With only two points from seven matches ECA were nestled on the bottom of the Division 1 table before this match and desperately needed some points to have a hope of staying up. Here is how it went:
1. Phil 0-1 R Raychev (174)
My opponent played a closed system against my Sicilian and gradually built up pressure on the f file. I struggled to gain any counterplay and ended up with my pieces in a bit of a tangle and White took control of the f and d files. In the end my opponent simply attacked my f7 square and I had no good way of defending it. White's attack soon broke through after that.
2. Steve 0.5-0.5 L Antal (170)
Play a Ruy Lopez, Steve's game never really seemed to get going with both players trying to create something on the Kingside. A draw was agreed in the middlegame rather than play the time trouble lottery.
3. John 1-0 J Ryan (165)
John played a sharp opening where he got a strong centre at the expense of a slightly exposed King. However John played accurately and ended up in an endgame where his Rook was more active. This turned out to be enough to win the game as his opponent committed a few inaccuracies.
4. Dave N 1-0 G Kolbusz (155)
Dave played his normal slow Queen's Pawn build up and ended up with a strong position. I missed the end of this one but apparently it involved Dave forking three major pieces!
5. Tudor 0-1 T Hilton (158)
In a sharp King's Gambit Tudor held on to his extra pawn but did not manage to get his King to safety. Tudor loves these double edged positions but so does his opponent and Tim's attack hit home first.
6. Jim 0.5-0.5 F Moan (147)
Jim played a Giuco Piano and build up strong pressure on the Kingside. He sacrificed a Knight which was declined, leaving Jim a pawn up. However his opponent had enough activity to hold a draw.
So an invaluable point gained for ECA. Two points needed at Chorlton next week for a chance of staying up!