Match review of Northenden v Altrincham B 19/11/18 by Ben Imrye.
Any of you that have been following the Carlsen/Caruana World Chess Championship will know that their match stands at 8 draws out of 8 games, where each game has been practically even throughout. All those at the chess club last night will know however, that this was certainly not the case with our match. –The fireworks certainly flew. Proceedings began as John welcomed the guest team and announced a delayed start to allow time for an absentee on the away team to arrive; thus showing, as always, that Northenden really is the friendliest chess club in the district. The absentee arrived, and the battle began. Khalid had black on board 3 playing his favourite Pirc defence against 1.e4. His opponent pushed his pawns very aggressively, creating many weaknesses, and Khalid was spoiled for choice as for what to attack. After building a good attacking position, Khalid missed a bishop check which ultimately lead to his demise. After a nasty queen sac tactic, Khalid was mated on the back rank by a bishop and rook. 1-0 to Altrincham. On boards 4 and 5, both Lionel and Eddie had almost identical Caro-Kann positions after the first few moves, both ending up with an open c file to build their plans around. Lionel had black on board 5 and took control of the c file early in the game with Rac8!. After deflecting a king side attack, he used this file to bring his rooks to the 7th rank, win a shed load of material, and subsequently the game, bringing the match to 1-1. On board 4 with white, unlike Lionel’s opponent, Eddie attacked on the queenside, launching a knight deep into black’s camp, winning a rook. Eddie hadn’t even broken a sweat, with an easy win ahead of him after using only 10 minutes of his clock. His opponent knew that he was in dire straits and that conventional strategies wouldn’t work, so he thought outside of the box to come up with an ingenious plan… He didn’t move for 45 minutes, (literally,) and waited for Eddie to fall asleep. (Figuratively.) Then, while Eddie was sleeping, his opponent struck with a check on the c file that picked up two rooks for free. Very cunning indeed!! Eddie was devastated, but after some tactical play, Eddie showed the folly of the 45 minute time gambit by winning on the clock! 2-1 to Northenden. On board one, Garry had black against a 130 rated player. His opponent played 1.d4 and Garry opted for a quiet and positional King’s Indian Defence, locking down the centre and slowing down play. After 15 moves, nothing had been traded - not even insults. When piece/pawn trades finally occurred, Garry was left with a superior position and an unstoppable back rank attack looming in the position. His opponent saw this and promptly resigned, bringing the score to 3-1. - Game and match to Northenden. This left Neil with white on board 2, playing now for honour rather than the match. He had opted for Bird’s defence (1. f4) and sacrificed a piece for two pawns plus a huge attack on the enemy’s king. Pins and forks were everywhere and this proved to be a hugely complicated tactical game, with Neil’s pieces chasing black’s king all over the board. Neil was winning, but the complicated battle had left both players with only 5 minutes each on the clock, and a splitting headache, so a draw was agreed. 3.5-1.5 Northenden. Great work team! I’m proud to be part of the Northenden squad. Ben.