An apparently comfortable win and a fine scoreline for the defending champions, now on a quest for our own ‘nine in a row’! Not quite as comfortable as the scoreline suggests though.
Ed’s game was a complex affair, and Stockfish flags up a series of errors rather too subtle for most of us to discern. It was finally decided when Ed’s opponent fell into an elementary double attack to lose his rook, one that even I spotted!
David’s win was a bit more straightforward, as he sprung from his customary Philidor-esque cocoon to overwhelm his opponent with a decisive counterattack.
Jacques opponent’s pawn advances from his Dutch stronghold left just too many holes, and he broke through in impressive fashion with Queen, Rook and Pawn combining in a stirring attack.
A rash of middlegame complications left Stephen in quite a state, at one point three pawns down, and an opposing pawn on the 7th. It wasn’t looking good. But a staunch rearguard action eliminated the potential new Queen, and Stephen managed to get the deficit down to a single pawn, and then steer into a drawn ending. A fine rescue, and the history of this event has shown that every half can count.
The grading difference may have suggested that such a scoreline was on the cards, but delivering the result is a different matter. An excellent start to the title defence guys.
A tough one for the B Team. Jim found himself in a cramped position after the opening – something he usually doesn’t mind too much! This time though he was unable to unravel and his opponent gradually squeezed the life out of his game.
Alastair fought a heavy positional battle where he always seemed a little better, and indeed entered the ending a pawn up. But with the pawns all on the same side he was unable to make headway, even with the same coloured bishops.
Ross came through well in a difficult game where he was mostly better, but John did miss chances to at least draw. Ross seized on his mistake in the K&P ending and never let him back.
Phil was defending a scary looking king-side attack and seemed to be holding on, but a slight innacuracy let Martin crash through and emerge with a decisive material advantage for the ending.
Sir Philip Cohen
Dundee C 2-2 St Andrews D
For the second match running we found ourselves playing just three boards. Unfortunately this time it was us who defaulted when we were unable to reach Bruce.
I equalised comfortably from the opening, but misplayed things badly and stood worse when my opponent offered the draw.
Andrew found himself in all sorts of trouble on his debut – an exchange and two pawns down – but was fighting manfully in what still looked a hopeless ending. He gained a reward for his persistence when his opponent tragically (for him!) stumbled into a knight fork to lose his rook, and Andrew mopped up well.
We were looking good when Thibault built up a seemingly unassailable material advantage (+11 at one point!) but an extraordinary (for him) series of mistakes allowed the game to fade into a difficult ending, even two pawns up. Further errors let the advantage slip completely into a drawn end.
Could have been better, but a draw from a default start isn’t bad.
A very wild night! Really, all four games could have gone either way, but unfortunately it was our guys who made the last crucial mistake in each game, and allowed their opponents to finish them off.
A sobering introduction for our two debutants. Steven will be particularly disappointed after winning queen for knight early on, only to gradually lose his extra material over the course of play. Keith also went through an extraordinary sequence of moves where he was losing, then winning, then worse, then winning, then… before finally falling into a mate in one, when he could have won his opponent’s queen the previous move.
But it’s a first game, which is never easy, and the next game will be better. The E team is particularly there to give new players an intro to competitive chess, even in its current online version. The important thing is to learn, either from self-study, engines, or at the club where we’ll be happy to go over the games with them.
Dundee C took on a St Andrews team of previously unknown quality. Ungraded St Andrews players are almost always perilous! A depleted but, as quickly became clear, strong side. It was a tad strange that they were only able to field three players even 24 hours in advance, and the default proved crucial. Bruce found himself mugged in the opening by a well prepared opponent whose grade is clearly well understated. Ross found himself in a tough and uncompromising struggle where his command of the 7th rank finally proved decisive for an excellent win. My own game was an equally tough fight, where I recovered from a worse position to equalise. It was again a little surprising that my opponent should offer the half with his team 2-1 down, but certainly the game is drawn.
So a fine start to the C team campaign against a side that will be up there through the season I’m sure.
The first mildly competitive club chess night of the return! A friendly and fun night in which our new members showed up very well. The main thing being that everyone enjoyed it, and we hope to keep this and other activities going, to encourage everyone to play, learn, and most of all to enjoy chess.
In true friendly spirit, four of us decided to share first place! Some really interesting and occasionally strange play, as is typical of 15 minute chess. Hope to do it all again on a regular basis. Come and join in 🙂
Captains will be in touch soon. Some players have not replied to confirm that they are happy to play this year. If you do not wish to play please let me know immediately. Or if your name is not on the team list below and you wish to play let me know.