Board East Cheshire C Wilmslow
1 Bill Tait 0 - 1 Kevin Moran (160)
2 Myles Heywood 0.5 - 0.5 Colin Mills (147)
3 Paul Bamford 1 - 0 Christopher Guffogg (126)
4 Edwin Cooke 1 - 0 Michael Palmer (108)
5 Keith Hodgson 0 - 1 Robin Warhurst (103)
Result East Cheshire C 2.5 - 2.5 Wilmslow
Given we were outgraded on all boards, we were happy enough with a draw here, which continues our good run against Wilmslow having beaten them home and away last season.
Paul’s game finished first - he got a heavy build-up of pressure on a central file, leading his opponent to make an error when needing to play very accurately to hold the position. Seeing his position about to cave in, Paul’s opponent resigned after not much hesitation.
My game was a topsy-turvy one and good fun – my opponent made a classic bishop sac on h2 which wasn’t fatal, but was tricky enough to deal with given g3 was the only place for my king to go and his knight was making a bit of a nuisance of itself. The best I could see was to respond in kind on h7, setting up a mate-in-one on the h-file which he opted to stave off with a 3-fold repetition.
After Edwin’s early–evening snooze lasted a little longer than intended, and was rudely interrupted by an anxious call from his captain at 7:35, his pre-match preparation strategy was proven to be entirely sound, with our well-rested and rejuvenated board 4 gaining a big space advantage out of the opening and using it well. He picked carefully his moment to swap off queens to give himself a positional edge in the king and pawns endgame which proved decisive – well done Edwin.
Bill was heavily outgraded and battled gamely in one of those soul-destroying positions where the game seems to drift out of reach ever-so-slowly… and when his opponent managed to lodge a rook and both bishops on Bill’s 2nd and 3rd rank, it was curtains soon after.
Keith found himself the exchange up out of the opening but in a very open and dynamic position which his opponent ended up getting the better of.
Next match is the week after next against Sale, which on form should be another tight one…