On a cold night we made the trip to surprise league leaders Wilmslow. At the pre-match huddle the instructions were simple - we needed to win board 1, lose board 2 and win the lower boards. The game plan was executed to perfection!
As we settled into the match we were serenaded by the Wilmslow Ladies choir singers on a practice night in the room next to us. In the bar room on the other side we could hear the exploits of Deulofeu and co who were giving Chelsea a good thrashing. This wasn't going to put us off though, and we had the compensation on playing on the finest wooden boards in the league.
Tudor got us off to a great start. He was the exchange up and then started causing havoc with R and N forcing resignation. In my game I got outfoxed by my opponent and wasn't sure what his opening was going to transpose into and I got my set up wrong and didn't really get much play. Meanwhile Keven secured an extremely valuable half. He had offered a draw some time earlier but Colin was hoping to find something special until Kev found a strong threat which had to dealt with and a draw was agreed.
Jim was playing against a debutant who had won his class in the Christmas Buzzer event at the Ladybrook and is clearly going to develop into a useful player. The experienced Jim though was too canny on the night and built up a big material advantage and had a menacing pawn on the 7th rank and achieved a winning attack. David T is proving very consistent this season and in a tight battle he came up with a tactic which won the game.
So we had the points in the bag by this stage but John's game was going down to the wire and he was unaware of the match position. This had been a very complex affair from soon after the start and I can't really explain what was going on towards the end. It seemed like it was one of those games when pawn numbers didn't matter but quality did. John had an advantage on time and appeared to be slowly gaining control of more squares around Kevin's king. Kevin eventually cracked under time pressure (Wilmslow don't use Fischer!) and John was able to mop up and win an extremely exciting and tense game.
It was a much needed win for us against a team who on paper we should beat, but as always nothing is guaranteed and it was a good overall performance. Next up is a crunch match against Altrincham who are probably our main contenders for the title.......
0 - 1 Kevin Moran (164) v John
1 - 0 Richard Evans (159) v Paul
1/2 Colin Mills (150) v Keven
0 - 1 David Mowat (115) v David T
0 - 1 Robin Warhurst (102) v Tudor
0 - 1 Mike Craven (100) v Jim
1.5 - 4.5