ECA had their first match of the season on Wednesday night. Chorlton are one of the teams we might be able to score points against. Would we be able to get our season off to a flying start?
1. Phil 0-1 P Olbison (181)
As Black I achieved a comfortable position out of the opening but then dithered about trying to find a concrete plan. Should I try to create some counterplay on the Queenside or try to exploit the holes on the Kingside? In the end I achieved neither as my opponent managed to open the f file, triple his heavy pieces on it and win material. I am settling well into my new role as cannon fodder.
2. John 0.5-0.5 C Vassiliou (176)
John once again encountered a Dutch and didn't seem to get any advantage out of the opening. When his opponent offered a draw there was no reason not to accept it.
3. Dave N 1-0 R Doney (182)
Possibly Dave's best game for a while. In Dave's words "I won a piece for 2 pawns in the opening then as you saw I voluntarily gave up my fianchettoed bishop to leave him with tripled pawns on an open file. He attacked my King but later in the game I gave up a Rook for his well placed Knight nullifying all his attacking chances and leaving my pieces all active and his totally disconnected. A few moves later he was either getting mated or giving up more material and he chose to let me mate him."
4. Tudor 1-0 D Owen (163)
A fantastic positional masterpiece from Tudor. In a sort of Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Variation Tudor executed a perfect minority attack, creating pawn weaknesses on the Queenside and steadily pressurising them. His opponent tried to create Kingside counterplay but in the end Tudor had a central passed pawn and a Kingside attack of his own. His opponent lost on time while trying to work out the complications.
5. David T 1-0 A Beresford (156)
David wheeled out his trusted French Defence and achieved a solid position out of the opening. His opponent then allowed David to win a Rook. In David's words: "I missed the opportunity to take another piece. I got very anxious about the amount of time I had left, so I played very conservatively and concentrated on not making a blunder (just missed stalemate when I queened that pawn!). Fritz found several other blunders of course....." David duly forced checkmate with several minutes still on his clock.
6. Alan 0.5-0.5 K Khockar (121)
Alan didn't seem to achieve anything out of the opening and eventually accepted a draw offer in an inferior position.
So 4 - 2 to ECA! Apart from the captain ECA seem to be firing on all cylinders. Holmes Chapel will provide a stern test next week but we will not go down without a fight.