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Defeat at Bridgetown

posted 3 Mar 2011, 17:23 by knight moves   [ updated 4 Mar 2011, 04:51 ]
Stafford played away at Bridgetown in a Cannock Division 2 match on Wednesday 2nd March. 
David Barker played a sound defensive opening as black on board 4, but after a series of middlegame exchanges the position was eventually locked down with David's black squared bishop being trapped behind his own defensive wall of black squared pawns.  His opponent faired no better, with his knight unable to advance beyond his own pawn wall.  There was a possibility of a pawn advance to blow the position open, but neither player was prepared to take the risk of weakening their own position, so the game was eventually agreed a draw.
Peter Evans somehow managed to reach an endgame having used only 10 minutes of his time.  He had gone a piece for a pawn up at an early stage and used the material advantage to severely restrict his opponents king movement while he picked off the majority of remaining pawns almost at will.  His opponent had no alternative but to resign the game. 
Stephane Pedder looked to have played into an endgame that was at least equal, but his opponent played more accurately and Stephane could not gain any advantage from his opponents apparently weak pawn formation, and eventually succumbed to some superior positional play to eventually lose a very tight pawn and minor piece endgame.
Ken McNulty had played a tight opening and middlegame on board 2, but being aware of the match situation and hoping for more than a draw, tried a c-file pawn sacrifice to open up the position.  While the sacrifce worked in the short term, and Ken soon won back the material, he had sufficiently weakened his position for his opponent to take advantage of with sound minor piece play in the endgame.  Under time pressure, Ken eventually walked into a central mate, leaving the overall match score at 2.5 - 1.5 to Bridgetown.