For our last match of the season Rugeley travelled to Wolverhampton for war.
Board 1 - Matt Carr v Gordon Sands. As a much needed reserve, Matt was eager to step in and take the board 1 challenge. With white the Rugeley player creates a clever opening with fast development. Black looked to be on the back foot from the opening and leading into the middle game struggled to keep Matt out of his position with both bishops controlling everything. 19 moves was all it took and the outcome was inevitable so Black offered his hand in resignation.
Board 2 - Eddie Badger 0 v 1 Bob Edgar. This was the last game to finish in the evening. Bob yet again with black was out for revenge. A very solid opening from both players ensured a battle in the middle game. With both queens coming off, an exchange was made, Black chose to test his talents keeping the knight while white had 3 extra pawns. The game looked drawn and the end game was hard to play. An error from white helped Bob's knight become a strong piece. Knowing the outcome White resigned honourably.
Board 3 - Michael Oakes 0 v 1 Luke Sullivan. Luke as white opened with c4, Blacks response e5. With white's bishops easily placed on b2 and g2 white looked to control more of the battle field but Black was defending well. Black committed to castling king side and this was white's chance. Castling queen side white grabbed some initiative throwing h and g pawns up the board locking down the position well.. completely blocking in his opponent's knight. Black spent some time moving his king in fear of white's plan. This gave more chances for White to double up Rooks and open files for them also blocking in Black's bishop. Black lost a pawn and was fighting the aggressive moves placed before him but an unfortunate error lost Oakes a piece and he didn't want to continue any longer.
Board 4 - John Dugmore 1 v 0 James Perks. Both players graded pretty much the same with similar minds at hand. With the Rugeley player as black, James grabbed the centre early with white developing modestly. James made a tiny error in the middle game and lost a pawn, then another. Black was struggling to gain any drawing chances and duly tipped his king in defeat just before the end game.
Thanks to all players and congratulations to Rugeley for securing the match win 3-1.
Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)