Reivers bashed

The Reivers’ opponents at the Dyvels on Tuesday Nov 13th were Gosforth Regents, who arrived with the unimpressive record of 3 defeats in 3 matches, but a pretty strong-looking side. The line-up was

1. Phil Taylor (126) v Noel Boustred (136)

2. Bruce Reed (121) v Ted Jarah (129)

3. Steve Larkin (107) v Kristian Mills (126)

4. Karl Skowronski (u) v Steve Wilde (125)

5. Peter Booker (77)  v  Brian Ord (82)

No doubt about the hero of the night. Karl had embarked on a club championship game with Dave Foster junior, having been assured that, as reserve, he was not required for the match. When Alex Ashworth failed to turn up, Karl was obliged to abandon his game and dive straight into a tough match with black on board 4 (and Dave F jr very sportingly agreed to keep Karl’s scoresheet for him). Unperturbed, Karl rattled off the moves at a great rate to reach an ending where he had a queen and five pawns against Steve’s rook, bishop and one pawn. It looked a very tricky proposition, but Karl just kept checking and checking till eventually Steve slipped, dropped his rook and resigned. That would have been an impressive performance from a man half Karl’s age! 1-0

Alas, after that moment of glory, it was downhill all the way. On top board, Phil just wasn’t in the mood. He writes: “Noel is graded 136 but that shouldn’t have been a problem for an up-and-coming board one like me. He played an opening I was not too familiar with (e4+f4+g3) and I soon made a simple error through not giving the whole position much thought. After going knight to pawn down I adopted a devil-may-care approach and actually didn’t do too badly. The problem with moving quickly and in such a cavalier fashion is that it is easy to miss an opportunity. I missed the chance to equalize and three moves later was pinned back and had to resign.” 1-1

On board 3, Steve faced the London opening and proved his own worst enemy. First he miscalculated to drop his d pawn and then proceeded to gift his f pawn to Kristian, who remorselessly punished such slapdash play, bottling up Steve’s king, bishop and rook in a totally unproductive corner, before forcing the removal of the rook, aided and abetted by more stupid play. Oh dear, oh dear! 1-2

Bruce dropped a pawn early on and saw another pawn doubled. But while Ted held this slight advantage, Bruce’s position was solid and much manoeuvring on both sides produced a position where each side was a mirror of the other. With time fast running out, it looked as thought it might end in a draw, but Ted managed to force a passed pawn which could not be stopped and Bruce resigned. 1-3

Which left Peter gamely battling on till his clock dropped, albeit in a lost position. Brian had 3 connected passed pawns and there was no way Peter was going to stop them, but along the way he had given Brian plenty to think about and the issue had been in doubt until the very last stages. 1-4

Overall, a drubbing which left at least some of us feeling bruised and wishing we had the skills of a 95 year-old!

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