Match report: Clifton A – Bath A

Date: 18/04/2017
Clifton A 2.5-3.5 Bath A
James Cobb 1-0 David Buckley
Gareth Morris 0-1 Aitor Garcia-Ruiz
John Curtis 0.5-0.5 Horia Bogdan
Duncan Grossett 0-1 Adam Musson
David Collier 0.5-0.5 Clive Walley
Igor Doklestic 0.5-0.5 Christian Brown

Another match, another mix of good play and bad play, which has been the story of our season. At least the beer was good.

David was first to finish, again. He looked, to my inexpert eyes, to have done everything right in a Najdorf, but apparently he was more worried than me about Clive’s attacking chances, and readily agreed a draw.

Dunc also finished quickly, but rather less successfully. In a kind of delayed exchange Spanish he got his pieces stranded on the queenside, and Adam was eyeing up his king. A quick bishop sac, a rook lift and that was that.

My game was another interesting one. I was probably a bit worse through the opening, but it felt like my kind of position, and when I managed to exchange a couple of bits and break in the centre it all felt good. It was still only equal, and with both Horia & me trying to win it could have gone either way. A few tactics, a few bits flying about, and it all fizzled out into a dead drawn endgame. Such is life.

Meanwhile, Igor was looking to attack on the white side of a closed Sicilian. It all looked a bit slow, and in response Christian was motoring down the centre and queenside. When I next had a peek it had all gone horribly wrong for Igor, with way too many black pieces wedged in his position, and I mentally chalked it up as a loss. Igor fought though, and a draw was agreed in a strange ending that looked easier to lose than win, for both sides.

James continued his good form with a nice game against David. He played a Nimzo and focussed on initiative and activity rather than structure and material. That in itself means I probably didn’t really know what was going on. It looked good though.

Last to finish, Gareth had a long, complex game against Aitor. Gareth looked fine to me, with an advanced pawn and good squares against Aitor’s two bishops. Something must have gone wrong though, since when I next looked he was the exchange down with some, but not enough compensation. Aitor wrapped it up cleanly.

Finally, congratulations must given to Downend A on winning the league. They’ve been much the best team this year and thoroughly deserved their victory.