In the Quarter-Finals of the First Division Championship, the Avengers defeated Watford by a convincing 3-1 margin.
Watford’s best hopes of a win were provided by internet blitz specialist, Ernest Karamazondo. In a Bishop’s Opening, Ernest sacrificed a couple of pawns for the initiative. Paul seized the material, but Ernest’s active queen, rook, and bishop against Paul’s exposed king provided a sack full of compensation. Paul defended robustly, but Ernest could have made more of his chances, and was perhaps disappointed with the draw that was agreed in a level position on move 38.
Andrew Stone never achieved equality against Andy’s trademark English Opening. Behind on the clock, Andrew initiated messy complications in the late middle game. This only made matters worse, allowing Andy to finish-off with a nice mating attack.
The match was decided by the B2 encounter. Ed Holland initiated a deeply theoretical line with 7 Be3 against Panagiotis’s Najdorf Sicilian. However, Ed appeared ill-prepared for the challenges of this line, almost sleep-walking into Panagiotis’s deftly executed queens-side attack.
FM Venkataraman looked under pressure after Martin’s enterprising queen-sacrifice disturbed the tranquillity of a seemingly uneventful Giuoco Piano. The FM gave up the exchange to rid himself of Martin’s dangerous passed-pawn on a6. This left Martin with the slight material plus of 2Rs v Q. But Martin could see way of making progress and ceded the draw on move 49.
A strong all-round team performance has taken Anglia Avengers to the Semi-Finals of an International competition. We are paired against 8th seed, Guildford Young Guns, the joint winners of Group A with an impressive haul of 15 pts, who in the quarter finals defeated Warwick University by a menacing 3½ – ½.
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