LOCL Season 2 is underway!

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 3 March, 2021

The second season of the London Online Chess League kicked off tonight, with all three Hendon teams in action!

The Hendon Hurricanes opened their campaign by avenging our season 1 defeat against Wimbledon A.

Wimbledon A Wimbledon A Hendon Hurricanes Hendon Hurricanes
Clive Frostick
2148 1 - 0
Sacha Brozel
Peter Hasson
2073 0 - 1
Rob Willmoth
Ian Heppell
2005 0 - 1
Alex Leslie
Angel Silva Pena
1893 0 - 1
Savas Marin Stoica
1 - 3

Savas opened the scoring on Board 4, where we had the largest grading advantage, carving his opponent’s kingside open with a pawn storm.

Alex Leslie then improved on his draw in season 1 with Ian Heppell, defeating the same opponent after sharply nicking a pawn and a big structural advantage in the middlegame.

Rob Willmoth also won, after winning a pawn, and then blowing his opponent’s king position open with a nice bishop sac, guaranteeing us a match victory.

The only blot was Sacha’s loss on Board 1, when he sacrificed a couple of pawns but couldn’t drum up enough compensation.

Overall a nice way to start the season!

All round 1 games from the Queens Division are currently available here.

The Hendon Spitfires and Hendon Harriers are in the same division, and were paired together in this first round. I was interested to see what would happen here, since all four Harriers players were making their Hendon debuts!

Hendon Spitfires Hendon Spitfires Hendon Harriers Hendon Harriers
David Amior
1900 ½ - ½
James Baxter
Alex Funk
1878 1 - 0
George Meligonis
Chris Rogal
1803 0 - 1
Anton Drel
Nick Murphy
1750 1 - 0
Matty Berenblut
2½ - 1½

In the end, they gave a very good account of themselves! Despite being heavily outgraded on paper, the Spitfires only just won.

Young Matty Berenblut was holding his own in an exciting game against Nick Murphy, featuring opposite-wing attacks, but his experienced opponent managed to prevail in the end.

Alex Funk defeated George Meligonis, after his opponent’s centre collapsed in an Advance French, and he ground him down in the rook ending.

David Amior was a pawn up, and seemed to have a very promising position against the Harriers’ top board James Baxter. However, with his flag hanging, he decided to take a draw by repetition. The position looked winning to me, but it was enough to secure victory for the Spitfires.

The big revelation came on Board 4, where new junior Anton Drel nicked a pawn from our chairman Chris Rogal in the middlegame, and never let him off the hook, reeling in a fine surprise victory – very well done indeed!

This was an excellent start to the season! Thanks very much to all who played – I think everyone can be very proud of how they played, and I’m looking forward to seeing our new Harriers in action against other clubs during the season!

All games from round 1 of the Bishops Division are currently available here.

You can find a list of all stories about season 2 of the London Online Chess League here.