I play for e2e4.org.uk in the 4NCL. This last 4NCL weekend I was playing for the second team in division 3. In round 3 we were paired against KJCA Kings, and the match was frankly something of a disaster, both personally and also for the team.
On paper, we would have expected to win, but a couple of losses on boards 4 and 5 set us back. Philip Horspool was in a strong position against Lyall Bayliss, but blundered his queen in time trouble. Paul McIntyre reached a decent-looking Sicilian endgame as Black in his game with Robert Maguire, but dropped a pawn and was subsequently unable to generate enough play for it.
Richard Almond and John Sugden could only pick up draws against Victor and William Jones respectively, although they took rather different routes to the same result; Richard’s game was a wild encounter, in which both players had their chances, while the other game was a less eventful draw.
It was only David Coates who managed to pick up a win, converting an unusual material balance against Jasdeep Gahir.
My game was an ultimately frustrating experience. The game, with me playing White, went into a sideline of the Hedgehog. I didn’t find an incisive plan against my opponent’s setup, and so the game entered a lengthy period of manoeuvring. Approaching the time control at move 40, my opponent had gradually gained the upper hand, but slipped up, allowing me to establish a knight in a strong central position. Then, as play proceeded towards the next time control, my opponent yet again had a chance, but missed it; however, I then proceeded to blunder in time pressure myself and lose on time in a hopeless position.
The final match score was 4-2 in favour of KJCA Kings.