“Fs Fail to Find Fortune as Finger Fumbles Form Finality”

Thanks again to Nigel Gardner for the following division 5 match report.

Crewe’s F team travelled, again, optimistically, to play Newcastle F on Wednesday. The evening ended with a narrow 2.5-1.5 defeat which the hosts fully deserved.

The evening seemed to be one for blunders (or being kind, forced oversights).

The highlight of the evening for Crewe was probably the result of the game on board 4 where Ben, playing his first league game away and his first one as black, overcame a much more experienced opponent. From what I could see Ben had a series of attacks, constantly probing, until eventually his opponent let out an anguished groan. He had overlooked something in one of Ben’s attacks and the end quickly came for a very pleasing result putting Crewe 1-0 up.

On board 2 I was in a very interesting game which had massively opened up after a cautious opening. I had gained my opponent’s queen for the loss of a couple of pawns and a minor piece with a tempting sacrifice. However, he had 2 passed pawns and my queen and rook were side-lined, so not as rosy as it may have looked, but still a certain win for me so long as I didn’t blunder. Guess what; his 2 knights and 2 rooks complicated the position and he gleefully accepted the gift of my queen when I overlooked what in hindsight what was an obvious fork with his rook! A few moves later I offered a draw and was delighted that it was accepted as he had the slight upper hand.

Whilst this had been going on, Kobus on board 1 had been playing a great game against a much higher graded opponent and all seemed equal. However, he then decided not to be left out in the blunder stakes and overlooked his opponent’s fork on his two rooks with a knight. Despite the writing being on the wall he followed an unusual path to try and save the game using attack as the best form of defence and at one point it seemed as though it might work. Experience eventually told and eventually Kobus had to concede leaving the match score all square.

Board 3 saw Mike playing a very tight game in which he gradually gained the upper hand and whilst not a bolt on win well into the end game if anyone looked like a winner it was him. Unfortunately, Mike’s old enemy, the clock, was on the side of his opponent and in a complicated pawn position he had around 7 minutes left. At this point, whilst still very much with the upper hand he touched a pawn then realised it was the one protecting his remaining rook and he was forced to move it losing the rook and shortly after losing a game that was at worst a draw.

In every game Crewe played well but oversights cost us. To move forward in chess, as in life, we should aim to learn from our mistakes; so there were plenty of learning opportunities at Newcastle!

Nil desperandum. Ut severis seges.