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

Match Result

Season 19/20
Date Tue 28 Jan 2020
Competition:Thames Valley League Division 1
Fixture Hammersmith 'A' v Ealing 'A'
Result D: 4-4


BoardGradeHammersmith 'A'
Ealing 'A'Grade
1149White, John D
Philip Makepeace
2200Bonn, Thomas
Rajat Makkar
3194Pedersen, Carsten
John Quinn
4197Skulte, Christopher
Alan Perkins
5187Kelmendi, Bajrush
Tony Wells
6186Eche, Sylvain
Simon Healeas
7193Stevenson, JAmes AB
Hristo Colov
8173Brixel, Christof
Alastair Johnstone

Captains Comment

Ealing A took another step towards league safety with a second successive away draw at reigning champions Hammersmith.

On paper it looks Hammersmith started the match with a significant grading difference – not many teams in this league field a 193 on board seven – but the differential was much narrower at the top than the bottom and the results reflected this.

Once more, Rajat set the tone with a rapidly concluded win on two. So fast indeed that he had already left the scene before I could see how the win was achieved.

John then consolidated our good start with a draw against Hammersmith stalwart, Carsten Pederson who, until recently, was the perennial leader of the line for the home team.

But trouble lay in store on all the bottom boards.  Firstly Hristo, faced with a near 40-point deficit fell on seven followed by myself on bottom board. I had survived the opening (a Caro Kann) unscathed, but carelessly dropped a pawn whence my whole position unravelled with unseemly haste.

Simon was also bested on six to leave us 3½-1½ down but a quick survey of the remaining boards gave considerable grounds for hope of a comeback.

On seeing Alan’s position, even I could see he had a textbook won ending and he duly delivered, while on five, Tony was also on the verge of a win with unanswerable threats. Bajrush desperately searched for an escape but after some twenty minutes though he accepted the inevitable.

So the match result hinged on the game on top board, where Phil was facing John White who had been drafted in when Hammersmith‘s slated board one - a German IM – failed to show.  With a 60-point grading difference one would be forgiven in thinking that the game was a shoo-in for Ealing but, all credit to John for frustrating Ealing’s hopes of a match win by holding on for a draw. Indeed, as the last moves of the QP finish were played out, he even threatened to emerge with a win but Phil held firm.

A win would have been wonderful but, on the balance of play, a draw was probably the right result and we continue to inch our way up the table.