On another cold night (inside and out) we made the trip last night to Altrincham who are possibly our main competition for the title this year. As usual there were some hard fought games but we came through well in the end.
Mark Hann (169) 1/2 John 1/2
John had a slight edge with good central control and 20 minutes up on the clock but with no pawn levers to open up the position he settled for a draw.
Mark Whalley (142) 0 Steve T 1
Steve was facing an in form opponent who has won 6 out of 6 so far this season (including a win against me, so he's obviously top notch). Mark was determined not to play a normal Dutch position and came up with a novelty where he had 4 pieces on the 1st rank and his king on the 3rd. Steve eventually found a way through to win a pawn and then simplify to win the endgame.
Sheraz Khalil (132) 0 Geoff B 1
Geoff unleashed his pet opening and his greater knowledge lured his opponent in to a trap to get a commanding position for a quick win.
Anthony Lane (138) 1/2 Paul 1/2
I was able to mess up his kingside with double isolated pawns which looked pretty good. But when the queens came off quickly followed by the rooks I suddenly realised that, with play on both sides, his B was looking better than my N and when he offered a draw I accepted.
Michael Davies (110) 0 David T 1
This was looking a very tight game for a long time before David managed to open it up and win a pawn and then force his opponent into a mistake.
Bill McCartney (122) 0 Tudor 1
Tudor got a great position with a good B and an imposing N on a good outpost and won 2 pawns. He then won a further pawn and showed his good technique to finish it off.
So this win actually puts us top of the table. We won't be getting carried away just yet though and the champagne will remain on ice until the fat lady sings....