Eric and his opponent both castled kingside, then traded off minor pieces, leaving Eric with two rooks, a bishop and seven pawns against two rooks, a knight and six pawns, then Eric won a rook for a bishop, which proved decisive.
Jo won a queen with a bishop fork fairly early on, ending up with a rook and seven pawns against just four pawns, after which her opponent resigned.
Robert won a rook for a knight early on, but at the cost of positional weakness. His opponent soon won the lost material back, then forced mate.
Sam had good early development, tried a sacrifice which worked well enough, then attempted a second sacrifice which didn’t go so well, and resigned in the face of inevitable mate.
Robert Nield castled kingside, establishing a solid defensive position, then swapped down to knight, bishop and six pawns against two knights and four pawns, a slight material advantage, but sufficient to force mate.
Robert Shaw lost material to a fork early on, but then won a rook with a knight fork, leaving him slightly ahead. Once it became clear he couldn’t be prevented from swapping down to a won endgame, his opponent resigned.
Jo and her opponent began by swapping off the light-squared bishops. Exchanges of knights and queens soon followed. After much manoeuvring the game deadlocked. Eric also began with an early queen exchange. With neither player able to gain a clear material advantage this game too deadlocked.
Les castled queenside. In a complicated position he missed a pin, and was mated. Afterwards, he said he’d just been outplayed.
John emerged from the middle game with a rook and three pawns against a rook and four pawns, a slight disadvantage, but not enough to force a win. Instead, a draw was agreed.
Outgraded on the top and bottom boards, Nomads C were slight underdogs on an evening where underdogs were to triumph. (As the Nomads A were to find out. Nightmare at the New Barracks….)
The match could easily have gone the other way but Nomads held on with some deft defending. With everything even it all hinged on Jo, who put in a sterling performance and won her game, securing the match for Nomads.
It is not enough to have higher graded players but in a tight league we have to perform every week. This was a collective night off, but credit to Stannington who took their chance. They seemed as surprised as we were.
After a few days in bed, at the last minute I declared myself fit. Buoyed by an examination of Gawain Jones website, I knew that Sue was in the Far East so I felt pretty confident……A quick draw or even loss and I could go home.
Whilst wandering aimlessly through my opening, I sat amazed at Jamie being tricked in the opening on the board next to me. Well this could be hard. Then suddenly Nick lost seemingly very early, it was clear this was going to be a long night. Mike drew and then Jamie lost, so problems were mounting. Khaled neglected to win my Queen to a fork which actually gave me false hope.
Chris then won like Chris does but then Jon lost like Jon doesn’t.
Ian tried manfully to win a materially level ending. Well he does most weeks but not this. Arjun apparently created a stalemate in a lost position.
And of course the quick draw became the very long loss. A few tactics near the end but not enough.
Well done to Stannington, always good hosts and nice sandwiches.
Nomads 2 faced a strong team from Stannington in the semi-finals of the Richardson Plate competition. The highlight was Mike’s win on top board against Carl Walker, while Steve and myself drew with higher graded opponents. In the last game to finish, Ken sacrificed the exchange to obtain a dangerous passed pawn but his opponent was able to cover the queening square and Ken eventually ran out of time. Overall, this was a good performance considering the difference in grades between the teams. Many thanks to everyone who played for Nomads 2 this season.
After the disaster in the league last week, this was a chance to redeem ourselves. We were from last weeks team missing boards 4 & 5. Chesterfield were missing Dave Latham on 1 but had Mike Alcock on 2. Otherwise it was their first 6.
We won the toss but Jon felt that himself, Kieran and Geoff did not deserve white again after only 3 draws last week. So black on odd.
A slow and cagey start with no obvious advantage for anyone. after only about 30-40 minutes, Andy offered a draw to Ian. It was very flat and level and was going to be a queenless middle game. Ian declined. I did wonder if that would come back to haunt us. not long afterwards Jon and Peter agreed a draw. They seemed to have played quite quickly and was already in a late middle game. Emboldened by this friendliness, Geoff offered a draw in a very early middlegame. Dave accepted. The spectre of 6 draws seemed likely.
I should say that my pre match e-mail predicted 5 draws and a win for Kieran. It seems that Kieran had also offered a draw which Mike had turned down.
There was nothing really happening but I felt that we could get something from 2 & 3 which at this stage looked like our powerhouse. Soon afterwards Jeremy and Martin drew. Ian had been pressing on, exchanging pieces and had reached B+5 v N+5 all very even. The Bishop should be better on an open board but I always fear sneaky N forks in time trouble!
Then Chris won. He obviously claimed that he had been losing…..
This put a different dynamic on the match. unless we lost BOTH outstanding games we would win. Kieran said he understood the arithmetic, so expected another draw offer at an appropriate stage. Ian had not stood up to look at the score and was playing the ending like a superstar. He won and it was all over. Kieran and Mike settled for the draw so 4-2.
Well done everyone and thanks to Chesterfield for a good and friendly evening.