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Fine Win Against Halesowen

posted 21 Jan 2011, 13:53 by knight moves   [ updated 21 Jan 2011, 13:58 ]
Stafford had an excellent result in the Wolverhampton League division one home match against Halesowen, winning 4.5 - 1.5 despite being outgraded on 5 of the 6 boards.
 
The match began slowly with uneventful draws on the top two boards.  Gerald Acey quickly reached a minor-piece endgame where a well placed knight on e4 gave him a slight advantage, but this was not sufficient to generate any real winning chances.  Malcolm Armstrong's game was also heading towards a level minor-piece endgame when the draw was agreed as the major pieces were being exchanged on the only open file.
 
Ken Wozniak has been in fine form recently and he scored a comprehensive victory as black, winning first a pawn and then the exchange whilst also attaining a dominant position which left his opponent with no prospects to overcome his material deficit. 
 
This left Stafford one up with three games remaining, although with plenty of play left in each game the match result remained very much in doubt.    On board three, Stephane Pedder had been under some early kingside pressure as black but had fought back to reach a level-looking position when his opponent blundered a piece and resigned.
 
Geoff Cox has also had a good season thus far and he clinched the match with a fine win on board 6, overcoming a 36-point grading deficit.    Despite losing a pawn in the opening, Geoff calmly built up a strong position with doubled rooks on the open f-file and an active queen penetrating his opponent's queenside defences, and he finished the game with a neat checkmate.     
 
Ken McNulty had played a rather speculative sacrifice of a piece for two pawns which did not appear to be sufficient compensation, but he played actively and, with the match already lost, the prospect of a visit to the bar was rather more attractive to his opponent than trying to grind out a win, so a draw was agreed to round off a very successful evening for Stafford.
 
 
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