A strong HA1 needed to win convincingly against a weaker Kirby + a 2.5 point head start.
This was not to be, however. John and Gordon's opponents perhaps being stronger that their provisional grades suggest:
|22 May||Kirby Muxloe 1||v||Heathcote Arms 1||GD|
|2 - 2||136|
|Handicap||2½ - 0|
|4½ - 2|
|1||W||76||Shaw, Peter||0 - 1||Cowley, Michael||161||50|
|2||B||74||Bowles, Les||0 - 1||Harrison, Peter||151||50|
|3||W||60||Brown, Thomas||1 - 0||Manger, John||141||50|
|4||B||60||Woodhall, Henry||1 - 0||Milner, Gordon||46||-14|
John's Analysis from his game against Thomas Brown:
1. d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5 5.Nf3 e6 6.Qb3 Qc7 (I probably should have played Qb6 but decided I wanted to keep the queens on) 7.a3 h6 8.h3 Nbd7 9.Bd2 Be7 10.Be2 O-O 11.O-O Ne4
12.Nxe4 Bxe4 (was going to play dxe4 here then touched my bishop!) 13.Rac1 dxc4 14.Qxc4 Nb6 15.Qb3 Bd6 16.Bb4 Bd5? 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Qc2 (threatens 19.e4) Bxf3 19.Bxf3 Rfd8
20.Qc5 Nd5 21.Qxd6 Rxd6 22.Bxd5 Rxd5 23.Rfd1 Rad8 24.Rd2? e5 25.Rcd1 c5 26.Kf1 cxd4
27.Ke2 Kf8 28.f4 f6 (...exf4 looks better) 29.fxe5 fxe5 30.Kf3 Ke7 31.exd4 Ke6 32.Ke4 g5
33.g4 R8d7 34.Rd3 exd4 35.Rxd4 Re5 (I knew that after 35...Rxd4 36.Rxd4 Rxd4 37.Kxd4 Kd6 the position was a dead draw, but decided to try for the win. This was unwise as I had 5 mins left to my opponent's 25 mins!) 36.Kf3 (obviously not Kd3 losing a rook) ...Rf7 37.Kg2 Re2 38.Kg3 Rxb2 39.Rd6 Ke5 40.R1d5 Ke4 41.Rd4 Ke3 42.Rd3 Ke2 43.Rc3 Rf1 (threatens 44. ...Rg1 45.Kh2 Kf1 with a discovered mate) 44.Kg2
At this point I stopped recording moves. The position was maybe slightly in my favour, but lack of time told and my opponent played more accurately than me over the next 15 moves or so until I resigned in a lost position with my flag about to fall.
There was a round of applause for Tom from everyone present (including me). I guess he is around 14 years old, and may be in his first year in the league. He played at about 120 strength in my opinion and fully deserved his win at the end. I think he is one to watch!