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Thursday, 25 October 2018

United we fall!

Our trip to Chorlton was off to bad start, we could only muster six players.  Paul made his own way there and the rest of us travelled together.  And travel we did!

Everything was going well until we tried to exit the M60 and Princess Parkway was at a standstill.  We stayed on the motorway and someone remembered United were at home, chaos!  Each exit was the same and we found ourselves on the 602.  A trip round a housing estate didn't help; we knew there was a reason no one else tried it.  We eventually arrived just after 8pm to find Paul well into his game and our clocks running.  About twelve minutes gone I think.

Anyway we got on with it.  I sat down to play against Alan Beresford (130, although he wrote 138 on my scoresheet) who asked me my grade.  He asked me again when I ignored him.  I was quite happy to tell him (100) in the hope he would think he was in for an easy night.  Anyway I managed to play a very reasonable Bb5+ opening and get a decent position.  I had a space advantage with all Alan's pieces on the back two ranks.  As the game went on though Alan gradually freed his position and built an attack on the f-file which saw him win an exchange and a pawn.  So I went into a fairly hopeless endgame but managed to hold on and find a couple of resources which frustrated his rooks.  A fairly feeble attempt at a trick saw me check with his rook forked by my bishop, but  protected by one of my pawns.  I tried to find the right time to move my pawn but when I did Alan only had to move his rook.  He didn't leaving me with bishop and pawn against three pawns which were going nowhere.  A draw was soon agreed.  In Tony's words "a great fightback".

Next to me, board three was looking a bit bare and Tony Kay (132) seemed in trouble.  His game with Daniel Otto (126) finished early so I shoved a message in front of him "Report please".  So the following comments are his.  He had blundered in the middle game, losing a piece and the position.

Paul (149) and Paul Harnett (134) had a knife-edge position  in the late middle game but the Chorlton Paul got a passed-pawn and was about to force a queen sacrifice or pawn promotion when the game ended,

On board 2 Chris Baker (137) had a tough battle with Graham Phythian (129) but Graham's strong pawn centre forced the win.  Meanwhile David Preen (109) ha an interesting end-game with Hooman Eskandari (127).  With the black pieces David had connected passed pawns and knight, while Hooman had 3 isolated pawns and Bishop.  Good play by both players ended with the game drawn.

On board 6, Tony Doust (89) faced Howard Hughes (125) and Tony lost a piece in a tough endgame.  Howard's two bishops won the day.

So a six one defeat left us free to go and join the even more unhappy United supporters now clogging the roads of Chorlton once more.