Battersea CLL3 topple King’s Head to extend lead

Central London Chess League update
Battersea Chess Club sponsored by Bishop's Move

The renewal of rivalries with King’s Head in the Central London League produced another notable victory for Battersea 3, extending our lead at the top of the Division 2 table, writes captain HOWARD GROVES.

The visitors to Pimlico were not quite the force they were last season in grading terms, but this was still an excellent result – one that was well set up by Joe Skielnik winning the toss while I was still extricating myself from a delayed Tube train!

A full scorecard is below:

Battersea CLL3 Vs King's Head
Battersea CLL3 Vs King’s Head

The first game to finish was arguably the pivotal result of the night, with Emil Todorow successfully deploying the Alekhine’s Defence to hold a draw against his 191-rated opponent – who surprisingly exchanged queens early on, and was then unable to make progress against Emil’s solid position.

This left us with a grading advantage on the bottom three boards in play – and despite my own position on the board in front of me, I began to get optimistic about the match!

Sure enough, to my right, Ben Franklin continued his 100 per cent record in this team with a fourth successive victory, his opponent miscalculating fairly simply when trying to hold on to material in the endgame, and allowing mate on the board.

To my left, I beheld Joe developing a crushing attack – so much so that when his opponent was obliged to block a bishop check with his rook & cede the exchange, Joe declined to take it!

My own game had begun in remarkable fashion, with my opponent bashing out what seemed to be a prepared sequence that – to my considerable surprise – left a knight en prise on move 8!

I could see that taking it was risky, but found a way to return it & emerge two pawns up – except when I reached this event horizon five or six moves later, I still found myself in a what proved to be a decidedly tricky position.

Fortunately my opponent seemed to lose his nerve after a few further moves and offered a draw!

No sooner had I gratefully accepted than Joe played the decisive check to force resignation (having continued to decline the offered material!) and we had clinched victory in the match.

This still left Tim Spanton’s 203-rated opponent playing for pride on top board, manoeuvring to make best use of a long diagonal for his dark squared bishop that was anchored by an enviable chain of pawns across the board.

Tim found himself struggling for space, even more so when a kingside pawn advance backfired as the clock ticked down.

Having been beaten by an opponent from Wood Green graded 204 the night before, Tim was eventually left to reflect on a tough week’s chess! But the team was still able to reflect upon another match won – well done all!

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