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Cup Disappointment at West Brom

posted 19 Feb 2011, 11:37 by knight moves   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 13:38 ]
Stafford went out of the Wolverhampton League's Pittaway Cup (8 Board Open) in a very disappointing manner with a loss on board count in a 4-4 drawn match at bogey team West Brom.
First blood went to West Brom when Guy de Visme had an off-night and lost 2 pieces in the early middlegame.  After a draw from Roger Butters, Stephane Pedder levelled the match with a convincing win on board 3.
Ray Hyde's opponent blundered a central pawn in the opening and Ray followed up effectively to reach a dominating position when his opponent lost on time.   However, Stafford's lead was short-lived when Gerald Acey lost on top board.   It had been an interesting game, with his opponent snatching a pawn in the opening only to find himself forced to return it shortly afterwards to leave Gerald with a very pleasant position and good attacking prospects on the kingside.    His opponent defended actively and the position was still unclear when Gerald blundered.   
This left the match score level with 3 games remaining, but with the Stafford players looking set for victory in 2 of those games the match was there for the taking.    Andrew Leadbetter had played an effective queenside attack but, with a material advantage of piece for pawn and still with good attacking prospects as well as plenty of time remaining on his clock, he agreed a draw.  It is often said that the game looks a whole lot different when viewed from the sidelines, and this was clearly one of those occasions.  This meant that, after Pavel Nefyodov had duly won (having reached a double rook ending at an early stage and then patiently nurtured his several areas of small advantage), Malcolm Armstrong needed a draw to win the match.     He had managed to absorb his opponent's kingside advances and the position was fairly level, but still complex, at the time control.    However, his opponent managed to establish a knight on d6 which, while not immediately decisive, certainly posed some problems which, coupled with a deficit on the clock in the allegro finish, made things unpleasant and a losing blunder followed.
Ah well, "concentrate on the league" as they say.