Clifton A Hold Off the B’s In Close Finish.

Clifton A
Horfield B
3J.Curtis0.5M. Perez Candelario0.5
We went to Redland with our full strength side and almost got a result but for two main factors. My stubbornness to turn down a draw and ending up losing, and a brilliantly played endgame by Gareth Morris which robbed us of at least a drawn match. We got off to a great start with Matias drawing with John C fairly early and John R performing miracles to survive what looked like a lost endgame. to run out winner. We were now ahead after two games by a point. Later Rob finally succumbed after David got a powerful pawn centre. Rob was eventually trying to stop a passed pawn but was unable to do so and resigned. We were now back level . With three games left Both Patryk and Myself finished within a minute of each other as Patryk downed the Scottish IM Jim Muir which was totally unexpected especially as JIm has had a excellent season up to this point. Patryk just had an edge from a Queen’s Gambit opening. His King was a lot safer and better coordination of pieces was enough to work with going into the latter part of the game, and Patryk’s dogged play won through and the match score put us back in front again . This is now where it all went wrong for us as I was on the way to what seemed a another point for the team in the better position. I had lots more time than Igor when he offered the draw but I committed the ‘cardinal sin’ by not finding out the match score and I was convinced a win was in sight, only to find my clock running at twice the speed of his. Well, that’s what it seemed like to me, and very soon we were both in a blitz shootout. Anyone that knows Igor will tell you he is one very fast player in these situations and with my feeble attempt of a draw offer rightly refused my last chance had gone out the window as he went onto win strongly at the end. So having failed to gain us at least one match point we were now pegged back again. We were very confident Paul would salvage a drawn game and for us a drawn match We would then walk away happy but Gareth Morris had other idea’s as he converted his K+N+3 pawns against Paul’s K+B+3 pawns It all looked harmless enough until Gareth’s king and Knight combined in an amazing assault to drive Paul’s King away from the c pawn onto the a6 square . Gareth was not interested in winning the c pawn which would probably win and instead whipped up a mate in one which caused a massive shock to all watching as we could not believe how he managed to force Paul to resign. We were gutted but at the same time very appreciative of Gareth’s superb endgame technique. Well done Clifton on what was a great night of chess.


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