Having narrowly lost at Rotherham earlier in the season, we were out for revenge in the return match at the Red Lion. A good start was made by winning the toss! Peter faced the French defence from Andy but decided not to play the much discussed Reti gambit. A draw was soon agreed. Both myself and Dave C had not made the most of our openings and were down material. I had hints of an attack but once that was rebuffed by Ed, I played a shocker of a move to lose, albeit being 2 pawns down at the time. Dave had also got a good attack going against Phil. However, one accurate capture of a pawn by Phil proved crucial and we were losing 2.5-0.5.
Over on the other side of the room, Michael was playing well against Michael and found a mating attack to win, maintaining his 100% record for the B team this season. David M was also on top against Mick and once he got his rook and Queen surrounding his opponents King it was just a matter of time. A neat mate with a pawn won the game and left the match score all tied at 2.5-2.5.
As all of the other games had finished relatively quickly, Martyn and Colin played for around half an hour with a big crowd of players watching. Plenty of pressure! A tense endgame resulted with Martyn defending well with a knight against bishop, down a pawn. Both players were running short of time and when Martyn managed to swap his knight for Colin’s last dangerous pawn, a draw was agreed.
Two 3-3 draws in a row now and our season is looking up! Next up is a trip to face Nomads C later this month.
This has been a difficult season so far for the B team. Having lost our first 4 matches, we finally picked up a win in December in a home game against Barnsley B. Unfortunately, another 2 losses followed and so we headed out to Barnsley for the return match with only 1 win from our first 7 games.
On the way to the venue, me, Peter and Steve were discussing potential opponents and likely openings. Peter should be buying a lottery ticket as he thought that I would be playing Neil Todd and that the French defence would be played, and this is exactly what happened!
My game was first to finish. Although I tried a new opening for me of playing 2-b3, Neil didn’t take the gambit pawn and I was ‘out of book’ quickly. Fortunately for me I whipped up a king side attack and with Neil’s pieces off side I managed to break through for the win. Peter was playing a complicated affair with Tony, although he appeared to have more space and 2 good bishops. A creditable draw was the final result. When I looked at Steve Moon’s game he was down material and not impressed with his position. Richard was able to convert for the win. Steve Daykin had played most of his match standing up. At first I thought it was a tactic to intimidate his opponent but Steve later explained it was a way of coping with his varifocal glasses. Unfortunately for him, his attack fizzled out and Arnold surrounded Steve’s King forcing a resignation. Looking at the remaining 2 games, I thought we had chances in both. David Margerison was up on material but with opposite coloured bishops, a draw was the final result. This left us 3-2 down with just Dave Cook playing. He was winning, then blundered to be behind on material. However, he still had attacking chances. In mutual time pressure both he and Tony appeared to leave their queens hanging. Tony ended up resigning leaving the match drawn at 3-3. A good result for us.
Next up is a home game against Rotherham B and a favourable result would put us back in contention with the others at the bottom of the division.
We started our first season in division 3 following last year’s promotion this week. First up was Nomads C at home and looking at their line-up, I expected a tough game. All of the team played well and battled into the night but unfortunately, we succumbed to a 4-2 defeat. An excellent win by Steve Moon and draws for Brendan and Bill, both of whom were probably better in the final position, were our points scorers.
Next up was a trip to Rotherham B – always a pleasant venue to visit with friendly opponents. Unfortunately, our top two boards were unavailable for the game but after a desperate e-mail, I managed to get a full complement of players. Many thanks to those who stepped up to the plate, especially Alexander who had a test at school the next day. To aid Bill’s pre-match preparation I made him suffer football heaven on Radio Sheffield on the drive to Rotherham. A call from Brian the Blade in particular seemed to wind him up somewhat! Once again, I was expecting a tough match and once again the team played above themselves. However, we were to fall to our second 4-2 defeat. Bill was particularly unlucky as we were 3-2 down with just his game left. He valiantly played on in a drawn position trying to secure our first team points of the season but pushed too hard leading to his resignation. Steve Daykin was our only winner on the night with draws for Dave and Brendan.
