|1||Roger Pearce (144)||0.5||0.5||Jack Tye (144)|
|2||Nigel Pollett (143)||1||0||Mike Passmore (128)|
|3||Pete Marks (131)||1||0||Grant Daly (122)|
|4||Prakash Chatterjee (124)||1||0||Dave Woodcock (117)|
|5||Mike Jennings (104)||0||1||Tom Carter (119)|
|6||Graham Strickland (101)||1||0||default|
|Horfield C||4.5||1.5||Downend D|
We lost a lot of close matches in the first half of the season and are rock bottom but we started the second half of the season with a win. Maybe we are not completely doomed in Division 2.
Downend’s sixth board didn’t turn up till after the 8.00pm cut off and Graham had already left at that point which gave us a head start. First match to finish was the top board which I must confess I didn’t see any of but I imagine like the good players they are Roger and Jack appropriately assessed the evenness of the position. It consolidated our advantage.
Following that Prakash played an excellent game to beat Dave. He took advantage of the weak white squares around Dave’s king and manoeuvred both rooks, knight and queen into the danger area forcing Dave to resign as he faced either mate or an overwhelming loss of material. 2.5-.5
Mike finished next and was well beaten by Tom. Tom pressurised Mike’s loose pawns with more mobile pieces and worked a position that created a double attack on king and rook with his queen ending the game. 2.5-1.5
Nigel finished next. He had outplayed Mike, gradually using his space advantage to force Mike into passive defence, and then exploited holes in Mike’s position with his bishops. The computer showed a forced mate near the end but it wasn’t that easy to spot the sequence. Ultimately Mike lost on time as he struggled to maintain a viable position. So match won.
I got lucky. Having been pretty much equal into the middle game I then misunderstood the centre of the board and had to give up a piece for two pawns and then made it worse with a series of increasingly ill considered and desperate moves (which I thought were making it complex but having run it through the computer now realise were just digging a deeper hole). From a position of +8 according to the engine Grant blundered to let me back in and the ending (five pawns vs knight and two pawns) looked drawish but feeling lucky I chose to played on and Grant, short on time, got his opposition wrong in K vs K+P and allowed me to force the pawn through.
So a combination of good play and luck gave us the win. It will be a big effort to get out of the bottom two with our stretched resources but at least we can dream for another week or two.