With a comfortable 5½-2½ home win against visitors Enfield, our 2nd team clinched promotion back to the 2nd Division of the Middlesex League with a couple of matches to spare! With 5½/6 match points, we re-took the lead in the 3rd Division from Harrrow 1, who also recently secured promotion.
|Hendon 2||Hendon 2||Enfield 1||Enfield 1|
|1||Bennett, Michael K||170||0 - 1||Thethi, Pritpal S||180|
|2||Iwi, David||162||1 - 0||Kyriacou, Kyriacos||145|
|3||Pepe, Salvatore||159||1 - 0||Efthymiou, Demetris||142|
|4||Jones, Chris S||151||0 - 1||McNish, David||136|
|5||Limonov, Petr||144||1 - 0||Dover, Robert||132|
|6||Jones, David||144||½ - ½||Clarke, Anthony J||121|
|7||Rogal, Chris||143||1 - 0||Nicholas, Paul||121|
|8||Lennard, Graeme||120||1 - 0||Banks, Stephen||113|
|5½ - 2½|
Mini-Report by Adam Raoof
So: going into this match Mike and Chris had done the maths and knew we needed a draw to guarantee promotion back into the second division. Enfield, however, can field a pretty strong team on a good day with the wind behind them. It was a relief therefore when Captain Steve sailed in and announced “we’ve got a weak team tonight”!
In practice it was not so easy. Chris J, celebrating his 50th birthday that day, lost a hard game against a Golders Green veteran. Then we had a solid draw from David Jones, and Chris R squeezed a win to level the match – good one, Captain!
Opinions were divided on the state of the match at that point. I thought it was gradually going our way, but I was mindful of the clock situation on Petr’s board (as usual: dire) and David Iwi’s board (level ending, refused a draw offer, heading into a time scramble). Mike was doing a magnificent job of disguising his material deficit in an endgame but it looked like his 180 (ex 190+) opponent was determined to try to win. In fact all the games were going the full distance!
Petr snapped up a loose piece. Salvatore too, with a neat tactic. David won an assured rook and pawn ending. Graeme ended all resistance with a crushing breakthrough in a Dutch Stonewall blocked position. The match was ours!
Now we need to get together a third team for next season!
Note: U = adjournment