Dragons 2 Beat Pentland Hills 3½-2½
The Dragons second team faced their last match in Division 1 having played well all season but without the rewards in points. This time fortune favoured the Dragons when one of the Pentland Hills team had to call off due to a family health issue. While we wish a speedy recovery to our friend in chess, we were happy to start the match 1-0 up. Although Adam knew he did not have an opponent, he turned up anyway to be sure.
|Wandering Dragons 2||3½‑2½||Pentland Hills 1|
|O`Neil, J. (1824)||½‑½||Best, P. (1891)|
|Carter, R. (1796)||1‑0||Bauld, R. (1762)|
|Konarski, J (1725)||½‑½||Morrison, I. (1758)|
|Brownlee, I. (1676)||½‑½||Begg, D. (1695)|
|Tope, B. (1609)||0‑1||Nisbet, C. (1427)|
|Walkowiak, A. (1563)||1‑0||DEFAULT|
On the top board, Jim was facing Philip Best, whom he bested twice last season but lost in their “Mordor” encounter this season. Philip got lost on the way to Pilrig and was down on his time when he arrived. The game followed previous encounters with a Sicilian Najdorf in which Philip played an early a4 and the game went into a tense middle game.
Jannic and Ian secured draws early on and the 1 point advantage was preserved. The positive grading difference on 5 (in the Dragons favour for once) looked like it would make it a good night for the Dragons but Bryan went wrong and allowed a powerful kingside attack to take place, which even his superior grading could not stop.
On 2 Richard Carter started showing some of his sparkle that had been missing earlier in the season and pressed on his opponent’s kingside. Sacrifice options were aplenty and Richard pounced on a weak defensive move by his opponent and smashed his way through the black defences, eventually triumphing.
Meanwhile on 1, Jim saw that the score was 3-2 to the Dragons and a draw would be enough to win the match. Philip was down on time with a slight edge from the middle game. Jim offered a strategic draw which was declined. Although there might have been opportunities for adventure and complicated lines, Jim chose exchanges that ended up in a totally drawn rook ending. Philip played out a few more moves but realised there was no way to make more of it than a draw. Final score 3½-2½.