Thursday, 17 January 2019

ECA 3.5 - 2.5 Macclesfield B

It was an epic battle last night in the crunch relegation dogfight against the only team in Division 1 who we have a realistic chance of beating.  It didn't start well for us though.

I was the first to finish.  I'd had the better of the opening and was in creative mode until I over egged it and it backfired badly losing a piece.  Tudor also started well, so much so that his opponent felt he had to execute a desperate piece sacrifice.  Unfortunately a few moves later this seemed inspired when Tudor succumbed to a deadly counter attack.

Meanwhile Geoff was a pawn up but his position looked awkward and was relieved when his opponent agreed a draw.  So, at the halfway stage we needed to win all of the remaining 3 games to bring home the bacon.  At this point that looked unlikely and even a draw might be pushing it.

Steve had an advantage in material, first a pawn then an exchange but then the position became very open with attacking chances on both sides.  Steve handled it well though and put together a decisive Q and N attack that finished things off.  John's game looked pretty even to the untrained eye (like mine!)  with his opponent having double R's on the open c file and an active Q but John had it all worked out and after a series of piece swapping he emerged 2 pawns up in a winning K and R ending.

This all meant that the match result was now all hanging on David's game.  By this time both players were very low on time but with David a pawn up and a minute better on the clock.  A draw offer came in which David may normally have been tempted to accept but in the interests of the team he soldiered on.  And in a very tense finish he played it well under pressure to force a resignation.  Well done David!

So we ended up winning a very exciting match and this rockets us off the bottom of the league.  Survival in Division 1 (if we want it!) is now pretty much in our own hands.

1 - 0  John v James Heppell (160)
1 - 0  Steve v John Paul Taylor (156)
1/2    Geoff v Phil Cattermole (151)
1 - 0  David T v Geoff Laurence (149)
0 - 1  Tudor v Phil Colville (140)
0 - 1  Paul v Joachim Trier (136)
3.5 - 2.5