Barnsley D vs Nomads E

Barnsley D Nomads E
Anthony Steel 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna (b)
Russell Roe 1 0 Robert Shaw
Max Littlewood 0 1 Dave Kesteven
Alan Taylor 1 0 Jo Woollard

Robert sacrificed a knight for positional advantage, leaving  Russell with doubled e & g pawns, and an exposed king, but fumbled while attempting to exploit this, losing a rook to a skewer, after which he resigned.

Dave attacked strongly with his queen early on, gaining a rook, then swapped down, emerging into the end game with queen, rook and five pawns against just a rook and fice pawns. Dave then forced a queen exchange. Faced with inevitable promotion Max resigned.

After swapping off minor pieces Jo and Alan both castled king-side. Further exchanges left Jo with a queen, rook, and pawns against a queen, rook, knight and pawns, a slight disadvantage which proved decisive.

Eric was the last to finish. He too had opened by swapping off minor pieces and castling king-side, but he maintained material parity, manoeuvring  to a rook and pawn endgame, with a one pawn advantage. After exchanging rooks, Eric marched his h pawn to promotion, but Anthony also had an unstoppable pawn, so Eric agreed a draw.

Clay Cross vs Nomads E

Clay Cross 3 1 Nomads E
Jerome Redhead 1 0 Duncan Chambers (w)
Neil Cameron 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna
Keith Myhill 1 0 Robert Shaw
Brian Redhead 1/2 1/2 Jo Woollard

Nomads won the toss, and chose white on odds.

Robert miscalculated an early exchange, trading a bishop for two pawns. He was able to generate a promotion threat with his kingside pawn majority, getting one pawn to the seventh rank, but Keith eventually blocked him. Once it was clear he could force promotion, Robert resigned.

Eric castled first in a solid defensive opening, exchanging first minor pieces then queens. When the dust settled Eric and his opponent had two knights and seven pawns each. Once it was clear neither player could make progress a draw was agreed.

After swapping off bishops Duncan positioned his queen threateningly on g6, then exchanged knights. More exchanges followed, leaving Duncan two pawns down with a single rook, bishop, and queen, then Jerome outmanoeuvred Duncan, winning his bishop outright. Facing a clear material disadvantage, Duncan resigned.

Against Jo, Brian opened aggressively, his queen penetrating to a4, but Jo repulsed this attack., going two pawns up. Going into the endgame, she had a rook and six pawns, including connected passed pawns on g6 and f7, against a rook, bishop and just two pawns. After some manoeuvring, Jo won the bishop with a promotion threat, leaving her with a rook and five pawns against a rook and a single pawn, but she was running short on time.

With just  50 seconds left on the clock, Jo succumbed to a stalemate trap, and the match was over.

Considering we were outgraded on every board, this was a respectable result.

Graham Peacock vs Gordon Shaw

Nomads E v Clay Cross B

Nomads E 2.5-1.5 Clay Cross B
John Woollard 1-0 Kieran Redhead
Duncan Chambers 0.5-0.5 Mike Colclough
Eric McKenna 0.5-0.5 Brian Lever
Jo Woollard 0.5-0.5 Keith Myhill

With the A & B team both at home I wasn’t sure whether we had the room or equipment to squeeze the E team in as well, so took up Clay Cross on their kind offer to play the game at their venue. John was first to finish, winning after being under the cosh for most of the game, followed by a draw for Eric who decided beforehand he was going to play a fun game. Duncan and Mike also agreed a draw as Mike became short on time which left just Keith and I playing. A few minutes later Keith offered the draw, he had the slightly stronger position so I was happy to accept. He then stated that that meant Clay Cross had won the game. Fair enough I thought, until I picked up the score sheet which someone else had filled in for me on the next table along. Although John had finished first, I hadn’t seen the result of his game. There he was, listed at the top 1-0. Unfortunately for Keith, when he had a cursory glance over at the score sheet he hadn’t realised I had listed our team on the left, it being our home game. He had seen the 1-0 and thought they had won, meaning a draw for him would be sufficient. So a third win out of three games and top of the table so far, great start team!