Ashley and his opponent played a four knights opening, then swapped down to a queen, bishop and multiple pawns endgame. After Stephen forced a queen swap then secured promotion Ashley resigned.
Robert Shaw blundered away a rook pretty quickly. He played on for a few moves longer, attempting to trap his opponent’s rook, but when that failed he resigned.
Robert Nield lost a bishop for a rook, leaving him with a queen, rook, bishop and five pawns against a queen, two rooks, and five pawns. When Stephen won the bishop Robert Nield too resigned.
On board two, the initial exchanges left Jo with a rook, bishop and five pawns against a rook, bishop and six pawns, a marginal material disadvantage, but Alexander had doubled pawns, so the position looked pretty even. After swapping off the remaining pieces, Jo reached this position at move 41.
Soon after, Jo agreed a draw, saving the team from a complete whitewash.
We found Sasca’s new venue easily enough, but ran into our first snag when we got out of the car to be met with a locked door. It turned out we’d gone to the wrong entrance, not exactly the best start to the evening.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good look at Ashley’s game, but he described it as a thrilling tactical battle, ending in his mate.
Sam pushed a pawn to the seventh rank, but then his opponent mated him on h8, with bishops of b2 and f7. Jo also succumbed to a similar mating pattern, attacked in the corner down the long diagonal.
Early on, Robert manoeuvred his opponent into doubling his pawns, leaving his king open. The game was looking promising, but then Robert blundered away a rook, placing himself at a decisive material disadvantage, and was unable to recover.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good look at Pete’s game but Eric’s opponent opened aggressively, pushing a pawn to his seventh rank by move 13. After Eric rebuffed this attack, gaining a queen and rook, his opponent resigned.
Dave ended up with a queen, rook, and three pawns against a queen, bishop and six pawns, not a decisive material advantage for either player, so a draw was agreed. Meanwhile Jo gained a rook for a bishop, but ended up in a king and pawns endgame, so also agreed a draw.
Robert put his opponent under some pressure early on, but after they swapped down to opposite coloured bishops Robert slipped up in the resulting battle of manoeuvre, losing material without compensation. He played on for a bit, looking for a way back, but then his flag fell. Ashley also had a solid opening which fizzled out.
Eric castled kingside, with good early development, swapping down to two rooks each, with a pawn advantage. After the rooks went too, both players promoted simultaneously, but then Eric forced a second promotion, and his opponent resigned.
Robert sacrificed a knight on f7 for positional advantage, and came out of the resulting exchanges a minor piece up, eventually ending up with a knight and pawns against a bare king, then sacrificed the knight to allow a quick pawn promotion. His opponent resigned soon after.
Jo won material early on, having a two rook advantage at one point, and delivered mate on move 37, with her queen on her opponent’s first rank, behind his king.
Dave also won material early on, capturing his opponents queen on move 23. Mate quickly followed.
After some initial gains Ashley agreed a draw in a deeply unclear position.