Another tough game for ECA at home to Stockport A but we sure made a fight of it. Here is how it went:
1. Steve 1 - 0 P Siddal (191)
A 9 move win as Black for Steve. What? Here are Steve's notes:
1. d4 e6
2. c4 f5
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Qc2?! (Ok I am out of the book, no idea why he played this.)
4. ... Be7
5. e4 (so, that's why! Has he got some patzer trap for me?)
5. ... f x e (what else?)
6. f3 (OK the penny has dropped, shall I play e3 to confound his plan? No need because if I castle fxe looks poor as I can play Ng4, with maybe e5 first) so
6. ... O-O
7. Be3 (looks a bit iffy as the B is not protected but he was stuck for a good move. I need to avoid exf as he will retake with the g pawn) so I develop ...
7. ... Nc6
8. O-O-O (he wants a fight but his pieces can't develop easily and I can consolidate my pawn advantage), so ...
8. ... d5 (also preventing his d5 break and he is a pawn down and of course he can't play his next move!)
9.fxe?? Ng4 0-1
If he defends the B with his Q, I take with the N and then pin the Q to the K with Bg5; if he moves the B my N wins a R via Nf2; he cannot defend the B with his R as it leaves his B on f1 en prise after NxB, RxNch followed by Bg5, pinning the R.
I think he was a bit demoralised so elected to resign. Strange game!
2. John 0.5 - 0.5 A Reeve (186)
John had Andy on the defensive for most of the game but Andy defended well and after a certain amount of suffering got the draw.
Here are John's comments:
f5 speculative but if it works, gives up e5 but splits black forces, best prob Bxf5 then Ng5. After that I am doing well but he keeps on finding saving moves. He makes a mistake with Qf6 and I miss the lovely 23 Qh4!! Winning. After that it peters out.
3. Phil 0 - 1 P Cawley (185)
This game was similar to my previous one. I failed to equalise out of the opening, lost the exchange and then finally in the endgame got some pressure against his advanced pawns. My opponent elected to give back the exchange to win a pawn and I missed a simple perpetual check, going down in the Queen endgame. The moral is: stay alert, in most games an opportunity will present itself at some point.
4. Dave N 0 - 1 M Taylor (171)
Here are Dave's thoughts: "Played a difficult opening and early middle game pretty accurately as my opponent had lots of threats which I successfully countered. Then just as I had opened the position to my advantage I fell for a one move cheapo which lost the exchange but worse my position fell to pieces."
5. Tudor 0 - 1 D Toole (171)
Tudor ended up with an undeveloped Queenside on the Black side of a King's Indian and David seized the open e File and won with a Kingside attack.
6. Jim 0.5 - 0.5 M Tunstall (159)
A solid start for Jim on his first appearance for the A team. Despite ending up with a passive position he kept plugging away and did enough for a draw.
So, as expected, life in the A division is proving to be tough but we a battling hard and hopefully learning. I might even end my losing streak soon!