Nov 08, 2023

Honours even: Luton B 2.5 - 2.5 Milton Keynes A

Tuesday 7th November 2023 was Luton B v Milton Keynes A at home.

Board 1 was George Ward v Octavian Arsenie. Octavian was caught out in an opening trap and lost his Queen and I thought the game. But every time I looked at the board, it was George who was using up time on his clock, moving his Queen back and forth searching for plan. Octavian got his pieces out quickly and planted a powerful Bishop on d3 that jammed up White's development. Black eventually came out on top and the first game to finish. You can follow the moves of their encounter on the Selected Games section of the website.

Board 2 was Marek Gladysz v Dominic Watson in a close encounter between two evenly matched opponents. Dominic's King was exposed on the Kings side, and Marek offered a loose Bishop to tempt his opponents Queen away. Dominic countered by playing his Bishop his King, but Marek found mating attack that forced Dominic to give up his Queen and the game in the second game to conclude.

So far, so good; Luton B had a solid 2 point lead.

Board 3 was Nigel Collins v Aleksandar Juhasz. The game seemed locked with no exchanges and time running out for both players. Then the b file was prized open, but Nigel was running out of time, and with no clear win, offered a draw. Aleksandar played on but felt that the position slightly favoured his opponent, who even though only had a few minutes left with at 35 moves, might have been abled to gain time on the increments, so offered a counter draw, which was accepted.

Luton B had 2.5 points and a draw on boards 4 or 5 would win the match.

Board 4 was Daven Patel v Sumit Bhalla. The game was fairly even until move 20, when Daven played a risky b pawn advance, giving up a pawn, perhaps tying to open up the c file and control with a Queen and Rook. Sumit took the pawn and seemed to be ahead but then appeared to make a mistake on move 23, which could have cost a pawn and piece. However, this was an over the board game, where anything can happen or not, and Daven missed the winning move. Sumit quickly adjusted to correct the error and slowly gained the advantage until Daven blundered a Rook and the game. Daven's chess career has been online and he'll learn from this OTB experience.

Luton B 2.5 - 1.5 Milton Keynes A

Board 5 was Mark Osborn v Segiu Pop and the last game of the evening. The game was fairly even, until a Rook and pawns ending, where Mark looked to be ahead with connected pass pawns on the Kingside. The pawns reached the 6th rank with just Sergiu's King in the way. Sergiu thought about this for a while, then elected to play the King in the centre towards his own pawns and maybe force some counterplay with checks. However, Mark skillyfully maneuvered his King away from trouble and after Queening a pawn then giving check, Segiu could see the end and resigned.

Luton B 2.5 - 2.5 Milton Keynes A

At the time of writing, Milton Keynes A move to the top of division 2 and Luton B move off the bottom of the table into 4th, below Luton A.

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