Played at East Cheshire Chess Club last evening.
East Cheshire A V Marple A :Stockport Lge Div One: 23/11/16
1 S Tranter 0-1 M Fernandez
2 J Reed 0-1 I Craft
3 G Brindle 0.5/0.5 G Trueman
4 K Newell 0.5/0.5 P Kirby
5 T Rickards 0.5/0.5 C Baker
6 P Bamford 1-0 A Hall
Marple were victorious by the smallest possible margin in a very interesting match last evening. One problem arose towards the end of the night when Michael discovered that his clock was not awarding him the ten second increment after each move that we had agreed on .This was also the case on at least one other board. The clocks were reset and the situation was resolved without rancour, fortunately all the players on both sides were sportsmen and gentlemen but the potential for conflict was enormous. I am a great supporter of both digital clocks and incremental time controls but how do the players know that the clocks have been set correctly? Until you get to the last twenty minutes and the second count becomes visible - to this luddite at least - there seems to be no way of knowing.Maybe someone can enlighten me?
As to the actual chess our middle order performed solidly with draws for Chris,Paul and myself.I feared for Chris at one time but by resourceful play opposite coloured Bishops proved the most important feature.Paul had a fascinating tussle with an opponent who played an unusual opening with pawn advances on both wings simultaneously.Geoff played very cannily against me, reaching a position where Kings were on opposite sides but the only apparent possibility of playing for a win was for either player to advance the pawns in front of their majesty.
Alan was unfortunate to be meeting an opponent in good form having recently won a tournament.It was a very exciting affair with Alan being piece for two pawns down but having some attacking chances against an exposed King. Paul very carefully consolidated and eventually prevailed.
East Cheshire had very strong players on their top two boards, who in terms of their chess understanding I consider to be undergraded in the 180s. To be honest I had been looking forward to seeing how Isaac and Michael would meet their task.
Isaac showed tremendous tenacity and will to win, facing a position where John had a beautifully entrenched Knight on c5 and rejecting a draw offer in a position where most players would have snatched their opponents hand off. Gradually as John got short of time and became tired Isaac became the one with winning possibilities. Eventually a Queen ending with Isaac a pawn to the good was reached and John was unable to hold.
So the match was all square with only Board One in play and another Fernandez V Tranter epic in prospect. Michael had been a pawn up but Steve was always well in the game and an R+N vR + B ending was reached with material equality but Steve having a somewhat weakened pawn structure and Michael having some superb outposts available for his Knight. Michael was not just trying to beat his opponent but also the clock as by now had been playing on ten second increments for some time getting as low as six seconds on one occasion. A large crowd gathered as Michael navigated his way through all sorts of counterplay and managing to retain one pawn he was eventually able to triumph. The memory of this tour de force from Michael will stay with me for some time.
Thus ended a very competitive match played in good spirit by all the players. Thanks to all who played or drove.