After 2 league loses in 2020, the Bees had chance to reset the balance on the 4th March with home advantage at the Daten.
The Bees were without their usual “guest” A team player as both Tom (Vout) and Damian (McCarthy) were unavailable and with regular Bee Andy Coe also unavailable, the Bee’s captain had to loan “C” team regular Mike (Brooks) for the evening (but only if we promised to give him back !).
The stage was set for an interesting match against fellow new Division 1 rivals Northwich, who arrived to the sound of church bells, which continued for the first 12 moves of the match !!. It would appear the local campanology society also have their club night on a Wednesday !!.
The Bees won the toss and elected to have white on odd boards.
As usual all the games had their interesting twists and turns but when all the dust had settled the Bees ran out winners by 4.5-1.5. The Bees first win of 2020 and the double over our division 1 rivals Northwich. Details….
To the games in order of completion
Alex v Richard Major
First game to finish went to the visitors.
Position after whites 24th move…
Here Alex (black) is a pawn to the good and whites pawn on c2 looks vulnerable if the defending bishop can be removed, so 24…. Bg6!! is good and maintains blacks control.
Alex decided to defend the black a pawn with 24….Nc6 (unfortunately this weakens the a6 square and blocks blacks rook from attacking the c2 pawn)
24….. Nc6 25.Ba6 Ra8 26. Bb7 and Alex resigned.
In the final position after 26….Kd7 white has a slight advantage but is definitely not winning. Sometimes the disappointment of loosing control of a position makes you think the position is worse than it actually is.
The Mighty Bees 0-1 Northwich
Mike B v David Richmond
After blacks 12th move we reached the following position…
Mike (white) now decided to go all out for the win with a sacrifice !!
13 Bxh6 gxh6 14. Qxh6
Black now played 14….Nde5 (Bf6! is better) and after… 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. f4 ! Ng6 the position is level again.
Unfortunately the game score was illegible after this, but white secured 3 pawns for the sacrificed bishop and later won an exchange and the game.
The Mighty Bees 1-1 Northwich
Steve v John Beynon
We reached the following position after whites 17th move Nb3….
The position is equal and the computer suggests 17….Na4 should keep the equilibrium.
John blundered with 17….Nc4? and after 18. Bxc4 dxc4 19. Nxa5 b5 20. Bb4 Qd8 21.Nb7 black resigned.
Mighty Bees 2-1 Northwich
Mike v Aaron Milne
This game reached the following position after blacks 11th move….
White could not find the answer to the problem of the pin down the e file as 12.Bc2 Bxe4 13. Qxe4 Qxe4 14.Bxe4 Re8 loses a piece.
White missed 12. Qxf5 Qxf5 13.Nd6+ Bxd6 14 Bxf5+ and white is still in the game.
White played 12.Kf1 Rxd3 and the game was effectively over.
The game can be summed up by comparing the positions after blacks 15th and 19th move….
Nick has already built up an advantage, creating pawn weaknesses in the black position with a6,c6 and c5 all isolated. So the technique is to pick at least one of these weaknesses off – Nick does this in fine style…
If you compare the two position you will see white has developed two strong knights whilst black has shuffled his pieces back and forth and ended up in exactly the same position.
Black now loses one of his isolated pawns and effectively the game. 20. f4 f5 21. e5 a5 22.Qf2 Kh7 23. Nxc5 Nxc5 24. Bxc5 Bxc5 25. Qxc5
Nick kept this advantage right to the end and won.
Mighty Bees 4-1 Northwich
And so with a game to spare The Mighty Bees had chalked up their first league win of 2020.
Keith v Richard Betts
The top board reached the following position after white’s 28th move…..
Keith (black) has built up a menacing attack down the k side and according to the computer has an advantage.
Keith played 28….Bb4, but white didn’t see the reply 29. Bxg4 stopping blacks attack and winning a pawn into the bargain.
White played 29 Nb3 and a draw was agreed.
Final match score
The Mighty Bees 4.5 – 1.5 Northwich
Well played everyone.
Mighty Bees will be in action again on March 11th against Winwick, full report will be here.
Culcheth-Lymm headed to a new venue in St Helens to play the Peninsula cup final. Captain Johnson won the toss and chose White on odd boards.
With usual stars Marek and Jonathan on top boards inform player Damian gained promotion to board 3. The old stalwarts Iain and Tom were on 4 and 5 with magician Steve, following great wins against Jonathan Smith and Tom Dugdale providing a strong board 6.
With the unenviable task of playing black against Dave Hill , Jonathan held firm against the English and finished first with a good draw.
Marek produced another masterclass against Mark Ellis in an exciting battle to give Culcheth-Lymm the lead.
and after Damian agreed a draw with Tom Dugdale in a decent position but low on time it was left to the rear gunners to finish the job.
Iain beat old foe Barry Groves after a few scares
then Steve gained revenge against Keith Lyon and Tom did a typical Tom and beat Steve Potter in an interesting endgame to give the away team a 5-1 victory. Open top bus celebrations to come!