On Monday the 1st team beat WB1 3 -2 to send them down. There were 4 draws from Mike B, Pete M, John S & Graeme v Robert Richmond, Brian Thompson, Will Atiomo & Chris Budd respectively with the only win coming from Tom v Mike Hunter. WB 1 still have an important role to play in helping determine who joins them as they have to play Ashfield 1.
The 2nd team beat Ashfield 1 3.5 – 1.5 on Wednesday. Oliver never got going against David Levens and never recovered. Mike N played Neil Graham for the 3rd time in 2018 and couldn’t do better than draw. Both Tom and Drag won with the same combination against Steve Burke and Jerry Herrington respectively; they both took a white squared bishop on the 7th rank with their queen and then forked their opponent’s king and queen with a knight. How often does something like that happen? Florian defended his e6 pawn v Derek Jarvis for a long time, getting down to about 10 seconds at one point, but the increments (thanks Steve!) allowed him to continue playing and when he counterattacked, Derek, also now short of time, made a mistake allowing Florian to win. We are now 5 points ahead of Ashfield with two to play. Ashfield 1 have three matches to play so can still catch us.
Gambit X narrowly beat Ashfield 3 by 3 – 2 on Tuesday. Mike N won an exchange v Neil Graham (how often have the same two players played each other on consecutive nights with the same colours, for different teams?) and won fairly comfortably. Graham won a pawn v Richard Dyce but promptly lost one and the game petered out to a draw. Drag was in a drawn position versus Trevor Lewis but stupidly decided to try to win and played a losing move. What game management and experience? (see Phil’s article on the NCA site). Andrei Procopie made his debut for the club, v Alan Robinson. Andrei built up a decent queen side position but Alan is nothing if not resourceful and eventually Andrei had to accept a draw. This win leaves Gambit X on 18 points from 10 matches, needing two more points from their remaining 4 matches for promotion and 3 points for the title.