A close match for the Pirates
9:01am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Penarth sport
PENARTH Chess Club's first team, the Pirates, entertained Barry Quarks on Monday night in what should have been an easy match for the home side. The reality was very different.
Sam Warburton misjudged an attack on Kevin Gandy and soon found himself in trouble. Getting out of an inferior position to equality, he misplayed a capture and his position was soon rendered untenable. First blood to Barry.
Mike Servini soon afterwards levelled the score when he engineered a splendid discovered check on Chris Green's king, which gave him the visitor's queen for a minor piece.
Ben Thomas was involved in a long game of attrition with Sam White. As material came off, Sam eventually found himself down by the exchange and then Ben added a few pawns to his advantage. Squeezing the position in order to effect further exchanges, Ben forced Sam into desperate measures and he finally lost on time in a situation where Ben queening a pawn for victory was a formality.
The remaining two games were also long struggles - James Thomas was held by Ken Hannah but went into the endgame with a slight edge. At one stage it appeared that he had made the necessary breakthrough but Ken kept finding resources and whittled James’ pawns away. Finally, he exchanged rook for knight, leaving a dynamic position in which the time constraints made both players glad to settle for a draw.
Even more nerve-racking was the clash between Karanvir Lutchman-Singh and Peter Watkins. Peter played what he thought was a relatively quiet opening only to find that his opponent could turn it into a cut-throat affair in which the Barry man was on the back foot. Karanvir went into the endgame with an advantage of a passed pawn whose future looked precarious.
The advantage swung both ways and several times it appeared that the home player had the victory but time was running perilously low and, with no obvious way to win, a draw was agreed with literally seconds on the clocks.
So, although Penarth were the winners, the visitors went away delighted to have scored 2 points.
Penarth Chess Club meets every Monday at 7.30pm in Penarth Conservative Club. All are welcome. The Junior Club meets every Wednesday during term time from 6.30pm to 8.30pm in the Kymin.