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Bushbury Escape With a Draw

posted 26 Jun 2012, 11:51 by knight moves   [ updated 17 Aug 2012, 08:34 ]
Stafford entertained Bushbury in Division One of the Wolverhampton Summer League, looking to open the season's account after losing to Walsall Kipping in the first match.

The first result came on board two with a good draw for Pavel Nefyodov who was conceding 33 grading points.  Pavel looked to be a little worse as White in a Sicilian Defence when his opponent quickly established a knight on c4, but exchanges followed and Pavel's draw offer was accepted.  Bushbury then took the lead with a win on board 3, when Kazik Wozniak failed to reach the time control.  Kazik had some early queenside initiative and the position was complex with both players having well-placed knights, but his opponent played well to apply increasing pressure and things were looking bleak when Kazik's flag fell. 

Ray Hyde levelled the match with a hard-fought win on board 4.  He was soon worse when his opponent was able to snatch the a2 pawn with his queen and quickly force the exchange of queens, leaving Ray basically just a pawn down.  However, he established a strong pawn centre and active minor pieces which became good compensation for the pawn, although with his rooks tied down to prevent the advance of his opponent's passed a-pawn, Ray still looked to be on the back foot.  As the time control was passed, Ray's edge on the clock became increasingly significant and his opponent should probably have begun to look for a draw, but he pressed on for the win and Ray managed to turn the tables and level the match. 

At this stage, Malcolm Armstrong looking set for victory in the remaining game against perennial rival Lee Grinsell.  Malcolm had won a pawn in the middlegame and steered the game into a double-rook ending where, besides the extra pawn, he also enjoyed the advantages of the more active rooks and an extra 15 minutes on the clock.  However, Lee played resourcefully and managed to reach rook and two versus rook and three with all the pawns on the kingside, although Malcolm then missed an opportunity to transpose to a simple rook and two versus rook position before, with both players into their final minute, having to acknowledge that his winning chances had passed and agree to a draw - a catalogue of missed opportunties, but credit to Lee for tenacious defence.

So, a 2-2 draw - a respectable result but a rare opportunity missed to beat one of the strongest Wolverhampton League sides.