Gambit 2’s match at home to Ashfield 1 was a story of a lunchtime withdrawal, a delayed start, a late change to the team, a late arrival, a fantastic match victory and a shell-shocked Ashfield 1 captain.
John Tassi had to withdraw at lunchtime due to a temporary illness, so John Huthwaite agreed to play. Steve Burke kindly agreed to Drag’s request to delay the start time (see league rule B7) by 10 minutes due to Onos being stuck on the M1, coming back from a work meeting. At 7:35 Drag asked Brian to play instead of him as he needed to be the sub if Onos was unable to arrive on time.
Onos turned up at about 8pm and played very nicely to secure a quick draw with Steve Burke, giving the rest of the team a boost. Brian played nicely after a characteristic Neil Graham piece sacrifice to expose Brian’s king, and comfortably won the endgame. John Huthwaite, a pawn down, played a nice looking move which allowed a trick winning material for John Shaw but John Shaw missed it and, a few moves later, allowed our John to play a move leading to checkmate. Graeme faced a nice knight sacrifice from Andrew Toothill, and Andrew arguably should have won but he was rapidly running out of time. He was still able to force a draw but chose to try to win, only to offer a draw a few moves later which Graeme correctly turned down to win the game. Mike Naylor accepted Derek Jarvis’ b7 pawn and queened his ‘a’ pawn, correctly analysing that he had the extra tempo to stop Derek drawing by perpetual check with two rooks on the 7th, and beat Derek. Result 4.5 – 0.5.
A fantastic victory that shoots Gambit 2 up to 4th place and dumps Ashfield 1 into the relegation places, leaving a shell-shocked Steve Burke to write on the Ashfield website “Still can’t really believe it!”.
Gambit 4 secured an important victory at promotion favourites Grantham 3. Missing 3 of his team, Derek called upon Brian Hayward, Keith Roper and Gary Hopkinson. Richard Edwards and Brian secured draws with Chris Hill and Richard Chillcott respectively. Keith beat Grenville Wollerton but Gary lost to Ben Mason. Captain Padvis secured the points by beating John Pocock.