It was wonderful to be part of another Woodseats success story after a testing season. Rotherham certainly didn’t roll over and our victory was down to the remarkable calm of Andrew and Mark on our top boards. With everybody else (especially Peter) flinching nervously around the corner of the room the leading Woodseats players were robotic in their delivery. Mark’s position grew stronger and stronger and it was his point which delivered the Plate but Andrew’s game drew just as much attention and I think all Woodseats members felt very proud of their talisman when he courteously accepted a draw when all he had to do was make literally any half dozen moves to win on time. I know the Rotherham players present appreciated this sportsmanship which I have noticed lacking in some other clubs and it was humourous to point out to Andrew that he managed to steal the show even after the result was already decided!
With one exception (the Nomads B match) I think this was the first time this year that I’ve played in a Woodseats team that outgraded our opponents. I found it liberating to know whatever my result we should (on paper) win and I took the opportunity to create an open game.
[pgn][Event “white to move”]
[FEN “r3r1k1/1pqb1pbp/p2p2p1/2pP2Bn/P3PP2/3B1N2/1P1Q2PP/2R2R1K w – – 0 1”]
{This is the point where my game started to get interesting. I have just played b4, which sacrifices my a pawn on the grounds that I am going to get a lot of central control and be able to mobilise my pieces around his King.}
1. b4 Bxa4 2. bxc5 dxc5 3. e5 b6? {Ed had missed one of the purposes of my previous move which was to trap the knight. He no doubt would have been better continuing with the following variation but my sense was that there was a lot of play here for White} (3 … Bf8 4. f5 gxf5 5. Bxf5) {and the only way for Black to not be clearly losing is to take with his rook on e5 but even this leaves him in great difficulty. The game actually continued as follows} 4. g4 Nxf4 5. Qxf4 Bxe5 6. Nxe5 Rxe5 7. Bf6 Ree8 8. Qxh6 [/pgn]