ECA can crashing back down to earth with a painful defeat to Stockport C. Stockport's captain had observed our lofty league position and decided to do the other teams in the league a favour by fielding his strongest team. Although grading-wise we were about equal most of us just weren't at our best last night. Here is the damage:
1. Graham Ball 1-0 J Mason (153)
Graham defended the Advance French and played solidly, reaching an opposite bishops endgame where he was slightly better. Our resident endgame wizard then steadily outplayed his opponent to take the full point.
2. Phil Ramsey 0-1 A Coe (148)
Oh dear. This was one of those games where I couldn't find a good plan, dithered for a few moves and missed most of my opponent's threats. Trying the English opening I didn't get anything special from the opening and then allowed a sudden attack against my King. Hopefully my brain will work better next Wednesday!
3. Dave Newall 0.5-0.5 P King (146)
Dave gave his good old Dutch Leningrad another outing. However his opponent seemed to know how to meet it (it is rumoured that Stockport has a database of all our openings!) Dave sacrificed a couple of exchanges for in order to get two very powerful Bishops but then offered a draw after his opponent defended well.
4. Keven Holton 0-1 L Smith (146)
Keven had the chance to play against his favourite opening - the Modern Defence. However after castling Queenside his opponents attack came first and Keven was left about 4 pawns down.
5. Dave Broadbent 0-1 V Rushworth (139)
Another Black, another French for Dave. However his opponent played well and Dave ended up with a thoroughly miserable position, resigning shortly after the time control.
6. David Taylor 0-1 D Preen (131)
David, playing his favourite Reti, seemed to get a pleasant enough position from the opening but then went astray and ended up a piece for a pawn down. His opponent made hard work of winning but eventually forced David's resignation.
The B team play Stockport C next week. Good luck!