East Cheshire met Marple last night in the Charnley Cup semi-finals. With Marple having the strongest squad in the league and us having a couple of players missing this was never going to be easy! Here is what happened.
1. A Longson (216) 1-0 Phil
I avoided theory by playing an obscure type of Modern defence. Alex didn't punish my strange moves and I emerged from the opening with a decent fighting position. Alex gave up a pawn to increase the pressure and I started to go astray as I got low on time. Alex got his pawn back and then won a pawn and ground me down in the endgame.
2. J Bentley (205) 0.5 - 0.5 John
John had to face the Benko gambit but played solidly to achieve a good position. His opponent gave up an exchange to complicate things and in the end John settled for a draw by repetition.
3. A Walton (199) 0.5 - 0.5 Dave N
Dave seemed to have the better of a Dutch Defence, having the Bishop pair in exchange for some shattered pawns.
4. N Livesey (147) 0.5 - 0.5 Keven
Keven played the solid French Exchange and seemed to achieve a draw without too much difficulty.
5. S Hewitt (166) 0-1 Paul
Sean used a closed system against Paul's Sicilian. He seemed to get some pressure on the Kingside but Paul defended carefully and eventually won the exchange and then the game.
6. A Jenkins (127) 1-0 Nick
Nick wasn't sure how best to meet the Old Indian Defence and rapidly ended up in an inferior position. He gave up a pawn for some play but was always struggling in the one.
So an amazing result against a very strong team. Especially well done to the middle four boards who all scored against stronger opponents.
Next up is a slightly easier match - home to Altrincham next week.