Tonight was yet another must win match for us in the Leamington League Division 2 if we were to retain top spot and continue our promotion and title challenge.
We had already won the away game and also knocked our opponents out of the cup. Although bottom of the division, Chipping Campden have some good players and proved it on board one where I had my first defeat (in the Leamington League that is!) of the season inflicted on me by Richard Dobedue. An interesting (if not terribly accurate at times!) game resulted in Richard outplaying me with a Rook and Knight against my two Rooks.
To say losing this game was disappointing was an understatement, particularly as Andy Foulds had just won on board 2. This put us at 1-1 with two games left to play.
Kevin looked comfortable for the win on board 4 and as I got up, I told him he HAD to win because having seen Rob Stevens' position on board 3, I felt it was only a matter of time before he lost as his position looked pretty awful.
I had just started my post mortem with Richard when Kevin emerged saying we had won 3-1! Both games had finished quickly with Rob capitalising on what was (must have been) a horrible blunder by his opponent and Kevin had done the business (yet again!) on board 4.
This news definitely took the sting out of my own defeat but I do realise I have to take a good look at my game as I am getting into some good positions but just either not converting them or under estimating and miscalculating things.
The good thing is that whilst I was getting good results earlier in the season while the others were still warming up, they have now all come into great form at exactly the right time. Although I've been carried in the last couple of matches, it's a real team effort and congrats go to the guys for digging in and pulling out another important victory!
Here's the match scorecard:
And here is the updated league table. We have just two matches left (both at home). Next up are Leamington and then our final match is against Solihull.
If we beat Leamington, we may well have the title sewn up by the time we play Solihull but as always, the instruction is just take one match at a time, don't panic and just keep playing strong moves! We are in a fantastic position. Before the New Year, I was thinking "top three" and probably thinking third. Now the winning line is in sight and it's great to be involved!
2011-2012 Leamington League Division 2: Latest Table
Also, just in case you all thought I was sulking over my loss - here's the game. You're half right, I'm not happy about the loss and have not annotated the game yet but this blog might help get it out of my system!