Rugeley travelled to Tamworth for the first game of the new season in the Cannock div 3 league.
Board 1 - Simon Walton v Bill Hulley. Bill’s game started slowly with both players building up a good position. With castling on opposite wings, the gloves were off. Bill did seem to have better attacking chances with an open file against the black king a win was on the cards for Bill, however just prior to the time control a surprise draw was agreed. Well played Bill.
Board 2 - Peter Oliver v Bob Edgar. Bob told me his game was a good battle after coming out of the opening with a few problems. Thinking that he had a lost game on his hands, he moved up a gear to get back into things, as the last to finish the whole board was locked up with pawns with no scope for rooks or bishops so another draw was agreed. Well Played Bob.
Board 3 - Chris Harrington v Mike Page. With the white pieces I played e4 and after 3 moves the opportunity arose to play the “Fried Liver” attack, well how could I not play it? My opponent, after a long think, accepted my sacrificial knight With a wry smile “He must know this line well I thought to myself. And yes the next few moves were all as the book gives as best, Black's king was in the middle of the board surrounded by white's army, then his offer to exchange queens would leave me a piece down this is not good I told myself, at this point I had a long think and found a knight move that after he took my queen I won a bishop with check and then exchanged his last bishop with check again before taking his queen, The stage was now set with two powerful Bishops against two knights the extra power of the bishops won two pawns and with the rooks produced a “mating net” After my opponent resigned he said the game was a real “Stonker” he really enjoyed the battle and thanked me for it.
Board 4 - David Smith v Tony Meakin. Tony had a 50 point advantage with the grade but gradings can be deceptive after twenty moves all seemed equal then Tony had a “Bobby Fischer moment” he played a rook sacrifice that could not, and was not accepted but laid white's king wide open move after move. Tony played like a demon more “sacs” followed forcing Smith's resignation. Well played Tony.
So will we again be top of the table this year? Thanks to all for playing and well done.
Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)