Hammer Firsts vs. Cavendish: Round 6 – The LL Online Open Division

Yep, in this holiday season the games come thick and fast. The next Hammer challenge was Cavendish – one of the strongest clubs in London and armed with a huge history. I have to say, the last time our clubs clashed in anger was a Division 2 match in May 2019. The result a stunning 7.5-2.5 win for the Hammers. A definite statement win at the time, for a club aiming for the top division of the LL.

The Hammer team comprised of the following total heroes – in board order: Ryszard, Carsten, Chris D and Jonathan.

Like last week, before I go to the match report – were you able to identify Week 5’s concealed chess figure? It was the great Viktor Korchnoi – a true fighter 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 answers in the feedback.

Before I go to the match report, I must first evoke the great Stephen Sondheim and refer to the chorus from Cell Block Tango in the brilliant musical Chicago. Please forgive the editing:

“They had it comin’
The had it comin’
They only had themselves to blame
If you’d have been there
If you’d have seen it”

Yes, you guessed the Hammer crew were on top form. After three draws and two gut-wrenching defeats, a win was long overdue.

This was a great result. First the scorecard:

Board 1 saw Ryszard playing White against a tough opponent. His FM-titled opponent ventured the Benoni and this is what ensued:

At this point hostilities were ceased and a truce was called – it was quite a double-edged position, a wise move by our man.
Hammer 0.5 – 0.5 Cavendish.

Although not a Celtic Tiger performance, it was definitely the performance of a Tiger.

Carsten on Board 2 played ultra-solid – he was never in trouble and the game was long drawn before it was actually agreed – however Carsten had to be accurate – Q & P endings are never easy.

Carsten has been so solid in this competition – never in danger and taking draws where appropriate.

Hammer holding the line at 1-1.

Still all to play for.

Chris D on Board 3 played a total peaky blinder – this game is worthy of close study, especially the re-routing of the white bishop manoeuvre. The decisive error was black playing f4, but I think Chris was strategically winning anyway. This was a brilliant win. The ending was devastating with memories of a stunning world championship game in the mid-1960’s.

Hammer deservedly ahead at 2-1.

The fate of the match was over to Hammer stalwart Jonathan – under immense pressure he delivered. Two weeks ago, I commented on a definite change in his match approach – this was again on show – excellent time management and excellent tactical and strategic control.

His fearless attitude brought a win and a 3-1 victory for Hammer. In the end it was a win in time, but his position was strategically won.

A fabulous win by the Hammer crew: 3-1, woo hoo!

Lord Clueless is ecstatic – Hammer so deserved this win and remember what I wrote last week: “In fact the injustice will spur us on next week against Cavendish. I know it will” – I predicted it!

Lord Clueless is in supreme mental health and order has been restored in chess cyber-world.

Hammer power is on the march.

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