Richmond beat Kingston for second night in a row

Richmond B v Kingston B, Thames Valley division 2 match played at the Adelaide pub, Teddington on 13 February 2024

We arrived at the Adelaide pub in Teddington to be met by a very strong Richmond B side. Richmond’s A team are struggling in the top division of the Thames Valley League, and apparently their cunning plan is to put out strong teams in division 2 to compete for promotion in order to give them a safety net in case the unthinkable happens. This meant that their bottom board was higher rated than our third. 

With this probably playing on my mind, given the 200-point rating disparity I faced against my opponent Bertie Barlow on board 3, I offered a draw after 25 moves when I felt Bertie had equalised as Black in the Scandinavian Defence and had thwarted my main plan to attack down the queenside. He accepted.

Alan Scrimgour drew shortly after on board 2 against John Burke. He felt he had equalised, but could see a flurry of exchanges that he felt left him without much of a plan to make progress and offered a draw which was duly accepted. 

Kingston newcomer Jameel Jameel (left) on his way to victory against Pablo Soriano

Jameel Jameel, a newcomer to the club this season, produced the fireworks of the night, wrapping up an impressive 19-move victory on board 6. He played the Accelerated Dragon, and, with his opponent castling queenside, Jameel went for the kill after the c3 pawn was ominously pushed. With White cramped in the corner, Jameel was able to sac his queen on a2 and mate on the flank with his lifted rook, with all flight squares covered by his bishop and his opponent’s pieces. A lovely sequence and a great victory for Jameel, who is coming on leaps and bounds. This is Jameel’s first published game.

Nick Grey looked to be doomed as Sampson Low got the better of the opening, stopping Nick from castling and winning a pawn. But these dynamic positions are the ones Nick likes and he managed to get some tricky counterplay that, if played incorrectly, could have been disastrous for Sampson. Sampson negotiated the situation well, but Nick had regained equality and a draw was agreed, with neither side fancying the unclear endgame. 

David Shalom played accurately against Alastair Armstrong on board 5, building up a nice edge after he managed to blunt his opponent’s early g5, which led to a big hole in his kingside. However, David felt he didn’t manage the position well, and the game flipped suddenly, with the Richmond player capitalising on some unsound tactics. This levelled the match at 2.5-2.5.

The last game to finish was on top board between John Foley and Maxim Dunn. John was pressing down the kingside with a chain of pawns dominating the white squares and doubled rooks on the h-file. However, Maxim defended the position well, managing to mitigate John’s attack and, as John fell into time trouble, picking up a pawn on the queenside. Running out of good moves, John flagged, Maxim was victorious and Richmond had prevailed.

Gregor Smith, Kingston captain in Thames Valley division 2