Geoff Frost predicted that Rotherham would bring a strong team for this semi-final match and he was proved right. We were unable to match their strength in depth despite fielding our strongest team of the season. Congratulations to Ray for an excellent endgame win and commiserations to Les who was two pawns up at one stage. As ever, many thanks to everyone who played for Nomads 2 this season.
1 Andrew Hards (B) 0-1 Steve J Mann (W)
2 Geoff Frost (W) ½-½ Andy Baxter (B)
3 Ray King (B) 1-0 Nathaniel Holroyd-Doveton (W)
4 Steve Withington (W) 0-1 Oliver Brennan (B)
5 Duncan Chambers (B) ½-½ Chris Willey (W)
6 Les Day (W) 0-1 Ed Sowerby (B)
It was the week before Christmas and Chris’s Mean Machine rolled out to do battle with last year’s Champions Ecclesall. Missing Captain Chris and his noble stand-in captain earlier in the season, Andrew. Thus it was left to humble servant who had over the years been adept at exchanging teams and tossing coins. This art seems to be lost, as the coin fell on the floor and Alan called correctly. Not an auspicious start.
So we set off. John was not present and frantic phonecalls resulted in him driving over at great speed before his flag fell. (Do flags still fall?) Whilst John was enroute Kieran with the precious white pieces yawned his way to 14 moves in a Slav before remembering he had either left something in the oven or wanted to watch something on TV. I played a Czech Benoni against Alan. He played it cautiously and only the b file was opened. The prospect of all the Rooks and probably the Queens prompted a draw offer. Not by me honest! Jon and Jim played 1.d4 d6. When it was old it was the Old Indian, when it was modern, it was the Modern. What do I know? I cannot even toss the coin correctly. It seemed a base line game and a draw quickly ensued. So 3 draws.
By now John was in full flow, made up his time lost and quickly won. I was in and out of the room as I cannot watch….
When I retuned Sam was a piece down for a really monster position and an unstoppable h pawn. Naturally I assumed that the piece had been sacrificed….Wrong. An accidental pieceloss to get a winning position.
Oskar who seems to be fearless, sacked the exchange as black in a Tarrasch. You know where white’s Queen gets buried at h8. Ewan was up to the task and a hair-raising game ensued. Oskar won – see below.
Oskar’s game v Ewan Cormack – with annotations possibly to be added later.
The match was won but Vasilis and Stuart were playing powerfully and confidently and the match was rounded off in style. 6 ½- 1 ½.
After our defeat by Woodseats 1 in the Richardson proper, we returned to the Abbey to face their second team in the first round of the Plate competition. The teams looked evenly matched and the match remained balanced for a long time. Steve and Rahul drew their games, while a loss for Keith on Board 5 was cancelled out by Les’s win on Board 6. Events turned in our favour in the last 15 minutes of play. I managed to win a bishop ending with an extra pawn and Andrew won a rook ending which saw a large number of moves blitzed out by both players. So 4–2, a good result, and we look forward to the next round. My thanks to everyone who played.
Woodseats II 2-4 Nomads II
1 Andy Lee (B) 0-1 Andrew Hards (W)
2 Brendan Ashmore (W) ½-½ Steve Withington (B)
3 Peter Hulse (B) 0-1 Duncan Chambers (W)
4 Steve Moon (W) ½-½ Rahul Kumar (B)
5 Dave Cook (B) 1-0 Keith Wicks (W)
6 Rob Skelton (W) 0-1 Les Day (B)
First match of the season for the C team with two pretty evenly matched teams. Duncan was first to finish, with a win, closely followed by a loss for Joel, who by all accounts had played a very good attacking game. Arkady also lost in a close game while finally, having gone a pawn down, a mistake by my opponent meant I was able to win back both the pawn and a piece which eventually proved decisive. Final score 2-2.
Nomads C remain unbeaten at the top of the league on 13 points out of 14 with a good draw against an above strength Ecclesall team. Ray notched up another excellent win and Eric & I drew to give us the draw in the final C team match until the New Year. Have a good Xmas every body 🙂