“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”

Thanks to Nigel again for the following report:

The E team’s somewhat wishful title hopes continue to have their flames fanned by Dave the dragon’s fiery performances and Simon the scorcher’s sparky successes.

At one point this match against a very strong Cheddleton G appeared all over; we were in trouble on 3 of the boards, yet this was a match we had to win to have any chance of maintaining any title aspiration.

All games were into the end game when suddenly on board 2, Dave who had fought against some considerable pressure, cast a magic spell on his opponent causing him to hallucinate and think his rook was a queen and could move diagonally!! Guess what, it couldn’t; but as he had touched the piece he had to move it which gave Dave the opportunity to launch a thrusting counter attack giving him victory within 3 moves. Alongside him on board 1 Simon had compiled a couple of very clever sequences to unlock his opponent’s very sound defence and in the second and most telling of these the inclusion of a discovered check proved crucial to powering him to success. Within 15 minutes we had gone from staring into the abyss to being 2-0 up. However that was only half the job. Lukasz had been in trouble on board 4 almost from the first few moves and at one point had been 3 pawns down with his opponent’s queen all over him.

However he showed a great degree of maturity to work through the problems and gradually find a way back. First, getting one pawn, then fending off the queen, then getting another pawn and breaking out with his own attack. It looked at this stage like the force was with the young Jedi master. However from here on in his opponent hardly put a foot wrong and gradually forced a win promoting a passed pawn to bring the match back to 2-1.

This left Julian a pawn down to an opponent who he had fought a very hard draw with a few weeks ago and under a lot of pressure. Eventually all other matches had finished and these two slugged it out until neither had anything left. Neither could break through, neither looked like making a mistake and despite the opposing bishop and knight dancing around the few remaining pawns a draw was destined to be the result.

And so it finished, Julian the Just came home with the half point the team needed for the win that momentarily takes them back to the top of the table. They have though, played 2 more games than Cheddleton H, and still look destined to finish runners up. However a spark neglected can make a mighty fire!

Nil desperandum.