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Disappointment Against Rushall

posted 6 Mar 2012, 09:29 by knight moves
Stafford's relegation worries in Wolverhampton League Division One deepened with a disappointing 4-2 home defeat against Rushall.

Roger Butters had an early draw with black on board 3, having built up good pressure against his opponent's isolated queen's pawn but unable to find any way to improve his position.

The most interesting game of the evening was on board 4, where Pavel Nefyodov's opponent played extremely sharply in the opening to generate big complications.   Pavel was able to win the exchange on a8, but did not choose the best way to do this and found himself under pressure on the kingside with his king trapped in the centre.  His opponent played well to develop his initiative and regained the exchange on the way to a good victory.

Kazik Wozniak looked to be worse from an early stage as his opponent doubled rooks on the d-file to pressurise the backward pawn on d7.  However, Kazik's position was not without resources, his doubled e-pawns proving particularly effective at denying squares to his opponent's minor pieces.  With d7 securely defended, Kazik was able to develop some play of his own with queenside pawn advances, but these led to exchanges and a draw was agreed shortly after the time control.

Malcolm Armstrong suffered his first defeat of the season on board one, despite surprising his opponent in the opening to reach a perfectly playable position.  However, rather than remaining solid, he rather optimistically tried to generate activity on the queenside which his opponent was neatly able to rebuff.  As time ran short, further inaccuracies followed and Malcolm resigned as he lost a piece shortly after the time control.

Stephane Pedder looked to have a clear middlegame advantage on board two as he advanced his queenside pawns.  However, he allowed his opponent off the hook with a mistimed series of exchanges, and the resulting ending of knight against bishop was not pleasant for Stephane as his opponent advanced his central pawns.  With both players running short of time in the allegro finish, Stephane perhaps missed one chance to turn the tables as he pushed his kingside pawns, and soon had to resign to give Rushall a winning lead.

The sole win for Stafford came thanks to Ken McNulty in the final game to finish.  The game had looked set for a draw when both players established seemingly impregnable pawn chains, but Ken's opponent blundered a pawn whilst exchanging queens and Ken was gradually able to make this advantage count.  He secured two passed pawns on the queenside in a bishop ending which he was able to advance decisively.

Improvements will be required in the next two matches against Kidderminster and Stourbridge!
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