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Cannock Div2 v Cannock

posted 7 Oct 2011, 13:45 by knightmoves   [ updated 7 Oct 2011, 13:45 by knight moves ]
Stafford started their Cannock Div 2 season last night with a home match against Cannock. 
Andrew Leadbetter was first to finish.  An early 'piece for 2 pawns' exchange left Andrew with a nervously exposed king and crossed fingers for much of the game.  As a couple of more pieces were exchanged off, Andrews lack of king protection became less of an issue and it was the extra minor piece that finally made the difference, catching his opponent off guard with a knight fork to win another piece in the endgame, and giving Stafford the early lead in the match.
Peter Evans was next to finish.  He had been having much the better of things for most of the game and turned a favourable exchange into an entire piece advantage with a strong position, where he looked set to win further material.  Perhaps Peter relaxed into the game a little too much then, as his opponent found a neat skewer to win back the piece and to gain a strong advantage himself.  Unfortunatley Peter did not recover from this turn in fortunes and the match was levelled at 1-1.  Post match analysis also revealed an earlier missed mate for the Stafford player, but then we're all capable of seeing these things outside the tension of the match.
Kazik Wozniak played with the black pieces on board 1.  Despite allowing his king to become slightly exposed on the f-file during the opening, he soon developed into a strong middlegame.   Pawns were the deciding factor in this game, with Kazik quickly developing an immense passed pawn to c3, with temporary support coming from a Bishop.  Meanwhile his opponent pushed his own pawns, with one reaching the 6th rank, but this was a push too far for effective support and Kazik was able to slowly pick off the stragglers.  This then allowed a further pawn push to b4, cementing the pawn on c3.    With whites queen and a minor piece tied to the defense of the queenside, Kazik turned his attentions to the white king.  With his queen, bishop and an open f-file rook, all being joined by a kingside pawn push, Kazik launched a major offensive against f2.  White was left with no choice but to resign.
Ken McNulty was last to finish, needing just a draw to secure the match.  Things could have gone very bad for Ken in the middlegame after he'd allowed a black pawn to e3, convinced that he could pick it off within a couple of moves.  However, he overlooked a discovered attack on his queen that not only would have allowed black's c3 pawn to be supported, but could also have resulted in the demise of his own e2 pawn.  The discovered attack was played, but fortunately for Ken the best moved was not, and his plan to pick up the advanced pawn succeeded.  The endgame of bishop + 5 pawns versus knight + 5 pawns always looked likely to be a draw, and with the removal of the minor pieces, each player was left with their king unable to neglect the attentions of a passed pawn, and so the draw was agreed.
Match result:  Stafford 2.5  - Cannock 1.5