Regular readers will know that the TSTCPGs have already won the Somerset Division One Title (again – I’ve lost count how many times on-the-trott it is now…), and so this last fixture in our Div 1 calendar whilst largely academic, is still important to us as we want to end undefeated again (yes Glastonbury, that 5-1 defeat all those years ago still spurs us on.)
The fixture was to be played at Yeovil and they have a varied history of locations, these include from the Red Cross Centre – bright, quiet and with the added comedy value of the only toilet having two, near-identical, switches – one does the light and the other sets off the help-i’m-disabled-and-trapped-in-the-loo alarm (klaxxons, red flashing lights etc…). And of course its only a matter of time until some unsuspecting sap triggers mayhem here.
Other locations have been pub-based, which meets pawnstar’s approval and obviously gives rise to barmaid hotness scales and whether there is anything to do there (like playing pool or looking at long wall murals) to help stave off the boredom of waiting for one’s opponent to move.
Yeovil recently played in the Plucknet, which sadly scores low on the barmaid hotness and other activity ratings, but does have beer (and beer helps solve most issues), and a relatively quiet playing area.
However, just before the match we were told the landlord had done a runner and the pub was temporarily closed. Rumours about recent cash-only takings at the bar and landlords fleeing with bags of cash (allegedly..) were whispered, albeit not quietly as pawnstar overheard pretty much all of them…
Anyway, Yeovil hastily rearranged a venue – The Fluer de Lys pub. I wasn’t too sure where it was and so googled it. Got the address quickly and also found the only online review of the place, and I quote from viewbath.co.uk – “dirty, smelly, unkempt, and thats just the landlord. The beer is flat and lifeless and the atmosphere is about the same. Is it possible to give a negative score? as this pub deserves it”
Hmmm.. our expectations were low, but on arrival we thought the place was very good, nice and clean – either the place has been spruced up or that review is a very harsh…
Ok, on to the chess – our team was MarkH, DaveL, MikeR, NickW, AlexC (its the easter holidays..), and MartinW.
Before I show you the games, its interesting to see how three of the games were heavily influenced by the recent Candidates Tournament in London. Sadly however, it seems most had been watching Ivanchuck, and rather than learning from his opening style or middlegame play, they tended to copy his time-management techniques. Yes – two of the games tonight were lost on time and the third was clearly decided by it… I spose I should be grateful as didn’t Ivanchuck lose 5 games on time – at least only 3 here were affected…
The games finished something like this –
Board 6: G Crocker 1 v M Worral 0
A game Martin will want to forget quickly. Whilst 20. … Qxh5 would have delayed things a while, the game was already looking shaky. In the end, once more than a Rook down (and therefore no longer drawish), Martin resigned.
Next was Dave, yes Dave, with this –
Board 2: D Botting 0 v Dave ‘Draw’ Littlejohns 1
Comments are in game, but yet again Dave lures an opponent into a tediuos drawish looking position, only to grind out a win while the opponent nods off…
Next was Alex –
Board 5: Alex Conway 1/2 v Nigel Mills 1/2
Ok, Alex played well to get into a positon where there were many many ways to win. Unfortunately he missed them all. In the final position, Black is ahead by at least +2.0 but probably agreed to the draw due to being shellshocked that he hadn’t actually lost by then.
Here is the game, with comments by Alex –
So far, three games gone an no ‘Ivanchuck’ influences.. well, next was Nick –
Board 4: M Baker 0 v Nick Wilson 1
Nick tried to create some threats to White’s slightly exposed king, and may in some lines have had an advantage, but nothing significant. However, White, clearly influenced by Ivanchuck, spent ages over each move and quickly got into time trouble. Nick then moved even faster with more strong looking, but substance lacking, threats, and shortly white lost on time in a pretty even position.
So, Taunton lead 2.5 – 1.5 Just 1 needed to secure the win!
Next was MikeR –
Board 3: Mike Richardt 1 v Roger Knight 0
Mike, in-book to move gazillion, had a stronger position throughout. Roger, just like Ivanchuck spent too much time trying to find solutions to this and although ultimately lost on time, the game was looking lost too.
This win ensures Taunton win the match!
Mark’s game was now the last to finish.
Board 1: Mark Hassall 0 v P Kryzanowski 1
Mark had, I felt, an average to good position throughout. And he was ahead on tim up to the time control. But after the time control, Black moved quickly and Mark suddenly found himself with no time to find a saving line in a surely-drawn rook and pawn ending.
I don’t have the moves, but an unfortunate end to the match for us.
Final result – Taunton win 3.5 – 2.5!!
Great end to the season, remaining undefeated! Thank you and well played everyone!