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Disappointment Against Warley Quinborne

posted 1 Nov 2011, 12:17 by knight moves   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 13:22 ]
Stafford suffered a disappointing home loss against Warley Quinborne in Wolverhampton League Division One despite slightly outgrading their visitors, trailing 1.5-3.5 with one game adjourned.

Gerald Acey had a very sharp game, snatching a pawn but allowing his opponent's queen to get uncomfortably close to his king.  Gerald had little alternative but to liquidate into a rook ending at the cost of a highly compromised pawn structure, but his position remained sufficiently solid that his opponent saw no way to push for a win and so a draw was agreed.

Pavel Nefyodov, playing white, allowed his opponent's rook to penetrate to d1 where it had a paralysing impact.  He allowed his opponent to win two pieces for the rook in an attempt to free his game, but his opponent still had a strong attack with queen and bishop lined up on the long diagonal and Pavel was soon forced to resign.

Stephane Pedder was also under early pressure on board three and, although he remained solid, he had little prospects of playing for a win and consequently had no basis to decline his opponent's draw offer.

Ken McNulty seemed to be doing well in the early middlegame with a nicely-placed knight on g5 looking to give him good attacking prospects on the kingside.  However, his opponent neutralised the threats and gradually built up his own pressure on the queenside, where his active rook won two pawns and this material advantage provided decisive to give Warley Quiborne a two point lead with two games remaining.

Roger Butters was also in big trouble by this stage, having sacrificed a pawn in the opening but not obtained sufficient counterplay.  His opponent's knight on e5 dominated the board although an offside rook on h5 gave Roger some hope.  As the game reached a rook ending Roger was faced with two connected passed pawns in the centre and his position looked grim, but he somehow managed to cause confusion with his own passed pawn as the time control approached which proved sufficient to secure a draw.

Finally, Malcolm Armstrong had a tough positional game which looked to be swinging in his favour as the time control approached, gaining control of the open c-file and applying pressure to his opponent's weak pawns which led to the win of the f-pawn as the game reached a knight ending.  As with Malcolm's game against Lichfield in the previous match, this proved a very tricky ending to play as both knights hopped around to attack weak pawns.  The game was adjourned with Malcolm having lost his extra pawn but retaining an advantage with the better king position and possibilities to attack his opponent's queenside pawns, and there is still quite a lot of play left when the game is resumed on 9th November.  [EDIT] The Warley played resigned by telephone prior to the 9th Nov

So, a disappointing match result which will leave Stafford looking down rather than up the league table over the coming weeks.