With one win out of four matches ECA really needs some points from this match against one of the teams we had a chance of beating. We had a full strength squad out and Denton didn't so we fancied our chances. Here is how it went:
1. John 0-1 T Hilton (158)
John built up a strong position against Tim's obscure two Knights system and generated good pressure on the Black a1 to h8 diagonal. However John fell into a trap and lost the exchange. Tim pressed home his advantage clinically to win the game.
2. Phil 1-0 G Kolbusz (155)
In a Fianchetto King's Indian George seemed unclear on the normal plan for White and ended up in a passive position. I managed to activate my Queen with a central pawn thrust and George felt he had to give up a pawn to exchange Queens. However I managed to win another pawn in the endgame and my connected passed pawns made the win easy after that.
3. Steve 0.5-0.5 L Antal (170)
Steve seemed to get a rather stodgy position in a Ruy Lopez. In his own words "I got a bad position (sadly with White pieces) but sacrificed a pawn to get good counterplay. I agreed a draw a pawn down but the engine said the position was slightly better for me at the end. I agreed a draw as I thought he was still on top and I was tired and not playing very well."
4. Dave 0.5-0.5 J Ryan (165)
Dave easily equalised as Black with his favourite Sicilian Accelerated Dragon. However most of the pieces were soon swapped off and Dave was unable to gain any advantage in the ending.
5. Jim 0.5-0.5 J Lysons (148)
Jim won a pawn soon after the opening and seemed to be well on top. However as soon as he won the pawn his opponent started playing strong moves and in the end Jim had to accept a draw.
6. Tudor 0-1 D Holt (146)
Playing as Black Tudor threw his Kingside pawns forward early and looked to be generating a strong attack. However David managed to win a pawn and although Tudor threw more material into the fire in an attempt to generate pressure in the end he ran out of pieces.
So a close match and a narrow defeat. We will need a bit more luck in our match away to Stockport A next week!