Reivers v Tynemouth Warriors

This match took place in Corbridge on Tuesday March 4th, with the following line-up:
1. Dave Foster sr (120) v Richard Oxnard (135)
2. Steve Larkin (125) v Phil Jackson (124)
3. Phil Taylor (125) v Dave Pearson (118)
4. Bruce Reed (118) v Peter Combellack (91)
5. Peter Booker (80) v default
The Tynemouth side arrived nearly 20 minutes late, due to travel problems, and lacking their board 4 player, so we started the match one point up and Peter Booker vented his spleen at having no opponent to play by thrashing Derek Blair twice!
On top board Dave continued his fantastic season with a fine win over a strong opponent. He writes: “I played black against Richard, and played the Old Benoni Defence against his d4. 1. d4-c5, a sort of Queens Gambit.
2. dxc5… accepted, so I followed with Nc6 preventing easy protection to his “won” pawn. White dutifully taking the pawn allows Black to develop both Queen and Bishop queen side, this happened quickly (!) and although Richard did counter-attack down the centre I was allowed to push a queen side Rook pawn to dissolve his position. My surprise refusal of an offered Bishop, instead taking a crucial centre pawn, elevated his already compromised position into a car crash. As any attempt to reinstate his attack led to either mate or material loss he resigned after a fair bit of thought.” 2-0
On board 3 Phil faced another man very much in form and was swept aside. He writes: “With a significant workload on recently I have not been at my best over the past few months but my game with David Pearson of Tynemouth took me even further down the performance ratings. With his e4 start and my O’Kelly variation of the Sicilian I felt comfortable but for some reason I thought I’d introduce a bit of a novelty, fianchettoing my King side bishop before playing d6. This was a big mistake and white promptly placed his queen on d6 which basically set the tone for the rest of the game. Instead of accepting my punishment and bringing my bishop back to f8 to chase the queen away I linked knights with Ne7. Extricating myself from this tight squeeze took me more moves than I wanted and this allowed my opponent to bring a speedy King-side attack into play. I was running out of options and pieces as I had to lose first a couple of pawns and then a Knight just to stay in the game. It was all to no avail as my restricted pieces could not mobilize fast enough on the King side and the inevitable came at move 26. I’m looking forward to the end of this season.” 2-1
Bruce ensured the overall victory with a win on board 4. He writes: “By move 15 of the game against Peter Combellack of Tynemouth Warriors I had pawns on a3, b4, c4, d3, e4, g3 and h3, and Peter had pawns on a6, b5,c6,d6, and e5 with all remaining pawns on their starting squares, and both kings castled kingside. All minor pieces were active, and mutually supportive of each other on our own halves of the board, with my bishops on b2 and g2, and all of Peter’s pieces centralised on the first second or third ranks. After a flurry of small exchanges in mutual attempts to find a breakthrough / gain the upperhand in the following 10 moves the game was still evenly balanced. A misjudgement (‘blunder’ !) on my part as I began to attack on the king’s side lead to the loss of a rook and pawn for a bishop, but gave me the chance of an open f file controlled by my rook, and to redeploy a bishop and queen in attacking positions. Within the space of a couple of moves, as he sought to protect pawns and pieces under attack, and limit the potential for queen/bishop/rook combinations winning pawns and pieces, he misjudged his options. In successive moves I won a rook, threatened to win a knight and / or his other rook, and as he sought to limit the damage I took a pawn with a bishop, forked king and rook, and when he realised I also had a forced mate on the next move he resigned. For most of the game it was an evenly balanced and tight contest for space and position, which briefly swung his way after the bishop/rook exchange, and then as it opened up, presented me with strong attacking chances that proved decisive when he made unwise choices on two successive moves under pressure.”3-1
Steve was last to finish. In an otherwise even game, he blundered a bishop for nothing on move 32 and resigned a hopeless position on move 41. 3-2.
So the Reivers finished their season as they started, with two wins which moved them firmly into the top half of the table. Overall performances during the season were as follows:
Alex Ashworth Played 3 Won 1 Drew 0 Lost 2 Ave board 1.0 33%
Dave Foster sr ” 7 ” 5 ” 2 ” 0 ” ” 2.1 86%
Steve Larkin ” 7 ” 3 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 2.2 50%
Phil Taylor ” 6 ” 0 ” 2 ” 4 ” ” 2.2 17%
Bruce Reed ” 5 ” 1 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 3.8 30%
Dave Foster jr ” 5 ” 1 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 4.0 30%
Damian Rudge ” 4 ” 3 ” 0 ” 1 ” ” 5.0 75%
Peter Booker ” 2 ” 1 ” 0 ” 1 ” ” 5.0 50%
Many thanks to all who played and special congratulations to Dave sr and Damian, both of whom make the division 3 leaderboard.

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