Nobel grabs draw for Kingston C against Hounslow

Thames Valley League division X match played at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston on 8 January 2024

A 2-2 draw was an excellent result for Kingston C against Hounslow C, who had a rating advantage of almost 60 points a board. Ergo Nobel, still relatively new to Kingston, can feel particularly proud of himself, grinding out a high-pressure win on top board against a 1600-strength opponent who fought for his life.

The first result was on board 2 where Greg Heath, captaining in place of an indisposed Stephen Daines, resigned in a rook endgame against Steve Hall. Later analysis suggested the resignation was premature. Remember Greg, all rook endgames are drawn.

Jaden Mistry, with Black against Andrew Cleminson on board 3, led the fightback for Kingston, playing a very solid Caro-Kann, establishing an edge and then taking advantage of a cataclysmic blunder by his opponent to mate on the back rank when White, with correct play, had good drawing chances.

That made it 1-1, but on board 4 Ethan Bogerd was losing the battle of the juniors against Ashwath Kumar Kota, who was a knight up and pushing on with two dangerous connected pawns. Ethan tried to block, but Ashwath sac’d knight for pawn to clear the path for his own passed pawn and make it 2-1 to Hounslow.

That left it to Ergo to secure the draw for Kingston, which he did with aplomb, despite at one point playing an illegal move which gave his time-strapped opponent an extra two minutes. Ergo dealt with that hiccup without too much distress and turned a very drawish rook-and-pawn endgame into a win, helped by his opponent’s continuing time troubles. So in fact, given the human practicalities of chess, all rook endgames are not drawn.

Stephen Moss