B team beaten by Battersea in last match of 2020

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 16 December, 2020

In our last LOCL match of 2020, Hendon B lost to the Battersea Dogs in the U1825 division. (There was no A-team match, because the Open division was taking a rest week.)

The match was unfortunately settled on the bottom two boards, where we were heavily out-graded.

Hendon B Battersea Dogs
1
Anthony Kent
1750 ½ - ½
Alan Palmer
1795
2
Nick Murphy
1750 1 - 0
Tim Valentine
1743
3
Tony Artman
1400 0 - 1
Arnold Hunt
1570
4
Dev Ranka
1270 0 - 1
David Blackwell
1330
1½ - 2½

Board 4 was the first to finish; the game was very sadly settled by a mouse-slip, in a position where Dev was a pawn down but with very good drawing chances in a queen ending. Next was Board 1, where Anthony had an excellent position but could only draw.

Meanwhile, Tony Artman was engaged in a dispute over who could make the best use of the open queenside in a symmetrical pawn structure; unfortunately the answer turned out to be his opponent, and he found himself a piece down, meaning the match was very likely to be decided in Battersea’s favour.

Thankfully, Nick Murphy was able to put a smile on our faces with the following very nice finish.

[Event "London Online Chess League - U1825"] [Date "2020.12.16"] [Round "9.9.2"] [White "Valentine, Tim"] [Black "Murphy, Nick"] [Result "0-1"] [BlackElo "1488"] [FEN "2r3k1/p4rp1/1pq2bNp/3b1p1P/3p1BP1/3Q1P2/PPP5/1K2R1R1 b - - 4 30"] [SetUp "1"] [WhiteElo "1723"] 30...Bc4 $1 { There is a hidden tactical point to this which Nick's opponent missed! } 31.Qxf5 $2 ( 31.Qd2 fxg4 ( 31...Qxf3 $2 32.g5 $1 hxg5 33.Bxg5 ) 32.fxg4 d3 $1 33.cxd3 Rd7 $17 ) 31...d3 $1 { Opening diagonals against White's king position to devastating effect. } 32.cxd3 $6 { Still missing Nick's idea, though White is lost anyway at this point. } ( 32.c3 { would at least keep the diagonals closed but } Rd8 33.Qe4 Bd5 34.Qb4 a5 35.Qa3 Bxf3 $19 { Black's passed pawn and bishop pair should decide. } ) 32...Bxa2+ $1 33.Kxa2 ( 33.Ka1 Be6 $19 { and there is no sensible answer to ...Qa4+ followed by ...Qa2# } ) 33...Qa4+ 34.Kb1 Qc2+ 35.Ka1 Qxb2# { Very nice - well done Nick! } 0-1

I’d like to thank everyone who has played for Hendon in the LOCL so far this season! The competition has gone better than I’d dared to hope, and it’s just great to see club chess continue despite the pandemic.

I’d also like to thank the LOCL organisers, especially John Sargent and Hendon’s very own Adam Raoof, who have done amazing work putting this League together. Adam’s events are always great, as most of us are already well aware, and having a professional commentator casting the event live on Twitch adds an extra dimension of light-heartedness and fun!

I wish all our members, and the chess community in London and worldwide, a peaceful and happy winter holiday period! I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I’m very much in need of the warmth and light of Christmas at the end of this very difficult year. I wish all readers a healthy, peaceful and happy 2021.

The LOCL now takes a break and will resume on 6th January 2021. Full schedule here.

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