Playing against the strongest team in the Stockport league was never going to be easy - and it wasn't! Still we made our opponents work for the wins and came away with a respectable result.
1. Phil 0-1 A Longson (222)
I was quite happy with my position out of the opening in my slightly obscure Sicilian sideline. However Alex kept on finding little annoying threats and eventually ended up with a dangerous pawn on f6 that was both dangerous and weak as it could not be defended by other pawns.
I unwisely traded into a Queen endgame where my Queen was totally tied down to defending against mate on g7. I then allowed a trade of Queens which allowed my opponent to Queen a pawn as I had mis-calculated the pawn race.
2. Steve 0.5-0.5 M Fernandez (208)
Steve sacrificed a pawn early on for some pressure against his young opponent. He probably didn't get quite enough compensation for the pawn but kept the pressure on right through to the endgame. His opponent ended up very short of time and lost control of the position somewhat. Steve won the pawn back but was happy to accept a draw offer.
3. John 0.5-0.5 S Hegarty (174)
John defended well against Sarah's Bishop opening and achieved a strong position but accepted a draw offer as he was getting tired.
4. Tudor 0-1 I Craft (183)
Tudor had to take on the Dutch and gradually ran out of space as his opponent took over the White squares and the open file. Tudor lost an exchange and wasn't able to save the game with any tricks this time.
5. Alan 0-1 P Kirby (164)
Alan finished the opening with a passive position and was gradually squashed as his opponent advanced. When his opponent eventually broke through Alan's blockade it was game over.
6. Bill 0-1 N Livesey (152)
Bill kept things simple with a French Exchange but ended up castled Queenside behind his advanced Queenside pawns. Bill tried to create some play on the Kingside but his opponent's attack was always going to land first.
So no points were expected from this match and none were won. I think we all had interesting games though and learnt some lessons.