Chess defeats mean battered Penarth’s Piers are slowly sinking

Chess defeats mean battered Penarth’s Piers are slowly sinking

PENARTH Chess Club’s second team, the Piers, continue to struggle in the second division.

Illness has depleted their ranks so that, when they travelled to meet Porthcawl, they were massively outgraded.

Nonetheless, they put up a terrific fight.

First to finish, Sam Warburton, succeeded in holding off Neil Stuart’s attack and neutralising it by forcing a massive exchange of pieces; making a draw the only credible outcome. Tom Bennett, playing fourth board, created an attack on Alun Williams, who was forced into a queen exchange to provide a second, excellent, draw.

Jimmy Borg, labouring under a massive disadvantage against Mark Jones, had a lovely attack but sacrificed too much for it so that, when Mark survived, the material disadvantage was too great and Jimmy lost.

Meanwhile, Hazel Brunker had managed a material lead but got herself into time trouble against Wayne James on bottom board. Managing to beat the time control, she essayed an attack that Wayne spent a long time working out how to overcome and eventually a draw was agreed. Given that Hazel was 320 grading points behind her opponent, this was a more than remarkable result.

The top board tussle between Ben Thomas and Chris Howells continued far into the evening. Three times Chris offered a draw but Ben fancied his chances too much. He pressed for a win when there probably wasn’t one and over-reached. Sadly, his position crumbled and he lost. So the Piers managed a mere 1.5 points but all those gave great satisfaction.

The Piers were in action again on February 4 against St John’s Positrons and fared even worse. Sam Warburton was again first to finish when he totally failed to contain James Lavender. Soon after, Thomas Turton, on bottom board to Mark Emblem, provided the evening’s sole solace when, in an even position, Mark miscalculated and let in Thomas’s pieces to secure victory. Jimmy Borg, on board 4 facing Dave Roberts, seemed to have a comfortable position but was unable to sustain it and his game fell apart. Mike Servini, playing middle board, soon found himself in an uncomfortable position with his king unable to castle.

Eventually the relentless pressure from Paul Tew told and he, too, resigned.

Ben Thomas, meanwhile, subjected to a massive attack from Gary Thomas on top board, held on. Although never comfortable, Ben managed to swap pieces leading to an endgame with, observers thought, a slight edge in his favour. Declining the proffered draw, he pushed too hard for the win and lost.

So, a disastrous 1-4 defeat puts the Piers firmly in the frame for relegation.

Penarth Chess Club meets every Monday at 7.30pm at Penarth Conservative Club.

All are welcome. The Junior Club, which normally meets at the Kymin on Wednesdays from 6.30-8.30pm, will be taking a half-term break on February 13.

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