Central 1 v Gambit 4

(From observation and players’ comments)

The First Team usually have the look of a sleeping giant in the first half of the season and you always felt that there was a severe thrashing just waiting to be dished out. Unfortunately for Gambit 4 they were in the right place at the wrong time on Tuesday night.

Alan, on top board, played a Nimzo-Indian against Onus Kofi-Ofuafar. Having had a few games with John Harrison down the club recently where John had experimented with some unusual lines in this very opening, Alan was not entirely surprised by his opponent’s 4.f3. The resulting position was fairly even with progress difficult on both sides. Onus spent a fair amount of time walking around looking confident but the position became very sharp (mutual Queen sacrifices being possible in some variations). Eventually Alan ended up with a Bishop for two weak Pawns and systematically simplified into a clearly won ending.

John Harrison has had to wait a while for his first win this season but when his own unusual line resulted in his opponent Gary Hopkinson going wrong in the early complications and losing his Queen to a Knight fork, the result was never in doubt. Gary battled on all the way to checkmate but John appeared to be stifling a yawn for most of the game.

Steve is looking very comfortable now on board 3 in Division 3 and this match was no exception with a smooth win against Derek Padvis.

Graham, on board 4 against Mick Harper seemed to have made a New Year’s resolution to play some interesting chess. He offered an exchange sacrifice and Mick couldn’t resist the offer of “a big, fat, juicy Rook”. According to Graham this was a mistake and he wrapped up the win soon after.

Andrew (in the running for most improved player this season, along with Alex) faced Margaret Gretton on board 5. The win apparently came about through ‘tacking’ (“you mean ‘attacking’?). No, Andrew had borrowed a sailing term to describe probing for weaknesses on both sides of the board. This eventually led to an error from Margaret and the 5-0 win was duly completed.

Promotion looks very much on the cards now.


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