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Off The Mark in Cannock League

posted 21 Sept 2012, 07:33 by knight moves   [ updated 10 Oct 2012, 13:34 ]
Stafford gained their first point of the new Cannock League season with a draw against a visiting Sutton Coldfield team in Division 2.
The main feature in all four games was the passed pawn.  On board 4, both players grasped an early opportunity to clear the decks and several minor pieces were quickly swept from the board along with the queens.  This left Peter Evans and his opponent in an endgame while the other 3 boards were barely out of the opening.  Unfortunately the passer in this game was of the 'outside variety' and belonged to the Sutton player.  The game was lost shortly after the passer was promoted.
Kazik Wozniak took his seat at board 1 and some time later his opponent arrived, a victim of technology failure (satnav broke).  After a tense middlegame, the Sutton player exchanged into a favourable endgame with a passed pawn that eventually became 2.  At that point, Kazik did the honourable thing and resigned.
Ken McNulty was next to finish with the black pieces on 3, and had gained an early passed pawn which made it's way to b2, where it stayed for half the game defended by a rook on b8.  His opponent's knight was effectively out of the game on b1 stopping the promotion, so Ken's 'spare' knight was able to run freely around the board.  Eventually the win came, but via the clock rather than any spectacular win.
Stephane Pedder declined a draw offer on his way to promoting two pawns in his game on board 2; the first on the kingside to force a favourable exchange, followed by a second on the queenside which remained on the board as a queen.  As both sides of the clock moved well into the last minute, Stephane was en route to a straight forward win, but with the time pressure he overlooked the fact that his king was in check and played an illegal move.  At this point a claim was made for a win on the basis of the illegal move, so the game was stopped and the rule books came out.  Unable to find clear guidance in the rule book, this one looked like it was heading for Arbitration, but the Sutton player later retracted his claim and Stephane took the win.

So Stafford take their first point in Cannock div 2 with a final score of 2-2.