We had realistic hopes of winning The Plate back this year, or at least of reaching the final. But this is another
one of those that simply got away after we had it well and truly hooked. |
We all got off to a reasonable start, although Bob lost a pawn in the opening for little compensation and had to plan his
counter with care. He managed to fend off his opponent's bishop pair and following sustained pressure on his opponent's
king's position, he came away a queen to the good.
Adrian's Sicilian was met without the customary 3.d4, but he managed to build a commanding position and converted it
without too much trouble.
Meanwhile John had patiently turned a closed game into a comfortably won ending when a catastrophic blunder undid all the hard work.
Jim was last to finish, and we now needed at least a draw to avoid going out on board elimination. It was getting a bit tricky
for by now Jim was the exchange down for a couple of pawns. It is quite likely that there was still a draw in there somewhere,
but Jim was down to his last couple of minutes (plus increments) and his opponent was determined.
That was in fact Jim's first loss for the club this season, and while it sees us leave the competition against our expectations,
it does mean we can now concentrate on the League.