The first match of the 2018-19 season was underway seeing Wolverhampton travel to Rugeley for war.
Board 1 - Tony Meakin v Geoff Rosser. Rosser with White gained the opening initiative against the Rugeley player having the upper hand against the French. Tony found himself in a spot of bother when he lost the exchange forfeiting a Bishop for a pawn. Unfortunately after both sides tried to push pawns to gain the advantage it was white who had the material and gained the victory.
Board 2 - Mike Page v Gordon Sands. The Rugeley chess veteran took on a stronger rated player in Sands. With the white pieces Mike looked to gain a very aggressive opening, controlling most of the centre, but black was holding his own with sufficient counter play. It looked like total domination by white until Mike miscalculated a combination and unfortunately black was able to capitalise and steal the game.
Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v Eddie Badger. Badger with white opened with e4. Blacks response, The kings Indian defence. White pushed the 3 pawns to the centre and developed easily with black being very solid. White lost a pawn on move 6 and lost the centre structure. Luke didn't allow white's aggressive attacking moves to take effect. White over extended his pawns and placed his queen on an inactive square for the majority of the game. Black exchanged queens on move 51 and in the endgame black had too many pawns to promote. White graciously resigned.
Board 4 - David Hadley v John Dugmore. Dave with white was facing a higher rated opponent in this hell raiser of a battle. Both sides gained an equal advantage in the opening, but with white's pawns doubled and going the exchange down, it was hard to overcome the pressure black was forcing upon him. All 8 pawns were still on the board by move 21 and looked to be quite solid but alas Black managed to squeeze his way through and white's skeleton crumbled.
Final match score 3-1 to Wolverhampton. Thanks and well played all who fought in the match.
Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)