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Disappointing Start in WSL Div 1

posted 15 Jun 2011, 12:26 by knight moves   [ updated 15 Jun 2011, 12:36 ]
Stafford opened the Wolverhampton Summer League Division One campaign with a disappointing 3-2 loss at West Bromwich.

The five board match soon became a four board affair when Roger Butters agreed a very quick draw; a sterile opening leading to a blocked position in which his opponent's draw offer proved irresistible.  Ken McNulty did not get much further down the scoresheet, although did manage to get a lot further around the clock, before another draw was agreed.

Malcolm Armstrong then gave Stafford the lead.   He obtained a significant space advantage out of the opening but fell behind on the clock as he tried to find a decisive continuation. He eventually managed to utilise his well-placed pieces to break through and win a piece, at which point his opponent had seen enough.    
Andrew Leabetter found himself, for once, on the black side of his favourite King's Gambit and he looked to be doing well as he castled queenside and held on to the gambit pawn.    However, his opponent played energetically on both sides of the board and set Andrew many problems, regaining the gambit pawn and winning another on the kingside which left Andrew's position looking very ropey, and he resigned when further material loss was inevitable.
Peter Evans, playing white against the Sicilian, also had a nice position out of the opening but struggled to find a plan in the middlegame and his opponent was able to gradually assume the initiative.     A couple of blunders from Peter and it was all over, the match concluded within 2 hours.