Exeter Juniors 3-1 Sidmouth Juniors

A terrific performance, I've rarely been more proud of a team.

We were giving away nearly 100 grading points over 4 boards, but came out on top without a single loss.

As always, things could have turned out differently, and Sidmouth fought for every square on every board.

{After some vague opening play on both sides, Black dropped an exchange. After that, White gradually converted but Black had chances to draw (or do even better) with some little tactics.}

[Event "EJCC vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.15"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hafstad, L."]
[Black "Susevee, Guy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C00"]
[PlyCount "95"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 2... c5 $5 (2... d5 {
is the French move.}) 3. dxc5 $6 {
This gives Black an extra move for development and an extra cenral pawn.} (3.
c3 {is an easy system against the Sicilian.}) (3. d5 {
may be the strongest move.}) 3... Bxc5 4. Nf3 Ne7 5. Bd3 Nbc6 6. Nc3 d6 7. O-O
O-O 8. Be3 b6 9. Bxc5 (9. Qd2) 9... bxc5 {
Black has good pawn control of the centre.} 10. Qe2 Nd4 11. Qd1 Ng6 12. Nb5 $6
{This should lose a pawn, but...} 12... Nxb5 13. Bxb5 Rb8 14. Ba4 Rxb2 15. Bb3
$1 15... c4 16. Qc1 Bb7 (16... c3 $1 {might save the Exchange.}) 17. Qxb2 cxb3
18. Qxb3 (18. axb3) 18... Bxe4 19. c4 Nh4 20. Nxh4 Qxh4 21. Qg3 Qf6 22. Qxd6 h6
23. f3 (23. Rad1 $1 {
takes of control of some central squares, and is likely to lead to exchanges.})
23... Rd8 24. Qg3 Bd3 25. Rfd1 25... Rc8 {
Right, now White needs to swap pieces, keep pawns on, but mostly keep control.}
26. f4 $6 {The first step in the wrong direction!} (26. Rac1 $1 26... Bxc4 27.
Qg4 $1 27... Ba6 28. Rxc8+ Bxc8 29. Qd4 $1 {
forces the exchange of Queens, with an easier win.}) 26... Bxc4 27. Rac1 Ba6
28. Rxc8+ Bxc8 29. Qd3 Bb7 30. Rb1 (30. Qd8+ $1 {should do it}) 30... Qe7 31.
f5 $2 (31. Qd4 $1 31... Bd5) 31... exf5 $2 (31... Qc5+ $1 32. Kh1 exf5) 32.
Qxf5 g6 33. Qa5 (33. Qf2 $1) 33... Qe4 (33... Qe3+ $1 34. Kh1 34... Bxg2+ $1 {
might win for Black.} 35. Kxg2 Qe4+) 34. Rb2 Qd4+ 35. Rf2 Qd1+ 36. Rf1 Qd4+ 37.
Kh1 Qb2 38. Rg1 {White has been forced onto the defensive. At this point
someone asked me not very quietly, "doesn't ...Bxg2 draw?". Yes it does...}
38... Kg7 $2 (38... Bxg2+ $1 39. Rxg2 Qb1+ 40. Rg1 Qe4+ 41. Rg2 Qb1+ 42. Rg1
42... Qe4+ {with perpetual check.}) 39. Qxa7 g5 40. a4 g4 41. Qe3 {
White is gradually getting a hold of the game again.} 41... h5 42. Qg5+ Kf8 43.
Qxh5 43... g3 $2 ({Last chance for} 43... Bxg2+ $1) 44. Qc5+ Ke8 45. Qb5+ $5 {
Forcing the exchange of Queens - which is very attractive - but there was
something better!} (45. Re1+ $1 {mates} 45... Kd8 (45... Kd7 46. Re7+) 46. Qd6+
) 45... Qxb5 46. axb5 gxh2 47. Kxh2 47... Kd7 {
There are three obvious moves here: Rf1, Rd1+ and Rb1...} 48. Rc1 $1 {
But that's the best one! This classy move, cutting the King off, makes things
simplest.} 1-0

{Some really good attitude by both sides, and some good ideas. White dropped an exchange and Black had good chances to convert, but White was saved by a passed g-pawn.}

[Event "EJCC vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.15"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Bacon, Nicky"]
[Black "Finch, Taylor"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D32"]
[PlyCount "64"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. Bf4 {Not daft, but not usual.} (
4. cxd5 exd5 (4... cxd4 $5)) (4. Nf3) 4... a6 $6 {Over-anxious.} ({
A bit of clear thinking might have shown} 4... cxd4 $1 {
is perfectly safe, maybe even good for Black.} 5. Nb5 (5. Qxd4 Nc6 6. Qd2 d4)
5... Bb4+) 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. e3 Nf6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 cxd4 10. exd4 {
Now it's 'How Good Is Your IQP Chess?'} 10... Nd5 {
Right idea, blockading the IQP, but too early! White can swap:} 11. Bxd5 11...
exd5 {Now White looks better. The game now enters a scrappy phase where both
sides try to establish an advantage.} 12. Re1 O-O 13. Ne5 $5 (13. Rc1 $1) 13...
Nxe5 14. dxe5 $5 14... d4 $5 15. Ne4 Bb4 (15... Qb6) 16. Rf1 Bf5 17. Nd6 Bxd6
18. exd6 Qb6 19. Re1 (19. Qd2 $1 19... d3 $1) 19... Qxb2 20. Rb1 $4 (20. Be5 $1
) 20... Bxb1 21. Qxb1 Qxb1 22. Rxb1 b5 23. Rd1 Rad8 24. Rxd4 Rfe8 25. f3 h6 26.
Kf2 Kf8 27. d7 Re7 28. Bd6 Rdxd7 29. Bxe7+ Kxe7 30. Rb4 Kd8 (30... Rd2+ 31. Ke3
Rxa2) 31. Kg3 Rd2 32. Rf4 32... f6 {and the score doesn't quite make sense to
me. Black Queened the a-pawn, costing White a Rook, but White created a
passed pawn on the other wing, and that was enough to draw.} 1/2-1/2

