4NCL: 8-9 March 2003
Saturday 8 March
|WHITE ROSE 1||v||WESSEX 1|
|1||w||Dunnington, Angus J.||2388||½ - ½||Webb, Richard M.||2372|
|2||b||McFarland, Robert S.||2292||½ - ½||Poulton, James||2375|
|3||w||Gayson, Peter M.||2257||½ - ½||Yeo, Michael J.||2251|
|4||b||Gourlay, Iain||2257||1 - 0||Corkett, Anthony R.||2313|
|5||w||Thurlow, Kevin J.||2203||0 - 1||Simons, Martin J.||2262|
|6||b||Burnett, Jim||2187||0 - 1||Upton, Ian J.||2224|
|7||w||Barrett, Steve J.||2140||1 - 0||Neil, David R.||2204|
|8||b||Keeling, Karen (F)||1971||½ - ½||Khoo, Teresa (F)||2108|
|4 - 4|
For the first three hours, this match seemed to be going our way. Martin's preparation lasted until move 2, but he claims to have had a won position by move 8. His opponent played a few more moves before incurring his first loss in the 4NCL in 15 games. This enabled Martin to head off for an early sauna. I deviated from a game against my opponent in 1982, but then grabbed a rather hot pawn. I managed to cool things down a few moves later and agreed a draw expecting us to win the match comfortably. Ian played rather riskily which paid off when his opponent allowed a queen sacrifice leading to mate. David stood worse initially, but was close to equalising when he reverted to suicide mode. Teresa didn't make much headway.
3-2 up still seemed all right until Tony blundered a piece in a winning position. James agreed a draw in a position where he thought he was "getting stuffed" although it still looked reasonably playable to me. Board 1 got down to around 15 moves in 4 minutes each when Richard's opponent surprisingly offered a draw. Tony struggled on for another 30 moves and was hoping to prolong matters further with Q+2P v Q+R, but allowed his king to be got at. Very much a point lost rather than a point gained.
13 turned up for the expedition to the Shifnal Balti. Ian Clark had given Martin 6-1 odds on Wessex 1 getting promoted earlier in the day and was surprised to find further takers at 15-2 over dinner. The true odds must now be closer to 15-1. Even in the highly unlikely event that we win all our remaining matches to reach 17 points, the top 3 teams are all still quite likely to be able to reach at least 18 points (but I'm not offering it!)
|WESSEX 2||v||MILTON KEYNES|
|1||w||Rutter, Nicholas||2120||0 - 1||Freeman, Richard C.P.||2066|
|2||b||Clark, Ian C.||2119||½ - ½||Smith, Graham M.||2118|
|3||w||Tunks, Dominic||2096||1 - 0||Elwin, Adrian G.||2031|
|4||b||Pye, David E.||2080||½ - ½||Ioannides, Milton||2096|
|5||w||Hopkins, Jamie R.||2032||½ - ½||Kendall, Paul S.W.||1928|
|6||b||Pleasants, Allan J.||2000||0 - 1||Valentine, Brian J.||1952|
|7||w||Keddie, Dave A.||2000||½ - ½||Shaw, John S.||1832|
|8||b||Norman, Dinah (F)||2021||½ - ½||Wilcox, Charlotte (F)||1528|
Allan Pleasants reports:
"It was clear that Milton Keynes had strengthened their team for the matches against us and North West Eagles and this was going to be a closer match than I had originally anticipated. The opening phase was not looking good - On the top two boards Nick was in big trouble on the queen side and Ian was dropping the c-pawn. Jamie's opponent had sacked a pawn in the opening, but Jamie seemed to have situation under control. Only Dave Pye had an advantage on the remaining boards. As the match progressed the optimism that I had in my game disappeared when I realised I had completely misjudged the position. Nick had succumbed and my loss put us two down. Draws followed from Ian, Dave K, Dinah and Jamie. Dominic managed to make the most of a bishop v knight ending. Dave Pye had lost his way in the middle game, but had re-established his advantage to leave a tricky knight endgame, but eventually had to settle for a draw."
Sunday 9 March
|WESSEX 1||v||S. WALES DRAGONS 2|
|1||w||Webb, Richard M.||2372||½ - ½||Spice, Alan||2163|
|2||b||Poulton, James||2375||½ - ½||Trevelyan, John||2191|
|3||w||Yeo, Michael J.||2251||1 - 0||Gilbert, Jonathan A.||2087|
|4||b||Simons, Martin J.||2262||1 - 0||May, Frank||2161|
|5||w||Corkett, Anthony R.||2313||1 - 0||Adams, Mark A.||2106|
|6||b||Upton, Ian J.||2224||½ - ½||Brown, Alan M.||2133|
|7||w||Neil, David R.||2204||½ - ½||Miles, Richard||2078|
|8||b||Khoo, Teresa (F)||2108||0 - 1||Evans-Quek, Debbie (F)||2024|
|5 - 3|
So far this season, we have had much better results on Sundays - must be the curries! Martin was the first to finish again, despite having what he described as "a load of stodge". In a position where he was going to lose a pawn, his opponent picked up the wrong piece which meant that he lost a piece instead. Yet again, this enabled Martin to disappear off to the sauna - ever hopeful! David's main concern was to avoid his fourth loss of the season. Teresa surprisingly had her first loss for us. Tony demolished his opponent's kingside and won convincingly. On the other hand, not for the first time, our top two boards were most unconvincing. Both of them got into time-trouble and never looked like achieving anything other than draws. 3½ -2½ up, my opponent offered me a draw which I worried Tony by pretending to think about, although I had seen that my opponent's last move was a blunder (and Tony hadn't). We left Ian a pawn down in a Q+P ending which he eventually held.
|WHITE ROSE 2||v||WESSEX 2|
|1||w||van Kemenade, Rudy||2140||0 - 1||Tunks, Dominic||2096|
|2||b||Taylor, Robert K.||2211||0 - 1||Clark, Ian C.||2119|
|3||w||White, Mark W.||2104||0 - 1||Rutter, Nicholas||2120|
|4||b||Keeling, Geoff||2013||½ - ½||Pye, David E.||2080|
|5||w||Arnott, Jonathan W.||2070||½ - ½||Hopkins, Jamie R.||2032|
|6||b||Lim, Chin-Lee||2060||0 - 1||Pleasants, Allan J.||2000|
|7||w||Cumbers, Paul||2040||1 - 0||Keddie, Dave A.||2000|
|8||b||Richards, Susan (F)||1328||½ - ½||Norman, Dinah (F)||2021|
"I moved Nick to board 3, but he ended up playing their strongest player anyway. Dominic moved to board 1 as punishment for being the only one to win against Milton Keynes. This was considerably easier than the Milton Keynes match and we were 5-1 up at one point. Dinah and Dave K looked as if they were also going to win , but Dinah had nothing better than perpetual check when a piece up and Dave slipped up in a won position. A comfortable win however.
The other teams at the top of the league did badly (Milton Keynes beat the run away leaders North West Eagles). At the end of the weekend we have moved into joint second place in the league. With the league leaders having to play each other on the last weekend we can anticipate that the chasing teams will become contenders for the promotion slots. Its going to be a close run thing for promotion, probably decided by game points.
Its my birthday on the 11th of April so I guess the first round's on me in the bar on Saturday night. This probably won't do our promotion chances any good !! "
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