Leuven Centraal 5 - Monti' Chess Club 2 (3,5 - 0,5)

Verslaggever: Joshua Franklin-Mann

After a disappointing draw in round 1, the fifth team secured an important first win of the season at home to MCC Monti’ Chess Club 2. At 3.5-0.5, it may have seemed a comfortable one on paper, but in reality this was not the case.

As in Round 1, Bart was the first to put a point on the board. His opponent looked to be applying pressure with a threatening king-side attack, but a miscalculated queen trade resulted in an unstoppable passed pawn and a win for white.

I did not see much of Hasan’s game, but from what I did he seemed well in control. Always up on time and with a solid position, pressure eventually told as the central files opened up for an unstoppable mating attack.

At this point it looked like a repeat of our round 1 match – Bart and Hasan scoring wins, as Stef and I struggled in losing positions.

Stef had offered up a dubious piece sacrifice for a strong attack, but it looked like his opponent had navigated through the complications to gain a solid advantage. But Stef does not give up when there is still a chance of a catastrophic blunder. With a little more pressure, the blunder came, and he was able to quickly hoover up his opponents remaining pieces to secure the match 3-0.

For most of my game I had thought that it could end up a crucial half point. I blundered a pawn out of the opening and spent the rest of the game suffering to try and hold the position. Slowly my opponent converted it into a winning rook endgame, only for one last blunder to come and allow me to stalemate my king in the corner.

So in the end a 3.5-0.5 win, not as simple as it looked but a win nonetheless.

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