Friars put out their strongest team of the season to play their last match against the Dyvels, with John Kelly (grade 165) brought in for his first game of the season on board 1, and team captain Daniel O’Dowd, who had scored 6.5 out of 7 he had mainly played on board 2 or 1 dropping to board 4.
It was clear from the Friars line-up that they were keen to win so that they could take the top spot in the league table ahead of the Monarchs final game against Austins.
John Kelly (grade 165) played against Jeremy Handley on board 1. Like many of the Austin / Friars players, John is a member of the Carlisle club (see http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/?club=Carlisle), which offers the Austin / Friars teams a powerful resource to draw upon for crucial games.
John played a Dutch Defence (f5, responding to d4), and Jeremy (grade 151) appeared to have the better of it until, right near the end he managed to leave a rook en pris, handing the game to his opponent.
On board 2 Tim Wrigley (grade 149) had a battle against Paul Rivers (grade 151), whose only previous outing had been a draw on board 1 against Ian Mackay of Haydon Bridge.
Paul pressed with advanced white pawns on the Queen’s side, and Tim had a hard fight for equality. In the end the match resulted in a draw, claimed by Tim on the grounds that the position had been repeated three times.
Tim wrote : “Paul Rivers and I played a French Defence Advanced variation, that I should have been familiar with, but I went wrong early on, and ended up going backwards, Paul pushed his Queen side pawns, and had all the initiative. He then tried to weave a trap to catch my Queen, harassing my King & Queen with his Bishop & Queen. In the process he repeated a position three times and I was glad to take advantage of the “Three position repetition rule”. With hindsight he should probably have swapped the Queens off for a won ending of “Bishop & 4 Pawns against Bishop & 3 Pawns”.
Paul Rivers disputed this (on the incorrect grounds that the position had to be consecutive repetitions – see the relevant rule at the end of this report), but, with fellow Carlisle club members Bill Hardwick and Ian Mackay in attendance to help arbitrate, the game was replayed and Tim’s result was upheld as a draw.
With Friars needing to secure 2.5 out of 4 games to win the match, Friars were particular anxious not to let the match slip away, following an excellent win by Peter Crichton (137) against Jason Maxwell (grade 133).
Jason has had a terrific season, with 5 wins out of 5 playing on boards 2 and 3 for Friars. Peter, however, had one of his most assured games of the season:
Peter wrote: “I was on the White side of a Queens’ Gambit. The opening was fairly even but my opponent, Jason Maxwell, allowed me to push my d pawn to d6 where, if it could survive, it would cause disruption to his slightly cramped position. It did survive and with most of his major pieces isolated on the queenside I was able to generate a kingside attack which yielded a pawn and the exchange. Jason fought on but, constrained by the d pawn, he was unable to generate any counter play and when a pair of rooks came off he was forced to sacrifice a knight for the advanced pawn leaving a hopeless position which he duly resigned.”
With the match at 1.5 all, and the Dyvels needing only a draw to win on handicap, it all came down to the result of the final game between Daniel O’Dowd (grade 130) and Bruce Reed (grade 121).
Daniel has had a magnificent season, finishing joint second in the British under 160 grading championship – a performance which has helped take his previous grading of 130 to 147 in the latest ECF grading adjustment.
Daniel O’Dowd has played thoughtful and very committed chess recently, and triumphed earlier in the season against Jeremy Handley on board 1 of the Dyvels v Friars home match – annotated, as one of several of his South Tyne games, on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJjWivFD2Ns
The game between the captains was closely fought throughout , with Bruce electing to play an Accelerated Fianchetto Sicilian defence (e4 c5, Nf6 Nc6, d4 cxd4, Nxd4 g6) – also known as the Accelerated Dragon.
Until the last 5 minutes (under 3 minutes on Daniel’s clock, and under 2 on Bruce’s) the game looked fairly even with a lot of potential play on both sides, and two rooks, minor piece and six pawns apiece.
Under pressure, however, Daniel’s play was far superior. A mistake by Bruce – trying for the third positional repetition which would have resulted in a drawn game and drawn match – leaving Dyvels sister team, the Monarchs, to get only a draw in their final match of the South Tyne League to win the League title – allowed Daniel to break open his defence, and seize the initiative in the final rapid play scramble. Bruce resigned, material down, with 4 seconds remaining.
The relevant thrice recurring position rule in the FIDE laws of chess is 9.2, is as follows:
The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by sequential repetition of moves)
a. is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or
b. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.
Positions as in (a) and (b) are considered the same, if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same.
Positions are not [considered to be] the same if a pawn that could have been captured en passant can no longer be captured or if the right to castle has been changed. (FIDE 2005, Article 9.2)
|Jeremy Handley||2||0||0||4||1||John Kelly||1|
|Tim Wrigley||2||1/2||2||2||1/2||Paul Rivers||2|
|Peter Crichton||3||1||4||0||0||Jason Maxwell||3|
|Bruce Reed||4||0||0||4||1||Daniel O’Dowd||3|
(This Table was revised by Tim W in the light of Daniel’s comment on the post – 9:03 on Apr 10 )