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Welcome Win Over Wolverhampton

posted 10 Dec 2010, 16:26 by knight moves   [ updated 10 Dec 2010, 16:33 ]
Stafford secured a much needed victory in Wolverhampton Division 1 with a rather flattering 5-1 win over Wolverhampton to move them back to 50% score at the conclusion of the first half of the season.  With only 3 grading points in total separating the teams, the scene was set for a tough match, and that was certainly how it turned out.
 
Only one game finished before the time control, with Gerald Acey on top board equalising with black and agreeing an early draw.   Although Wolverhampton then appeared to have the edge on several boards, the Stafford players fought extremely hard and eventually succeeded in turning the match around.    Only Roger Butters had achieved an early advantage, winning a pawn and exchanging pieces to reach a rook ending which was still not easy to win, but eventually his opponent had too many weaknesses to defend.    Ken Wozniak looked to be struggling throughout his game, finding his king rather exposed and also losing a pawn.   However, he kept playing both actively and quickly and put his opponent under particular pressure on the clock which helped him to secure a valuable draw.
 
Malcolm Armstrong declined an early draw offer from his opponent, more because of the apparent state of the match than confidence in his own position.  A complex game moved into a time scramble and his opponent lost on time whilst playing his final move, in a position which had become good for Malcolm but still had a lot of play left.  Stafford's second win on time came from Ken McNulty, who had also overcome early difficulties to be winning in the final position.  
 
Stephane Pedder had a rather cramped position out of the opening and looked to be in some trouble when his opponent launched a kingside pawn storm.    However, Stephane managed to extricate his king by castling queenside and then exploited his opponent's weaknesses with a strong counterattack which led to checkmate after a slight alarm along the way.         
 
So, a final score of 5-1 to Stafford which can be added to the growing list of matches this season where the final result has given a very different picture to the balance of the match. 
 
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