|Posted on May 19, 2014 at 10:35 PM|
On Monday 4th November 2013 Brewood continued their Cannock Chess League 2013-2014 division 3 season with their 3rd match of the season, away to Sutton Coldfield. The team eventually won 2½ - 1½ on an evening that started late, and finished late, but first here is the match card:
Board 1: Nigel Byrne (153) ½ - ½ John Fenby (124)
Board 2: Noel A Brown (Ungraded) 0-1 Mark Keady (Ungraded)
Board 3: Marek Biernacki (119) 1-0 Paul Wright (101)
Board 4: Des Green (44) 0-1 David Blower (96)
When we next go to Sutton Coldfield you can be sure that John Fenby knows where it is! John was taking Paul Wright and I. The journey to Sutton Coldfield’s chess club went extremely well. There were no delays and we managed to get to Sutton Coldfield’s chess club venue at 7:00pm. This was in plenty of time for the start time of 7:30pm. It had been a good start to the evening.
That would be a bit too simple though. The car park was a bit empty as John managed to park the car, but none of us were worried as we were early. I went to see if we could get in the building and then found out that Sutton Coldfield had moved venues, and it was unknown to us where exactly the new venue was.
Mark Keady was making his own way there and a dreadful thought had set in about if Mark Keady was making the same mistake as us. Match report for the website: “Sutton Coldfield 4-0 Brewood. Brewood default all 4 boards as everyone goes to the wrong venue.” He had done the sensible thing and checked Sutton Coldfield’s website. It was as if he was pre planning to go to a chess match!
There was now an ever so slight sense of panic in the car although no one quite said: “don’t panic!” If this was a film some music would have started up, coupled with John Fenby driving like a maniac around Minworth. Instead the A-Z map was got out and we stopped at every red traffic light. A couple of wrong turnings later and we eventually made it.
Mark Keady: “You found the venue all right then?” Mark had being here a while, and was sat down watching TV.
David Blower: “Don’t talk to me about it,” I said with a smile.
After we settled in, the match eventually started at 7:40pm, only 10 minutes late which was not too bad.
Onto the match itself and detailed board match reports for boards 1, 2, and 3 are unavailable, but will be added if they become available. It is easier for me to do my own match reports though.
Board 4: Des Green 0-1 David Blower. This was the last match to finish going beyond 10:00pm, and would decide the match in Brewood’s favour, with both of us having used up nearly all our time limit. I was down to the last 10 minutes, Des to his last 5 minutes. The chess opening in this match was: D31: Queen's Gambit Declined: Queen's Knight Variation.
There was an early exchange of my bishop for his knight on moves 6 and 7, but all 16 pawns remained on the board. The pawn structure became completely interlocked on the Queenside with the a, b, c and d pawns all blocked from moving forward. We were both shaking our heads and looked up at each other smiling. I have never had a game with such an interlocked pawn structure before.
Des offered me a draw after move 19. I stated to him that I would look at the other 3 matches before deciding. All of them were roughly about even and none of them were close to finishing. Had we already been 2-1 up with a draw from myself guaranteeing us a victory I would have probably accepted the offer. As it was I had to decide purely based on the board and it was even on material.
However I still had an idea of how I could try and win the match. It seemed like Des was not moving with any plan in mind, he had made backwards and forwards moves with the same pieces and had locked up the pawns himself, when in my mind it would have been better for him not to do this.
His dark squared bishop was completely locked in under his own pawns, as all 8 of his pawns were on dark squares effectively making it useless. Typing in “bad bishop” into Google might in the future contain a reference to this match.
With the queenside pawns locked up the most important reason in my mind of why I had rejected the draw at this point was because I had shifted both my knights to the kingside and with the knight’s maneuverability in closed positions, I concluded I had a slight advantage. Another factor was that I could double up my rooks more easily. Both of these factors did turn out to be important later on.
A successful pawn push from e6 to e5 to e4 was achieved by myself, before Des played 29 f3 exposing his kingside and allowing myself to play 29…exf3 exposing Des’s backwards pawn on e3. Soon enough my entire army was concentrated on this backwards pawn from Des.
The exchanges happened as follows:
32 Qxf3 Ng4xe3
33 Bxe3 Rxe3
34 Rxe3 Rxe3
Des confessed at the end of the match he was surprised at my move order for this set of exchanges as he had being expecting 33… Nxe3. At the end of it I was a pawn up. The pressure was increased greatly by the fact that now a crowd had gathered to watch the last game to finish.
I had already seen Paul Wright next to me had tipped his king over, and John Fenby and Mark Keady were discussing their results with each other, Mark had won and John had drawn and I had overheard the conversation.
John Fenby (whispered to Mark Keady): “It is all on this match.” Thanks John! To be fair I had worked out my match was important anyway, as the crowd round my board confirmed. Every so often John Fenby would go round to the side of the board where no one else was standing as if he was trying to get a better vantage point from which to view the board.
Shortly afterwards Des blundered his knight. As Andrew Davies would say: “when you are ahead simplify,” but I did not. I did see the chance to gain more material with some queen moves. However if whilst doing this I blundered the queen I would lose the game. I……….. was……… playing…….. the……. moves………..this…….. slowly with John Fenby almost losing the will to live whilst watching.
Every so often I would make my move and then John would walk away from my board in disbelief. However my strategy worked as I gained 4 more pawns in material including the b, c and d pawns to completely unlock the queenside pawns for myself. I then exchanged queens and had an easy pawn promotion when Des resigned.
“I dragged that out for a bit didn’t I,” I said to John, fully aware of what he had being thinking during the match. With that we went home.
Overall then a good result for Brewood and at this point it was a case of Played 3, Won 2, Drawn 1 with us being in early contention to win the league. The next match would be against Rugeley on Tuesday 12th November 2013 when it was to go wrong. As tempted as I am to skip that match report details of the match against Rugeley will follow soon.