Both Hendon teams victorious in the LOCL!

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 18 November, 2020

I’m delighted to report that on match night 5 of the London Online Chess League, for the first time, both Hendon teams won their matches!

In the Open division, Hendon A faced a side from Metropolitan Chess Club, calling themselves “MetroGiants”.

Hendon A MetroGiants
1
Sacha Brozel
2260 0 - 1
Tanguy Deflesselle
2193
2
Rob Willmoth
2200 1 - 0
Ian Calvert
2010
3
Savas Marin Stoica
2043 1 - 0
Jeremy Law
1968
4
David Amior
1900 ½ - ½
Jan Lepetun
1840
2½ - 1½

Savas Stoica’s win on Board 3 was cancelled out when Sacha Brozel, making his LOCL debut, ran very short of time; just when it looked like he might have survived the worst of a bad endgame position, he blundered a rook with his flag hanging.

Thankfully, Rob Willmoth had an excellent position on Board 2, which he duly converted, meaning we could no longer lose the match. All eyes were therefore on David Amior’s Board 4 encounter. He had been worse for most of the game, but thankfully his opponent used up enough time on the clock that he eventually conceded the draw, giving us the match.

I suspect David’s opponent did not know the match situation, because if he had, playing on would definitely have been the right decision for his team. There is a lesson here: always have a second browser window open in the Tornelo lobby, so you can easily keep track of the match score!

In the U1825 division, Hendon B faced the Battersea Cats, who had a rather unusual strength distribution!

Battersea Cats Hendon B
1
WGM Dina Belenkaya
2335 1 - 0
Chris Rogal
1803
2
Steve Barry
1690 0 - 1
Anthony Kent
1750
3
Joel Morales
1600 0 - 1
Nick Murphy
1750
4
Gregg Hutchence
1548 0 - 1
Morris Jones
1758
1 - 3

Chris Rogal had a tough task facing a strong WGM on Board 1, but since teams are limited in the average grade they are allowed in this division, having one strong player means the others have to be weaker, and indeed we outgraded our opponents on the remaining boards.

All games went according to grade. Chris was duly run over on Board 1, but this was more than compensated for by fine wins from Anthony Kent, Nick Murphy and Morris Jones on Boards 2-4.

My game of the round is this nice breakthrough by Savas Stoica in a rook ending: a very classy finish, showing just what a talent he is!

[Event "London Online Chess League - Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.11.18"] [Round "4.3.3"] [White "Stoica, Savas"] [Black "Law, Jeremy"] [Result "1-0"] [FEN "8/7p/r4pp1/P1kp4/5PP1/R2K4/P6P/8 b - - 1 39"] [SetUp "1"] 39...h5 $2 { Natural, but a mistake. Now Savas seizes his chance brilliantly! } ( 39...Kb4 40.Rb3+ Kc5 { would leave White hard-pressed to make progress } 41.Rc3+ Kd6 $1 ( 41...Kb5 $2 42.Kd4 $1 $18 ) 42.Ra3 Kc5 $10 ) 40.f5 $1 { A very nice breakthrough, which forced instant resignation. } ( 40.f5 { A couple of possible finishes: } 40...gxf5 ( 40...hxg4 41.fxg6 Ra7 42.a6 Kb6 43.Kd4 f5 44.Ke5 Kc5 45.Kxf5 d4 46.g7 Rxg7 47.a7 $18 ) 41.gxh5 f4 42.h6 Ra7 43.a6 Kb4 44.Rb3+ Kc5 45.a4 Rxa6 46.h7 Ra8 47.a5 Rh8 48.Rb7 Kc6 49.a6 $18 ) 1-0

Many thanks to everyone for playing, and congratulations to both teams!

The next match is next Wednesday, 25th November. Full schedule may be found in our calendar.

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