It was a late finish on Wed night. I rolled home getting on for midnight with the wife saying "where've you been til this time?" I replied "erm....well....it was the digital clocks. One of them was set to number 3 instead of number18". More of that in a bit.....
Macc B are going to be strong this season. They were missing 2 or 3 players but still put out a very decent team. I was first to finish. My opponent had played a flawed opening but instead of winning a piece I blundered badly. Nick's Colle didn't get much against a fianchettoed king defence and maybe should have played more on the queenside but he got a draw in a game he was never going to lose. Tudor played well in his game and was looking good but just slipped up at the end.
Our only full point of the night was won by Bill. He staved off a strong attack and then managed to gang up on a pawn and won it. The only problem was Denzil had an hour left on his clock and Bill only 2 minutes. That 2 minutes quickly reduced to 2 seconds (!) before Bill, with nerves of steel, made his move. Denzil replied immediately, hoping to force a win on time, but forgot he had left his queen en prise. Bill took it and with the wonders of the Fischer timing had a simple win. Well done Bill.
Meanwhile, Keven was playing his favorite opening and as usual got a very good game out of it. Unfortunately, he over cooked it a bit which lost material but managed to get his queen very active and looked likely to force a draw with perpetual. However Tony managed to wriggle out of it and went on to win. So that meant we had lost the match but the drama was by no means over.
Dave Newell's long awaited debut for the B team was memorable to say the least. It was a very double edged game with opposite side castling. Chris Sizeland had strong pressure with the heavy pieces down the g file but Dave had this well covered and had more space on the queenside and with a better pawn structure he looked maybe in a slightly better position. Near the end Dave had 20 minutes left with Chris only 4 but then the position became very complicated and time moved on very quickly with both of them running very low. It became a real scramble and Chris played his last 3 moves at a second per move but mysteriously his flag went (Dave had only 8 seconds left). How could that happen when playing a 10 second increment per move? Well, it transpired that the clock had been set up on standard time with an extra 10 seconds in total (setting 3) rather than 10 seconds per move (setting 18). Oops.
The atmosphere was rather tense.... Chris was not happy and Dave quite rightly claimed a win on time. With hindsight Chris should have stopped the clock before the flag fell to point out something was wrong, but of course in the heat of battle this is not easy. Compromise was eventually agreed in the form of a blitz finish from the last known sensible board position with 10 minutes each player and a 10 second increment (setting 18!). This was very tough on Dave. It's no picnic on board one in this division at the best of times but great credit to Dave for agreeing to carry on playing in a game he thought he had already won.
To make matters worse Chis now found a much better continuation but Dave managed to skilfully equalize under extreme pressure. A pity Dave didn't go on to win but at least he didn't lose.
So after all that we lost 2 - 4 but I think we're going to have an interesting season ahead.
1/2 Dave N v Chris Sizeland (165)
0 - 1 Kev v Tony Soames (160)
0 - 1 Tudor v Phil Cattermole (153)
1 - 0 Bill v Denzil Lobo (143)
0 - 1 Paul v Anthony Brough (142)
1/2 Nick v Thomas Robson (109)