1 Bill Tait 1/2 - 1/2 Vijay Kumar (142)
2 Kieran Newell 1 - 0 Lionel Taylor (125)
3 Geoff Clarke 0 - 1 Peter Ning (120)
4 Ian Vaughan 1/2 - 1/2 Paul Gledhill (111)
5 Geoff Smith 1 - 0 Andrew Parry (94)
Result East Cheshire C 2 - 3 Sale
We had hopes of winning what was in effect the wooden spoon match but just came up short.
Geoff Smith’s opponent managed to get a fierce attack on his kingside-castled king whilst keeping Geoff’s defenders deflected, and in the end Geoff had only a choice of ways to get mated by white’s well-lined-up pieces.
Geoff C spotted that he had the opportunity to claim a draw by threefold repetition with his opponent a pawn up (with rook, pawn + minor piece also on each side) but with a powerful pin on his opponent’s bishop not seeming to be readily solvable, played on with hopes of winning it. But his opponent found a way to untangle his position and Geoff was soon on the defensive. In the end, the key feature seemed to be that his opponent’s pawn was on the 6th rather than the 5th rank and therefore in various lines not catchable in time…otherwise it seemed the position would still have been drawn. But then you can’t will them backwards sadly (I know I’ve tried).
Ian found himself a pawn down (4 v 3) with all pieces off the board but managed to get one of his 3 away from the rest of the action and so it eventually became a runner. Pawns promoted on consecutive moves, both without check, and his opponent agreed to a draw, still a pawn up but without the time to find a winning continuation.
In Bill’s game…
playing as Black it was a QGD and strangely I had no attacks to defend until the end. I exchanged my KB for his QN in the opening giving him doubled QBPs with no means of correcting his position. This allowed me to attack the backward QBP, his exposed QRP and then switch sides to attack his Kside castle. He managed to defend all this successfully and gained the initiative for a time against my exposed K. I dovetailed all the Ps (none were exchanged in the game) and with me reluctant to play my QNP forwards it was a drawn game with no other possibility of breaking the stalemate. This game had little excitement.
Kieran was disappointed to not be able to repeat the ‘Newell Mega-gambit’ from his only other game as white (inadvertently “sac” a bishop on move 6, somehow win anyway) as his opponent played a different first move, but when his opponent was tempted by a poisoned pawn in the middlegame, Kieran managed to win it back with another pawn and the momentum. Which was more than enough as Kieran closed it out without any fuss.
So we end up propping up Division 3, but end up still smiling and with the feeling we’ve got our money’s worth over the course of the season in the way of combative games and interesting positions. Our stand-out performer has been Kieran, who with an impressive 5 out of 6 mostly on board 2 may alas now have too high a grading to have a C-team future.Cheers to all who played, and for next season we can prepare an assault on the giddy heights of mid-table!