"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Grantham-2 "Massacred" by West Bridgford-2

West Bridgford versus Grantham again. This time it was match of second teams of both clubs. West Bridgford put up the strongest possible line-up of its team this time. So Grantham players were outgraded on all boards...

West Bridgford-2
Webster RJ
David I
Truman RG
Mason B
Antunes A
Holt C
Hill FR
Cumbers C
Budd C
Scarborough J

First game ended up with a draw on board 4. Chris Cumbers playing with Black pieces against Frank Hill, defended himself solidly in Petroff's Defence and game quickly came into a Rook ending and both players shook the hands.

It was not very good day for Ben Mason and Joe Scarborough.

Ben, playing Black against Richard Truman, did not play the opening by the book, quickly obtained inferior position and Richard did not give him any chance.

Joe Scarborough had also one of those days. In the opening he did not deploy his pieces optimally and Chris Budd gained quickly massive material advantage. Joe, despite short of material, fought and showed his resilience, alas,  it was too late.

Two points down, all eyes were focused on the top board and and board 3 where Chris Holt and I were trying to make wonders.

Position after 36...Nxc4
Chris, playing against Andre Atunes rated some 23 points higher, had difficult task. In the English opening he was doing well, but finally blundered a pawn in move 36, just after the time control. 
However, if you have a look at the diagram position, despite this unpleasant fact of blundering the pawn on c4,  White position looked very solid and perhaps Chris could have played more accurately and kept the draw. Commenting his game Chris says: "Problem is now that I think I am lost and I spent too long thinking that I had made a stupid mistake...".
And this became fatal. In very complex ending when Black was slightly better Chris lost on time! 

Now, have a look at this position a bit deeply. White to move played 

which was met by 


[37...Nb2+ 38.Kc2 Nc4 39.Kd3 followed with draw by repetition was something what Black did not want.]  


[38.a4!? was an interesting alternative to the text. 38...c4+ 39.Kd4 Bc5+ 40.Kc3 Nb8 
(40...Be3 doesn't work very well because of 41.Ng5+ Ke7 42.Nxe6!! An amazing tactics in the ending! 42...Nxe5 
(42...Kxe6?! 43.Nc7+ Ke7 44.Bh4+ and now 44...Nf6! is very likely the only move keeping the balance on the board! (44...Kf8?? 45.e6 Nf6 46.Bxf6 Bc5 47.Nd5 and Black is lost!) 45.Bxf6+ Kd7 46.Nd5 and it is only White if anybody who can claim some edge.) 
43.Nec7 Nd3 44.Nd5+ Kd7 45.Nxe3 Nxe1 46.Nxc4 And smoke has disappeared and the game looks equal.) 41.Nd6+ Ke7 42.Nxc4 and the game is balanced.] 

38...bxa5 39.Nd6+!? 

[In the game was played 39.Nd2 Nb6 40.Nc4? Nd5 41.Nxa5 Nxf4+ 42.Ke3 Nxh3 "Here I lost on time", says Chris. The game could have continued 43.Nc4 Bd8 (43...f4+ 44.Kf3 Bh4 45.a4 Bg3 46.a5 and Black can even lose if he is not careful.) 44.Nbd6+ Ke7 45.a4 Kd7 46.a5 Kc7 47.a6 Kb8 48.Nb7 Bh4 49.Ncd6 c4 50.Nb5 c3 and Black is on the right track.]  


[39...Bxd6 40.exd6 Nb6 41.Ng5+ Kf6 42.Nh7+ and draw by repetition.] 

40.Nc4 a4 41.Ng1 Bh4  

And actually I cannot see clearly the way how the Black can proceed to win. 

42.Ne2 Be1 43.Nb2 Nb6 44.Nc4 Nd5 45.Nb2 etc. 

I just can congratulate Chris for excellent game against higher rated opponent where he missed just a little bit of luck! ... And time of course.

On the top board, I did not play opening by very ambitious fashion and Richard Webster gained small edge. But  somehow I manage to simplify position and approaching to a time control both players were running out of time. Then Richard overlook some tactical motif in move 27 which was very tempting to play despite that it was perhaps not the best continuation and the position became equal if not tad better for White. Alas, under time pressure in complex position I chose a wrong continuation ("blundered" in other words) and was forced to resign.

Well, result looks like a disaster, but on board 1. and 3. Grantham-2 was short of a little bit of luck ... Hopefully next time.


  1. Rich Webster01/02/2012, 14:16

    It was a tough game Ivan, especially once we were both short on time. I'd missed the Ng2 "defence" when playing 38...Qd1+, and then had to find the Ne2 idea. Rich.

    1. Thanks Richard. But honestly, it was very interesting game and I really did enjoy the climatic final! You were better and I made the last mistake. You won deservedly! on