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AUSTINS v MONARCHS:- Tues 13 Nov 2018

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 14, 2018

Well, the first Monarchs game of the season got off to an ignominious start with a heavy loss to the Austins 31-23 on handicap.
The Monarchs lineup was
1.Pete Chrichton
2.Derek Blair
3.Dave Foster
4.Dave Humphreys

Pete was the only one to salvage a score with a quick draw against George Glover. Pete, with the white pieces, decided on a double fianchetto setup and an early, queen side expansion, but, after a flurry of exchanges, which left the position devoid of any real chances for either side, the game was agreed drawn on move 19.

Derek, with black, faced off against Bill Burgess. Opting for a Dragon Sicilian, the game became very tactical right from the start. Derek went for an aggressive charge down the h-file with Harry, the h-pawn! However, white was able to exchange off a well posted knight on g4 and quickly neutralise the king side pressure. Derek then took the bold, some might say reckless, decision to castle long, putting his king on the half open c-file. With white castled on the king side, we had a classic, opposite side castles duel. White, with two extremely active knights, invaded black’s position with tempi against his queen, and soon forced the win of an exchange. The game simplified down to a rook plus 7 pawns for white versus a bishop plus 5 pawns for black. White managed to generate two, powerful, connected passed pawns in the queen side, whose rapid advance forced Derek’s resignation on move 48.

Dave Foster, who has made a welcome return to the club this season after completing his studies, locked horns on board 3 with John Lydon. Dave, with white, went for the London system. Black forced open the c-file and gained a strong initiative by doubling his rooks there. Coupled with a queen side pawnstorm, black was able to force the win of a rook. From here the game was similar to Derek’s. Black penetrated white’s position with two, active knights coupled with the invasion of a rook on the 2nd rank. Dave was forced to resign after 35 moves.

I faced Bill Hardwick. Our last meeting was at the Summer Jamboree, where I managed to win. This time however, Bill got his revenge! He opted for a Reti opening, with an early fianchetto of the queen bishop. I couldn’t recall the last time that I had faced this line, and had no idea what the current theory was. I tried to steer the game down a Kings Indian Defence line. Having both castled short, I tried a well known attacking variation, involving locking the center, and playing for a king side pawn storm, supported by queen, both knights and bishops. Bill played another standard idea by attacking on the queen side. He forced open the c-file, and pushed his a and b pawns. I decided to ignore what he was doing, and went for a counter pawn storm on the king side. However, I badly misjudged the position that resulted in his advanced b-pawn on b6, which gave him an outpost for his rook on c7, allowing him to penetrate my position with an attack on my queen. The a2-g8 diagonal was also open. Then, I regained an early pawn loss with a capture with my knight. This left the knight on an undefended square. I realised that at the time, and fully intended to either re position it, or defend it later. You can probably quess what happened!! I forgot all about it and blundered it away on move 30, in my usual, suicidal, way!! The pressure eventually became too much and, rather than prolong the agony, I resigned on move 32

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