Sep 222009

Hebden Bridge A made a good solid start to our new league season with a 3.5-1.5 victory over Courier A (from Halifax) last Monday (the 14th of September). As the match was a home fixture our team played with the white pieces and won fairly comfortably in the end against the team that finished just behind us in last year’s campaign.

It would be fair to say that Courier’s team was weaker than it had been last season as they’d lost one of the best players from their line up. Never the less, it was a good result for us. This was emphasised as our B team (also playing at home) did very well against the champions (and favourites for the title again in my view) Huddersfield, losing by the narrowest of margins, 3-2. This result suggests that Huddersfield may not be capable of the high board count I was afraid they would achieve again this season and gives us grounds for optimism provided we can keep winning or matches.

Hebden Bridge B are just about the strongest I’ve ever seen them with a good level of playing strength right through to board 5. They may well be a factor in the season this year if they can wheel out the same team for every match. It’s good to see our B team looking so healthy after having gained promotion from the second division last season.

My game in the A team’s match was not of the most stupendous quality. I played well in the opening and capitalised on some provocative play from my opponent. However, having gained a good positional advantage I didn’t handle his subsequent attempts to complicate the situation as well as I could have done and was fortunate to see him miss a few good opportunities.

Not one of my best games for sure but it’s nice to start the season with a win. Incidentally, this game continues a fairly rich seam of from that I’ve struck with the white pieces in the closed variation of the French Tarrasch. I was planning to post an entry about lucky opening variations at some stage and this one is certainly a strong candidate for me. Keep an eye out for more on “lucky openings” in the near future.

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