2011-12 News‎ > ‎

End of Season Blues

posted 11 May 2012, 12:21 by knight moves
The final Stoke League Division One match of the season was at home against Holmes Chapel and, despite the final league positions for both teams already determined, a tough evening's chess ensued as the visitors recorded a 3.5-1.5 victory to complete the season's double over Stafford.

Malcolm Armstrong opened the scoring with an uneventful draw on board one, equalising comfortably with black but unable to develop any advantage in a blocked position.  On board four, Pavel Nefyodov was on the white side of an extremely sharp Sicilian in which neither player appeared prepared to blink.  Pavel probably pushed a little too hard by castling queenside, which allowed his opponent's initiative to quickly reach rather alarming proportions.  One factor was the central pawn majority which was poised to advance when Pavel unfortunately blundered a piece and resigned immediately.

Holmes Chapel doubled their lead with a second win with the black pieces on board two.  Stephane Pedder did not manage to recover his pawn in a Queen's Gambit Accepted and found himself playing an inferior middlegame with the added disadvantage of being a pawn down. Stephane fought hard but eventually had to bow to the inevitable.

Kazik Wozniak had looked to stand a little better when he established a knight on d4, but as material was exchanged it became clear that the knight had nothing to attack and a draw was agreed. 

The final game to finish was on board three where Roger Butters had been a little better in the middlegame with strong central pawns, but the tables began to turn as the game moved into a rook ending. Roger lost a pawn but got compensation with his active rook and reached a position with rook and a-pawn against rook and doubled c-pawns. With his king in front of the c-pawns, the draw should have been routine but, as his time ran short, Roger moved his king away and may have been losing before his opponent allowed him to return his king to its optimum post and salvage a draw with less than a minute remaining on his clock.

Roll on next season.....