B Team wins again

Felixstowe B1 – 3Saxmundham B
1Gary Hemsworth (B)16350 – 1Mike Usher 1712
2David Robertson13940 – 1Dominic Carter1653
3Trevor Wright13241 – 0Lee Osmon (DEF)1383
4John Harvey12500 – 1Hugo Brown1317

The B Team continued their winning ways on Tuesday with a 3-1 win at Felixstowe B. The team had the worst of starts when Lee became unwell and had to pull out at the last minute and no replacement could be found, leading to a default on Board 3. However, the rest of the team delivered three wins to take the match comfortably.

Hugo refuted his opponent’s early piece sacrifice and later increased his material advantage to bring home the point. Dominic met the King’s Gambit with the Falkbeer Counter Gambit which appeared to flummox his opponent, who didn’t handle it well, shed a piece, and after much wriggling Dominic closed out a simple win.

Mike had his opponent under sustained pressure from early on, but couldn’t find a decisive continuation. Eventually he managed to turn the pressure into a material advantage, gaining a vital passed a-pawn, and entering an advantageous R+P ending. At this point, just as Mike was knuckling down for a long grind, his opponent overlooked a well-known endgame tactic:

This position is winning for White, but Black blundered the point straight away by playing 43…Kf7?? allowing a well known tactic – 44.Rh8 and Black resigned. If Black takes the pawn then Rh7+ wins the Rook, otherwise White queens the pawn with an easy win. The King must remain on g7/h7 to guard against the tactic, leaving white’s win needing a bit more work.

If instead, Black plays 43…Ra1, intending to shuffle his King between g7/h7, then White needs to play 44.f4! to ensure his King can then be free to wander up the board, whilst Black’s pieces are tied down to preventing the a-pawn fulfilling its destiny. Note that 43.f3? would not achieve the win, as Black can play 43…Ra2+ followed by exf3 and he has a good counter-threat. By playing f4 White avoids this as Black has to take en-passant straight away, with no time for the vital Rook check, and White’s King is again free to roam.