Lord Clueless with the third instalment of dispatches from the virtual battlefront.
Hammer Firsts were again in action Wednesday last week against the force that is/was Petts Wood and Orpington (PWO). Previous PWO line-ups had shown a couple of players above 200-grade on the top boards with two very decent 150 plus players on boards 3 and 4.
A really tough challenge for Hammer.
Another week – another line-up – with Ryszard and Christof stepping up to the plate again, Adam answering the call and Lord Clueless finally making his season debut.
Before going to the match report were you able to identify Week 2’s concealed chess figure…? It was Jose Raoul Capablanca... a true genius of the chess board. In this week’s report another historical figure lays hidden. The clues are once again in bold and please enter your answer in the comments!
So, to the match…
First, the result – yet another draw – this is definitely a Petrosian start rather than Tal-like from the Hammer firsts. Solid and dependable, as against outrageous.
To be honest I think Hammer dodged a bullet here with the Clueless default win securing the draw. However, two of the actual games were full-bloodied encounters with no quarter given with Christof and Adam displaying true Hammer grit.
Ryszard had a Petrosian draw, I cannot hold that against him as he has played a lot of online chess recently and he also had black. Indeed, this was the most unlike Ryszard game I have ever looked at. His natural style is keep fighting, striving for the win and eschewing any draw offers.
That said he was black and your first job is to equalise – which he had nearly achieved, so a smart draw against a tough opponent.
Board 2 saw Christof playing white in a truly complex battle that ended up being across the whole 64 squares. Whoever said the London System is dull really needs to look at this game. This was Christof striving so hard to win and walking that very fine line between disaster and glory.
Enjoy this no-holds-barred encounter:
With time running down rapidly on the clock, Christof took the offer of a draw. The end position is almost study-like and if blitz was an option, I think the game would have continued. The result could have gone either way, there were many possibilities. This was definitely reminiscent of a 1967 Leonid Stein game where anything could have happened and did happen!
However now at 1-1 and with Lord Clueless being awarded a default win, and not being allowed to play his usual Najdorf Sicilian, all eyes turned to Adam.
Playing White, Adam played his usual London System opening – however, this game went very tactical, very quickly. This was another game that went tactical very early on and in this situations one mis-move can cause a calamity – alas for Hammer it was Adam who cracked first. However, this is a game worthy of analysis as there was so much play on the board.
Adam fought to the end and I am just gutted having answered the call he could not gain the win his play deserved. Clueless is and was very grateful.
So, we arrive at the familiar score of 2-2 and a third draw for Hammer Firsts.
This leaves us mid-table with perennial rivals Kings Head next up on the 18th November.
Once again Lord Clueless implores all Hammers to get involved in the LL Online – this is a competition that is trying to be different and offers something new to all players.