While e2e4.org.uk 1 had hoped – and managed – to beat Warwickshire Select 1 on Saturday, there was little expectation of a similar result against a strong Wood Green 2. In the end, they did lose, but only by the narrowest margin (3.5-4.5). The match was lost on the lower boards, where our opponents prevailed 3-1, which was not surprising given their grading advantage there. However, on the top boards we came out on top 2.5-1.5, thanks to a couple of good wins by Peter Sowray and Andrew Bird, and Alexei Slavin holding Jonathan Speelman to a draw on board one.
My game against Benjamin Arvola saw him adopt an unusual, but (apparently) current fashionable line against the Najdorf. I achieved a reasonable position out of the opening, but then a few inaccuracies led to me facing difficulties. My opponent passed over a couple of chances to play a strong exchange sacrifice, but still had good pressure, and one last mistake saw him break through quickly.
The game is given below with some notes.