Due to holidays and work commitments it was a struggle to get a team together for our match at Ecclesall. I drafted myself into the team and with Steve managing to leave work early we’d got our 4 players. I lost the toss, as seems to be the norm, and Ivan chose white on the odd boards for Ecclesall. All the matches seemed to be tight and every game ended in a draw!
After a late withdrawal due to a Christmas party, my captaining skills were put to the test. Unfortunately, I was not up to the task and we arrived at Chesterfield one man short. I didn’t get chance to look at the other games as my match was last to finish. However, Peter tells me that he got a good position out of the opening before settling for a draw. Steve defended the English opening, I believe, but came unstuck against Robert. Dave played the petroff defence against Tim and kept giving me quizzical looks throughout his game, not liking the position he was in. Eventually he lost an exchange, resigning soon after. Martyn played a good game against Mike before succumbing to a knight fork. Although we had lost the match, I’d got a good position against John and played on, finally winning by resignation. A tough night for the team, losing 4.5-1.5.
It was a cold night last Monday when the B team headed to Handsworth to play SASCA – so cold that even I thought it necessary to wear a coat! SASCA’s team consisted of Nat and Marek, together with 4 juniors who seemed to eat an inordinate number of chewits as the match progressed. As is often the case, the younger players were playing very quickly, trying to intimidate the older Woodseats players. However, mistakes were being made and Martyn and Michael had soon wrapped up victories. Dave’s opponent unfortunately missed a good defensive pawn move which would have prolonged their game leaving us 3 up with 3 to play. My opponent played solidly until my pieces broke through resulting in the loss of a number of pawns. 4-0 to Woodseats. Steve was a pawn down in a rook and pawn endgame but defending stoutly. After declining the draw offer, Marek forced a pawn through to win. Although Peter was up an exchange, Nat’s queen and rook were terrorising his defensive set up and picking off the odd pawn here and there. In the end, Peter was forced to resign leaving us with a 4-2 win.
Our first league game of the season was the long trip to Barnsley, most of the journey at 50mph due to the never ending roadworks on the M1.
David was first to finish with a quick victory over Michael which I didn’t see any of unfortunately. I was playing a fairly uneventful game against Russell and once most of the pieces were exchanged a draw was quickly agreed. Bill had had a commanding position against Max but, as tiredness crept in, he let Max back into the game leading to our first loss of the night. Scores level at 1.5-1.5. Dave was ahead on material but down on time and fighting off a strong attack from Anthony. After an exchange of pieces just before the time control, Anthony’s attack had disappeared leading to his resignation. Steve had lost the exchange against Paul and this was all Paul needed to claim Barnsley’s 2nd win. Scores were now tied at 2.5-2.5. Michael was now defending an endgame down a piece and once Alan had managed to penetrate with his King it was all over. A tight game which we lost 3.5-2.5.
Arriving early at the Red Lion to set up the boards, I was called by Dave whose car had unfortunately broken down. A quick dash to pick him up meant the match started a little late. This didn’t trouble Michael, who is now on a run of playing white at last, as he quickly despatched his opponent. Dave was the exchange up against Barry before the latter moved his queen to a square where it could be captured. Dave now seems to be getting the luck that had deserted him earlier in the season. 2 up with 2 to play. Steve was entangled in his usual complicated game whilst I was up a couple of pawns against Roy. Despite this, I made no headway and a draw was agreed. Steve’s match also ended in a draw giving us a 3-1 win, maintaining our position at the top of the league.
It was 1st versus 2nd in last night’s match at the Red Lion. Having lost both away games at Sheffield Deaf earlier in the season, we were hoping for revenge in the home fixture. It did not start well as I was first to finish, losing to Peter. I had chances to repel his attack but missed them, allowing him to checkmate me in the corner. Dave had let David get his Queen into the action and it looked as though he would be checkmated. Very fortunately for us, David blundered his queen deciding the game in our favour. Steve was a pawn down in the end game but managed to force a draw by repetition which left the match all square with just Michael to finish. Michael built up a large attack, although this was well defended by Mick. After swapping a number of pieces, Michael emerged a rook up and was able to convert this to a win. The final result was a very close 2.5-1.5 win which cements our place at the top of the table.