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Angels v Monarchs 04 Jan 2018

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on January 5, 2018

The Angels v Monarchs South Tyne league game was played at the Tynedale Chess club on the 4Jan18. The Monarchs were the clear underdogs, but came through as worthy winners 15-19 on handicap.

The line-up saw Tim Wrigley(b) (h/c 2) taking on Pete Crichton(w) (h/c 3) on board 1. These two have played each other many hundreds of times in the past and know each other’s styles intimately. Pete opened with 1.d4 and Tim replied with a Schmid Benoni. Play goes 1.d4 e6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 exd5 4. cxd5 d6. White gains space in the center and black tries to push his queenside majority. However, Tim admitted that he made an error with the move order and elected instead for a kingside attack. The early middlegame saw Pete managing to force the exchange of black’s central pawns, and capturing black’s c5 pawn with a fork on Q and R, winning the exchange. However, the effort left Pete’s pieces somewhat uncoordinated, allowing Tim to make a double attack on knight, with a pawn and rook with his queen, allowing him to quickly regain the lost material. This was pretty much the pattern for the game. It was tit-for-tat until the resulting queen+rook+pawn endgame was sportingly agreed drawn.

This is the position after Tim (black) played e4

PC v TW after 31 ...e4

On board 2, Derek Harris(w)(h/c 3) faced off against one of the doyens of the Monarchs team, Derek Blair(b) (h/c 5). We saw DH open with another 1.d4 and DB responded with the flexible 1…Nf6. Play can go down a variety of channels from here; Queens gambit; Nimzo indian; Benoni; or Kings Indian Defense to name but a few. Black chose a Kings’s Indian setup with white opting to fianchetto his king bishop. By move 9, both queens had been exchanged on b6, a rarely seen line in master play, giving DB a half-open a-file at the expense of a slight weakening of his queenside pawns. With his central pawns giving him more space however, DH was able to force open the long white diagonal and eventually invade the black position through the center, with rook, bishop and knight coordinating nicely to attack the weakened, black pawns, which eventually forced black’s resignation.

On board 3, club chairman Steve Larkin(b)(h/c 4) took on his old sparring partner Bruce Reed(w) (h/c 5). Play started with 1.c4 the so called English opening. According to Wikipedia, the English is the fourth most popular opening in master play. In hypermodern style, white stakes a claim in the center from the queens wing. The opening is often used to transpose into a number of other lines. Steve opted for the sharp response 1…e5, going into a reversed Sicilian setup. Both players castled kingside. The c-file was opened, and Steve built up some strong pressure with his queen and both rooks along that highway. However, in his efforts to gain space on the kingside, Steve had left his king somewhat exposed. Although he went on to  generate some lethal looking pressure along the a7-g1 diagonal, Bruce, maintaining his Buddah-like serenity, dodged and ducked the blows, took advantage of a slight lapse in concentration by black, and was able to penetrate the black position with his queen, supported by his well posted bishop on b3. Trapped in the middle of the board, with vital escape squares cut off by his own pieces, black’s king became ensnared in a fine mating net, forcing his resignation.

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