Ouch! ECA came crashing down to earth on Wednesday night against a crazily strong Marple B team. With GM Keith Arkell added to their A team Sarah Hegarty was now their number 5 player and able to play for the B team. Even so we should have been able to score more than half a point but it was just one of those nights.
1. Phil 0 - 1 S Hegarty (195)
Despite my strange move order tricks the game headed for a mainline Sicilian Dragon. In order to avoid mainline theory I played some inferior moves and soon ended up under a severe attack. I gave up a pawn in order to swap off a dangerous Bishop and then suddenly my pieces came alive and I had a good position. I had the choice of swapping off to a decent endgame or playing an aggressive move with my Queen. Given my perilous clock situation I should have chosen the endgame but I couldn't resist the Queen move. This won my pawn back with a better position. However the game was complicated and in the end I lost on time in a major piece endgame.
2. John 0 - 1 M Fernandez (177)
This game was almost a carbon copy of John's previous match against Michael this season. John outplayed Michael in the opening and early middlegame and got a big positional advantage. However Michael managed to complicate matters and, short of time, John went astray.
3. Dave N 0 - 1 G Trueman (166)
Dave seemed to always be on the back foot against Glenn's anti-Sicilian system. Dave used up a lot of time to stay in the game and eventually missed a threat.
4. Lembit 0 - 1 P Kirby (178)
Lembit played a quite system against the Najdorf and got a lifeless position. Lembit ended up with a backward pawn on the C file and eventually succumbed to the constant pressure.
5. Dave B 0 - 1 N Garrido (130 est)
Dave played enterprisingly in the open and managed to keep his opponent's King in the centre at the expense of a pawn. However Nadio eventually consolidated his position and won another pawn.
6. Tudor 0.5 - 0.5 T Cowling (144)
Tudor played sensibly against the Albin Counter Gambit and got a nice position but Terry played some tricky moves and eventually Tudor had to bale out with a draw.
And there concludes our last home match of the season. We finish with slightly easier matches against Denton B and Stockport B.