Our 4th team beat division 4 leaders WN 3 3.5 – 1.5 to move up 4 places to 2nd, one point behind WN 3. John T had a solid draw with Rob Willoughby. Derek touched a bishop and had to move it, allowing his K & Q to be forked by Andrew Watson. Mick H brought the scores level with a good win over Mike Herbert with passed queen side pawns. Graham played well to go a piece up and, although he missed a mate in 2, he eventually won in slightly bizarre circumstances with Nigel Marshall conceding, incorrectly thinking he was mated, but he was a rook and bishop down by this point. Maggie was in an equal N + pawns position when her opponent, Daniel McWilliams, offered a swap of knights in an attempt to win to draw the match. Maggie accepted the swap but then missed an immediate chance to win the resultant isolated king’s pawn. The game was heading for a draw when Daniel suddenly resigned, thinking he couldn’t prevent a pawn rushing to the 8th even though he could easily do so.
Our 2nd team missed a chance to put some distance between themselves and their relegation rivals Ashfield 1 as they lost 3.5 – 1.5. Drag completely misplayed the position and allowed John Molyneux to win easily. Steve had created a passed pawn but then dropped an exchange after which David Levens missed a chance to win a bishop. Steve still had good chances but, with his time running low, unfortunately allowed a mate in one. Onos was slightly worse but managed to hold onto a draw against Neil Graham. The other two games, Jose & Brian against Steve Burke & Phil Morgan, always looked drawn. This important win for Ashfield brings them up to just 2 points behind our 2nd team and still to play Uni 1 & WN 1 before Christmas.