Knotty Ash Cup

Venue Formby Date 10th December 2019

Teams Formby v Atticus

1 Rob Owens [121] 0 Chris Wentworth [128] 1

2 John Gray [120] 0 Sanjoy Banerjee [129] 1

3 Alan Worthington [116] 0 Jim Wiseman [122] 1

4 Dave McKee [114] 0.5 Tom Webb [121] 0.5

5 Eddie Patten [106] 0.5 Steve Burge [121] 0.5

 

Final Score   1-4

 

A very strong performance by Atticus saw Formby overwhelmed in a somewhat one-sided quarter final

First to finish was Chris who with the White pieces remains a lethal player. Anyone playing a main line defence against him needs to know the sharpest lines. Tonight it was the Caro Kan’s turn to come under scrutiny, a rock solid opening but all so vulnerable to dynamite and thus is was poor Rob was duly blasted away….from around move 6!

Next to finish was me. It seems everybody is playing the London these days so it is just as well to have a couple of sharp lines against this juggernaut of a system. I managed to find some equalising moves and seize the initiative. Looking at the other boards I could see we were about to win on at least two other so I offered the draw knowing this would secure the match. Dave felt he had nothing better and so accepted the draw, although in the post match analysis we found a promising line for white.

Jim finished next. He decided to do away with all religious support and he duly offered first one bishop and then the other. But it wouldn’t be a Jim game unless sundry other bits of wood were thrown on the fire. Alan was duly confused and confounded as lines were opened and major pieces swarmed around the unfortunate black King. Almost certainly one of Jim’s many sacrifice’s wasn’t sound but which one? And no you can’t take your move back and the clock is ticking…vintage Wiseman.

Steve had an even position after a stolid French opening and looked around to see that a half point mathematically sealed the win. Meanwhile Eddie had moved into attack mode and moved his bishop into a threatening position. Unfortunately for Eddie Steve could just whip it off with check and go a whole piece up. Fortunately for Eddie Steve was thinking about the team and offered the draw which Eddie gratefully accepted

This left just the Sanjoy’s game to finish. Again a London system. One of the problems with this opening is that white can just go into robot mode and just move d4, Bf4, e3 etc and just forget about

what black is trying to do. And so it proved and John walked into an opening ambush that cost him a knight after less than a dozen moves.

Well that should have been it, but Sanjoy seems to have taken religious orders and went into a period of Zen like contemplation where he did almost precisely nothing for about 15 moves. Eventually he came out of his revelry, swapped everything off and remained the piece up. John, a piece down, his position busted and with just four minutes left on his clock decided he had suffered enough and threw in the towel. Still it comes to something when a captain is whingeing about the style of his teams’ wins

Well done Atticus and many thanks to Formby. Who as always played the game in the right spirit.

Tom Webb

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