Another tough match for ECA and once again the rating difference showed and we were soundly beaten. Life in the top division sure is challenging:
1. Phil 0-1 P Cawley (182)
Paul played a solid London System against my King's Indian. I carried out the usual central break with e5 but this only opened the diagonal for White's Bishop on f4. I gained space with pawns on e4 and d5 but they proved to be weak and White's Queenside pressure eventually won a pawn. In the end I lost more pawns as I ran out of time. A typical grind against a strong player.
2. Steve 0-1 P Siddall (190)
Steve played a b3 system against the French Defence but got into trouble early on with his weak dark squares on the Queenside. Eventually Steve's King got stuck in the centre and a textbook pawn thrust by Phil broke Steve's coordination and enabled Black to gobble up some pawns. I expect Phil will savour this game.
3. Kieran 0-1 A Reeve (192)
Kieran played a solid b6 system against Andy's English and successfully swapped off pieces down to the endgame. However Andy had a very active King and managed to grind out the win.
4. Geoff B 1-0 D Toole (163)
Geoff played a London system and seemed to have a strong Knight on c5 but Dave created Kingside pressure and sac'ed an exchange to get a strong attack. It looked like Dave's attack should win but somehow Geoff managed to win this one!
5. Dave N 0-1 M Taylor (171)
Dave played his normal Dutch Defence and ended up with a slightly scary position where he had to play his Rook to g8 and could no longer castle. However he managed to advance his Kingside pawns and seemed to be doing OK but Mike managed to grind out the win.
6. David T 0.5-0.5 M Tunstall (160)
David played his normal Reti but didn't get much play. Mike had some pressure down the open b file and eventually got a strong passed pawn in the centre. However Mike was worried about the pawn being rounded up and offered the draw.
So another defeat for ECA. However all is not lost as we have yet to play some of the teams we would hope to beat. Next week, however is Holmes Chapel!