Weekend 2 – Oxford 2&3

[games, pgn]

Tim writes:

All, an interim report on the split weekend rounds 3 & 4 as Oxford 1 have yet to go out to bat. These were our Div 3+4 results from last weekend:

  1. Oxford 2 drew both matches 3-3 v Leeds Uni OB & The Rookies;
  2. Oxford 3 lost both matches 1½-4½ v Shropshire 2 & Ashfield-Breadsall 2.

Not much joy there, I'm afraid, but with two draws and two losses on the board for the split weekend, surely that augurs well for two wins in Ox1? Hendrik led the way in Ox2 with 1½/2: he entertained us at dinner with a variation from his Sat game running 28. ... Bf2 29. Qxf2 Ne4 30. Nb6+ Kb7 31. a6#! Kev & Phil were the only other two Ox players to win, Kev producing one of his "quickies".

Our two debutants Ross (Ox3) & Aleksandra (Ox2) got on the scoreboard with ½/2 against higher-rated oppo, in Ross's case around 400 FIDE higher. Ross's Sunday opp wondered if skip had been coaching him! (errr, no). Caro-Kann fans [ie: skip & ex-skip K] will fully approve of Aleksandra's Sunday reply to 1. e4. Higher up, Dave Scott took his rating past 2100 with two solid draws on top board of Ox2, like Hendrik, he is on 3/4 for the season.

Oxford 2


Oxford 2 1966 Leeds University Old Boys 2064
331 w Scott, David A 2099 ½ - ½ Hall, John f 2179
332 b Truran, Michael C 2147 ½ - ½ McGann, Gary 2088
333 w Brackmann, Hendrik 2003 1 - 0 Mossong, Hubert f 2039
334 b Terry, Sean 1905 ½ - ½ Wojciechowski, Paul c 2008
335 w Kozera, Aleksandra 1881 ½ - ½ Deighton, Simon 2020
336 b Idle, Oscar 1765 0 - 1 Birkin, Mark H 2050
3 - 3

Short (and no doubt interesting) draws on top boards can be consulted in the pgn file. Board 3 gave us our win, as Hendrik ground down a win in a slower-than-normal Pirc, where the Black king took refuge on the queenside:

Brackmann- Mossong (W)
4NCL 3 South Telford, 16.01.2016

26.Rxb8+ Hendrik skilfully avoids the temptation to look for the unsound glory offered by 26.Nb6+ Kb7 27.a6# 26...Rxb8 27.c3 simply picks up a piece gxf5 28.exf5 Nb5 29.Ra1 Qd6 30.cxd4 Nxd4 31.Bg2 Nf6 32.Rc1 Nd5 33.Nc5 Rb2 34.Nd3 Ra2 35.Nxe5 Rxd2 36.Nc4 1–0

More earnest draw-making went on board 4 and 5, leaving this loss on board 6 – an end less interesting than the visual picture of how each sides pieces occupy space on the board.

Birkin – Idle (W)
4NCL 3 Telford, 16.01.2016

38.Rxd3+ Nd4 39.Qg8+ Ke7 40.Qg7+ Kd8 41.Qh8+ Ke7 42.Ng8+ Kf7 43.Qxh7+ Ke8 44.Nf6+ Kd8 45.Qh8+ Ke7 46.Ng6+ Kf7 47.Qg7# 1–0

The perils for Black of getting the closed Sicilian wrong. I had similar problems playing it against Oscar in the leagues last year.


The Rookies 1987 Oxford 2 1981
341 w Byron, Alan M 2175 ½ - ½ Scott, David A 2099
342 b Jones, Christopher M 2122 ½ - ½ Dickinson, Tim R 2108
343 w Compton, Alistair 2094 ½ - ½ Brackmann, Hendrik 2003
344 b Jaszkiwskyj, Peter 1982 ½ - ½ Cole, James 1960
345 w Gibson, Christopher A 1939 1 - 0 Kozera, Aleksandra 1881
346 b Ressel, Eva 1611 0 - 1 Neatherway, A Philip 1840
3 - 3

“Orthodox, accurate, hard fought, the twelfth was such a very virtuous game that it seems absolutely right to be annotating it on a Sunday. But heavens how dull it is… ”

CH O’D Alexander’s commentary on Fischer-Spassky (1972, Game 12)**

Similar sentiments (or at least adjectives) occur when looking through the first four games of the set. Industry can be seen – but it’s hard to get enthused about the output. Let’s move to the last few boards:

So let’s hope for something from the last 2 boards, although alas it’s Chris’s bright finish we see on getting to this diagram:

Gibson - Kozera,A (B)
4NCL 3 Telford, 17.01.2016

26. … Rxe5 More or less forced, as the pressure on f7 is crushing. 27. Rxe5 Ng4 wins the exchange back, but the position has tipped beyond equality achieved by a material stock-take 28. Qf5 Nxe5 29.Rxe5 Kg8 30.Bb1 g6 31.Qf6 Bd5 32.Bxg6 Be6 33.Bd3 Rd5 34.Rxe6 fxe6 35.Qxe6+ Qf7 36.Qxf7+ Kxf7 37.Bc4 1–0

And a match draw resulted when Phil rescued this position:

Neatherway - Ressel,E (B)
4NCL 3 Telford, 17.01.2016

20. … Re4 Fritz shows that 20...Re2! is stronger still, which wins the g4 after the forced exchange on e2. 21.Rxe4 dxe4 22.Kb2 Rc4 23.c3 c5 24.d5 e3 25.fxe3 Rxg4 26.Bxc7 Bc4? The bishop is needed to blockade if needs be on d7. 27.d6 Rg2+ 28.Kc1 Rxa2 29.Kb1 Ra3 30.d7 Ba2+ 31.Kb2 1–0

**The postscript by that author was “on further examination a little less virtuous and a little more interesting that I originally thought.” – you can find that game here.

