Sasca E vs Nomads E

Sasca E 1/2 Nomads E
D Evans (w) 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna
C Wilson 0 1 Robert Shaw
O Walker 0 1 Jo Woollard
N Roberts 0 1 Gordon Shaw

Sasca won the toss, and chose white on odds.

Eric’s opponent opened with a strong attack, but Eric mounted a solid defence, eventually swapping down to a queen, rook and pawn endgame, with a  one pawn advantage for Eric. He tried to press this home, but his opponent manoeuvred him into perpetual check.

Playing against the French defence, Gordon quickly gained a pawn.  After his opponent retreated his bishop to e7, they both castled kingside, then Gordon swapped a bishop and knight for two bishops, giving him the slight theoretical advantage of the bishop pair. Exploiting this, he squeezed his opponent, swapping off queens on move 19 and.ending up with a rook and two pawns against just three pawns. This was enough to force promotion, after which mate swiftly followed.

Jo also opened with an exchange of minor pieces. Further exchanges followed, with Jo steadily gaining positional advantage, until her opponent was mated.

Robert was the last to finish. He and his opponent had exchanged queens on move 19. leaving Robert a pawn down, but with a stronger pawn structure. The next exchanges left Robert with a knight for four pawns, a marginal disadvantage, but after a wobbly middle-game he pulled back, gaining material, so towards the end of the game Robert had a  rook, knight and pawn against just a rook.  Once his opponent’s rook was disposed of, mate soon followed.

Robert’s mate:

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