No shame last week in a reverse to an Altrincham team who played well and seem strong candidates to win the division this year (though I reserve the right to reuse that line for our next loss!)
On Board 4, Edwin seemed to be sliding gently towards a draw, but with no Hamlet moment materialising this time alas, a blunder at a critical point was terminal for him. In Ian’s game, without much apparent counterplay and two pawns down in a late middlegame, Ian made what seemed a slightly cheeky draw offer. His opponent refused, but Ian made serious inroads in the endgame, and his opponent breathed a huge sigh of relief as Ian finally had to resign.
In Keith’s game:
"An early swap off of queens forced by my opponent weakened my development and defences immediately and put me on the back foot. By this time I was one pawn down and struggling to develop my remaining pieces. His development of his two rooks and knight caused me all sorts of problems resulting in my knight being trapped alongside my king for which I had no answer with a potential mate looming. No choice but to resign. A good strong player which belied his current grading."
As ever, mine and Bill’s slightly more measured/plodding playing pace meant our games were last to finish.
My game ebbed and flowed, with an early queen swap off allowing me to gang up on and win a doubled pawn, from which point he got the better of the middle and endgame, and in the end, short on time and with his extra pawn on the 6th rank, I was glad to put the handbrake on with a well-placed bishop and slink off with a draw.
Bill's opponent played a strong opening, and Bill chose to cede a pawn with a view to freeing up his slightly tangled position. His opponent won a piece but couldn't hang onto it, and with his opponent still in the ascendancy, Bill wriggled very nicely to come away with a draw.