After a couple of tough games against Marple teams we were hoping for a slightly easier match against Altrincham. However they fielded their strongest players on the top four boards making for a close match despite them defaulting on board 6.
1. Phil 0.5 - 0.5 Y Kolodiy (168)
In about four games against Yaroslav I have managed one draw so I was not looking forward to this one.
I played an obscure system against the Four Pawns Attack in the King's Indian and ended up with a cramped but solid position. I managed to exchange off most of the pieces but still was a bit cramped when Yaroslav allowed me to activate my Queen and assume the initiative. However, short of time as normal, I couldn't find a win and so took the draw that the team needed to tie the match.
2. Steve 0.5 - 0.5 R Clucas (158)
Steve played the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian and surprised all of us with an early f5 to open the Kingside. However his opponent defended carefully and ended up a clear pawn up with a dominating position. Steve managed to cause some problems though and did enough to get the draw as his opponent was short on time.
3. Tudor 0 - 1 K Lockett (155)
Tudor allowed his opponent an ideal English set up with pressure down the b file and Karl eventually won the b pawn and then the endgame.
4. Dave N 1 - 0 M Whalley (149)
Dave's opponent had the temerity to play the Dutch against our leading expert in it. In Dave's words:
My opponent played the Dutch so I played a prepared line in the Staunton Gambit. it was all pretty much over in 10 moves as black position was already horrible and he had to give up a piece after 15 moves. He then defended heroically and at one point I had the horrible feeling I was going to be left with king, knight and bishop v king but in the end I was queening a pawn and with a whole minute left on my clock he resigned.
5. Keven 0.5 - 0.5 D Hughes (124)
Keven played a Modern Defence / Sicilian hybrid and never seemed to be in any trouble but didn't find any winning chances.
6. A N Other 1 - 0 Default