When looking at the teams in Division One, the closest challenger to the mighty, all-conquering Taunton Division One team of heroes, would seem to be the Yeovil team. Yeah, close, but no cigar…. Or so we thought… suddenly with Terry no longer with us (er… make that no longer at the club.. he’s not dead AFAIK..), and also our star, almost-but-not-quite-graded-at-200 player, Ben, was not able to make it for this match, suddenly our overbearing, dominating, supremacy wasn’t looking quite so iron-clad.
Anyway, Yeovil turned up, and sportingly didn’t bring all their best players either. They’d shed one, which in close matches might make all the difference.
The real excitement was elsewhere though, as the newly-entered-into-the-club-championship, Chess Challenger 7 embarked on its first game, with an excited group of players ganging up on it. I’ll post more on that encounter some other time.
Meanwhile, similar to ManU v Chelsea, the match that will probably dictate the direction of the title chase got underway
The games finished in this order –
Board 2: Dave Littlejohns 1/2 v Andrew Footner 1/2
As he pondered over move 12, none of Dave’s pieces had ventured beyond the 2nd row, the queens were off and Dave had a huge grin. He came leaping over, enthusiastically spouting – “Yes, its all going to plan”. Andrew Footner appeared to be spending a lot of time in deep thought trying to find a way to inject some action, but looking back on it, he may well have been asleep, or just musing that here is 3 hours of his life he’s not going to get back. Soporifically, predictable anaesthetic stuff. Yawn. Zzzzzzzzz.
Next to finish was Nick –
Board 4: Nick Wilson 1 v Darren Freeman 0
Nick, after last week’s dull game, really tried hard to shed some pawns in the opening, but black was having none of it. Luckily, white got a nice bind and black made a tactical slip in trying to break it. The game was over quickly, with Nick winning at least a piece and Black still positionally weak.
Next to finish was Mike (now updated with his in-game comments) –
Board 3: Jim Fewkes 0 v Mike Richardt 1
Mike was still ‘in book’ at move 17! He’d also been talking of a Nc3 sacrifice before-hand, and so come move 19, both Nick and Dave gathered round the board, waiting for Mike triumphantly bang down the sac, followed by “oohs” and “aaahs” from all the observers. Well, much to Nick’s surprise, he chickened out and didn’t play it (actually, very sensibly didn’t play it, as it turned out to be totally unsound! Well resisted Mike!). The game progressed with attacks on both wings. White sacced on h7, but there was no forced win – only a possible forced draw, but white missed it and lost due to his huge material deficit.
So, now Taunton lead 2.5 v 0.5
Just one win needed, and Jerry’s game was next –
Board 5: Roger Knight 0 v Jerry Kilby 1
Jerry played a nice game, restisting White’s pressure and then forcing a win in the early endgame. In the end, White lost on time, but was about to drop a piece, so it was over anyway.
After this, the match score was Taunton leading by 3.5-0.5. Taunton Win! Yay!
The final two games were first Martin –
Board 6: Martin Worral 0 v M Baker 1
Martin thought he’d made a slip in losing a Knight for 3 pawns, but a very brief bit of later computer analysis (and not by the Chess Challenger 7, I might point out), took the electronic brain down the same route. Trouble is, the position is tricky, and a little later, Martin made a definate slip, leaving him a rook down.
Uh? What’s that? One player is a rook down? In one of Martin’s games..? Hmmm… lets have a think… surely this is now drawish?
Well, no. Yet again, the player with the greatest rook aggregate was unsurprisingly victorious…
(only a fortnight has passed… we’ve still got the balance of 10 years to go…..)
Last to finish, was Mark
Board 1: Patryk Krzyzanowski 1/2 v Mark Hassall 1/2
Both are strong players, and far be it for pawnstar to venture his humble opinion on this game, but Mark seemed to have a much better position throughout, and must surely be a little disappointed not to have won. But with the match secure, maybe a safe draw was the best option.
Final score – Taunton Win by 4 to 2!!
A great result against a potentially dangerous team. Well played Taunton!