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Rushall A - Match Report

posted 19 Oct 2010, 13:52 by knight moves   [ updated 22 Oct 2010, 10:21 ]
Stafford travelled to newly-promoted Rushall for a Wolverhampton League Division One match and were rather surprised to find themselves slightly outgraded, albeit only by an average of 6.5 points per board, which set the scene for a tight match. 
The first point came from Roger Butters who had a complicated game in which he appeared to be heading for a slightly worse endgame when his opponent inexplicably left a bishop en prise.   Perhaps he felt that he could exploit a pin to regain it, but Roger easily escaped and his opponent had to resign.
Stephane Pedder had appeared to stand worse with a rather cramped position but, after an ill-judged exchange of knights by his opponent, Stephane's pair of bishops came to life and his remaining knight found a beautiful outpost on d5.   After winning a pawn and rebutting his opponent's desperate attempts at counterplay, he was able to secure the win to put Stafford 2-0 up.    Malcolm Armstrong soon followed with half a point, after failing to find any way to improve a position which had earlier appeared quite promising.
Peter Evans was conceding 46 grading points on board six, and his cause was not helped by a mistake in the opening which left him struggling to defend a weak e-pawn.   The pawn duly fell and, although Peter fought hard in a knight endgame, he eventually had to resign.   Alex Richardson clinched the match for Stafford with a nice positional game on board two.    He accepted doubled and isolated e-pawns but correctly judged that his opponent could not easily attack them and that they controlled several key squares.    Finally, they gave his rooks open files and it was the pressure of these down the f-file which proved decisive.
This left Gerald Acey still playing on top board, fortunately with the pressure off as the scorecard already showed 3.5 points for Stafford.   Gerald's quiet opening had seemed to work well and helped him to build up a large advantage on the clock.    His opponent had to make 10 moves in a minute to reach the time control but he played this part of the game well and secured an advantageous ending with two knights for rook and pawn, eventually forcing mate with seconds remaining on his clock in the allegro finish.
So, a hard-earned 3.5-2.5 win for Stafford which could prove to be a very good result come the end of the season as Rushall may well surprise a number of teams.