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Relief Against Rushall

posted 11 Nov 2011, 05:21 by knight moves   [ updated 11 Nov 2011, 05:21 ]
Stafford B entertained defending Cannock Division 2 champions last night and were hoping to consolidate their early position at the top of the division.
David Barker was once again looking to experiment with a Kings Gambit, but alas his opponent had his own ideas, playing instead for a sicilian against David's 1.e4.  One day David, one day!  The theme of this game turned out to be one of pawn blockades, with both players setting up stonewall type pawns formations.  As the minor pieces struggled to find strong outposts, they were all exchanged off with neither player securing any real advantage.  Once the Rushall player accepted David's offer of a queen exchange, there was never any real doubt about the outcome of a draw.
Andrew Leadbetter's game seemed the complete opposite of David's, with queens off the board early, followed by the majority of pawns and minor pieces.  Again, neither player could secure any real advantage and in a minor piece endgame, the agreed draw was a fair result.
Stephane Pedder won an early exchange, but at the expense of a positional disadvantage, which the Rushall player exploited.  A pair of bishops on the queenside combined to put Stephanes king under extreme pressure and once the queen joined the attack, the result was looking very doubtful.   In a desperate defense, Stephane inadvertently stepped into a mating attack.  This left Rushall 2-1 up with one game still to finish.
Ken McNulty gained a strong queenside attack in the middlegame, which seen his opponents queenside minor pieces all retreat back to their starting positions as Ken enjoyed a substantial lead in development and space.  A miscalculation allowed his opponent to disrupt Kens attack, but sufficient advantage remained.  With both players watching the seconds rather than the minutes tick away, Ken secured the win with a pawn promotion, leaving the final match result at 2-2.