|1||Stephens, Robert W||1788||½ - ½||Irving, Angus||1750|
|2||Webber, Simon||1608||½ - ½||Riley, Simon||1698|
|3||Price, John||1540||1 - 0||Paez, Alonso||1653|
|4||Margerum, Nick||1500||½ - ½||Dolewka, Piotr ||1510|
| || || ||2½ - 1½|
A satisfying result against a team that were, on paper, the stronger side. It means that we go second in the table (for a day), separated
from the top spot by our match score against the leaders.|
Bob was first to finish after risking a pawn developing his attack, but ended a pawn down in a bishop of same colour ending. He was safe
enough however, with the pawns on both wings locked and the extra isolated pawn in the centre block by his king, his bishop was able to
soak up the moves.
It was a while before Simon (our Simon) followed suit after a long and tense King´s Indian. The complications throughout made it
difficult to tell who had the advantage. Simon had started with an early advance of his queen´s side pawns - all his c-e pawns were
on the fourth rank within the first half dozen moves. His opponent responded with a similar advance on the king´s side, making his
king appear a little naked. The game was reaching a critical stage where Simon had to repeat an attack on his opponent´s queen to
keep things together, and his opponent, not able to find anything better to offer, followed the repetition.
Our expectations from the bottom two boards led us to believe we were heading for another 2-2 draw - how wrong we were. Nick had played
a steady and careful game that was pretty much level throughout. Until that is, we came to the R&N v R&B ending. Spotting the opportunity
of surrendering a pawn or two for his opponent´s bishop, Nick ended up with more than he was expecting, having hovered up his
opponent´s remaining pawns in the process. He now found himself with R,N&P v R, with every expectation of the full point. His
opponent was nothing if not tenacious and Nick slipped up, losing the knight. The game was now theoretically drawn, but Nisk´s
misplaced king meant that his opponent had no need to employ Philidor´s method to achieve it.
It was now down to John, who had slipped up in the opening, allowing a bishop to get caught in a "Noah´s Ark" manoeuvre. John got
two pawns for his bishop and set about putting them to good use. It was quite something to see, both sides had castled long and John was
advancing a phalanx of three unopposed pawns down the King´s side. Great care was still needed however to prevent them collapsing like
a deck of cards, but slowly and surely the phalanx advanced ever closer to their goal. While contemplating a decisive advance of his
h-pawn to the seventh, John nearly gave us a heart attack as the clock ticked down to the last few seconds before he finally made the advance.
After that it was plain sailing, in spite of an effort by his opponent to advance his king´s side pawn majority by way of a counter.
When John queened his second pawn his opponent resigned. As a footnote, this must be a rare occasion when black´s king´s knight,
developed on it´s natural f3 square, found itself occupying a critical square in such an ending.
From being joint top for a day, we are now level on points with Woodbridge at the bottom, but a big score against them next week gives us
every chance of an unexpected trophy. 4-0 should do it.