This was the first match of the season and my first match acting as captain of the Cannock League and was a very interesting encounter.
Rugeley managed to scrape a win by the closest of margins thanks to some careful play by Gordon in a winning but difficult position. The final score was 2.5 to 1.5 with game details as follows.
Board 1 - Patrick Waller (125) v A Fraser (128) - Result: Draw
This was a tarrasch french defence where Patrick's opponent unusually used up about half of his time on the first few moves. He did however at least come out of
the opening with a strong attack. Patrick had a very passive position for a while but eventually found some counter play on the f file and avoided a fork losing the
exchange to reach an opposite coloured bishops ending. A pawn up, his opponent initially refused the draw but then, a few moves later, by which time material was
level and the queens were off, he offered one and Patrick accepted.
Board 2 - Gordon Attwell (124) v J Fryer (110) - Result: Rugeley Win
Gordon's game could be called the great escape, only dogged thoughtful defence clawed back a win. The game was a 52 move 2hour 40 min trudge where Gordon only made two moves
in the opponents half. A nervous knight sacrifice turned out to be the losing move for black. Gordon calculated it wasnt going to come off for black and fortunately was
right. Time ran out for black in the end and so he resigned giving the match to Rugeley.
Board 3 - Steve Heath (120) v M Lever (105) - Result: Lichfield Win
Steve gained an advantage out of the opening with a really nice bishop move but his opponent played himself out of trouble. Steve declined to exchange Queens which on reflection
was maybe a bad decision. Steve unfortunatley lost a piece in time trouble and had to resign. Steve certainly didn't play terribly but struggled under time pressure which led to the piece loss blunder.
Board 4 - Mike Page (111) v A Hall (105) - Result: Rugeley Win
Mike's game was a Phillidor defence where Black quite simply played some very dubious moves ending in a big blunder giving his queen away. The game was over
very quickly, I'm sure it was longer but it only seemed about 10 minutes. Well played Mike.
Dave Amour, September 2014