|Posted on December 15, 2015 at 12:30 AM|
The webmaster gives his apologizes about the awful match report title! It is however, a statement of fact, as the Brewood B team got the first match point of the season with a 2½-2½ draw, away against Stafford B, on Wednesday 9th December 2015. Here is the match card:
Board 1: Pavel Nefyodov (161) (Black) 1-0 Paul Guest (120) (White)
Board 2: Kenneth J McNulty (124) ½ - ½ Mark Binfield (112)
Board 3: David J Barker (116) ½ - ½ David Blower (105)
Board 4: Peter FK Evans (107) 0-1 Stephen Bird (102)
Board 5: James Topp (75) ½ - ½ Peter Crozet (96)
Total: Stafford B 2½ - 2½ Brewood B
With the news that Andrew Lenz was unable to play given to me just two days before the match started, for unavoidable reasons, a quick phone call to Peter Crozet later, and we were back up to a full team. It meant that everyone else was shuffled up a board, although they only found this out, once I got to the venue.
It was my first ever visit to Stafford Chess Club. Amasal Sports & Social Club is the home venue for Stafford Chess Club. For those who know the venue, we were in the bowling green room. Our match was the only chess action taking place in the room. Here is what happened:
Board 1: Pavel Nefyodov 1-0 Paul Guest. Paul was competitive, but Pavel made excellent use of both of his bishops to win pawns, meaning he could then trade pieces, and still keep his advantage of pawns. Pavel’s two bishops were raking the board, and near the end of the game, Pavel had pinned Paul’s knight, with the use of a good rook.
Paul Guest commented: “I was hoping my opponent would make a mistake, but at the end of the game, it was me making all the mistakes.”
David Blower reaction: “He certainly made good use of both of his bishops. Once he got them going, he didn’t really give you any chance.”
Paul Guest: “Yes, I realised as soon as he had moved his bishop that I had made a mistake.”
Pavel skewered Paul's king and rook to eventually trade down to a four v two pawn endgame. Pavel used his king and with good king placement from Pavel, Paul was faced with one of two choices, either a certain checkmate after one of the pawns was queened, but which would take several moves, or resigning. He chose to resign knowing it was hopeless.
Board 2: Kenneth McNulty ½ - ½ Mark Binfield. Stafford’s Facebook account described this draw as a fortunate draw for Kenneth. Certainly at times it looked as though Mark would win this one for us, but at other times, Mark looked to have a strong checkmate attack against him.
Mark had gone the exchange up, but Kenneth then launched an attack with a combination of Queen and Bishop. Although Mark was up in material, all of Mark’s pieces seemed poorly placed to deal with such an attack. Mark had to play accurately to stop the checkmate attack from succeeding and he did so.
After Mark had moved his King out from the back rank, Mark at this point offered a draw. I was watching the game quite closely, and could not see a continuation to the attack, but it was one of those situations where you felt sure that there must be some sort of a checkmate soon.
Kenneth could not see such a continuation either, but he felt there must have been a win somewhere, but he could not see how it would come about. A draw was agreed, and this has to be said it was a good result for Mark.
Board 3: David Barker ½ - ½ David Blower. Stafford’s Facebook account described this as a predictable draw. It certainly is true that we quickly cancelled each other out. The chess opening in this game was: C01: French Defence: Exchange Variation.
After seven moves, my opponent played what he described as a crazy move leaving his bishop and his knight en prise, with my own bishop now being attacked twice, and my own knight also being attacked. It meant, in simple terms, that a series of exchanges would take place on two different areas of the board, one of those which can easily be messed up.
By move ten, the sequence of exchanges had being completed, without one of us blundering! It meant that a knight, bishop and queen had been exchanged. By move twenty, the other bishop for both of us and both rooks had being exchanged, meaning that both of us were left with a knight and seven pawns each.
With 14 pawns on the board, we then both decided to lock up the pawn structure, in such a way that we both would not let the other one make any progress. Realising that there was little point in just moving pieces about for the sake of it in our own back three ranks, a draw was agreed and this was the first match to finish.
Board 4: Peter Evans 0-1 Stephen Bird. Stephen Bird got us the only win of the evening which helped secure the draw for Brewood. Stephen had got his knight into a very strong position, and this caused all sorts of problems for Peter, with Stephen threatening some forks. Stephen’s strong knight meant he won the exchange.
From there Stephen traded pieces and this led to an easy win. I realise I make this game sound straight forward, but it was an entertaining game (from Brewood’s point of view at least) to watch. By the end of the game Stephen had got a very large material advantage.
Board 5: James Topp ½ - ½ Peter Crozet. This game was the last game to finish. I filled in Stafford’s match card for them, in such a way to let Peter know that he could look at the match card if he wanted to, so that he could know what he had to do, if he wanted to. Temptation got the better of Peter, and he duly did that. It was 2-2 with four matches complete.
Peter Crozet commented: “I’d rather not know that!” Peter however now knew that his result would decide the overall match result.
Although James is graded 75, he has being as highly graded as 115 in the past, and is a good player. James’s grade looks certain to go up in January. James is also top of the Wolverhampton & District Chess League’s best players so far this season, so whilst Peter might have out graded James by 21 points, it was certainly never going to be an easy game for Peter and so it proved.
A crowd gathered round the board, everyone was watching. The Stafford Facebook account stated that this could be considered a hard-fought draw for James. This was certainly true. Peter felt he could have won it, and he certainly could have also lost it. During the match I had being watching and it had been even all the way through in material.
In the endgame James went a pawn up. I was watching, whilst trying not to show much emotion, but James had now got two passed pawns marching up the board and Peter was having to use his rook to stop the advancement. However Peter also had a passed pawn of his own.
Eventually James messed up his pawn promotion by bringing his two passed pawns level with each other. This game is really easy when you are watching someone else play. If James had given a rook check and then advanced the pawn it would have been more difficult for Peter to stop the queening of at least one of the two advanced pawns.
As it was Peter used his rook to stop one of James's pawns and then advanced his own pawn to the 7th rank, forcing James to take with his own rook, and then Peter managed to get his rook behind James’s own passed pawn, and with that the draw was agreed.
So there you go, we move from zero points to one point. Obviously avoiding relegation is going to be difficult, but we are going to give it our best efforts. 2016 sees us play the remaining five matches all at home. Halesowen is next up for us on Tuesday 12th January 2016, which may be important depending on how Halesowen do against Stourbridge and Lichfield.