Two cup matches. Not enough players to win both of them; the joy of arranging fixtures during the Easter break!
We only had four against the five of Thornbury but came really close to scoring a remarkable win. Mike J won early against Mike M on board 5. He worked a good positional advantage and forced the win of the exchange and two pawns. From there he comfortably closed out the game to level the match at 1.5-1.5. David offered Nigel a draw and after a look across the other matches (Judd was holding his own against Ian on board 2 and Alex was well placed on board 4) a draw was agreed meaning the match was still level. Next to finish was Alex who took control and won his match nicely putting us ahead 3-2.
One match left and Judd needed a draw as a win for Ian would mean Thornbury won on board count. In a rook and knight endgame the position was still drawish even though Judd was a pawn down but after a long battle his advanced king got caught in a mating net by rook and knight with the white pawns blocking escape squares. A pity after a creditable battle against by far the strongest player Judd has played this season. So 3-3 but a loss on board count.
|1||Nigel Pollett (1776)||0.5||David Vaughan (1819)||0.5|
|2||Judd Chidwick (1869)||0||Ian Sandford (1889)||1|
|3||Default||0||Andrew Borkowski (1804)||1|
|4||Alex Dunn (1526)||1||James Nichols (1666)||0|
|5||Mike Jennings (1507)||1||Mike Minshalll (1489)||0|
Better news in the match versus Clifton. Again we gave our opponents a board and a point advantage however it wasn’t enough to stop us. Jack won first in a topsy-turvy game where from an equal position white blundered the exchange leaving black a rook vs knight up in the endgame. However Jack created a decent fortress and Joe over-pressed with his king allowing Jack to force through a pawn meaning black had to give up his rook to stop it queening and the game was over. Board 2 finished next. I’d taken control but carelessly got myself into a passive trapped position with my rooks and king all paralysed. Fortunately (for me) Matt decided to win the exchange but my bishop and passed pawns were too strong for black’s rook and the game was won. 2-1 ahead. Harry and Peter then drew on board 5. In another game that swung wildly; white had the advantage, lost it, black had the advantage, lost it, and finally Peter was material ahead but his bishop wasn’t able to do anything against Harry’s pawns on the other colour and a draw was agreed. 2.5-1.5.
Then the match was won on board 3. Mathew had sacrificed a pawn in the opening to gain initiative and piece mobility but Piotr took his time, held the position, and then coordinated his pieces gaining positional control and then comfortably winning the game and the match was won. Finally the best chess was being played on board 1 (as is fitting). Kipp generated what looked like serious threats on the queenside but Mikey calculate accurately and controlled the position. The match entered into a rook and bishop end game with white having an outside passed pawn but black had the resources to control the position. However without any obvious pawn breaks Mikey tried to free his defence and got in a tangle losing pawns and in the ensuing bishop and pawn endgame Kipp’s extra pawns proved to strong. So the match finished 3.5-2.5
|1||Mikey Wright (1701)||0||Kipp Freud (1852)||1|
|2||Pete Marks (1681)||1||Matt Lewis (1649)||0|
|3||Piotr Zielinski (1616)||1||Mathew Walne (UNG)||0|
|4||Jack Knipe (UNG)||1||Joe Fearnhead (1178)||0|
|5||Harry Duckworth (UNG)||0.5||Peter Fisher (1464)||0.5|
|6||Default||0||Tony Curtis (UNG)||1|
Only one team progressing but considering our shortage of available players on the night that was a decent effort in itself. Next up is Grendel who beat a strong Downend team.