{A slow game where the centre got blocked, the King's-side got blocked, and the players agreed that the Queen's-side wasn't worth the effort.}

[Event "EJCC vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Whittington, Reece"]
[Black "Susevee, Greg"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A53"]
[PlyCount "78"]
<p> 1. d4 Nf6 2.
Nf3 d6 3. c4 Nbd7 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 (5. e4) 5... Be7 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 O-O 8. Qc2
Re8 9. Bd3 Nf8 10. O-O 10... b6 {Black holds back in the centre.} 11. Rae1 Bb7
12. e4 Nh5 13. Bxe7 13... Qxe7 {Now White blocks out the Black Bishop, but
that isn't kind to White's Bishop either.} 14. d5 e5 15. Rc1 a6 16. Rfe1 {
The e-file is unlikely to be opened, so White should get on with somethingelse.
} (16. b4 $1 {White's chances lie on the Queen's-side, where he has more space,
and Black on the King's-side. White should aim for c4-c5}) 16... Qf6 17. Bf1 (
17. b4 $1) 17... Ng6 18. Ne2 Ngf4 19. Nxf4 Qxf4 20. Qc3 Nf6 21. Qd3 Bc8 22. g3
Qg4 23. Bg2 Qh5 24. Nd2 Bh3 25. f3 Bxg2 26. Kxg2 g5 27. g4 {
White wants to seal up the King's-side.} (27. b4) 27... Qg6 28. h3 (28. b4)
28... Kg7 29. Rh1 {Preparing to meet Black's natural plan to open the h-file.}
29... Rh8 30. Rh2 Rh7 31. Rch1 h5 32. Qa3 32... h4 $2 {
Once the King's-side is blocked, White has the better chances.} 33. Qa4 Rhh8
34. Qc6 Rhc8 35. Rc1 Qh7 36. b4 Qg8 37. Nb3 Qe8 38. Qxe8 Nxe8 39. c5 {
At last! After all the swaps, I think Black can defend, but it wouldn't be
wrong for White to try a few more moves to see what happened.} 39... Kf8 (39...
Kf8 40. Kf2 bxc5 41. bxc5 a5 42. Ke3 a4 43. Nd2) 1/2-1/2

{White was gradually adding little advantages to his collection but Black's early grab for space kept it level, then White walked into a tactic, losing the exchange. Black kept control and found a simple breakthrough for a remarkable result.}

[Event "EJCC vs Sidmouth"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.03.15"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Toms, David"]
[Black "Keat, Sam"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C44"]
[PlyCount "106"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. g3 {I think this is a good idea from White, to play an
indirect opening against a young player.} 3... Nf6 4. d3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2
Bg4 7. Nbd2 Qe7 8. O-O 8... O-O-O {Often a signal for wild attacks on both
sides, but a lot depends on who controls the centre, and that hasn't yet been
decided.} 9. c3 f5 10. Qc2 g6 (10... g5 $5) 11. h3 Bh5 12. Nc4 Bg7 13. Re1 h6
14. Ne3 Nxe3 15. Bxe3 g5 16. d4 e4 17. Nd2 {
Black's pawns are seriously cramping White's pieces.} 17... Bg6 18. Qa4 Kb8 19.
f3 Rhf8 20. Bf2 e3 (20... Qf7 $1 {saves the pawn}) 21. Rxe3 Qd6 (21... Qd7) 22.
Nc4 Qd7 23. Rae1 $6 {This natural move has a tactical flaw.} 23... f4 $1 24.
Re6 (24. R3e2 $2 24... Nxd4 $1 25. Qxd7 Nxe2+ 26. Rxe2 Rxd7) 24... Bf7 25. Rxc6
(25. R6e4 Bd5 26. R4e2 Nxd4) 25... Qxc6 26. Qxc6 bxc6 27. Ne5 Bd5 (27... Bxe5
$1 {is simpler} 28. Rxe5 Bxa2 29. gxf4 Rxf4) 28. g4 Rfe8 29. c4 29... Bxe5 $1
30. cxd5 30... Bxd4 $1 31. Rxe8 31... Bxf2+ $1 32. Kxf2 Rxe8 33. dxc6 Re6 34.
Bf1 34... Rxc6 {Now White can hope to make a fortress.} 35. Bd3 Re6 36. h4 Kb7
37. hxg5 hxg5 38. Be4+ 38... Kb6 {Can Black break through? White rightly
refuses to move the Queen's-side pawns, hoping to cover all the entry squares.}
39. Ke2 Kb5 40. Kd3 c5 41. Kc3 41... a5 {White is in Zugzwang} 42. Kb3 $6 42...
Rxe4 $1 43. fxe4 f3 44. e5 f2 45. e6 f1=Q 46. e7 Qe1 (46... Qd3# $1 {
was a bit faster!}) 47. a4+ Kb6 48. Kc4 Qxe7 49. b4 cxb4 50. Kd5 b3 51. Kc4 b2
52. Kd5 b1=Q 53. Kd4 Qd1+ (53... Qc5# $1 {was one move faster!}) 0-1

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