Hurricanes beat Hackney!

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 11 August, 2021

In the penultimate tenth round of season 3 of the London Online Chess League, the Hendon Hurricanes defeated a strong Hackney Thirsty side! The Spitfires lost a very close match to the Charlton Chess Nuts, while the Harriers were outclassed by the MetroGnomes.

Once again, our lineups were depleted by the school holidays, with many of our regular players unavailable, so my thanks to everyone who was able to play this week!

Hackney Thirsty Hackney Thirsty Hendon Hurricanes Hendon Hurricanes
FM Bob Eames
2268 0 - 1
Sacha Brozel
Dominic Mackle
2193 0 - 1
CM Rob Willmoth
Francis Chin
2088 ½ - ½
David Amior
Salim Kriman
1998 ½ - ½
Morris Jones
1 - 3

In the Queens Division, the Hurricanes faced a strong Hackney Thirsty side led by FIDE Master Bob Eames. However, Sacha and Rob won on the top two boards where our grades roughly matched our opponents, and David and Morris avoiding defeat against higher-graded opposition on the bottom two.

On Board 1, Sacha came out of the opening with a great position, as his opponent’s king was stuck in the middle and his pawns looked over-extended. Sacha came up with a great knight sacrifice to crash through, ending up in a rook ending with two extra pawns, which he converted. A very smooth victory over a very strong opponent!

On Board 2, Rob was somewhat fortunate, as his opponent over-stepped the time limit in a position where he seemed to be better.

On Board 3, David was also quite fortunate, as his opponent missed a host of winning chances, including this cute little one:

Chin – Amior. Can you do better than White’s 38. Rxe7 here? (View on Lichess)

On Board 4, Morris came under a strong attack after taking an exchange, but his opponent was very low on time, and took a repetition in a position where he was much better.

A significant element of good fortune here, then; there was nothing lucky about Sacha’s win on Board 1, but we could easily have dropped at least a half-point on all the other boards. Nonetheless, congratulations to the team!

The round 10 games in the Queens Division are currently available here.

Charlton Chess Nuts Charlton Chess Nuts Hendon Spitfires Hendon Spitfires
Laurence Ball
2058 0 - 1
Amirabbas Mehrafarin
Dan Mayer
1938 1 - 0
James Baxter
John Lewin
1855 1 - 0
Gul Kapur
David Rogers
1600 ½ - ½
Julie Oh
2½ - 1½

In the Rooks Division, the Spitfires faced the Charlton Chess Nuts. On paper we seemed to be significantly outgraded on all boards, but these grades can’t be taken too seriously given how out-of-date they now are. In the end this was a very close match.

On Board 1, Amirabbas won a nice game when his opponent dropped material, leaving him with a rook and three pawns for a bishop and knight. After a further error by White, this was translated into a rook and pawn for just a knight, which Amirabbas smoothly converted.

This win was cancelled out when Gul came under a strong kingside attack on Board 3. His opponent’s play was far from perfect, but unfortunately Gul wasn’t able to find the only move to defend from a mate threat:

Lewin – Kapur. Here White is only slightly better after the only move 31…Qc5, but the game went 31…Rd8? 32. Rxh7+ 1–0. (View on Lichess)

On Board 4, Julie did really well to draw against her higher-rated opponent, after an exciting game which featured on the online commentary (time index 1:29). Julie played very enterprisingly, and was substantially better in the final position, with two bishops against a rook and pawn. However, Julie was very low on time, and decided not to risk pushing for the win. A really good effort!

This left the match level, with everything coming down to James Baxter’s game on Board 2. This was a real roller-coaster: the game went into a major piece ending, with James’s opponent having an extra pawn, but a significantly more exposed king. The Charlton player made the first mistake, and was very low on time, but James played too fast in his opponent’s time trouble and blundered. A good lesson not to be too influenced by your opponent’s clock situation and just focus on playing strong moves!

[Event "London Online Chess League Season 3 - Rooks"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.08.11"] [Round "10.10.2"] [White "Baxter, James"] [Black "Mayer, Daniel"] [Result "0-1"] [BlackElo "1938"] [ECO "A45"] [FEN "7r/1kr5/3QRp1p/p4q2/2pP4/5P2/1PR5/1K6 b - - 0 43"] [SetUp "1"] [WhiteElo "1600"] 43...Qxf3 $2 { Black needed to defend the king. } ( 43...Qb5 44.Rxf6 Rg8 $10 ) 44.Qa6+ ( 44.d5 $1 { was a devastating quiet move, cutting off the Black queen from b7 and threatening Qa6+ followed by Rb6+ mating. } 44...Qf1+ 45.Ka2 c3 46.Qb6+ Kc8 47.Rc6 Rxc6 48.Qxc6+ Kd8 49.Rxc3 $18 { Mate follows shortly. } ) 44...Kb8 45.Rxc4 $2 { A sad end, as a blunder turns the game on its head. White was still winning without this loss of material. } ( 45.Rxf6 $18 ) ( 45.Rce2 $18 ) 45...Qf1+ { I think James had missed that ...Qxc4 would be check after Ka2 or Kc2. } 46.Rc1 Qxc1+ 47.Ka2 Qc4+ 48.Qxc4 Rxc4 49.Rxf6 Rxd4 50.Rf5 a4 51.b3 axb3+ 52.Kxb3 h5 53.Kc3 Rd7 54.Rb5+ Rb7 55.Rg5 h4 56.Kd3 h3 0-1

A narrow defeat, but a great effort by the Spitfires.

The round 10 games in the Rooks Division are currently available here.

Hendon Harriers Hendon Harriers MetroGnomes MetroGnomes
David Lewis
1465 0 - 1
Ian Mason
Tony Artman
1400 0 - 1
Ronan Kelly
Stanley Jacobs
1390 ½ - ½
Levente Lencses
Dev Ranka
1270 0 - 1
Nicholas Nardecchia
½ - 3½

In the Bishops Division, the Harriers were significantly outgraded against the MetroGnomes, from Metropolitan Chess Club, and here there was sadly to be no victory against the odds.

On Board 1, David Lewis lost a pawn, but more importantly, his pieces were completely tied up, and in the end there was nothing he could do as his opponent pushed his pawns through the middle.

On Boards 2 and 4, Tony and Dev both dropped material in the opening, and there was no recovering from that, as their opponents converted the advantage.

On Board 3, Stanley made sure we avoided a whitewash by holding his opponent to a draw. He was better out of the opening, as his opponent dropped a pawn, but the Metropolitan player was able to win it back, and the players agreed a draw in a rook ending with no open files.

A valiant effort from the Harriers, but they were outclassed by the stronger side in the end.

The round 10 games in the Bishops Division are currently available here.

Many thanks to everyone who played this week! The final round of season 3 is next week.

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