Nomads A vs Barnsley A

Nomads A took a hard fought point from the match against Barnsley A. We were both weaker than usual and welcomed yet another Withington to the team Sam.
At my first glance round, Sam and Steve were not doing too well, Jamie and Henry were clearly better.
Sam did lose as did Steve. Steve’s kingside vanished and he was 2 pawns down. However his pieces Q & R were more active and if he could have consolidated he could have been Ok. However he decided to sacrifice his Bishop, not necessarily a good decision and soon lost.
Jon’s game on 1 was very solid and Andrew with White seemed more interested in not losing. A draw was agreed.
I thought Chris had been doing Ok on 2, certainly in the early stages. I had my back to their game but I heard Martin say “draw”. What I didn’t know until after was that Martin was in a crushing position and his flag fell as he made his 30th move. The old “had he made his move”, “did he press his clock” “did the flag fall early” etc etc. Now I set all the clock and always give a minute on all clocks at start. Chris immediately offered/accepted a draw and everyone was happy.
Henry was winning confortably but he played a move that we all knew he was going to make, all knew that it lost. very sad he had played really well.
So we were 4-1 down. Although Jamie was winning, I was under the cosh and Arjun turned a draw down.
Some magic, Arjun went into overdrive and crashed through.
I offered a dubious piece sacrifice which my opponent rejected because he thought he was winning anyway. I managed to break through on my Queenside whilst Richard was trying to unlock my Kingside.
Jamie all this time had been winning a double Rook + Queen ending a couple of pawns up. with that amount of heavy pieces on the board it is never easy.
So 4-4.
Very very hard work.

Woodseats A v Nomads A

Jon won a grinding ending R+N v R+B. A really good knight v a pretty bad bishop. Jon said he could play the position all day…from what I saw Nigel pushed his King side pawns and gave Jon targets. Nigel was short of time

Chris won a nice game just overpowering Andy. Final position double rook ending but chris’s rooks doubled on 7th as would eliminate all Andy’s pawns with mate threats.

Andrew’s game was probably influenced by that fact that he had to get home quickly. A straightforward enough draw.

Mine was pretty poor. 3 pawns down for nothing. I was about to resign but I had more time and Dave blundered a rook and resigned immediately.

Arjun was last to finish. I thought that he had slightly the better of the middle game but in went down to R+1 each Drawn. I suspect that neither had a deal of time.

Henry’s game has been posted. It was a draw. It fluctuated every time I went to look

Steve’s game looked very drawing.  Q’s off early, most pieces on odd squares. Eventually Steve had B v N and won a couple of pawns.

Pete on board 8 started off as a Morra and Brendan had a little pressure, Pete played very cautiously to equalise. I didn’t look at any of the games for a while so I was surprised to find Pete’s knights at h3 and f2 with the white king at g3. At first glance I could not see anything dynamic but Pete certainly stood better, and was still his pawn up. There must have been some explosion because the game finished quickly after that.

 

Geoff

 

Woodseats have also posted their version of events. May be worth a comparison!!  http://www.woodseatschess.org.uk/new_site/?p=3433

 

Nomads A vs Woodseats A

Nomads A 5½ – 2½ Woodseats A
Jonathan Nelson W 1 – 0 Alan W Potts
Chris C W Shephard 1 – 0 Nigel Carpino
Samuel Milson 1 – 0 Andy W Lee
Andrew Hards 1/2 – 1/2 Peter Hulse
Henry Withington 0 – 1 David Toft
Steve Withington 1 – 0 Shane Frith
Peter John Morton 1 – 0 Michael Mullin
Selamet Soxsal 0 – 1 Dave L Cook

Our first match at our new venue featured a Nomads A debut for Peter, a return for Pasha, and Henry playing on his highest board in the top flight. Our opponents turned up with only one of their four registered players, a debutant on board seven, and Shane making a return after missing virtually all of last season. No sign of Bill returning to the fold just yet, but I do believe he may have had to be *persuaded* not to turn out just yet as he recovers from his recent health scare.

The match itself was made more interesting by the presence of the local darts league across the room (our guests will have been used to that, having spent a season sharing a room with a darts team a few years ago), the gentle thud of the arrows into the board offering a contrast to the low level hum of 16 brains musing over our chess pieces. Speaking of which… to the match. Alan opted for the black pieces against Jon and a French defence that, oddly enough, was quite sharp after a handful of moves. After only a dozen moves in total, the game was over – I assumed at first a theoretical draw, but actually Alan had blundered a piece and against Jon, even that early in the game, there’s no way back. Not quite a ‘one hunnnerd and EIGHTY’ but not far off for our first point of the season.

There was, at this point, a significant lull in proceedings. Our top boards looked generally pretty good (Sam’s first league match in over a year was very sharp, mine was developing into ‘who can land the first blow’ and Chris and Nigel seemed to have an open queenside to play with that was making for some interesting positions and veiled attacks). Lower down the story wasn’t overly dissimilar, Henry seemed to be gaining an advantage in space, Steve was quietly bettering his side of the board, Peter was under a fair amount of central pressure, and Pasha’s attack looked like it could be problematic. But… Pasha dropped a couple of pawns in complications and his kingside attack was going nowhere fast – Dave’s passed pawn on the 6th was strong and perhaps resignation was slightly premature. A couple of treble twenties from the visitors and things had leveled up.

At this juncture, the top order took over and boards three, two and four were next to conclude. Sam was first – a complex middle-game with multiple pieces attacked and attacking on both sides and some interesting combinations that concluded with Sam a piece up and Andy conceding. Chris’ pressure on Nigel’s back rank then told – his extra pawn on the 7th and mating/piece-winning threats were just too strong. At this point, I was feeling pretty confident that we should see out the match and so after my attack fizzled out and Peter offered first a queen exchange, then his hand, I took the half point and we were suddenly within sight of the finishing line – who would seal the deal with a bullseye?

That honour fell to Peter. Michael had concocted a strong attack but Peter defended staunchly and (I suspect – I didn’t actually see!) when Michael’s sacrificial attack didn’t carry enough weight, the eventual simplification left Peter a whole rook up and able to neutralise any residual mating threats quickly and easily. Game, set…and the match. All of which left the Withingtons playing out two dead rubbers at this point – a point apiece with the father turning a tricky endgame his way as Steve wielded a piece-winning tactic to spoil Shane’s return to competitive action, and the son eventually going down in an ending as Henry’s attempts to force a pawn over the line were deftly defended by Dave until his material advantage told.

A good start to the season against opponents who will likely be significantly stronger in the return match. We’ll take the win, hope to avoid the darts next time around, and look forward to winter with the hope that this season we can compete once again at the top of the table.