Report by Nigel Gardner:
“If it’s Friday night its Cheddleton” is a phrase that is so often used it may well make it into the catchily entitled best seller “The 10 most used phrases in the English language list of phrases”
Division 5 recommenced with a visit for the E team to Cheddleton who had strengthened their normal team possibly with the aim of putting a further dent in the E team’s dwindling title ambitions. The E’s had a couple of regulars missing (Simon & Julian) and this meant the two sides were virtually identical in the grading totals; it was going to be a difficult night.
Mike Keenan was left waiting on board 4 at the start as his opponent was 10 minutes late and that time on the clock probably helped Mike as the game quickly became a very complicated tangle of pawn structures. When some of the major pieces then got swapped off the game had draw written all over it and so it transpired although it took a long time to reach the agreement. A hard earned half a point for Mike, critically as black!
Meanwhile alongside him I had been playing one of Cheddleton’s juniors, in an altogether more open game. Combination attacks were flying in all over the place from me and whilst all were not necessarily the best moves the combined weight of pressure caused the seemingly inevitable mistake and then the flood gates opened. Victory followed soon forced with an Alekhine’s cannon that I quite enjoyed! 1.5-0.5.
Boards 1 & 2 were set for the duration but Adam was slowly getting entrenched into an ever more passive position against a much higher graded opponent who is normally their top board. Materially there was very little in it but the pressure was building which also ate into Adam’s time and in the end he had to capitulate and the match was tied with just Dave Price on board 1 to finish.
Dave’s had been an interesting game for me to watch as his captain!!!! He sacrificed a minor piece early on for nothing more certain than a vaguely attacking-looking position……..however don’t doubt Dave the Death. Fresh from his success at Frodsham congress and a good win in midweek in “trying conditions” Dave wasn’t in the mood for taking prisoners. His attack did materialise and he kept building on it. Cheddleton’s player kept going to the last pawn hoping that Dave would take mercy or maybe be struck by lightning, but neither was going to happen. Dave the Death administered the coup de grace and the team had its very well deserved win; a proper team effort from all involved.
This leaves the E team’s title hopes still faintly flickering as they travel to Meir on Monday to try and further breathe softly on the embers.