Played at the Ladybrook Hotel last evening -
Stockport B V Marple A : Stockport League Division One: 18/04/2017
1 D Parotta 0-1 A Horton
2 D Toole 0-1 A Longson
3 M Crowther 0-1 I Craft
4 M Tunstall 0.5/0.5 S Longson
5 A Coe 0-1 G Trueman
6 J Mason 1-0 P Kirby
Sarah and Alex were able to make a most welcome return to our team for this fixture. Since Andy and Isaac were also available it meant we were able to field our strongest team of the whole season.
As Stockport A were also playing in the Charnley Cup Final simultaneously for once we were favourites going in to a match. Stockport B were still strong opposition though with 160+ strength players all the way down the line .....
I haven't got time for a full report but a summary would be this was a much closer match than the scoreline would suggest. Although we won all our games with the White pieces it was much more difficult with Black. I do think this is a common feature of evening chess played at fast time limits. So many slightly off beat lines for White place great demands on the opponent, who has to move fast and can be tired after working all day. Sarah and Paul both got very difficult positions. Somehow Sarah managed to get enough counterplay for half a point despite being well behind on the clock, but there was no escape for Paul whose opponent conducted a difficult to convert ending with what looked like extreme precision to me.
A quick word about the Charnley Cup Final where congratulations are due to Stockport A who beat Macclesfield on tie -break after a 3-3 scoreline in a match with an incredibly tense finish.. For the second time in two weeks I felt immense sympathy for Mike Taylor who lost a Queen ending with two extra pawns on time. There is no criticism of his opponent, who having to play to win for the sake of the team was himself in a awkward position and did even offer Mike a draw when he was down to the last minute, but once again I was left with the feeling that , despite the problems, playing with increments is the better way.
Thanks to all who played in our match. The mathematicians in our team have convinced me that we are now safe from relegation!.