It was as though Halloween had come a week early as we experienced a horror show against the surprise runaway league leaders. It was just one of those nights. I was chatting to their captain after the match and he admitted that at 9.30 he thought that we were going to win by at least 4 - 2. Sadly that didn't happen and by soon after 10.00 it had all turned pear shaped - or should that be pumpkin shaped.
We gave a warm welcome back to David Broadbent who was making his first return to the Institute in Wilmslow colours. He started well and was in a good position but David T again showed his Houdini qualities and earned a good draw.
In my game I got a strong attack in and sacrificed a bishop which meant Colin had to offer me a rook in return to stay in the game. I would be an exchange and a pawn up in a completely winning position. However, I saw a "clever" move which would win a further pawn before I took his rook. Unfortunately this wasted tempi gave him a defensive resource and it just meant I was a piece down for a couple of pawns. Lesson to myself: just play in a practical way when in a winning position instead of looking for smart arse moves, especially when behind on the clock!
Jim had flown home from the other side (of the world) earlier in the day but showed no sign of jet lag. He had good pressure against his opponent's king but unfortunately his flag fell trying to find the killer move. Keven also lost on time. He too was piling on the pressure and trying to make a breakthrough but his opponent defended well and ran down the clock well.
Tudor was in a tight match that evolved into a rook and pawn endgame. He had a good time advantage and was hoping to convert the full point but, at about the fifth draw offer, reluctantly settled for the half point - which probably was the right thing to do in the position.
The match was already lost but John was a pawn up in his minor piece endgame. The pawn advantage then disappeared but he was still in a winning position. His bishop was en prise and John was calculating several moves ahead as to how best to win when.... inadvertently....he touched the king, with his bishop of course hanging. Nobody actually noticed that he had touched his king but in a moment of sportsmanship not seen since Jimmy White against Stephen Hendry, he felt compelled to move his king and therefore resigned.
So all in all a very frustrating evening. Despite all our early tricks we ended up treating them to a scoreline which really flattered them. Never mind, I have the feeling that a long winning run is just around the corner (as Ronald Koeman was saying just before the sack...)
0 - 1 John v Kevin Moran (164)
0 - 1 Keven v Richard Evans (155)
0 - 1 Paul v Colin Mills (150)
1/2 David T v Dave Broadbent (140)
1/2 Tudor v Mike Palmer (118)
0 - 1 Jim v Robin Warhurst (102)
1 - 5