2010-11 News‎ > ‎

Rare win at Cheddleton

posted 8 Oct 2010, 21:26 by knightmoves   [ updated 3 Feb 2012, 13:23 by knight moves ]
Stafford's Stoke League A team completed an excellent week for the club with a 3-2 win in the opening match of the season at Cheddleton.    Any victory over Cheddleton is to be cherished, but an away victory is an extremely rare beast.
The teams were very closely matched on paper and so it proved on the board.    First blood went to Stephane Pedder who played an impressive game to secure a monster dark-squared Bishop which dominated the board and also supported a passed pawn which tied his opponents pieces down.    This gave Stephane the time and space to launch an attack on his opponent's King which proved decisive.   Shortly afterwards Roger Butters agreed a draw on board 4, having seen his early advantage on both board and clock evaporate into a level endgame.
On board 3, Pavel Nefyodov lost a pawn in the opening for no real compensation.   An ensuing exchange sacrifice looked extremely speculative but served to confuse his opponent and, with Queen and Knight closing in on his opponent's exposed King, he must have come close to at least a draw by perpetual check.    However, his time shortage became the critical factor and, unable to find a continuation to maintain his initiative,  Pavel was forced to resign.
This left the match level with the top 2 boards remaining.    On board 2, Malcolm Armstrong had been nurturing a small positional advantage for some time but reached an endgame which offered no real winning chances and so he agreed a draw, confident in the prospects for Lee Grinsell on board 1.    Lee had won a pawn in the early middlegame and gradually outplayed his opponent to  secure the win in the last few minutes of the playing session.  
Division 1 of the Stoke League offers some very tough competition.  With this victory, the team has already equalled its points total from the whole of last season and there is no reason why it should not build on this result over the coming months.