Thanks to captain Nigel Gardner for the following report:
Our E team had a late Friday night, top of the table encounter, at Cheddleton and both teams were tipping the points scales at virtually the maximum 400. It was anticipated as a titanic battle and so it transpired. After 30 minutes all 4 games were very close but then Reinhard on board 4 initiated an exchange that left him marginally up in piece and position.
He proceeded to capitalise and it seemed the tide was definitely in his favour. After 90 minutes he had driven home his advantage and his younger opponent resigned to give Reinhard and Crewe first blood. An excellent win for him and a great fillip for the rest of the team. Within minutes on board 1 Simon swapped off Queens in a very tight game and a draw was agreed leaving the match score 1.5 – 0.5 and the winning line beckoned!!!
Simon’s was a very good result against an opponent who until very recently had been graded in the mid 130s.
The remaining 2 games were both complicated with Julian appearing to be under massive pressure but defending doggedly. Dave became involved in a game where both players appeared to have attacking opportunities at various points but unfortunately his opponent was the first to “draw blood”, going a minor piece up.
Boards 2 & 3 continued, and continued, and………eventually Dave had to capitulate having fought to the bitter end. It was now all square with just Julian against Caroline left. Julian had long been a pawn down and defending stoically. Time was now also becoming an issue with him only having 3 minutes left to Caroline’s 14.
However he fought on, and on and as the game time was approaching 3 hours he had managed to virtually equalise the time remaining at around 3 minutes each. He was still marginally down on material but still had 4 minor pieces on the board and had partially broken out. All other games had finished (there were other matches going on) and the remainder-men became spectators and you feel the tension.
There followed an unfortunate sequence of events, involving an illegal move that required a two minute penalty to be applied, that were nobodies fault as neither player knew how to adjust the clock, but caused significant delay to the game. The outcome from this was the tide, that had been flowing in Julian’s direction, reversed dramatically, as his concentration had been broken. Minutes later it was all over and Cheddleton ran out worthy winners.
A great evening’s competition and our E team are going to have to regroup, lick their wounds and come out fighting in the new year.