Gambit 2 went to WB 1 on Monday hoping to increase their lead over WN 3. Drag Sudar was initially unavailable, finding out only on Monday pm he was available after all , but he decided to stick with the team he had selected.
On arrival at WB 1, Gambit 2 saw that WB 1 had put Harry Croasdale on 1, Robert Richmond on 2 and Will Place on 3. Tony Croasdale unconvincingly claimed that this was in response to seeing Mike Barnes play on 2 at Newark 1, but this fails to explain why WB 1 didn’t simply swap Robert and Will over. We think WB deliberately sacrificed Harry and that Robert wanted to avoid Mike Barnes, with good reason as he has a terrible record against him, having never won in 8 games with the black pieces.
After Mike Barnes had ground down Harry Croasdale, John Tassi drew with Ben Pickering. Mike Naylor looked like he was going to lose to Will. However, in a time scramble before the 1st time control, Will miscalculated, lost material and conceded defeat. This was an unexpected bonus for Gambit 2. We had secured a draw at worse.
Steve Hunter and Graeme Jennings were under pressure from Robert Richmond and Richard Truman respectively. Steve, with both players very low on time, missed a drawing move. Graeme, a pawn down in a rook and pawns ending, was unable to hold on.
Gambit 2 are the only team to have taken points of WB 1 this season, with two draws, and have a 2 point advantage over WN 3 with both teams still to play WB 2 & RB 1 before meeting in the promotion decider in April. This is going all the way.