Thursday, 4 June 2015

A final shoot-out for A team

The A team successfully got through the semi final of the Minor Knockout, although it was a tough encounter away to Priorslee Lions B, who had probably their strongest team out while we were missing Trevor.

An early win for Steve on board one helped us on the way. In fact credit is entirely due to his opponent Murdo Morrison who made a mistake by touching a pawn on b7, and at the same moment realising that moving it would mean opening up a dangerous pin on the long diagonal. However, having touched it he had no alternative but to move it although he did just stare at the board forlornly for some minutes. A few moves later the pin became fatal and he resigned before he was about to lose a piece.

Assessing the other boards, Steve was confident we would win the match although it was over an hour before the result was clear.

On board 2, Karl was facing the sharp tactics of Gary White who never misses a chance to mix things up. However Karl was solid and forced the swap of two minor pieces for his rook. Once the queens came off, Karl looked in a very strong position with two powerful bishops commanding the board. But Gary is not one to give in easily and kept making niggling threats, which in the end managed to trick Karl into conceding two rooks on the seventh and it was all over; 1-1.

David and Graham both looked in good positions however, and since this was a four board match, the count-back rules in the event of a draw meant that Priorslee had to get 1.5 out of the last two matches. So a win for David would be enough to clinch the match. Graham appeared to realise this and after his opponent launched a neat trick to dissipate the central pawns, the position clarified into Q and Ps against RR and Ps and a draw was agreed.

David had one of those positions which squeezed all the life out of his opponent's position and he successfully tightened the noose until there was a decisive advantage. So a 2.5-1.5 victory for us and a place in the final against Telepost B.

Priorslee Lions B v Church Stretton A: 1.5 - 2.5
M Morrison 0, S Rooney 1; 
G White 1, K Wakefield 0; 
G Viszokai 0, D Hodge 1; 
M Carbin 0.5, G Shepherd 0.5.

No comments: