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1-2-1 at Rushall

posted 18 Jan 2011, 04:42 by knight moves   [ updated 18 Jan 2011, 04:56 ]
Stafford travelled to Rushall for a Cannock league division 1 match and, outgrading their opponents by an average of almost 20 points per board, were firm favourites to win.  However, things did not turn out that way as Roger Butters and Andrew Leadbetter were both unable to make progress in relatively uneventful games against lower-graded opponents and agreed draws shortly before the time control.
On board two, Stephane Pedder had a game which he will be looking to forget.   A brain to hand co-ordination malfunction on move one left him in an unfamiliar and sharp opening which soon turned into a nightmare as his opponent won a pawn with a neat bishop sacrifice, simultaneously leaving Stephane's king trapped in the centre of the board and facing a big attack.    It was an achievement to survive to the time control but, four pawns down with two of them on the seventh rank and still without any counterplay, he eventally had to throw in the towel.
This left Malcolm Armstrong needing to win on board one to draw the match.    Having established a strong position in the early middlegame, he failed to find a clear continuation and allowed his opponent back into the game.    However, as the time control approached, he succeeded in developing a strong attack which won two pawns and eventally, despite some valiant attempts at counterplay from his opponent, he managed to secure the win.
So, Stafford remain on a 50% score in this league after 6 of the 10 matches and will need to improve if they are to catch leaders West Brom.