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Stafford B Win at Newcastle

posted 10 Mar 2011, 06:09 by knight moves   [ updated 10 Mar 2011, 07:41 ]
Stafford B had a Stoke League Division 3 away match against Newcastle D last night.
 
Peter Evans was first to finish on board 3, being rather dissappointed after an early lapse in concentration allowed his opponent in with a 3-way knight fork of king, queen and rook.  Peter immediately resigned.
 
Ken McNulty, braving a 'seasonal illness' was next to finish with the white pieces on board 1.  Ken had a rather cramped position going into the middlegame, with black pawns on e5 & f5 severely restricting his kingside space.  However, an over ambitious g5 advance from his opponent allowed Ken to clear the h-file pawns and follow up with a knight-for-two-pawns 'sacrifice' on d5 to open up some nice lines for his queen and minor pieces to attack a now weakened black king position.  The position became a complex one, and with the benefit of Fritz/Rybka, best play was not found by either player, however Ken's extra pawns and superior king position became the deciding factor and defending against their advance led to the final, and fatal mistake by black in an otherwise drawn position.
 
Guy de Visme secured a win on board 3, saying afterwards that the game had been full of blunders and mistakes.  Well, to quote Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower: "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake".  It sounds like that applies here, and probably also in Kens game.
 
So with the match now un-loseable, it came down to Andrew Leadbetter on board 2, to determine the final result.  Having won and early minor piece exchange, Andrew moved into the endgame with rook against knight.  Queens were still on the board, and the 5 pawns each were all either immoveable or passive.  Andrews minor piece advantage was key, and his opponents knight spent much of its time pinned against the king as Andrew maneuvered into a superior position where he could have picked off his opponents queenside pawns to facilitate his own telling pawn advance, but instead decided that there were bigger fish to fry and attacked the king.  His opponent defended well in a tricky position and it was the clock that finally decided the outcome in Andrews favour, although clocks aside, it should have been a win anyway.  This left the final match score at 3-1 for Stafford.
     
 
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