Thursday, 28 May 2020

Avengers 2 Close Gap on 2nd Division Play-Off Place

In a closely contested R8 match, Avengers 2 narrowly defeated Sussex Starlings 2.5-1.5.

Sussex Starlings 2014 Anglian Avengers 2 2037
351 w Salmons, Calum 2065 e ½ - ½ White, Russell P 2117 c
352 b Gray, Edward 2012 e 0 - 1 Player, Edmund C 2172
353 w Sutton, Daniel 2005 e ½ - ½ Bui, Kyan 2057 e
354 b Bennet-Stevens, Lucy 1975 e ½ - ½ Kerr, Rowland 1802 c
         
1½ - 2½

Russell was on the defensive for much of the game against Calum Salmons, but held the draw in a lengthy R+B v R+N endgame.

Kyan looked to have long-term problems holding his isolated queen's pawn.  But Edward Gray snatched the pawn too quickly, allowing Kyan a comfortable draw.

Rowland was clearly getting the better of Lucy Bennet-Stevens in a Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation, but couldn't convert a superior position into a decisive advantage.

The match was decided by a complex tactical encounter on B2.  In a surprisingly active interpretation of the staid Philidor Defence, Edward Gray gambitted a pawn to open Ed's king's-side.  The game could have gone either way if his opponent had been followed up accurately, but Ed held onto his extra material and eventually converted the point on move 73.

This victory takes us to 4th place in Division 2 / Group A.  However, the position at the top of the table is extremely close with 5 teams in contention for the 2 qualifying places.  Only 2 wins from the final two rounds will give us a decent chance of qualifying.

See: 4NCL Online: Division 2 Tables




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