Dec 07, 2023

Luton A win to move to top of the table (Luton FC nearly win against top of the table Arsenal)

Luton Chess Club and Luton Town Football Club both played home matches Tuesday evening. Luton A had to face Milton Keynes C at the University of Bedfordshire. Luton Town were against top of the table Arsenal at Kenilworth Road. The chess clocks started at 7.30 pm, and the football kicked off 45 minutes later. As per rules, phones are switched off and we'd find out at the end of the evening, how each home side faired.

Luton A were in full force. From boards one to four it was Tommy, Julian, Daman and Samir. But skipper Dixon was out in London, and so former board one Michael Joseph made a welcome return to the league.

First result was board two, a win for Luton A by default. A shame, since Julian had prepared all day and was looking forward to the evening game.

Luton A 1 - 0 Milton Keynes C

The next result was board four, Samir playing White against Michael Page. Samir laid a trap, taking a minor piece on d6, forcing Michael to recapture with his Queen, which Samir then attacked with a Bishop, effecting a skewer, winning the exchange, from which Black never recovered.

Luton A 2 - 0 Milton Keynes C

Next was board three, Daman with the Black pieces v John McNamara. John played an aggressive Ruy Lopez, trading his Rook and pawn for Daman's two minor pieces on the King's side. The position looked imbalanced, and reached a Rook and five pawns v Knight, Bishop and four pawns endgame. A draw was agreed.

Luton A 2.5 - 0.5 Milton Keynes C

By this time, the football match was into the second half: Luton 3 - 2 Arsenal.

Oblivious to all of this was Tommy playing board one against Colin Solloway. It seemed even match whenever I looked, except Colin had much less time on his clock. But then, whilst still in the middle game, Tommy serenely got all his pieces out to force a win on the King's side, and Colin laid down his King.

Luton A 3.5 - 0.5 Milton Keynes C

Last of the evening, on board five was the game I was most excited about because Michael Joseph was back. Time was running out for both players as they reached the endgame. Michael had a Knight and some pawns, and Mark Osborn had a Bishop and some pawns and both were racing on opposite wings to make one a Queen. Michael touched down first on the Queen's side, and Mark immediately afterwards King' side. Michael was able to force and exchange of Queen's, picking up Mark's Bishop along the way and with his surviving Knight plus a pawn majority, Mark resigned.

Final match result: Luton A 4.5 - 0.5 Milton Keynes C

Those of us who stayed behind to pack up had just enough time to catch the football results; Luton Town 3 - 4 Arsenal. Nevermind. With tonight's result, Luton A moved to the top of Division 2 in he Bedfordshire County Chess League.

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