The first game of the season saw us make the trip to Altrincham - a club who we have a pretty good record against (which is unusual!). The teams were very evenly matched and included a re-match of D Newell v Clucas. In their last match Dave ran his clock down to one second but still managed to win, helped along the way by a soft error by Reg. Surely their next encounter couldn't be as dramatic........
0 - 1 Reg Clucas (146) v Dave N
Most of this game seemed to be about the battle for a d5 pawn. After a long struggle it suddenly sprang into life with Dave, of course, in extreme time pressure but using Fischer time well. Down to 7 seconds and 2 seconds he found some really strong moves and won a piece. His bishops were cutting the board up, had an active queen against an open king and had a spare rook on an open c file for good measure. The engine would probably put him 25 pts up (or maybe even mate in 3). He just had to worry slightly about his back rank but unfortunately thought about it for literally a second too long - his clock went as he played his move. Revenge for Reg but really hard luck on Dave.
1/2 Bill McCartney (140) v David T
This game featured an isolated Q pawn each and in the endgame David faced a bishop pair. He held on well though to claim a solid draw.
1/2 Mark Hann (140) v Keven
Keven comfortably defended his opponent's kingside attack and had more central space. Seemed to be even and a draw was agreed.
0 - 1 Nick Lowe (137) v Bill
Bill was doing OK in this but seemed to misjudge his opponent's attack and ended up losing a rook pawn and then losing his way.
0 - 1 Mark Whalley (136) v Paul
I maybe had a slight edge against my fast playing opponent but then ridiculously placed a knight on a square attacked by 2 but only defended by 1 - pretty basic stuff!
1/2 Steve Douglas (123) v Steve Mc
Steve Mc made a good debut. He had double rooks on the h file and swapped them off for a queen and maybe had winning chances but sensibly accepted a draw, particularly as he was starting to get low on time.
So we ended up losing 4 and a half to one and a half, but feeling that we were a little hard done too. I'm confident that our winning run is just around the corner......