Battersea MI skip a beat against the Metro Gnomes – but still salvage a draw

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

It was nervy – but we got away with it.

Battersea’s Minor team pulled off a hard-fought draw last night in their first outing at the swanky new London Chess League venue.

Indeed, but for unfortunate blunders from the two rookies Lawrence Cook and Gregg Hutchence it could have been more.

Yet it the end it was left to the old hands Joel Morales and Leon Watson to see us home against Metro Gnomes.

The Gnomes, representing Metropolitan Chess Club, were a thorn in our side last season pushing us right to the wire in the title race until we saw off their challenge in the penultimate match of 2016/17.

And last night the east Londoners showed they won’t being going away any time soon.

Having successfully navigated an unfamiliar Petrov’s defence, Lawrence came unstuck while a pawn up as he tried to protect b2 from the black queen on b6.

But it was a double-threat and playing Na4 to cover the pawn allowed 13…Qxf2#. Had he allowed black to snap the pawn Lawrence would still have been well up.

Gregg was equally disappointed at blundering a piece – but took it well. At this point Battersea MI were struggling 2-0 down.

Battersea MI Vs Metro Gnomes
Battersea MI Vs Metro Gnomes

Meanwhile, on board 2 Joel, in characteristic fashion, was busy steamrollering his opponent and forced a premature resignation. We were back in the game.

However, I was stuck in a grind and under the kosh for most of the game.

My opponent had two rooks lined up against my king and his fianchettoed white bishop x-raying my a8 rook and pinning down my queenside.

It was dicey but eventually white’s initiative fizzled out after he failed to find a way through and then he tried a tactic that went wrong.

I saw out the win and the match ended all square – a result we have to say was a relief.

Battersea MI remain unbeaten. Next up we take on Morley College at our venue on Tuesday, November 14.

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