Cumnor 2 snatches victory from Cowley Workers [Match Report]

On Monday 12 January, the fine fellows (and Ann) of Cumnor Chess Club’s second team made their way to the salubrious setting of Cowley Working Mens’ Club to battle with Cowley Workers 2.

Back in October, Cumnor 2 managed to beat Cowley Workers 2 by 3.5 points to 2.5. Would this be a case of Cowley Workers getting their revenge on their home turf?

Graham Cluley, on board 1, finished first against John Courouble who chose to play the lesser-known Owen’s Defence.

Meanwhile, on other boards, Richard Slade found himself in a tricky position early on which lead to a devastating attack on his kingside, and Steve Bennett rallied from an awkward position to a seemingly possibly winning position and then back to a draw again after some fine play by his quick-moving opponent who had barely used 15 minutes on his clock by the end of the match.

Ann and Robert’s games I didn’t see – but congratulations to Robert for winning, and commiserations to Ann.

Which leaves us with Marc Ives on board 3.

Both Marc and his opponent had pawns on F, G and H and a single rook. But Marc – who was White – was in a a stronger position with an additional passed pawn on the a file and – it had to be said – his rook was much better placed.

To the onlookers it appeared that Marc had a relatively easy win in the bag. Either his A pawn would promote, or Black would have to sacrifice his rook to stop it.

At the very least, Black was in trouble – and his clock was running out.

At this stage, the score for the match was tied at 2.5-2.5, so many eyes were turned to the board as it would decide the entire fixture.

Unfortunately (and I’m not telling tales behind his back as I think he’d be the first to admit it) Marc wasn’t entirely confident about how best to maximise his advantage. Sadly his A pawn was lost, and then Black’s pawns broke through Marc’s defences.

Suddenly, it looked like it was Black who would manage to promote a pawn – or at least win a piece in the scuffle that was about to occur. And that meant Black was *definitely* going to win.

In other words, Cowley Workers would win 3.5 – 2.5.

And then, it was suddenly all over. Despite Black’s seemingly certain victory, fate played its hand and his flag fell. Black had run out of time.

Cowley Workers 2 Cumnor 2
1 Courouble, John (116) 0-1 Cluley, Graham (112)
2 Ilic, Stevo (110) 0.5-0.5 Bennett, Steven (110)
3 Matilal, Tamal (103) 0-1 Ives, Marc (97)
4 Collins, Lee (109) 1-0 Slade, Richard ( )
5 Jackson, William J (88) 0-1 Steel, Robert (85)
6 Palienkiewicz, Pawel ( ) 1-0. Willan, Ann (33)
Match played on 12 Jan 2016. 2.5-3.5

Cowley Workers couldn’t believe they had lost the match because they had messed up on the clock. Victory was ours. Huzzah! As Cowley Workers wrote on Twitter, they felt swindled…

Better luck next time guys.

Published by

Graham Cluley

When he's not playing chess rather poorly for Cumnor Chess Club, Graham is normally talking a lot about computer security on his blog, or insisting people listen to his podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @gcluley.

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