Blood on The Board: Brigadeers 4-1 Chieftains

Jamie Mcintosh 0-1 John Wall

The eagerly awaited derby clash between Forest Hall Brigadeers (the B team) and Forest Hall Chieftains (the C team) could have gone either way, but in the end was a big win for the Brigadeers: 4-1.

However, the result doesn’t tell the full story.

On Board 1, Stuart Skelsey was a pawn down for most of the game and was very short of time, but then he found a tactic to regain the pawn and a draw was agreed.

On Board 2, Mike Smith and Ravi Wariyar played a complex positional game, and Mike forced a draw via perpetual check – which was a fair result.

On Board 3 : John Wall Snr won a piece early on, but Jeff Bentham wasn’t about to give in easily. He pushed his pawns to create promotion threats, but then missed a tactic in time trouble which would have won the game (Mike Smith could be heard saying afterwards “Any other move by Jeff would have won”) and John took the advantage to win the ending with 2 minutes left on his clock.

On Board 4, I had the worst of the opening and was losing a pawn, when Mark misjudged a combination – leaving him 2 pawns down, and with the imminent loss of a piece, he resigned.

On Board 5, Johnny Wall Jnr played cautiously and built up some pressure but couldn’t find a breakthrough. I think he was getting frustrated and made a forcing move, which lost the exchange, and was rapidly running out of time. But then – just a Jamie looked to have everything under control – the game swung back, and Johnny was able to swap off into a won ending. He was very relieved to have won with about 1 minute remaining on his clock.

So on a different day, the outcome could easily have been 4-1 to the C team. An exciting match!

Jamie McIntosh 0-1 John Wall Jnr

  • Event: NCA League
  • Date: 2017.01.21
  • White: Jamie McIntosh
  • Black: John Wall Jnr
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 {Jamie plays the solid Exchange variation against
the French. It doesn't promise an advantage, but it can allow a stronger
player to outplay a weaker opponent. Here, however, both players are strong
juniors - so we can expect a hard-fought game.} exd5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Nf3 Bd6 6.
Be3 Ne7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O Bf5 9. Re1 Nd7 10. Qd2 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Ng6 12. Qd2 Qc7
{Black takes aim at White's kingside. Maybe on the next move, Johnny could
have followed up with ...f5 to threaten to win a piece with ...f4} 13. Red1 Nf6
14. g3 Rfe8 15. Ne1 {[#]} Ne4 $1 {A good move, occupying the key e4 square.
The exchange should help Black.} 16. Nxe4 Rxe4 (16... dxe4 {would also be a
strong move, again with the idea of smashing open White's king position with ..
.f5 and ...f4}) 17. c3 Rae8 18. Ng2 f5 19. f4 {Jamie is more or less forced to
block in his own bishop. The question is now: Can he keep the Black pieces out
of his defensive fortress?} Nf8 20. Re1 Qe7 21. Re2 Nd7 22. Rae1 Nf6 {Nice
manouvering by the Black knight, which is now poised to jump into the outpost
at e4.} 23. h3 Nh5 {Johnny tries to pressure the g3 pawn. Another good idea
would be} (23... Re6 {to threaten ...Ne4 next move}) 24. Kh2 g5 $1 {[#] A nice
attacking pawn thrust towards White's king. Johnny can play this way in front
of his own king because White's pieces are quite passive.} 25. Rg1 Kh8 ({
Here Johnny later pointed out (in his notes to the game) that Black can win
here with a lovely knight sacrifice:} 25... Nxg3 26. Kxg3 gxf4+ 27. Nxf4 ({if} 
27. Kf2 {Black wins with} fxe3+ 28. Nxe3+ Kh8 29. Kf1 f4) {and now Black wins
material} 27... Bxf4+ 28. Bxf4 Rxe2 {It doesn't matter that White can move his
own king out of the way with} 29. Kf3+ {because Black can reply} Kh8 30. Be5+
Qxe5 $1) 26. Ree1 gxf4 27. gxf4 Qc7 28. Rgf1 Qg7 29. Rf3 Qe7 ({A good move
here would be} 29... R4e6 {to transfer one or two rooks to the g-file. Black
is clearly on top and doesn't need to hurry with a sacrifice.}) 30. Qf2 Bxf4+ {
This looks like a miscalculation.} 31. Bxf4 Rxe1 32. Nxe1 Qxe1 $2 {[#] A
tactical oversight, which gives Jamie a big chance} ({Johnny said afterwards
he should have played} 32... Nxf4 {which looks completely equal after} 33. Rxf4
Qxe1 34. Rxf5 Qxf2+ ({if} 34... Re2 {there is a nice perpetual check} 35. Rf8+
Kg7 36. Rf7+ {etc}) 35. Rxf2) 33. Be5+ $1 {Ooops!} Rxe5 34. dxe5 Qxe5+ {
Now the position is difficult to assess, as Black has 2 pawns for the exchange,
but king safety could well be the decisive factor.} 35. Kh1 f4 36. Qxa7 Ng3+ {
White is clearly better, but now Jamie - with a Queen and knight hovering
around his king - appears to panic a little.} (36... Qe4 {was perhaps a better
try for Black} 37. Qf2) 37. Rxg3 $2 ({Now it's back to equal. If} 37. Kg2 {
it is hard to see how Johnny could have saved the game, as White's rook at f3,
and queen blocking on f2, protect his king quite well.}) 37... fxg3 38. Qa8+ (
38. Qd4 Qxd4 39. cxd4 {should be a drawn king and pawn ending, as White picks
up the pawn at g3.}) 38... Kg7 39. Qxb7+ Kg6 40. Qxc6+ Kg5 41. h4+ $2 {It
seems like Jamie missed something here, as now Johnny wins.} (41. Kg2 h5 42.
Qa4 Qe2+ 43. Kxg3 {will be a perpetual check}) 41... Kxh4 42. Qa4+ (42. Qh6+ {
doesn't help, as after} Kg4 {there are no more White queen checks}) 42... Kg5
43. Qc2 {[#]} Qe4+ $1 {Well calculated. Johnny has seen that Jamie's king
can't stop both the e- and g-pawn, and the White queenside pawns are too slow.}
44. Qxe4 dxe4 45. Kg2 Kf4 46. a4 e3 47. Kf1 Kf3 {With the Black king's help, a
Black pawn reaches the 7th rank, and it's all over.} 48. a5 e2+ 49. Ke1 g2 {
A very interesting fighting game by both sides. Although there were mistakes,
there were a lot of good moves and ideas, too.} 0-1