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Same Again in Wolverhampton League

posted 2 Apr 2011, 10:41 by knight moves   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 13:38 ]
Stafford travelled to Warley Quinborne for the last match of the season in Wolverhampton League Division 1 and, at the end of a very tough evening's chess, the match situation was identical to the previous week's match against Shifnall & Telford at 3-2 to Stafford with Malcolm Armstrong looking for a draw to clinch the match.  This tme however, his game is to be adjudicated and the position appears completely drawn, so Stafford should secure the match victory.
 
Things were very evenly balanced throughout and the match could easily have gone either way.    Gerald Acey played a well-judged game on top board, winning a pawn and then playing an accurate sequence of moves to maintain his material advantage and exchange pieces to reach a bishop ending where his outside passed pawn was sufficient to give Stafford the lead.   
 
Roger Butters looked to be in some difficulties as his opponent established a strong pawn bind on the kingside.   However, Roger managed to neutralise the threats and a draw was agreed.    Another draw followed from Stephane Pedder, who reached an unbalanced position with both players having strong minor pieces which rather neutralised each other as the draw was agreed.   Warley Quinborne then levelled the match at 2-2 when Pavel Nefyodov, having overcome his early difficulties to reach a balanced-looking position, blundered a rook and resigned.    
 
In another similarity to the previous week's match, both Ken McNulty and his opponent found the time control at move 42 to be a long way down the scoresheet and the game went into a time scramble.   Last week, Ken's position went from good to bad at this stage but this week the roles were reversed and the match swung in Stafford's favour as his opponent, who had been enjoying a dominant position with his rooks on the open central files, blundered a piece and resigned at the time control.     
 
That just left Malcolm's game remaining - having played the early middlegame rather carelessly he defended resourcefully as his opponent's rooks threatened to penetrate, and at the time control had survived into the aforementioned drawn ending of bishop and five pawns each.
 
 
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