20.10.16 – London League 4: Hammersmith v Alfil
A great win last night against the ever-burgeoning ranks of Jerzy Dybowski’s junior chess academy! Hammersmith triumphed 5.5 vs. 2.5 against Alfil which temporarily takes us top of the league in Division 4. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts!!
Alfil are affiliated with Newham and boast a similarly talented young side. Don’t let the grades of some of these players fool you – they played far better than the numbers would suggest. 8-year old Shreyas Royal on Board 2 was particularly impressive. One to watch for the future for sure.
They didn’t get off to the best of starts though. One of their guys was unable to make it, so your captain stood down, claimed the 1-point advantage through default, and was free to prowl the hall gauging progress of the other games. Don’t expect this level of detail every week!
Chris and Rich were first to finish, claiming smart victories against their young adversaries. Chris developed a tricky attacking position, and ultimately gained the advantage by trapping his opponent’s Rook with a menacing knight amid a cramped pawn structure. Rich emerged from the opening a whole Knight-up, making the advantage count as they entered the endgame. Neither was keen on resigning though! 3-0 up in double-quick time.
Orial raced to an endgame but found himself a pawn down against his (very) young opponent. Not helped by having a loose pawn with plenty of space to move into, or by the lad’s Dad watching from the sidelines! I think Orial was surprised – and pleased – to be offered the draw, which he gratefully accepted.
Victory in the match was secured by Brian. He played a very solid game and worked his way into an endgame, one pawn up and carrying a bishop to his opponent’s knight. At one point it looked gridlocked, and a lesser man would have offered a draw, but Brian ably forced zugzwang meaning his king could advance into enemy territory. A quick exchange of pieces meant he was now clearly winning and resignation followed.
Dan was our first faller on the night, going down to a lad playing at breakneck speed – he obviously needed to get home for bedtime. A big gap emerged between the two clocks and the iinevitable mistakes came as the menace of time-trouble reared its head. Solid player though – never a 70!
The night was rounded off with Adam and Robin as we reached our time control. Adam lost in an extremely tight endgame – a knight and equal pawns apiece. His opponent found a way to force the exchange of knights and force his king through behind enemy lines. That was enough for Adam to offer his hand.
Robin played one of the more dynamic and exciting games of the evening. Lots of tactics and sharp interplay, with his opponent forced into defensive concessions from the middle-game onwards. A double attack on queen and king gave him the material advantage which he drove through to conclusion as the seconds ticked away. 4 wins out of 4 for Mr. Lee this season in the various London Leagues. A man on form!
It took us 10 matches to get 1.5 points last season. This time we’ve done it in 2!
Well done all – let’s keep it going! Double header against Metropolitan coming up.
Result: Hammersmith 5.5 – 2.5 Alfil