Div2 match report megathon!

Yes, whilst pawnstar’s fingers are resting from pushing wood and tapping plastic, Martin has been busy and provided us with the following match report –

Taunton Chess Club – Match Reports – Division two

Yeovil vs Taunton 18th December 2013

Has there ever been a normal chess match where there are no unexpected results, no quirks with the venue or players, no controversial incidents or issues, just 12 blokes sitting down and pushing bits of plastic towards each other for 3 hours. What could go wrong with that?
Almost every match seems to be notable for some reason! A stand-out match worthy of mention in an end of year review. And so it was with our away fixture against Yeovil. Our previous fixture, away at Weston was postponed due to only one Taunton non-driving player being available. (Surely a record, worthy of note and a mention in an end of year review)
Yeovil are a strong team and I suspected we would struggle against them as we lost twice to them last season. So far this season Taunton have played three and won three, so we could take one loss along the way. Being so close to Christmas and being an away fixture I knew it would be more difficult than usual to get a team. I couldn’t get a strong over 170 player to play but Alex is a good reserve and we went with a team of five, sadly dropping a board to start with. Five became four when I got a call whilst on the road at 7.05 from Matthew Haines who was making his own way there. Due to the terrible weather and intense rainfall he became trapped at home in a local flash flood. He could have possibly made it but getting back was too risky so had to pull out.
The biblical/Noah style rainfall made driving very difficult and we were stuck in slow or stopped traffic for a while and arrived late and flustered to the venue. Not in the right frame of mind to play chess I lost a shocker of a game (worthy of note for the wrong reasons!) and Robin and Stan drew theirs. Alex’s game was a great fight against A Footner with interesting edge-of-the-seat tactics all over the board (ask to see it if you see him at the club). He lost in the end but it was a great game to be involved in. So we lost 3-1 on the day and 5-1 overall. Thanks to everyone for coming out on a horrible night so close to Christmas. At least it was another away match ticked off.

Chard and Ilminster vs Taunton 9th January 2014

After the 5-1 loss at Yeovil we needed a 5-1 victory to put us back on track. Chard/Ill have a strong team too and on paper they matched us uncannily closely.
Arturo Wong 181 v M Richardt 181 P Chapman 144 v S Wojcik 144
TA Lawrence 133 v Robin Challoner 136 P Brown 129 v M Worrall 132
A Copley Smith E107 v M Ward 90 F Burridge 86 v M Haines 85
Only Mike Wards game was more than 3 point difference. This would suggest over six games a 3-3 draw would be the fair result or perhaps a 3.5-2.5 win for one side.
Mike Ward, playing with white, finished first with a win after a blunder lost black a piece, (if I remember the bits of the game I saw.) Stan and Matthew both drew with the black pieces and Robin played a solid piece sacrifice to force black to resign. 3-1 to Taunton. I played a risky trappy line with black against a c3 Sicilian. If white can navigate the tricky first 10 moves then he usually has very good space and development advantage but my opponent missed the out-of-book-not-easy-to-see best moves and I soon won the exchange and two pawns. White played on as I had a couple of pieces trapped on the back rank but after a few exchanges and as soon as I freed them up he resigned.
Mike R and Arturo Wong usually play 18 moves of theory and call it a draw. But this time their game was last to finish. In what initially looked like a drawn endgame Mike, playing with white, had less than 2 minutes on the clock and Arturo over 15. Mike seemed to be taking longer than his 2 mins left and Arturo moved quickly to press Mike on time. Of course moving quickly without studying the position can lead to mistakes and this is what happened. Arturo missed a drawing move. In a beautifully played endgame by Mike he played very precise moves- including using his king as an attacking piece- to get black in Zugzwang a few times with still 20 pieces on the board! Arturo resigned making the score 5-1 to Taunton. A game and overall result worthy of note and a mention in an end of year review!
Who would have thought a 5-1 win when looking at the grade match ups? At least it makes up for the 5-1 loss to Yeovil. Thank you everyone for playing, especially Mike Ward for driving as well after Alex had to withdraw the night before.
Next match is the Thursday 23rd Jan with another away match against Sedgemoor who are ahead of us and top of the division by two points, but we have a match in hand. This is a real crunch game and could go some way to deciding the title. We must put out a strong team for this one…..
Division 2 captain

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