More mixed fortunes for our LOCL teams

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 4 November, 2020

On the third London Online Chess League match night, our A and B teams once again experienced contrasting fortunes.

Hendon A scored another excellent victory in the open division, this time against King’s Head!

King's Head Bangers Hendon A
Rick McMichael
2268 1 - 0
Rob Willmoth
Colin Mackenzie
2013 0 - 1
Savas Marin Stoica
Alex Bourke
1855 0 - 1
David Amior
Pierpaolo Zeni
1428 0 - 1
Andrew Medworth
1 - 3

Our opponents had a very strong reserve player, Feliks Kwiatkowski, rated 2268 (the same as their Board 1), but for some reason didn’t select them. Our side was also weakened when I had to play myself after Alex Leslie withdrew.

(It was a rather disrupted week, with London going into a COVID-19 lockdown starting tomorrow, so some late cancellations were to be expected!)

Fortunately, I managed to win my game within the first hour. David Amior won a few minutes later, after his opponent went wrong in a drawish rook ending (see below): this is becoming a bit of a pattern for David!

Savas played a smooth positional win to beat Colin Mackenzie, which left only Rob’s game still in progress on Board 1. Rob has had some superb results recently, beating two players rated over 2300, but he couldn’t repeat the feat tonight, and King’s Head picked up a game point there. Nonetheless, 3-1 is an excellent scoreline - congratulations to the team!

Unfortunately, in the U1825 division, Hendon B suffered another defeat. Despite having a much stronger line-up than in previous weeks, we still weren’t able to overcome the East Ham Eagles.

East Ham Eagles Hendon B
Edison Figueroa
1908 0 - 1
Alex Funk
Jack Sheard
1855 1 - 0
Eugenia Karas
Stephen W Berkley
1683 1 - 0
Gideon Vecht
Moamen Hammad
1480 1 - 0
Morris Jones
3 - 1

The evening started badly, when Morris Jones missed a mate in one on Board 4, and Gideon went wrong in a slightly worse endgame against his lower-rated opponent on Board 3 (see below).

Eugenia was also positionally worse on Board 2, and was eventually ground down. The only positive came when Alex Funk’s opponent threw away an overwhelming position on Board 1, allowing Alex to eventually win in a slightly nervy time scramble.

Many thanks to everyone for playing!

Next week is a rest week for the open division, so only Hendon B will have a match next week. Hendon A’s next match is 18th November. Full schedule may be found in our calendar.

You can find a list of all stories about the London Online Chess League here.

[Event "London Online Chess League - Open"] [Date "2020.11.04"] [Round "3.6.3"] [White "Bourke, Alex"] [Black "Amior, David"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B01"] [FEN "1k1r4/ppp2p1p/5p2/8/1P1P4/8/P4PPP/4R1K1 b - - 0 22"] [SetUp "1"] 22...b6 23.Re7 $2 { This looks active, but it was the wrong call. } ( 23.Re4 { just holding the position was correct } 23...Rd5 24.Rh4 a5 25.bxa5 Rxa5 26.Rxh7 Rxa2 27.g3 $10 { The finish might be something like } 27...b5 28.Rh5 c6 29.Rc5 Kc7 30.d5 Kd6 31.Rxc6+ Kxd5 32.Rxf6 b4 33.Rxf7 b3 34.Rb7 b2 35.Kg2 Kd4 36.h4 Kc3 37.h5 Ra1 38.h6 b1=Q 39.Rxb1 Rxb1 40.g4 Rb8 41.g5 Kd4 42.f4 { White must be more careful than Black here of course } ( 42.h7 $2 Ke5 $1 43.Kg3 Rh8 44.g6 Kf6 $19 ) 42...Ke4 43.Kg3 Rf8 44.Kg4 Rxf4+ 45.Kh5 Kf5 46.h7 Rf1 47.Kh6 ( 47.h8=Q $4 Rh1# ) 47...Rh1+ 48.Kg7 Kxg5 49.h8=Q Rxh8 50.Kxh8 ) 23...Rxd4 24.g3 Rxb4 25.Rxf7 c5 26.Rxf6 { Material is level, and the structure is symmetrical, but Black is winning because his rook is better positioned and he has the lead in the race! } 26...c4 27.Rf4 ( 27.f4 b5 28.Rc6 Rb1+ 29.Kf2 Kb7 30.Rc5 Kb6 31.Rc8 Rb2+ 32.Ke3 Rxa2 33.f5 Ra3+ 34.Ke2 Rd3 35.f6 Rd7 36.g4 a5 37.Rb8+ Kc6 38.h4 a4 39.g5 a3 40.h5 c3 41.Rc8+ Kb6 $1 42.Rxc3 b4 $19 ) 27...b5 28.Kf1 Rb2 29.Ke1 Rxa2 30.h4 Kc7 31.g4 Kd6 32.g5 Ke5 33.Rf3 b4 34.Kd1 b3 35.Kc1 { The White king is just walking into a mating net here. The game finished: } 35...Kd4 36.h5 c3 37.Rf4+ Ke5 { And White resigned. } 0-1
[Event "London Online Chess League - Under 1825"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.11.04"] [Round "3.12.3"] [White "Berkley, Stephen"] [Black "Vecht, Gideon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D11"] [FEN "2r5/6pp/5p2/2B1k3/1pK1P3/2n2PP1/7P/R7 b - - 0 37"] [SetUp "1"] 37...Rxc5+ $1 { A cute idea, albeit one that should lead to a draw with best play. The ensuing play requires accuracy from both sides. } 38.Kxc5 b3 39.f4+ $6 { Very dangerous from a practical point of view, though objectively it still seems to hold. } ( 39.Ra7 $1 { was a clear draw } 39...Ke6 ( 39...b2 $4 40.Re7# ) 40.Rxg7 b2 41.Rb7 b1=Q 42.Rxb1 Nxb1 43.Kd4 $10 { Black doesn't have enough pawns to win here. } ) 39...Kxe4 $2 { Extremely tempting, but sadly incorrect! } ( 39...Ke6 $1 40.Ra7 g6 41.Rxh7 b2 42.Rb7 b1=Q 43.Rxb1 Nxb1 { With Black having a g-pawn instead of an h-pawn here, his winning chances are much better, but White still seems to be able to hold with some accuracy } 44.Kd4 $1 Nd2 45.h3 $1 Nf1 46.g4 g5 47.fxg5 fxg5 48.Kd3 Ke5 49.Ke2 Ng3+ 50.Kf3 Nxe4 51.Ke3 $1 $10 { Remarkably this seems to be a fortress! } ) 40.Kc4 $1 { The king gets back in time, and the rook can escape the pawn's threat with a check... } 40...b2 ( 40...Nd5 { would perhaps have been a better try, but there should only be one winner after } 41.Kxb3 $18 ) 41.Re1+ Kf3 42.Kxc3 { Gideon could perhaps have spared himself the rest here! } 42...Kg2 43.Re2+ Kh3 44.Kxb2 h5 45.Kc3 h4 46.gxh4 Kxh4 47.Kd4 g5 48.Ke4 Kg4 49.fxg5 fxg5 50.Rg2+ Kh4 51.Kf3 Kh5 52.Ke4 Kh4 53.Kf5 Kh3 54.Rxg5 Kxh2 55.Kf4 Kh1 56.Kf3 1-0