Rugeley welcomed their neighbours Lichfield in the Cannock div 3 league.
Board 1 - Jamie O'Donovan v Catherine Hiley. Cath as black, with many years of chess experience, had to face Jamie, one of Lichfield's “rising young stars”. The stage was set for a good game, White played with skill and originality getting a strong fianchettoed white bishop, as the battle continued by move 20 no exchanges had been made making for a very crowded locked up board. However Cath, as ever, only had a win in her sights managed to take complete control of the open “A” file with queen and rook bearing down on white's king with nowhere to retreat to. Finding that the likely continuation being an exchanging of queen for a rook, he resigned. A good win with vast experience getting the better of youth. Well played Cath on top board.
Board 2 - Tony Meakin v David Fone. Tony with the white pieces played the “Queens gambit” against David Fone, who was graded some 25 points above him knew the game would be tough. Slowly as things continued black's position improved and Tony just had too many threats to contend with, so in a lost position, resigned.
Board 3 - Dave Hadley v Stuart Andrews. Dave fought hard against Andrews by playing the “Dragon variation” of the Sicilian defence, but had to contend with the dragon being slayed. By move 20 he was a rook and two pawns down now finding his uncastled king being attacked by all of white's well placed army - the end came quickly.
Board 4 - Luke Sullivan v Roy Smith. On form Luke played well from the start and by move 20 both players were about equal. Then during the middle game Luke gained the advantage with some good exchanges, the end game saw Smith with a lone knight against Luke's powerful long range bishop, Luke remembered the old adage about pushing pawns with 2 beautifully connected passed ones, Smith had no other choice but to lay his king on its side and shake hands with his very pleased opponent, well played again Luke.
A fair result against a strong team Thanks to all for playing and well done.
Cath's fact of the day - It's too early for the captain to be playing Jingle Bells in his pocket.
Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)