Oxford 3


Shropshire 2 1916 Oxford 3 1669
461 w Paul, Nathanael 2012 1 - 0 Neatherway, A Philip 1840
462 b Zdanowski, Adrian 1990 1 - 0 Gentry, Alan E 1773
463 w Maydew, Simon 1840 ½ - ½ Truran, Joseph M 1727
464 b Kolbusz, George 1907 0 - 1 Henbest, Kevin B 1658
465 w Lewis, Christopher D 1862 1 - 0 Bentham, Sam 1646
466 b Tarr, Steve F 1885 1 - 0 Tselos, Ross 1373
4½ - 1½

What are the positives?

  1. A big per-board FIDE difference, creditable resistance in the circumstances;
  2. Alan was winning for most of his game, before he blundered in one-move style;
  3. a GM draw on board 3;
  4. this effort against the odds by Kev on 4.

Henbest - Kolbusz
4NCL Division 4 Telford , 16.01.2016

11.g4 Nfe7 12.Bxh7+ Kxh7 13.Ng5+ Kg8 14.Qd3 g6 15.Qh3 1–0

“Pick a hole in that”, said Kevin. And we tried (14. … Ng6) during an evening’s pizza somewhere in Telford Central.

  1. Some spirited play on board 4

Lewis – Bentham (B)
4NCL Division 4 Telford, 16.01.2016

25.Bh6 f6 This leads to a loss, so 25...Nd7 needed to be tried. But White has an initiative, e.g. 26.Bf4 Nf8 27.Bxe5 Qc6] 26.Bxf8 Kxf8 27.Qxh7 Qe6 28.Qh6+ Kf7 29.Qh7+ Kf8 30.Qxg6 Qg8 31.Qf5 Qg5 32.Rh8+ Kf7 33.Qh7+ Qg7 34.Qh5+ Qg6 35.Rh7+ 1–0

  1. ditto on board 5, where Ross finds himself in a good position against much higher-rated opposition:

Tselos,A - Tarr
4NCL Division 4 Telford, 16.01.2016

23.f4 perhaps Nd3-f5 is better? … gxf4 24.Qg4+? ouch, a natural enough move which loses in surprising fashion Kh8 25.Nxf4 Rg8 winning a piece from nowhere 26.Qh4 Bxf4 27.Rf1 Bg5 28.Qh5 Qg6 29.Qf3 Re8 30.h4 Bxh4 31.Kh2 Bg5 32.e5 Rxe5 33.Qxb7 Re2+ 0–1


Oxford 3 1702 Ashfield-Breadsall 2 1889
461 w Cole, Graham 1870 0 - 1 Truman, Richard G 1968
462 b Terry, Sean 1905 ½ - ½ Taylor, Robert P 1916
463 w Idle, Oscar 1765 0 - 1 Levens, David G 1934
464 b Henbest, Kevin B 1658 0 - 1 Hill, Maurice J 1832
465 w Bentham, Sam 1646 ½ - ½ Flynn, David 1863
466 b Tselos, Ross 1373 ½ - ½ Graham, Neil 1825
1½ - 4½

Some slippy (shoddy) play on top boards deprived both players of some initiative. On top board Graham is holding his own in a tense position, when a blunder removes the tension:

Cole,G – Truman (W)
4NCL Division 4 Telford, 17.01.2016

35.f5 Bg3 sigh – but the struggle continued until all hope was extinguished 36.Qh1 Bxh4 37.Qxe4 a4 38.Na1 Bg3 39.fxe6 Qe5 40.exf7+ Rxf7 41.Qg4 Rcc7 42.Bd2 Bf2 43.c3 Bd3+ 44.Nac2 Bxd4 45.Re1 Be3 46.Qh3 Bxc2+ 47.Kxc2 Qe4+ 48.Kd1 Qb1+ 49.Ke2 Qxb2 50.Qe6+ Kd8 51.Qd5+ Rcd7 52.Qa5+ Kc8 53.Qa6+ Kc7 54.Qa5+ Bb6 0–1

I was nearly fancying my chances in the diagram position, and was wondering about whether to flick in g4 to move the White queen on. “Ah – no immediate need”, I thought:

Taylor – Terry (W)
4NCL Division 4 Telford, 17.01.2016
17.b5 Nd8 18.Qxd5 ouch

And it took a good deal of sitzfleisch to winkle out the opportunity of a draw ½ - ½, 58.

Sam is a pawn adrift here, though his piece placements are good.

Bentham- Flynn (B)
4NCL Division 4 Telford, 17.01.2016

After … Bc6 26.Nf6+ Nxf6 27.Bxc6 Qxc6 28.Rxf6 Black was put to the test as to how he wanted to make progress … Qd7 29.Qh2 Rbe8 30.Re1 Qc7 31.Re4 Re7 32.Rf1 Qd6 33.Rfe1 Rfe8 34.Qf2 Re6 35.Rf1 R8e7 36.Qe2 Kg7 37.Re1 Re8 38.Kg2 Qc6 39.Kh2 Qc5 40.a3 Kg8 41.b4 ½–½

28 April 2016