With two matches against each South Tyne team in the season there have been plenty of chances to get to know other teams and players.
This match was a chance for the Dyvels to even the score, having lost to Austins earlier in the season. To win (over the boards, and on handicap) Dyvels needed 2.5 points from 4 games.
In the first game to finish Peter Booker (handicap 8) was at a strong disadvantage playing one of South Tyne’s most reliable players this season, Drew Millar, on board 4.
Although Peter often plays the Queen’s Gambit on this occasion he appears to have been thrown by Drew’s use of the Symmetrical (or Austrian) Defence (d4, d5; c4, c5)
“I should have handled it better”, explained Peter, “but I was surprised, but failed to castle and failed to chase off his queen which he put on the a file immediately. He quickly brought up his two knights and a bishop and castled. I had no attack plans that I could develop and got cramped and confused trying to defend. I was completely outplayed and swiftly executed.” 1 – 0 to Austins.
The second game to finish was that of Tim Wrigley on board 1, in which Tim played a French Defence – exchange variation, which has a reputation for grandmaster draws – against Chris Royle.
“However,” as Tim explained, “Chris played an early c4, and then castled Queenside, which seemed anything but drawish. He also pushed his c pawn to c5, which blocked the middle, and gave me a clear strategy. I fianchettoed my King’s bishop and pushed the Queens side pawns. Although I had a clear advantage, I was getting short on time, and unsure how to continue, until an attractive Rook sacrifice won the day.”
Playing through the game later it looked as if Tim encouraged Chris to choose options that increasingly limited his choice of options for his pieces, and took full advantage of Chris’s decision to castle Queenside with a nice combination of pawns pushed on, and a nice combination of knight, rook and queen closing in to secure the win. 1 -1 the game score.
Black (Tim) to play and win
On board 3 the two team captains, Bruce Reed and Bill Hardwick, played a game of two halves. In the first half Bill attacked strongly with pawns, knights and queen bearing down on black’s Kingside castled king while Bruce steadily defended using everything he could muster after an early (rash) Queen foray on the white Queenside turned to nought.
In the second half an unwise choice of a square for Bill’s Queen (as he tried to find another way through the black defence) lead to a pin, an exchange of minor pieces, a won pawn, then an exchange winning a rook for bishop, followed by further material gains, and the game was over. 2 -1 to Dyvels.
Phil Taylor and Bruce Wallace are fairly evening matched (graded 120 to 115), with Bruce having had the better of previous encounters between the players.
The game started evenly. “I have been trying out the Queens Pawn game sliding into a Kings Indian”, explained Phil, “and black matched my moves, the both of us being in book until move 7. With both of us finishing the King-side development the Queen side came into play with Queens mirroring each other on c2 and c7. I developed multiple threats against blacks a, c & e-pawns and something had to go. But it didn’t for a long while.”
Knowing that he needed a win to save the match (and secure a win for Austins on handicap) Bruce showed signs of the pressure, and with 10 minutes on his clock to Phil’s 30, he made “a minor mistake” that Phil capitalised on, winning a piece.
“Black resigned immediately, feeling the position was lost – knowing my propensity for blunders I’m not so sure. It was a tight game with threats on both sides but I managed to keep my opponent defending for the most part and eventually it paid off.”
This match finished 3-1 to Dyvels, and 30 to 23 including handicap points. With a loss to Austins away, and a win at home, the result evened up the score.
|Tim Wrigley||2||1||4||0||0||Chris Royle||4|
|Phil Taylor||4||1||4||0||0||Bruce Wallace||5|
|Bruce Reed||4||1||4||0||0||Bill Hardwick||5|
|Peter Booker||8||0||0||4||1||Drew Millar||5|