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.
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.
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.
Robert won a rook for a knight, but then lost a rook to an attack on the long diagonal. Unable to recover, he eventually resigned. Eric and John exchanged bishops early on, producing an open position which soon deadlocked, leading to an agreed draw.
Reggie, in his first game for the club, smoothly won a queen, ending up with a queen, rook, and pawns against just a rook and pawns. Before long, his opponent resigned.
Jo was the last to finish. She’d castled king-side while Alex had castled queen-side. After her opponent won a rook with clever manoeuvring, Jo was left with a queen, rook and six pawns against a queen, rook, bishop and three pawns – nominal material parity, but an inferior position. Running short on time, and faced with some strong mate threats, Jo resigned.
Overall, a disappointing result, but an excellent performance from Reggie in his first match for us.
Nomads won the toss, and chose white on odd boards.
Robert emerged from the opening with a bishop and five pawns against a bishop and four pawns. After much manoeuvring, he miscalculated, ending up in this position:
Seeing no way to prevent his opponent forcing promotion, Robert resigned.
Eric’s game began well, but eventually deadlocked, ending in an agreed draw. Duncan went a pawn down, and never quite recovered. Francesca also lost material early on, and eventually resigned.
Jo maintained material parity, ending up with a queen, two rooks, and seven pawns against a queen, two rooks, a knight, and four pawns. However, he defended well, holding Jo at bay until her flag fell.
Meanwhile, Les emerged into a bishop and pawns endgame two pawns up, with a clear time advantage. Before long, his opponent resigned.
Robert and his opponent lost their queens in quick succession. Eventually, his opponent forced material gain with a promotion threat. Robert played on for a while, but eventually resigned.
Eric castled kingside while his opponent developed his queen early. Eric gained material, then exchanged queens, leaving him with two rooks, a bishop, a knight, and six pawns against two rook and five pawns, a decisive material advantage. Mate soon follow.
Gordon soon gained a knight, then swapped down, ending with a queen, two rooks and three pawns against a queen, single rook, and three pawns. Faced with the forced capture of his queen Gordon’s opponent resigned.
Jo and her opponent both castled kingside, swapping off minor pieces and reaching this position on move 36.
The game was looking drawish, but Jo had a few minutes less on the clock so eventually ran out of time.
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.