We check in on the league and get started for a brand new season of Game of the Month.
The league is in full swing!
Division One proving as tough as ever and a little surprising; Downend B are on top thanks to a youthful and in-form team. Bath A are lurking with a match in hand and look very strong, for example only losing 2.5 points to all 3 Horfield teams put together!
Conversely to division 1, the ‘A’ teams are in charge of the other three divisions: North Bristol, Cabot, and Harambee with a much improved start compared to last season in division 4 (they have a game in hand over Clevedon C, level on points).
Game of the Month
Rob Attar vs. Max Walker
Horfield B vs Clevedon A (division 1)
I was playing in this match, and would have shown my own loss on board 1, succumbing to some nice tactics from my opponent, but there was a sharper game on board 4 from Max:
The engines prefer Qg5, which is always hanging in the air – but perhaps this is more a computer favourite because it shuts out a few perpetual possibilities for White. But if one thing is certain, Rob wasn’t looking for chances to bail out! With the g-pawn gone, this is still a very double-edged position.
Rob accepts the exchange loss and sets about creating counter-chances against the open king, but Max finds a cool defence:
And Rob takes the bait with Qxf7! This is a piece sacrifice, with the idea being that after Black escapes the pin with Qb5+ and then Bxh4, White has the nasty Rc7! Threatening h7 mate with no obvious escape.
But Max had seen one:
25. Qxf7 Qb5+ 26. Kg1 Bxh4 27. Rc7
27… Bxf2+! And Black either drags the king to an unfortunate square (If Kh1, Qf1 mate; and if Kxf2, Rf8 pins and wins) or distracts the White queen away from mate so that Black can bring in the reinforcements in time. Phew!
It’s officially the start of a new season, so we better get the prizes for last year wrapped up.
Newsflash: BCT reaches 100 articles! Thanks to all contributors – we have had 13 authors from 7 different clubs, and lots of engagement from readers. What’s next for BCT? Well I’m sure we’ll write an article on it! Meanwhile its (digital) founder, Jon Fisher, welcomes his second son into the world earlier this very day – congrats buddy! Well, on with the chess and two other fine specimens to admire in wonder:
We gave you ten ‘Games of the Month‘ last season – you have picked your winner and so have we. Prizes will be awarded at a convenient time (i.e. when I next play against the winners’ club in a match), so without further ado…
The deluge of votes from the great chess public went for…
This is a common tempt in the opening – a bishop and knight for a rook and a pawn. As Aron ruthlessly demonstrates, the extra minor pieces can be immediately useful whereas the extra rook takes a while to get going, so this trade is often not advised for the offender.
The queen was given up in the hope of defence but it was all over – replay below. Nice one, Aron!
We agonised long and hard over a few different games; it was a close call but we went for an original game where both sides played with plenty of adventure and spirit. And the winner is…
Ethan Luc! (University) – “I’d rather be Luc(ky) than good”
Comments are from both Ethan (EL) and us (BCT):
Well done Ethan and great stuff everyone!
More games this season please!
This season (18-19) we are hoping for more games to showcase not just for Game of the Month but as educational articles like this one on the Hippo. So don’t be shy! Games will not be analysed to within an inch of their lives – just enjoyed by chess-lovers alike. Here are some ideas:
Send in other people’s games – (there are no rights issues here!)
Send fragments of games (e.g. just an endgame is fine!)
Send games from tournaments (often longer time-controls make for better games)
Send in puzzle-like variations of games
If you’re that way inclined – send in computer analysis (maybe you played a ‘perfect’ middlegame?)
We’ll do our best to publish all games and will be continuing Game of the Month – so always appreciate more fodder.
Have a great season everyone!
Mike is co-editor of the Bristol Chess Times and plays regular league and tournament chess, sometimes underwater.