I didn't see anything of Nick's game but he was the first to finish and set the night off well with a great win. Soon after, we were looking in good shape on all the boards with a possible upset on the cards....until soon after 10 o'clock when we ran out of steam and blunders took over for most of us.
The night marked the very welcome return of Dave B and he showed little signs of rust and he played a really good game. As per Dave:
"Opening was French Winawer variation which I like. Unfortunately, Phil then played a line which I have not met before. My typical game ensued – defensive and cramped with Phil looking menacing. I was 20 mins deficit on time before I could play my counter attack to free my position and played quick moves. Within 6 moves, I had turned the game around, was level on time and it looked as though I may be winning. I could easily have asked for a draw but decided to push my advantage. I then miscalculated - rather than consolidating for a drawn position, I tried a combination to win the exchange but overlooked Phil’s saving move which won him a piece. Really enjoyable game as a comeback and all credit to Phil for holding his nerve when the game switched around".
In my game I started brightly before being pegged back but was ahead on time coming into a time scramble before (as usual) I inexplicably dropped a piece. Tudor's inexplicability (?) was even worse. He had 17 mins left compared with Geoff's two before he gave away a rook for nothing. Such a shame after a great show from Tudor.
Myles was looking very solid and came very close to having a draw offer accepted. The game continued though and after some play by Myles on the kingside had fizzled out, Dave was able to find some play on the queenside before unleashing a deadly queen fork which finished it.
After his recent warm weather training in the Canaries, David T showed no signs of running out of steam though and his game was the last to finish and claimed a really good half against the always tricky Tony Soames giving us some late consolation.
So, the result means we're not completely safe from the drop and our one remaining game against Denton B could turn into a crunch game.
1/2 Tony Soames (160) v David T (142)
1 - 0 Geoff Laurence (159) v Tudor (138)
1 - 0 Dave Risley (162) v Myles (130)
1 - 0 Phil Cattermole (153) v Dave B (139)
1 - 0 Phil Colville (130) v Paul (122)
0 - 1 Anthony Brough (142) v Nick (113)
4.5 - 1.5