ECA finally got off the mark last night with a fine draw away to Holmes Chapel. If it hadn't been for my brain seizure in the final minutes it could have been more...
1. Steve 0.5 - 0.5 J Turner (190)
Steve played a King's Indian attack against the Sicilian and a complicated game ensued. John opened up the game with f5 but Steve found his way through the maze to a draw.
2. Phil 0.5 - 0.5 P Bennett (170)
My opponent played a bit of a sideline against my King's Indian and I responded in an unusual way leaving us both in the dark. I was allowed to establish pawns on e5 and d5 but most of the pieces came off and my opponent offered me a draw. I decided that I liked my position and played on. However after a few more exchanges I decided that I had nothing and offered a draw. This time my opponent declined but allowed me to push my central pawns and ended up having to give up a piece to stop them. So I was a piece up in a Queen ending but with my clock ticking down I couldn't work out how best to win and my opponent found a perpetual check.
3. John 1 - 0 M Hancock (175)
It is a brave man who allows John his favourite Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation. John established a Knight on e5 and pushed his Kingside pawns with a fine attack. A great win for John.
4. Geoff B 0.5 - 0.5 B Scattergood (170)
Geoff played his favourite Owen's Defence but came unstuck in the middlegame and lost two pawns. It looked hopeless but Geoff got an active Bishop against a slightly stranded Knight and managed to win the pawns back. A fantastic fighting draw.
5. David T 0.5 - 0.5 A Raeburn (161)
David played an English and always seemed to have a nicer position with Queenside pressure and his opponent having a very bad Bishop. A very solid draw.
6. Tudor 0 - 1 I Bates (158)
The Alekhine's Defence can be risky and this game showed why as Ian established a bind early on and never let go. Tudor was unable to create his usual complications and Ian won with a Kingside attack.
Overall a great result considering we were heavily out-graded on the bottom boards. This point could be crucial at the end of the season if our matches against Denton and Chorlton cancel themselves out.