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Excellent Win at West Brom

posted 24 Apr 2011, 10:13 by knight moves   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 13:21 ]
Stafford scored an excellent win at West Brom in a crucial Cannock League Division 1 encounter on Wednesday, moving into a strong position to retain the league title.
Pavel Nefyodov won in smooth fashion, castling queenside and securing his own king's safety before starting his kingside attack.  His opponent snatched a very warm pawn on g4 after which Pavel won material amd obtained a winning attack to give Stafford the lead.
Andrew Leadbetter's opponent played a rather speculative sacrifice of bishop for two pawns in the early middlegame.  Although Andrew's king was trapped in the centre, it was relatively safe and he was able to quietly consolidate his position whilst his opponent had to resort to increasingly desperate sacrifices.  Andrew remained calm and steered the game towards an ending where his material advantage proved decisive.
Stephane Pedder had a strange game on board 2, firstly advancng his queenside pawns to secure a large space advantage on that side of the board, then turning his attention to the kingside where he also advanced his pawns and looked set for victory as his queen, rook and knight combined effectively.  However, he was running short of time by this stage and a miscalculation allowed his opponent's queen to penetrate against Stephane's king which, not unexpectedly, was rather lacking in protection.  As the time factor became even more critical, Stephane's position collapsed to make the match score 2-1 in Stafford's favour.
Malcolm Armstrong had maintained a small edge throughout his game, albeit at the cost of a significant deficit on the clock.    He missed a very strong possibility and, as rooks were exchanged on the open-file to reach an ending where both players had bishop, knight and 5 pawns, the game looked set to be drawn.  His opponent recognised the match situation and the need to roll the dice in order to imbalance the position in search of a win, so exchanged bishop for knight to reach what should have been a lost position, but Malcolm's shortage of time coupled with his need for a draw to win the match led to him rejecting the winning line to allow his opponent the chance to repeat moves, which led to Malcolm claiming a draw by threefold repetition with only 20 seconds left on his clock.
One win from the two remaining matches should be sufficient for Stafford to win the league, subject to confirmation of the other results.