In round 3 of the London Online Chess League, the three Hendon teams achieved three different results! The Hurricanes drew their match in the Queens Division, while in the Bishops Division, the Spitfires won and the Harriers lost.
|Petts Wood & Orpington A||Petts Wood & Orpington A||Hendon Hurricanes||Hendon Hurricanes|
|1||Daniel Lindner||2208||1 - 0||Sacha Brozel||2260|
|2||Jean-Baptiste Jugand||2058||1 - 0||Rob Willmoth||2200|
|3||Shlok Verma||1945||0 - 1||Alex Leslie||2088|
|4||Brendan Keenan||1945||0 - 1||Kennan Kesterson||1983|
|2 - 2|
The Hurricanes were stronger than when we beat the same opponents in season 1, while Petts Wood had a weaker line-up, so I had high hopes of a positive result here, but it wasn’t to be.
Our hopes of match victory were swiftly dashed, when we lost on the top two boards. Rob Willmoth fell for a kingside cheapo and had to resign on move 28, while Sacha lost a weak pawn in an Anglo-Catalan and couldn’t recover.
We were fortunate to save the match through sterling efforts by Alex and Kennan on Boards 3 and 4! Alex won a pawn in the early endgame, and his opponent, short on time, lost a further exchange; Alex duly reeled in the full point.
Kennan’s game went right down to the wire; the time scramble was a nerve-jangler, with all three results very much possible in a bishop-versus-knight ending. However, the Petts Wood player went astray in the end, and Kennan managed to queen first and win the game.
Phew! Not the best result, but it could have been worse. Well done Alex and Kennan for preventing the worst of the damage!
All Queens Division games from round 3 are currently available here.
|Hendon Spitfires||Hendon Spitfires||Hackney Happening||Hackney Happening|
|1||David Amior||1900||½ - ½||Alistair Dyte||1765|
|2||Eugenia Karas||1803||1 - 0||Chris Gibben||1758|
|3||Chris Rogal||1803||0 - 1||Peter Burgoyne||1653|
|4||Anton Drel||1510||1 - 0||Paulo Rosario||1698|
|2½ - 1½|
The Spitfires match ultimately ended up going to plan, although it was not without its rocky moments.
Eugenia got us off to a cracking start, continuing her excellent form with a win on Board 2! She gained a pawn out of the opening; her opponent made some attacking gestures on the kingside, but Eugenia played a nice little combination to win a piece, making it clear that if any attacking was going to happen, she’d be the one doing it, thank you very much!
David Amior made a solid draw on top board, but I was worried for a while when Anton Drel seemed much worse on Board 4, with his opponent having a strong kingside attack. However, the Hackney player was tempted into playing an overly aggressive move and dropped material, which dramatically turned the tables! Anton fended off his opponent’s desperate attacks and scored the full point to make the match safe.
Chris was ground down in a major piece ending, in the last game to finish, but by that time it didn’t matter for the overall team result.
Another good win for the Spitfires, who have won all their matches so far! Well done, especially to Anton and Eugenia! This is our first LOCL win over a Hackney team, since we lost both our matches to our traditional Middlesex League rivals in season 1.
|East Ham Eagles||East Ham Eagles||Hendon Harriers||Hendon Harriers|
|1||Harry Zheng||1915||0 - 1||James Baxter||1600|
|2||Jack Sheard||1855||1 - 0||Marcel Berenblut||1450|
|3||Karin Bayona||1893||1 - 0||Matty Berenblut||1225|
|4||Peter W Rose||1810||1 - 0||Dev Ranka||1270|
|3 - 1|
Elsewhere in the Bishops Division, the Harriers faced a steep challenge against the East Ham Eagles, who seem to be one of the stronger sides in the division, outgrading us on all boards by 300 points or more.
We were pleased to see the father-and-son team of Marcel and Matty playing side-by-side for the first time in this match, as well as a first season 2 appearance for young Dev Ranka!
Everybody fought valiantly, and can be proud of the way they played, but the greater experience of the opposition told in the end.
We did have something to cheer, though, with James Baxter winning with the Black pieces on Board 1, in a gloriously irrational Latvian Gambit! I never thought to ask what it would be like to fly a Harrier in a coffee-house, but I guess now we know! All our other wins today came from junior players, so it was good to remind people that we wrinklies are capable of scoring points too. Well done James!
Funnily enough, Hendon B lost to the same team by the same score in season 1, which makes this the second season in a row that the Harriers have exactly replicated a Hendon B scoreline in season 1. Hopefully they can do the same with some of Hendon B’s victories in due course!
All Bishops Division games from round 3 are currently available here.
Thanks to everyone who played – see you all next week!
You can find a list of all stories about season 2 of the London Online Chess League here.