Sunday, December 17, 2006

Team Updates: London League 1, Croydon League 2

"Was it Wimbledon v Streatham, Wimbledon v Watford, Watford v Streatham, or Watford v Watford?" writes Martin about our London League Division 1 match on 30th November. "It was impossible to tell. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and had played each other a hundred times before - all very convivial, but it didn't stop the slugfest."

Well, I'll solve the mystery. It was Streatham 1 versus Wimbledon 1. And, indeed a slugfest it was. The score of that match currently stands at 5½-5½ - with only three draws amongst all that. I blogged the finish of my game from the evening here - while the match will be decided by Adam W's adjourned game.

The above position is taken from Adam F-F's game on the evening. He had black against Mark J Dubey on board 5, and describes the action as follows:

After a dull ‘strategic’ game we were both down to around 15 minutes left to complete the game. I made an error on my previous move, leaving us in the above position. Can you spot White’s move?

36. Nxd6! Losing concentration can be costly! I decided I didn’t fancy being a routine pawn down, so tried to mix it up by taking the knight (36. … Bxb3 37. Ncxb5! achieves little). 36. … Rxd6?! 37. Rxd6 Now 37. … Rxd6 38 Nxb5 is horrible, so sadly the queen has to go. 37. … Qxd6 38. Rxd6 Rxd6. Despite the material deficit Black has some open lines and threats. Unfortunately, White has another trick up his sleeve that I had missed 39. Nxb5 cxb5 40. Qc8+ Bb8 41. Qxg8 Rd2+ 42. Kc3 Rxg2

Now the smoke has cleared and White has a winning endgame, but with little time and an annoying passed h-pawn to deal with, can he convert it? If there were one more pair of pieces on the board he could ‘play for mate’, but the queen can’t do it alone. At least he has a draw ‘in hand’…

43. Qd5+ Ka7 44. Qf7+ Ka8 45. Qxf6 h3 White needs to somehow combine pushing his e-pawn, disrupting Black’s h-pawn’s progress and even bringing up his king to help in the mating attack. 46. Qa6+, 46. e5 or 46. Kb4 looked good to me, but instead he chose 46. Qh8? (this wasted move probably throws away the win) 46. … h2 47. Qh7? losing to the simple 47. … Rg1. It transpires that White had missed the fact that the bishop on b8 covers the pawn on h2, and thought Black was just tied down!! Unfortunately, White cannot give any checks and his unfortunate king position means there is no perpetual as Black can bring his rook back.48. Qd7 Rc1+ 49. Kb4 h1=Q 50. Qd5+ Ka7 51. Qd4+ Ka6 52. Qf6+ Kb7 53. Qf7+ Rc7 54. Qd5+ Ka7 55. Qd4+ Ka8 56. Qd5+ Rb7 Despite having no more checks, White plays on in the time scramble. 57. Ka5 Qa1 58. a4 bxa4 59. bxa4 Qf1 60. e5 Bc7 mate. I expect White had nightmares about that one!
And that's what we mean by slugfest . . .

Meanwhile, Richard sent me a brief note about our Croydon League Second Team: "We lost night’s match at Dulwich. It stands 3-0 to them, but hopefully we will avoid the whitewash as Jonathan has much the better of things in his adjourned position."

So, that's two adjournments to wish Streatham & Brixton Chess Club players good luck in. Good luck!

1 comment:

ejh said...

Is there any mileage in 37.Nxb5 ?