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Another Draw Against Newcastle

posted 6 Mar 2011, 14:25 by knight moves   [ updated 6 Mar 2011, 14:28 ]
Stafford and Newcastle played yet another tight match in the Stoke League Division 1, eventually repeating the draw they had a month earlier in the reverse fixture.
 
For once, Malcolm Armstrong was the first to finish.  He did not play the opening well and was left with long-term weaknesses on the queenside but, after all of the minor pieces had been exchanged, he managed to launch a dangerous kingside attack which crashed through to mate as his opponent missed the best defence.
 
Lee Grinsell had a cagey draw on top board, and Newcastle then levelled the match with a win on bottom board.   Ken Wozniak was heavily outgraded but started the game well winning first one pawn and then a second, albeit that his extra pawns were doubled and isolated.     Unfortunately Ken couldn't find a way to improve his position and his opponent was able to regain the pawns after which his active major pieces proved too strong.
 
Ken McNulty had an excellent win to overcome a 24 point grading deficit, delicately maneouvring in a minor piece ending to exploit his opponent's weakened pawn structure.    This meant that Stafford could not lose the match and needed a draw from Stephane Pedder in the last game to finish.    Stephane had misjudged a complex position and had to sacrifice the exchange with no real compensation.    He fought hard and both players were down to their last couple of minutes before Stephane had to resign to enable Newcastle to draw the match.
 
 
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