Early on, Robert won a queen, rook, and two pawns for a queen, bishop, and knight, a small theoretical advantage, but was unable to capitalise. Eventually, John Speck trapped Robert’s remaining rook, giving him a definite material advantage, but he was under time pressure with no clear route to mate, so a draw was agreed.
In a quiet opening, Dave and Ivan both castled king-side. After much manoeuvring Dave suffered decisive material loss, and resigned. Sam also resigned, after losing his queen to a knight fork.
In Jo’s game, her opponent castled first, then they exchanged knights and bishops, eventually reaching this position, in which a draw was agreed.
Robert and Ivan both castled king-side. Once out of the opening, Robert was comprehensively out-manoeuvred. On move 29, facing imminent forced mate, he resigned.
Jo established a solid defensive position, with her bishop on g2, but her opponent launched a strong attack with queen and bishop along the a8-h1 diagonal. Swapping queens off left Jo a bishop don, then she lost a rook for a bishop, leaving her a full rook down. She resigned soon after.
Sam exchanged knights, then bishops. His opponent positioned his queen ominously on e5, but Sam got a pawn to h2. However, Stuart forced a queen swap, winning the h pawn, then won a rook for a knight, giving him a decisive lead.
Eric castled early, positioning his bishop on g2, then swapped off knights. The two queens followed, on move 25. By move 30, Eric and his opponent were left with just a rook, knight, and five pawns each. A draw was agreed soon after, in this position:
Eric castled king-side, put his king on h2, then lost material, finishing up with two bishops and four pawns against two rooks and five pawns. When his opponent forced mate in two, Eric resigned. Ashley swapped queens off, but went a knight down. Further material loss followed, leaving him with a bishop, knight and two pawns against a rook, bishop, knight, and five pawns, so he too resigned.
Robert declined the Queen’s Gambit, gained a pawn advantage. then lost it, ending up in a rook and pawn endgame. After some manoeuvring a draw was agreed in this position.
Jo and Stephen both castled king-side. Jo established a solid defensive position, gaining a rook. More material gains followed, giving Jo two rooks, a bishop and seven pawns against just one pawn, but her opponent managed to find a stalemate.
Against Eric, Russell played the English Opening, 1 c4. Eric established a solid defensive position, exchanging off knights then bishops, leading to a quiet game which eventually deadlocked. Robert opened with the Italian Game, producing an even-looking position. When Robert managed to gain a queen, Anthony resigned.
Jo felt on the back foot for most of her game, but managed to maintain material parity. After swapping off most of the pieces, she went into the endgame with a rook and five pawns against a rook and six pawns, but extra ten minutes on the clock. Neither player had any clear way to force promotion, so a draw was agreed.
Gordon won a rook for a bishop early on, then gained a bishop before winning the queen, ending up with a queen, two rooks and six pawns, one on the seventh rank, against a single rook and just four pawns, none of them past their fourth rank. Facing mate, his opponent resigned.
Our second outing in the 400 league (all team members grades must add up up to less than 400, maximum grade 120) took us to Barnsley. Robert wasn’t well, so Gordon kindly stepped in to his place.
Les was first to finish, around move 6 he made an error which would have resulted in being a piece down. Luckily his opponent didn’t spot this and two moves later Les found himself a piece up! He then simplified and 20 moves later victory came.
Gordon was next to notch up a win, around move 20 he got the first of 12 continuous checks, until finally his opponent had nowhere left to go and Gordon had mate.
After a tight start, I found myself 2 pawns up, which was then followed up with an exchange. Faced with losing a further piece, Alan resigned.
Eric was last to finish, agreeing a draw in a fairly locked up position, giving us victory 0.5 – 3.5.
All was well until I got home to find Mr Wool had accidentally locked me out of the house. What japes ensued…..
Keith went a knight up early on, then gained a rook, giving him a decisive advantage. His opponent soon resigned.
Dave and his opponent both castled king side, then he swapped off a bishop for knight before gaining a bishop. However, Kypros traded his queen for a rook and bishop, trading a slight material disadvantage for strong mating threats. After a brief struggle, Dave resigned.
After a complex exchange in the early middle game, Robert went into the endgame with a queen and five pawns against a rook, a knight, and three pawns, a clear material advantage, though not a guaranteed win. After some manoeuvring, he mated the white king on g6.
Jo gained a pawn early in a quiet opening, then traded a bishop and knight for a rook and pawn, but was eventually outmanoeuvred, being mated in the middle of the board.