board order:
- Marios aka “Zues“
- Chris aka “Sydney” or “Showbag”
- Paul aka “Dead-Eye“
- Jeremy aka “Brexit“
- Sheikh aka “Pandit“
- Matteo aka “The Suit“
- Charlie aka “Sorted“
- Simon aka “Bond“
Hammer got an early Christmas present when Muswell forfeited boards 7 and 8 mid-afternoon. Frustrating for Bond and Sorted, but the two of them still turned up to support the team. True Hammerites to the core!!
On Board One, Zeus was playing like a God should – he had snaffled the exchange and seemed to have everything under control. Unfortunately, his opponent was a Prometheus in sheep’s clothing and got some central passed pawns rolling. Zeus struggled to halt their relentless march but the pieces or fates were aligned against him and he had to resign.
Hammer pegged back to 2-1.
Board Two saw Showbag, not only in his Christmas jumper, but also in crisp form. Just a very well-played game by our man and here for your seasonal delight is the game:
Chris had put Hammer 3-1 up.
Dead-Eye was the last to finish on board 3 and although a pawn down in an endgame, pressured his opponent on the clock. This was a fantastic demonstration of nous and chess experience in action. He literally willed the win and in the words of Picard – he made it so.
Watching Dead-Eye in action is fascinating – he summons amazing focus and willpower to every struggle. He is totally immersed in the moment and is the epitome of Hammer Chess.
Hammer cruising at 4-1.
Board 4 was Brexit territory. Our version – unlike real life – is in superb form this season. He is currently 3-0 in individual games so far – could he make it 4-0? The answer was an emphatic yes – he won at a romp – with a strategy of building pressure on the c and d files and winning material. He is definitely on the road to rediscovering his best form.
Hammer over the finish line 5-1: victory secure.
Pandit on Board 5 was involved in one of those games where he had an edge but deft liquidation by his opponent allowed him to secure a draw. Frustrating for our man, but he still kept the scoreboard ticking over. Hammer 5.5-1.5 ahead.
Finally to the Suit, who has a window to play a lot of chess. He is currently on garden leave and hence not subject to the demands of Italian banks or financial markets. He is able to enjoy his chess without serious distractions.
Basically, he massacred his opponent – he was a rook up early on and from there on in it was simply a matter of conversion. This he duly did and delivered another point to the Hammer side.
A decent win that gives this pleasant match card, and very satisfactory table:
Hammer currently at 83% and heading into Christmas in fine fettle.
There will be tougher challenges ahead, with Harrow, Albany and Hendon encounters in January, but captain Clueless is content and ready for the dietary and alcohol excesses of the Festive Season.
Part One of the Middlesex 2 Odyssey is done and dusted – roll on Part Two.
Hammer 2 Middlesex Division getting it done. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.