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North Staffs Div3 Title Decided

posted 16 May 2011, 11:29 by knight moves   [ updated 16 May 2011, 12:07 ]
Stafford B visited Cheddleton's new venue on Friday to play Cheddleton D in a fight for the North Staffs Div 3 title.  A win for Stafford could have added another trophy to the cabinet in this successful season for the club.  However, it was not to be as Cheddleton won a close match by 2.5 points to 1.5.
Three of the four matches were close fought draws.  Ray Hyde playing on board 1 for Stafford, had been in a strong position, but as he said after the match "One incorrect move by me had made it a certain draw".
On board 4, David Barker managed to get a more open game than usual and got in a good attack down the f-file, but correct defence from a stronger opponent allowed Cheddleton to force the draw.
Peter Evans had an interesting game on board 3, which was eventually agreed a draw more by the factthat neither player deserved, or wished to risk losing by a mistake at the end.  The Cheddleton player got an early advantage in development albeit at the expense of a pawn, but Peter managed to turn the position around and felt he was better placed to take advantage of his oponents central pawn weakness.  However, with some clever rook play, the Cheddleton skipper recovered and equality was restored.
Being aware of the 3 agreed draws, and seeing a potential league title slipping beyond Stafford's grasp, Ken McNulty felt obliged, despite a marginal positional weakness, to play an exchange sacrifice to expose his opponents king.  However, the play was over ambitious and he failed to gain enough advantage to compensate for either the exchange or his increasingly desperate position on the clock, eventually resigning before the inevitable flag fall.
So, Cheddleton D take the North Staffs division 3 title with what was a well deserved win overall, but the good news for Stafford B is that they add their name to yet another 2010-11 season archive by finishing in a thoroughly well deserved Runners-Up spot.