|Posted on March 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM|
A full report of how we eventually won the Dudley Chess League Division 3 follows below, but first here is the matchcard:
Board 1: Stephen Micklewright (103) 1-0 Richard F Collett (113)
Board 2: David Blower (95) 0-1 John H Pakenham (111)
Board 3: Mark Binfield (Ungraded) 1-0 Peter J Hughes (104)
Board 4: Daniel Binfield (Ungraded) 0-1 Peter Kearns (102)
For the final match of the season, a draw against Warley Quinborne was all that was needed to win the Dudley Chess League Division 3 title. It seemed simple enough. Warley Quinborne were midtable and could not win the league. Brewood were unbeaten this season in the league.
However chess is not like football, where a draw against a midtable team to win a league would be almost guaranteed. It turned out to be the case in this game. 2-0 down with 2 boards completed, meant that Brewood had to win both of the remaining boards to win the league, and in the end we did. Here is how it happened board by board, starting with the top board:
Board 1: Stephen Micklewright 1-0 Richard Collett. Stephen managed to get a pawn up quite late on in this game and it turned into an overwhelming advantage by the end. With several passed pawns and one of them about to queen, Stephen's opponent resigned.
Board 2: David Blower 0-1 John Pakenham. David's unbeaten Dudley Chess League record came undone right at the end of the season. The opening in this game was: D02: Queen Pawn Game: Chigorin Variation. Early on in the game, David with black exchanged his bishop for John's knight, forcing John to double up pawns and producing an open g file for David to attack.
David had all of his pieces though on the opposite side of the board, and could not move his pieces round to exploit the open file. A skewer in this game from John meant that John went up the exchange, trading his bishop for David's rook. With the queens still on the board, and an open file, David played on in the hope of perpetual check.
David played check with his queen, but John blocked the check with a cross check, from his own queen. This forced the exchange of queens. This left John with 2 rooks and David with rook and bishop. John used both of his rooks to then get a pawn on the 7th rank, leaving David to lose his own rook to stop the pawn. David therefore resigned, setting up the tense finish later on in the evening.
Board 3: Mark Binfield 1-0 Peter Hughes. Mark's game was the last one to finish. Mark knew Daniel and David had lost, and that Stephen had won, so it was all down to Mark to deliever us the league title. No pressure then Mark! Apart from the whole room was watching him. The whole seasons work had come down to the last game of the season, which was down to the last 15 minutes.
After a combination of moves which involved his rook and the queen defended by his bishop from long range, Mark had set up a skewer, a check with his rook to take his opponent's queen. Peter moved his king out of the way. All Mark had to do was take the queen. The room full of chess players making imaginary moves in their head, but Mark was taking what seemed like years to do a simple move.
Eventually he took the queen. All the players body language in the room was fascinating to watch. A sigh of relief after a move, or a nod of the head, as we were all saying (to ourselves) what moves Mark should be making. Everyone in the room had become some sort of chess pundit, although in total silence of course. This was regardless of the results of their own matches earlier on in the evening!
Mark then took the knight, and the tension in the room still did not loosen up. Mark had not advanced any of his pawns in front of the king, and there was still the threat of Peter using his rook to trap Mark's king in a back rank checkmate! Everyone in the room could see it as well, but could Mark? Yes! He exchanged his queen for his opponent's rook, perhaps not the best technical chess ever, but it will do.
With no possible threats left to win, Peter resigned. All things considered Mark played very well, considering the match and league situation.
Board 4: Daniel Binfield 0-1 Peter Kearns. I know Daniel will be disappointed with his defeat, but if he learns from it, it will have been a good thing for him. He fell for the famous pawn fork trick on knight and bishop.
It started with Daniel taking Peter's knight in exchange for Daniel's own pawn. This led to Daniel's bishop and knight being on the opponent's 5th rank but two files apart, the response to which was for Peter to move his pawn forward two squares to fork both pieces, with the pawn defended by another pawn diagionally behind.
Daniel tried to defend this by counter attacking, but it did not work and he ended up losing his knight. This meant overall that both of them had lost knights but Daniel had also lost his pawn in the first place.
A pawn up Peter then used his experience and his material advantage to force Daniel into trading pieces. No matter what Daniel wanted to do he was forced into the exchanges. This left an open file which Peter took advantage to use his queen and rook to checkmate Daniel.
Overall Daniel played quite well, he did not make any obvious errors after going down a pawn, and as I said all of Daniel's moves were forced exchanges by Peter afterwards. I did show him how to defend the pawn fork trick after the game had ended when I went through it with him, so that next time he will know the right technique.
This completes a successful Dudley League season. We have been unbeaten for the entire season. Some highlights included giving our only junior at the club some match experience in which he got his first ever ECF graded victory, the 4-0 whitewash win against Mercia, the win against defending champions Birmingham Checkmates, and the final tension clinching draw to finally win the league.
It would have been rough justice had we not eventually won the league after playing so well thoughout the whole season. Every player that has played this season, played their part in helping us win the league. Stephen Micklewright being captain is easy isn't it!
We look forward to entering the Dudley Chess League Division 3 next season starting as the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS! The history of the club section has been updated to reflect this, as it is our first honours in 3 years, and viewers of the website will notice a new tagline under the title of the site. We just have a trophy (I assume one exists) to lift up now!