2010-11 News‎ > ‎

Another Loss to West Brom

posted 6 Nov 2010, 11:53 by knight moves   [ updated 7 Nov 2010, 07:24 ]
Stafford suffered their first loss of the season in Cannock League Division 1 against West Brom.   Seeking revenge for a heavy defeat in the corresponding Wolverhampton League match, the match began badly when Ken Wozniak blundered a piece in the early middlegame and had to resign after only about 40 minutes of play.
 
On board two, Stephane Pedder appeared to be a little worse out of the opening as his opponent secured a strong knight on e4.    However, Stephane patiently re-arranged his pieces to evict this knight and then found a neat tactic to secure a powerful bishop pair.    He soon won a decisive pawn and clinched victory with a strong attack against his opponent's exposed king to level the match.
 
The critical result came on board one where Malcolm Armstrong seemed to have overcome some opening difficulties to reach a position with reasonable long-term prospects.   However, he misjudged the strength of his opponent's energetic h-pawn advance and was forced to enter a very strong pin down the e-file which left him with virtually no moves, and he fell off this tightrope with a blunder on the final move before the time control.  
 
This left Ken McNulty needing a win to secure a drawn match, which did not look likely as an early exchange sacrifice had failed to break down his opponent's defences and Ken reached an ending with rook and bishop against two rooks, albeit with an outside passed pawn offering some compensation.     Ken was also under pressure on the clock, with a deficit in excess of 40 minutes at one point, but did well to make 35 moves in his final 4 minutes to reach a dead-drawn position with bishop and pawn against rook.     As a team captain, Ken is well versed in the laws of chess and, with 1 second remaining on his clock, calmly stopped the clocks to claim a draw on the grounds that his opponent was unable to win the position by normal means (FIDE Laws of Chess, Appendix D.1).   After some discussion, his opponent accepted this claim which gave West Brom a 2.5-1.5 win.
 
Uddin - McNulty final position: