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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Grantham-1 vs West Nottingham-1 3:2

Yesterday evening Grantham was a host of another league match in NCA, Division 1. West Nottingham 1 has very ambitious team, with quite a few young player. On paper the match looked a forgone conclusion with Grantham heavily outgrading West Nottingham on all boards but West Nottingham raised themselves to the challenge. 

West Nott’m-1
Mangione C
Levens D
Birtwistle N
Kingston I
Payne N
Williamson E
Prior S
Kenyon M
David I
Kenyon A

On the top board Claudio played his favourite Modern Defence and David Levens went for f3 setup. There is no doubt that Claudio had overplayed him and had achieved won position; however, the chess is an art, a science and a gamble... And it had happened to Claudio. After series of weak moves he had been deep in soup. Luckily, David Levens was much too short of time and with flag hanging and one minute to left or so he offered a draw which Claudio accepted (with relief I suppose).

On the board two Nigel Birtwistle did not have much too troubles with Ian Kingston, very brave player, however, his game plan and strategy was rather optimistic if not even naive. Being behind the development he launched an attack on the queen-side, trying to sacrifice some pieces to decide the game. Nigel, however, is battle-harden adversary for such adventures. He not only parried the queen-side attack but he attacked on the king-side and you can make opinion for yourself.

as required to display the chessboard

Steve Prior on the board four played one of talented youngster of West Nottingham, Mark Kenyon. In Steinitz Variation of French Defence Steve played solid simple chess, knowing well that these juniors bet all on the tactics.
Solid positional play brought small advantage which Steven slowly but gradually stepped up. It was second full point for Grantham 1.

My game on the board five was an exhibition of "missed" tactical chances. It was simply one of those days...
In won position I even had seen the winning combination but having seen the ghosts I had decided it was too risky! Then I wanted to be brave, when simple exchange of Queens led to perhaps won ending.
Last ditch, the light pieces ending my opponent did not played very smart and I found some resources, then, short of time I overlooked drawing move. Running out of time and enthusiasm I decided to call it a day.

Grantham 1 as a defending champion has made another important move forward.
And one curiosity to finish with: It was first time in the history of Grantham Chess Club when the league match was played with digital chess clocks on the home ground.

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