Spitfires and Harriers win in round 4

By Hendon LOCL captain Andrew Medworth
Wednesday 30 June, 2021

In round 4 of the LOCL, the Spitfires and Harriers defeated teams from Beckenham & Bromley and Hackney respectively, but the Hurricanes lost to Metropolitan, and remain in search of their first match points of the season.

MetroGiants MetroGiants Hendon Hurricanes Hendon Hurricanes
1
Tanguy Deflesselle
2193 1 - 0
Kennan Kesterson
1983
2
Ian Calvert
2012 ½ - ½
David Amior
1900
3
Adam Bedi
1930 1 - 0
Chris Rogal
1803
4
Jeremy Law
1968 0 - 1
Anton Drel
1800
2½ - 1½

In the Queens Division, the Hurricanes, still missing some of their strongest players from previous seasons, remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a fourth straight defeat.

On Board 1, Kennan faced a tough opponent. The game started brightly, with the Metropolitan player offering the opportunity to win a pawn in the opening, but Kennan dropped a crucial pawn himself on move 17, and the game lasted only six more moves.

On Board 2, David’s game was at the opposite end of the length spectrum! David managed to shatter his opponent’s kingside structure on move 11, and went on to win two pawns; his opponent’s only drawing chances came from opposite-coloured bishops.

David still had a great position, with three connected passed pawns, but went wrong on move 49, trading his opponent’s g7 pawn for the one on c3. After this it was no longer possible to create two groups of passed pawns, and David’s opponent was able to form a dark-squared blockade on both sides of the board. David kept trying but his opponent eventually drew pretty comfortably by the 50-move rule.

On Board 3, Chris unfortunately lost material out of the opening, and his opponent converted.

On Board 4, there was a bright spot, as Anton – playing his first game for the Hurricanes, as the absence of key players draws him ever higher in our lineup – scored a crushing victory against a decent player, sacrificing on f7 and opening up lines against his opponent’s defenceless king to force resignation on move 19!

The Queens Division games from round 4 are currently available here.

Beckenham and Bromley Beckenham and Bromley Hendon Spitfires Hendon Spitfires
1
Anastasis Kafetzopoulos
2106 0 - 1
Morris Jones
1758
2
Meet Shah
1800 0 - 1
Nick Murphy
1750
3
Nilton Lima Junior
1800 0 - 1
Amirabbas Mehrafarin
1734
4
Alan Sands
1825 1 - 0
James Baxter
1700
1 - 3

In the Rooks Division, the Spitfires faced Beckenham and Bromley, who had frustrated their efforts to win the title last season by holding them to a draw in the final round.

Both sides looked very different from that day, and the difference appeared to be in our opponents' favour, as they outgraded us on all boards. However, appearances can be deceiving, and the Spitfires pulled off a fine win!

On Board 1, Morris treated us to yet another thriller, triumphing in a queen ending with both players having seconds remaining on their clocks. Morris managed to get into this queen ending a pawn up as early as move 32, but the position was difficult for both players, with the kings somewhat exposed.

The position should probably have been a draw somewhere, but Morris’s opponent wasn’t able to summon the necessary accuracy, and eventually blundered, allowing the queens to be traded. He resigned without waiting to see the easily winning king-and-pawn ending.

On Board 2, Nick got the match off to a cracking start by crushing his opponent in 20 moves. He pulled off a nice tactic in the opening, winning two pieces for a rook, and also leaving his opponent’s king fatally weakened; the latter rapidly proved to be the decisive factor.

On Board 3, Amirabbas maintained his 100% record, after a thrilling game with opposite-wing attacks! Amirabbas sacrificed a pawn to open lines against his opponent’s king, and then spectacularly sacrificed a rook on b2. Objectively it appears this should only have been sufficient for a draw, but the Bromley player didn’t find the only defence on move 22, and ended up losing material. The position simplified into an odd material balance, but it was a favourable one for Amirabbas, and his opponent resigned rather than see Amirabbas force his c-pawn through.

On Board 4, James suffered his first defeat in the LOCL, after he neglected to castle and his opponent managed to force a pawn through.

A great win for the team – well done Spitfires!

The round 4 games in the Rooks Division are currently available here.

Hendon Harriers Hendon Harriers Hackney Hopefuls Hackney Hopefuls
1
David Lewis
1465 0 - 1
Robin Oakley
1758
2
Matty Berenblut
1400 1 - 0
Zebedee Jones
1638
3
Stanley Jacobs
1390 ½ - ½
Kayvon Nabijou
1400
4
Dev Ranka
1270 1 - 0
David Battiscombe
1200
2½ - 1½

In the Bishops Division, it was the “Battle of the H’s” as the Hendon Harriers faced off against the Hackney Hopefuls!

The match looked tough on paper, as we were significantly outgraded on the top two boards. David Lewis was doing well for much of the game on Board 1, but unfortunately dropped his queen at the end, when he seemed to miss that f7 was laterally defended by his opponent’s rook.

However, on Board 2, Matty scored a surprisingly easy win when win when his opponent inexplicably blundered his queen on move seven.

We had a further stroke of luck on Board 3, where Stanley’s opponent decided to take a repetition in a much better position, after a chaotic and error-filled game where both sides were doing well at various stages.

The match was won after Dev Ranka got into a rook ending with a much more active rook, won a couple of pawns, and took the game fairly straightforwardly.

Congratulations to the whole team!

The round 4 games in the Bishops Division are currently available here.

Thanks to everyone who played this week!

You can find a list of all stories about season 3 of the London Online Chess League here.