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Friars v Monarchs

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 8, 2017

The match was played at the Stone Inn in Hayton on 7th November.  The Friars started out with a 4 point handicap deficit of 20-24. So they had to win 3 out of the 4 games to win the match. It was an overwhelming win for the Friars, 34-26 on handicap which translates to 3.5 to 0.5.
The line-up for the Monarchs was:-
1) Pete Crichton.
2) Derek Blair.
3) Dave Humphreys.
4) Damian Rudge.

Pete (w)(143) was up against Alan Hiatt (b) (126). The opening chosen was the Old Indian Defense.This opening is distinguished from the King’s Indian Defense by Black developing his king’s bishop on e7 rather than the fianchetto at g7. Although considered sound, the bishop on e7 tends to be less active than on the long diagonal (Ref:- Wikipedia).
The game quickly turned down a tactical labyrinth. Pete and Alan wrestled for possession of Ariadne’s thread! Sadly for Pete, Alan got there first and was able to navigate his way through the maze with greater precision, forcing Pete’s resignation.

Derek (b)(112) faced Mike Byrne (w) (123). From what little I saw of the game, it turned into a drawish looking rook + bishop + pawn endgame. Then, with both players desperately short of time, there was a flurry of exchanges that simplified the game down to a king + pawns v king + pawns. White had a pawn on h6, blocked by a black pawn on h7. There were 3 vs 3 pawns on the king-side, but Derek’s were more advanced. With Derek’s king on d4, blocked by Mike’s on f5, the dying seconds of the game became a race to see who could get the first queen. Mike won by 2 moves, at which point Derek had connected, passed pawns on b7 and a6. After a few, desperate check’s to gain time, the game was agreed drawn as the flags fell! Our thanks go to Derek for preventing a total whitewash!

Dave(w) (82) took on Drew Millar (b) (102). Dave faced, for the first time, what amounted to a reversed Scandinavian Defense when his 1.d4 was met with 1…e5. If black gambits a pawn, it is generally good practice to accept it. The trick is not to try to hold on to it! After 2. dxe5 Nc6 3.Nf6 Qe7 4.Bf4?…Dave walked right into 4…Qb4+, which leads to the forced loss of material as early as move 9! In order to make the score sheet slightly less embarrassing, he hung on for as long as he could, blundering 2 further pawns along the way, and resigned on move 24.

Damian (b)(51) battled it out with Mike Hodgkinson (w)(85). Damian’s game looked fairly even in the king+rook+bishop+pawns endgame. However, with a forced sequence of exchanges, Mike was able to invade Damian’s position on the king-side to wipe out his pawns, giving him a pair of connected passed pawns on the f and g files. Damian, ever the stalwart battler, refused to give in as first one, then the other of Mike’s pawns both achieved royal status. Desperately hoping for a stalemate, as the flags on the clocks began their inevitable rise along the hour hand, alas, it was not to be, and Damian was mated in short order.

Lets hope that the Monarchs can rise to the occasion on their next meeting with the Friars.

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