By Ronit Raj, Chess Correspondent
Hampton’s D team chess players beat Whitgift School 8 ½ – 3 ½ after a significant improvement in the second half.
On board three, Ben Adigun was losing early on after sacrificing a Rook. It was a valiant effort coming back, but unfortunately it was not enough and Whitgift gained a point.
Henry Ayres, who was on board two, played his part in a thrilling game. Firstly, his opponent blundered a knight and then Ayres won it back with a clever plan. Whitgift‘s player then intelligently attacked Ayres’s Bishop, winning a Rook in the process. However, Whitgift were running low on time and Ayres’s opponent gave Hampton a crucial checkmate.
On board one, an evenly matched game was in progress. Pieces were exchanged and both players competed safely. As the match was so equal, both players agreed on a draw.
On board four, Ryan Budd played well and was winning his game from early on. This lead was vital as Budd was able to secure another checkmate for Hampton.
Unfortunately, there were some difficult matches for Hampton on other boards. Whitgift won two more games making the score 3 ½ – 2 ½ in their favour. It was Hampton’s turn to play as white and they needed a comeback to beat Whitgift.
It started well for Hampton, winning on boards four, five and six in a matter of minutes, but Whitgift could still win if they won on the other boards.
Aaron Mills was playing on board three. A mistake from his opponent meant Mills gave Hampton a very important checkmate.
Henry Ayres was playing an easier opponent than the previous game. He gained an advantage early on and Hampton took the last point they needed to win.
Hampton won all six games in the second-half, proving that they play much better as white and were able to come back under pressure.