An exciting match turned against us in the final seconds and condemned us to almost certain relegation (not necessarily a bad thing!)
My game ended first. My opponent seemed unsure of himself against my Sicilian sideline and wasted some tempos in the opening. I had persistent pressure against his isolated central pawn and when he tried to nudge my Queen out of the way halfway through an exchange I didn't retreat but took another piece, attacking his Queen in turn. This won a piece and the game.
Alan accidentally gambited a pawn in a Queen's Gambit but had well centralised pieces and enough activity to bluff his way to an early draw offer.
The left us a point up with Bill and Dave also having good positions.
Steve had an equal middlegame on the White side of a Bishop b5 Sicilian and eventually accepted a draw.
Bill's account of his game is below:
I played the Caro-Kann defence to e4 and after exchanging Pawns he had Pawns on d4 and c4. He attacked with Pawns down the Queenside (a bit early I felt) so I counterattacked down the centre with e5 offering my Pawn on d5 as a sacrifice.
My centre attack allowed me to win a P and place a Knight on e3 supported by a passed Pawn on d4. My opponent had a passed Pawn on c5, however I had a reasonable Kingside attack as well. My pieces were well coordinated; White's were less well placed.
Twice I thought I had got through however he offered a draw. After discussion with our captain I declined the draw however my concentration had been upset and I moved my Q onto what I thought was a winning post (g3). [Black: Queen on g3, Knight on e3, Rook on e8, Bishop on b7] I had overlooked his Pawn move to c6 blocking my Bishop on b7 attacking on a long diagonal. I sensed disaster, not for the first time this season.
I then offered a draw which my opponent accepted because I thought my poorly judged move might have cost the team the match. He accepted the draw and after analysis it appeared that I would have gained a second Pawn, at the cost of White having a Pawn on b7.
Overall I was content to get a draw however I feel a stronger player would have engineered a win in Black's situation. It had been looking bleak for me in the opening facing a relentless Queenside Pawn advance and I was pleased to get an advantage. Although I didn't make anything of it, I think I would have struggled to stop the Pawn on b7 with so many pieces on the board. A draw therefore didn't leave me feeling too bad.
So with two more draws on the card we were still a game up with two games left. Tudor was losing but setting traps (a scenario Tudor seems to quite enjoy) and Dave had a promising attack.
Tudor's opponent played solidly and eventually Tudor ran out of tricks and had to concede defeat.
This left the match riding on Dave's game. This was a topsy turvy affair where Dave attacked on the Kingside, then his opponent attacked with his Rooks on the Kingside and then Dave swapped off the Rooks and resumed his Kingside attack. Dave had a killer Knight posted on f6 and combined with a Queen penetrating down the h file Dave had a mating attack. However Dave had less than two minutes left and in the end took a poisoned piece that lost the Queen, missing a mate.
So that was that, Chorlton win 3.5 - 2.5 and should stay up whereas we will go down unless we beat Marple A next month!
We were quite lucky last season to win the B league so it seems there was no luck left for us this season!
1. S Tranter 0.5-0.5 H Mkhumba (190)
2. P Ramsey 1-0 R Doney (182)
3. D Newell 0-1 S Foulkes (172)
4. T Rickards 0-1 D Knox (153)
5. A Stokes 0.5-0.5 D Owen (163)
6. B Tait 0.5-0.5 A Beresford (156)