"Those who say they understand chess, understand nothing" -- Robert HUBNER

Match Result

Season 18/19
Date Mon 12 Nov 2018
Competition:Hillingdon League Division 2
Fixture Ealing 'B' v West London '1'
Result L: 2-3


BoardGradeEaling 'B'
West London '1'Grade
1 Philip Makepeace
Staller, Ecco 177
2 Simon Healeas
Hayler, Andrew 171
3 Amr Khalil
Kamath, Raghu 168
4 Alastair Johnstone
Campbell, Russell 154
5 Martin Loat
Winter, Stuart 80

Captains Comment

David Websdale writes:

Hosting West London, we fielded a competitive team, with average grading just 4 points below that of our opponents. After some closely contested games and some eventful finishes we went down by 2-3.

On board four, Alastair was happy to get the white pieces after thirteen games with black. He opened with Nf3 that developed into a Catalan. Approaching the time control and on the back foot, Alastair found a counter-punch that would allow him to win a pawn. But with time running out, he agreed to his opponent's offer of a draw.

Amr accepted his opponents King's gambit on board three using the Cunningham line (3...Be7,4.Bc4;Bh6+) leaving his opponent to develop his King at f1! After two hours play and 16 moves Amr was a Knight to pawn up and threatening mate in one. His opponent could only hope to secure perpetual check, which Amr avoided but allowed the white Queen to get back in the game and defend the mate threat. Exchange of Queens was followed by a draw offer from white. Although a piece up, Amr had nearly 20 moves to make in little time and cautiously accepted the draw.

On board five Martin playing with black in his staple Pirc defence, sent his f6 Knight on a tour via h5 to exploit the weak g3 square but he had overlooked a pawn push with discovered check (hitting his queen) and had to bottle out and accept a one pawn deficit and white's strong e4,d5 pawn centre. There then followed a patient middle game as Martin tried to find a way back into the game. He eventually found equality around move 30 with active pieces and threats on the open c file. A few pieces were swapped but white kept his major pieces active and at last activated his central pawns. In time trouble Martin tried to stop white's runaway pawn on d6 with Rd8, but this just allowed some well chosen Queen checks that resulted in the loss of the Rook and Martin tipping his King.

On top board, Phil played the unusual 4... h5 against his opponent's 4. Nc3 in an Advance Caro-Kann (unusual, maybe, but it gives the highest percentage wins from over 4000 games in my Chess365 database). He quickly established a good centre and passed d pawn but at the expense
of King safety. Being unable to swap minor pieces proved fatal as the white Bishops quickly dominated the position and when a lone white pawn advanced to the seventh rank the game was lost. This was Phil's first loss since February - pity it had to be on this night.

Simon's game, with the white pieces on board two opened d4 and reached an identical Catalan position after seven moves as in Alastair's game. As in that game black emerged from the opening with the slightly better position. Throughout the game his opponent enjoyed a stable but enduring edge which eventually translated into an (almost winning) attack. However, Simon's position was not without latent resources. With just over half a minute left on the clock, Simon sacrificed a Rook - accepting the sacrifice was the only move available to black, but was followed immediately by mate. Rather unusually, the Queen on h1 mated the King on h6. This thunderbolt was the most memorable finish I have seen in six years with our club.