"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Grantham-2 beat Radcliffe & Bingham

Another round of Nottinghamshire league was played at Grantham Chess Club. The visitors came from Radcliffe &  Bingham.

Radcliffe & Bingham
David I
London N
Hebert A
Murfet G
Palmer T
Taylor M
Mason B
Morell LJ
Grummitt W
Buttery J

The match started on the top board with quick drew in 18 moves. Nick London, who has got very good season this year and has beaten several strong players in this league (Alex Combie [192] or Richard Webster [182] for instance) launched London System  (1.d4, 2.Nf3, 3.Bf4, 4.e3, 5.Bd3, 6.c3), a deadly weapon quite popular at club level, but the game quickly came by transposition into Exchange variation of Caro-Kann with Black's king-side fianchetto. Shortly afterwards both players liquidated the centre and exchanged so many pieces reaching deadly drawish position.

Another draw was agreed later on the board 3 between Trevor Palmer and Marcel Taylor.

Ben Mason playing Len Morell on the board 4 gained positional advantage which was later transformed into material one and later into final victory for Grantham team. Good stuff Ben.

Will Grummitt on board 5 played quite interesting game which went into ending with blocked position where his opponent playing White had doubled pawn but pair of Bishops. 
Buttery J - Grummitt W after 34.fxe3

Will's opponent - John Buttery - mistakenly exchanged his light-squared Bishops and then Will's Knight became superior piece to opponent's dark-squared Bishop which, together with his very active centralized King gave William massive positional advantage and later on Will secured another victory for Grantham. Let's have a look what happened in the diagram position:

34... Kf8 35.Kg2 Ke7 36.Kf2 Nf8 37.Bb2 Ke6 38.Ke2 N8h7 39.h4 g5 40.hxg5? 


40...Nxg5 41.Bg2 Nfxe4 

Amazing position. Two Knights are superior to pair of Bishops! Exceptions that proves the rule. 41...Ngxe4?! 42.Bh3+ Kd5 43.Bc8


White made a school-boy-mistake. He traded his "good" bishop. From now on the position is lost, however, even after better 42.Kd1 White's position is not very promising... 

42...Nxe4-+ 43.Kf3 Nf6 44.e4 h5 45.Bc1 Ng4 46.Kg2?! 


46...f5 47.Kf3 fxe4+ 48.Kxe4 Nf6+ 49.Kf3 Kd5 50.Bg5 

[50.Ke3 Kc4-+] 

50...Ng4 51.Bd2 Kd4 52.Ke2 e4 53.Be1 Nf6?! 

Black threatens.... what? Better was 53...e3! which was gaining space.... 

54.Bd2 Nd5 55.Be1 Kc4 56.Bd2 Nxb4 57.Ke3 a5 58.Kxe4 a4 59.Ke5  

[59.Bc1 Kxc5 60.Kf5 Kxb6 61.Ke6-+] 

59...Kxc5 60.Be3+ Kc4 61.Kd6 Nd5  

[61...a3 62.Bc1 a2 63.Bb2-+] 

62.Bc5 Nf6 63.Ba3 Nd5 64.Bc5 Kb3 65.Kd7 a3 66.Kc8 a2 67.Bd4 Nxb6+! 68.Kxb7  

[68.Bxb6 a1Q] 

68...Nd5 69.Kxc6 Nc3 70.Kc5 a1Q and White resigned. 

Well done Will.

The most interesting battle we witnessed on board 2 where Andy Hebert played against George Murfet. George employed Modern Defence and Andy simply developed pieces in the Dragon Sicilian style putting dark-squared Bishop on g5, Queen on d2 then castled queen-side.
George weakened his king-side by not inevitable move h5 which from the first sight looks bit "unpositional" and which also lost some time. Despite that such a move has already been played in the competitions it is difficult for me to recommend it. 
Then Andy stroke sacrificing his light-squared Bishop on f7 which objectively was an unsound sacrifice in Tal's style, however, in over-the-board fight with time more limited than it used to be in the Tal's era such a sacrifice could work. In tactical struggle not without inaccuracies on both sides the position was unclear, sharp but long time balanced. Both players missed several chances to gain advantage but finally it was Black who made decisive mistake and Andy turned the advantage into final victory.

Interesting game in fighting spirit.

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