A Very Bad Night at the Surbiton Office

22.02.17 – Thames Valley League: Surbiton A v Hammersmith

Last night storm Doris blew in – in the form of Surbiton A – and hit Hammer TV with all its might. It was an awesome demonstration of power.

In chess terms it was seismic: Fischer v Taimanov or Larsen comes to mind. It was dark…

After our excellent performance last week against Richmond, we were brought crashing back down to earth. The scoreboard currently stands at 7-0 with one adjournment. The man holding out is Sheikh, in a position where he faces a long fight for a draw.

I think with the exception of Sheikh, Jeremy, and new member Marios, we all played badly.

The first to fall were Bajrush and myself – followed shortly after by Matteo. To be honest, there’s nothing much to say for any of us. Bajrush was a Rook down plus facing a pawn on the 7th rank. Matteo blundered a piece early on and yours truly contrived to lose Rook and pawn for a lone Knight. What followed was death by a thousand cuts.

Following on behind were Marios and Brian. The former is clearly a talented player who is a little ring-rusty but will be a good player for the club in the foreseeable future. Poor Brian had to face one of those rare situations where a bad Bishop is totally dominated by a great Knight in a pawn ending. There was no way out.

Carsten succumbed to a move Nh4!! This allowed him to take his opponent’s Queen, but a Knight sac on g6 was a forced mate. It had all been going so well. In the pub analysis afterwards he berated himself for allowing Bc4 at a critical point in the game. His worst game of the season so far.

Thus, to the unluckiest player of the night…. Jeremy. He had an unbelievably complicated game and achieved a winning, but very double-edged position. The sort of position where one false step leads to an instant loss. Unfortunately, he could not negotiate his way through the complications and sadly fell, with a deserved victory so close.

And so, to Sheikh. He had one of those games that required a lot of piece-shuffling. The adjourned position is tough for him with Black holding most of the winning chances. Fingers crossed he can hold it.

A dark night in all. Although we were out graded by an average of 20 points per board, the result was very hard to take. No amount of alcohol could hide the fact we were simply outclassed on the night.

Here endeth this sorry tale of chess woe!!

Result: Surbiton 7-0 Hammersmith (1 adjournment)

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