Nobel saves Kingston’s blushes at Guildford

Guildford 4 v Kingston 3, Surrey League division 4 match played at the Guildford Institute on 25 March 2024

Guildford are a large club with considerable strength in depth, as they proved in this Surrey Centenary Trophy match, running out 5-1 winners against a competitive Kingston 3 side. Ergo Nobel, on board 6, deserves a prize for getting our solitary point and avoiding a whitewash, though all the Kingston players fought hard.

On board 1 Charlie Cooke lost to Neil Crosswell, who has an ECF rating of 1748, pretty handy for a fourth team! On board 2 Sean Tay faced the veteran Peter Horlock, and it was even well into the middlegame. Sean then missed a tactic and dropped the exchange, but he had a big time advantage and offered a draw, which Peter (who is not unused to time scrambles) rejected. Sean sought to complicate to exploit Peter’s time crisis, but Peter negotiated the endgame well and forced resignation.

On board 4 Mark Sheridan faced Richard Duncalfe and it proved an evenly matched, carefully played game in which Mark defended adroitly. But gradually Mark’s opponent began to exert pressure, and after almost three hours’ play Mark, having just made an illegal move (pointed out by a bystander, which is not actually permitted under the rules), chose to resign.

Now for the good news. On board 6 Ergo Nobel had Black against Stephen Taylor. It was a highly tactical game encounter, but Ergo played a well-controlled game and always maintained a time advantage. As he exerted pressure down the h-file, the main site of the battle for much of the game, his opponent’s position became more difficult and in the end he ran out of time. Ergo, who joined the Kingston club at the start of the season, is proving a huge asset and is really on a roll.

I was facing Tony Garrood on board 3, and tried to attack on the kingside against Tony’s Sicilian, but I blundered the exchange (rook for bishop), missed several opportunities for counterplay and in the end succumbed to Tony’s attack. We defaulted board 5, the club’s first default for several years – our player is still missing somewhere in darkest Surrey – so the final score was 5-1. We live and, hopefully, learn.

Edward Mospan