The home side does not have a good record against Beckenham, but this
time ran out winners by 4-2. It looked closer than that for most of the
time, but board count looked favourable right from the time Bogdan
scored a quick win of the exchange by advancing his passed pawn at d6
against a Bc8, pinned against a Ra8 by Bogdan’s Rd8+.
Paul was next to win as his opponent advanced awns on both sides of the
board creating pawn weaknesses which told against him later in a long
endgame. On second board Nicolas had to soak up slight pressure, but a
draw was agreed in due course.
The remaining three games were played in time trouble. Francis lost a
pawn after having exerted good pressure and the game boiled over in play
at breakneck speed, recalling my recent dictum that chess is not
ping-pong! Francis lost on time when his opponent had only eight seconds
left but was about to queen a pawn.
This hubbub possibly got to John who had defended well against pressure.
He reached an excellent position with the material advantage of two
pawns up in a R & N ending, but the opponent’s aggressive king march
from g1 to c5 gave good counter chances.
Howard had to nurse a slight advantage for a long time, but a passed
pawn at b6 enabled to turn the enemy flank by Ra7 and the resulting
domination of the seventh rank led to a mating attack. (BC 11.30pm 24 iv)
Bogdan won due to superior preparation in a known line. I won a b pawn that had advanced to b5 and later some advance pawns on the king side. Nic had agreed a draw in a solid position, Howard won with some fighting chess. John was better but could only draw in time trouble. Francis had an edge for much of the game but lost the thread in time trouble.
So we get to the final at the Mick Jagger Centre on Sunday 5th May 1pm in Dartford . We will be without Bogdan and likely Francis unless he can get a child minder.