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

Friday, 1 February 2013

Gambit-2 Record Another Victory

Tuesday night, Grantham-2 team went to Nottingham to play another NCA match. This time against Gambit-2
As the new grading list has been issued it looked that Grantham players were outgraded on the most of boards.
Match was tough and the results sheet looks much worse for Grantham comparing to reality.

Sudar D
David I
Subira M
Hebert A
Jennings G
Holt C
Roper K
Mason B
Edwards R
Scarborough J

First game finished on the board two, where Andy Hebert, playing Scandinavian defence was busted by Marc Subira, who demonstrated his attacking qualities in the opposite flank attack scenario.
Battle on the bottom board was quite predictable. Joe Scarborough played fast, quite complex opening and he was outgraded some 60 point ECF. He gave to his opponent first lovely Bishop pair then a pawn and strong initiative eventually, and Gambit was two points up.

Chris Holt played against higher rated Graeme Jennings solid Catalan opening. After a pawn structure transformation in the centre Chris faced to "hanging pawns" scenario which is not everybody's cup of tea. Once Chris pushed his d-pawn forward he had obvious advantage but he missed his chance and perhaps twice. First in his next move when he played 18.Qxc3 which is quite normal move, however, 18.d6!? was perhaps the way how to keep the Black in the bay. Second chance to play for advantage Chris missed in move 24 where Nh4 looks very strong. Both players then achieved a balanced position and draw was agreed at move 26. Very solid performance against higher rated opponent!

On the top board I faced to my old rival Drag Sudar. With just one single exception, every game we have played was an interesting battle. So it was this time. Playing quite innocuous opening I surprised him completely and I achieved undisputable advantage. Then I failed to find the way how to step up the pressure and I gave him chance to free his game and out of blue sky it was me who was to face up to difficulties. Runnig out of time the situation became tense. Drag offered draw. I checked Ben's position which did not look bad so I decided to continue come what may. Drag, despite of being in time trouble, decided to complicate the position which already had been quite complex and all of sudden he made a fatal mistake. Grantham was just one point down and all eyes were focused on the Ben's game.

Ben Mason played against Keith Roper with Black pieces and we could quickly see on the board common tabiya of the Queen's Gambit Declined. But unlike all his great predecessors Ben decided not to sort the major Black's problem of QGD which is light-squared Bishop and decided to keep it on the board. He also came up with a brave idea not attack White's centre. With all due respect his strategical concept was terribly passive. And because of speed of play which is used in NCA league (and which can be considered much more like "semi-rapid" than "regular"); a passive defence gives superiority to attacker in terms of time consumption. Well, it happened to Ben. He quickly run short of time and despite that he managed to reach first time control without problems, the shortage of time was very costly after the control. Not only missed he a winning move when Keith blundered but he did not find the correct way how to defend his worse but possibly defendable position in the Bishop ending.

Grantham-2 lost second match in the row.
Our next match is going to be on Wednesday next week, this time against Gambit-3 which has already surprised several teams in this season!

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