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Missed Opportunities at Walsall Kipping

posted 1 Jun 2012, 12:46 by knight moves   [ updated 17 Aug 2012, 08:32 ]
Stafford travelled to Walsall Kipping for the opening match in Wolverhampton Summer League Division One, which quickly took a favourable swing as Ray Hyde's opponent blundered the exchange when barely out of the opening.  However, it is always dangerous to mentally chalk up points, as was to be proved later in the evening..... 

That game continued normally, with Ray slowly building up a kingside attack with his material advantage in reserve.  Meanwhile on board 4, Andrew Leadbetter looked to be doing fine until his opponent's knight landed on d5 with several threats, in fact one more than Andrew was able to prevent.  He lost the exchange and two pawns followed as Walsall Kipping took the lead, although with Stafford looking good on the remaining 3 boards there was every reason to remain optimistic.

On board 2, Stephane Pedder's opponent played the opening slowly and Stephane's f5 break turned out very nicely for him.  His opponent then miscalculated a tactical sequence and Stephane won a piece, albeit at the cost of allowing some kingside threats to develop.  At one point Stephane had also held a 20 minute advantage on the clock, but this gradually disappeared as he struggled to find the right defensive moves to consolidate his position.

On board 1, Malcolm Armstrong had played a patient manoeuvring game which left his opponent saddled with weak queenside pawns and it looked to be just a matter of deciding in which order to take them en route to victory.  Unfortunately, with both players heading into their last 5 minutes, Malcolm chose the wrong order and his resourceful opponent found a surprising piece sacrifice which disrupted the co-ordination of Malcolm's pieces and was about to net a third pawn for the piece when a rather shaken Malcolm accepted a draw offer.

Back on board 3, Ray Hyde had also gone wrong as time pressure mounted, misplaying his kingside attack by allowing the pawn structure to become completely blocked in such a way that his exchange advantage could not be exploited and there was little choice but to agree a draw.  Finally, Stephane's position collapsed in time trouble to leave the final score 3-1 to Walsall Kipping - definitely a case of "one that got away".