Gambit X continued their unexpected good form by beating Ashfield 3 4-1. Mike N played out a fairly mundane draw with Neil Graham who uncharacteristically played very quietly. Florian was happy to be sent down a opening line he understood well by Steve Bak and took control of the board before winning a piece. Steve steadily built a strong position against Nigel Wright and, when it appeared he couldn’t make progress on the K-side, he switched to the Q-side and broke through. Nigel Wright sacrificed a bishop for two pawns but it didn’t help him. Drag was lucky to beat Pete Clarke who, after playing well to reach a drawish endgame, swapped off rooks leaving Drag with a won position.
Graeme and Ray were seemingly heading for a draw when Graeme went trigger happy and successive checks took Ray’s king from g7 to h3. Graeme played Bf1+ and Ray responded with Qf3+. What happened next proves why captains should not have arbiter rights in league matches. Graham asked for advice after Ray’s illegal move but all his captain Drag (allegedly a qualified ECF arbiter) could remember to advise was that Graham could have 2 extra minutes, completely forgetting to also advise that Ray still had to make a legal move with his queen if there was one (Qg2) which would have resulted in Ray losing his queen. Ray moved his queen back to d5 and his king out of check and a couple of moves later they agreed a draw, which was a fair result based on how the game was played.