Another tough match for ECA, especially with a weakened team. Still, we had managed to steal a point from Holmes Chapel recently. Could we do the same at Stockport?
1. P Cawley (182) 0.5 - 0.5 John
John faced a kind of Benoni setup and ended up with an advanced pawn on c5 but eventually agreed a draw in an even position.
2. A Reeve (192) 1 - 0 Phil
Facing Andy's favourite English opening I replied with my normal King's Indian setup but got out-played strategically. My early f5 resulted in a weak pawn that had to be defended for the rest of the game. In the end the pressure got to me and I blundered a piece.
3. P Siddal (190) 1 - 0 Geoff B
Rather ironically Geoff had to face his favourite Owen's Defense. He played solidly and achieved a strong looking Knight on e5 but then allowed it to get trapped.
4. J Pink (171) 1 - 0 David T
David had to face 2. g4 - a kind of Grob's attack. David played solidly and seemed to be holding his own until he allowed a Knight fork that won his Queen.
5. M Taylor (171) 1 - 0 Bill
Bill played the Grand Prix attack against the Sicilian but never managed to create any concrete threats on the Kingside whereas his opponent gradually built up pressure on the Queenside, eventually winning the endgame.
6. D Sheppard (159) 1 - 0 Paul
Paul had to face a very odd system against his French Defense with 2. Bb5. In the middlegame his opponent gave up a Bishop for some central pawns and achieved a very dangerous pawn centre. Paul managed to blockade the pawns to some extent but then dropped a piece in time pressure.
So no miracle, just a series of lessons.
Hopefully we will have a stronger team next week for our must-win match at Denton.