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One for the Adjudicators

posted 15 Oct 2010, 17:32 by knightmoves   [ updated 5 Nov 2010, 11:18 by knight moves ]
A strong Stafford side travelled to Stourbridge for the second match of the season in division 1 of the Wolverhampton League, looking to improve on the 0.5-5.5 loss to West Brom in the opening match. 
 
The first result came on board 5 where Roger Butters had developed a kingside attack that looked very promising but when this petered out and, with several other games looking good for Stafford, he played safe and agreed a draw.    Things then took a turn for the worse on the top board where Alex Richardson had been outplaying his opponent and, having won the exchange, appeared to be heading for victory.   However, it only takes one mistake to completely alter the course of a game and Alex blundered into a checkmate to give his opponent a highly fortunate win.
 
On board 4, Stephane Pedder had been defending a rather cramped position but when his opponent overpressed on the queenside, Stephane was able to generate a strong counterattack on the kingside which he rounded off neatly with a mating attack.   Ken McNulty had a rather wild game on board six, with the advantage changing hands several times.    Ken survived a dangerous attack against his exposed king and did well to steer the game into a queen ending where, with both kings in the open and perpetual check inevitable, he secured a valuable half point as a draw was agreed.
 
This left the score at 2-2 as time was called, with Gerald Acey and Malcolm Armstrong still playing.    Gerald had played a positional exchange sacrifice which may have been more tempting than sound, but he then managed to pick off his opponent's weak pawns to reach a position which, with 3 pawns for the exchange and a pair of very powerful bishops, is surely winning.    Malcolm had enjoyed a pleasant space advantage throughout his game but failed to find any breakthrough in the middlegame and was left in a minor piece endgame, with a clear but not necessarily decisive advantage.    With the Stafford players comfortable with their combined prospects on adjudication and the Stourbridge players not too keen on travelling to Stafford for a resumption session, it was agreed that both positions should be submitted for adjudication which should result in a match win for Stafford.
 
So the result of the match will be known in a few weeks time when the white smoke from an adjudicator's decisions emerges.    The merits of deciding a hard-fought and exciting match in this way could be argued long and hard I'm sure, but I shall just keep my thoughts on this to myself for now.
 
[Update 05-Nov-2010]  Despite Stafford feeling they had a slight edge on boards 2 & 3, they were both adjudicated as draws, giving a final match score of 3-3.
 
  
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