Both Hendon teams drew their matches in the London Online Chess League this evening. However, one result feels like a win, the other more like a defeat… equilibrium on the match cards, perhaps, but not in this captain’s heart!
Hendon A continue unbeaten in the Open division, and can be very proud of their performance against a team almost 130 grading points stronger on average, featuring three titled players!
|Cavendish A||Hendon A|
|1||IM John Cox||2343||0 - 1||CM Rob Willmoth||2200|
|2||FM Andy Lewis||2260||½ - ½||Alex Leslie||2088|
|3||FM David Friedgood||2088||1 - 0||Jason Covey||1990|
|4||Michael Brown||2005||½ - ½||David Amior||1900|
|2 - 2|
The evening didn’t start well, as Jason Covey got into difficulties in the opening and found himself in a lost rook ending. However, things started looking up when David Amior’s opponent missed an opportunity to hold onto an extra pawn and agreed to a draw on move 20, and Alex Leslie’s opponent also missed the best continuation in a queenless middlegame: Alex ended up being the one pressing, and he comfortably drew the ending.
All eyes were thus on Rob’s game once again - and once again, he did not let us down! His IM opponent played an incorrect piece sacrifice in the opening, and even though Rob did not find the strongest response, he ended up better, with an extra piece for a few pawns. His opponent unwisely declined the draw offer that would have won the match for his team, making an error in reply, and Rob duly reeled him in to tie the match!
I can only assume his opponent was not aware of the match situation, which once again highlights the importance of having another browser window open while playing, to keep an eye on the score. Nonetheless, they all count - great job team for a significantly above-par performance!
Unfortunately, Hendon B’s draw in the U1825 division was not nearly as welcome, as I felt we were the stronger team on paper, despite a couple of the opposing team being technically ungraded (meaning they could be easily-underestimated juniors).
|Hendon B||Hammersmith Hedger|
|1||Chris Rogal||1803||1 - 0||David Lambert||1570|
|2||Gul Kapur||1533||0 - 1||Robin Sarfas|
|3||David Lewis||1465||1 - 0||Paul van Kan|
|4||Dev Ranka||~1270||0 - 1||Nadim Osseiran||1135|
|2 - 2|
Gul dropped a piece in the opening, and Dev dropped a pawn; sadly, both games were lost, although Dev had a couple of golden opportunities to turn the tables.
Thankfully, both Chris and last-minute sub David Lewis were able to win their games, with Chris’s opponent stranding his king in the middle in the opening, allowing a winning attack, and David’s opponent blowing a very promising middlegame, leaving David two pawns up, which he duly converted.
Thanks everyone for playing! Congratulations to Rob, Chris and David for their fine wins, and to Alex and David for their draws against strong (and in Alex’s case, titled) opposition!
The next match is next Wednesday, 2nd December. Full schedule may be found in our calendar.
You can find a list of all stories about the London Online Chess League here.