Priorslee lions v Oswestry
As we continue to lead the chasing pack wins seems to be more difficult and more important.
Oswestry were weakened with the top board out in Gibraltar playing chess and on paper this was like lambs to the slaughter without him, but as ever chess is not won and lost on ratings its over the board and we were very relieved to say this was another win in the end for the lions.
I was a few minutes late but this was enough to unsettle my normal routine , although time to spare I didn't feel comfortable in myself. The games all got underway and for only the second time this season looking at the teams , I felt this would be an easy win for the team. That turned out to be a total misjudgement as this was to prove one of the tightest match we had played this season.
Adrian as ever was setting up his pieces in his normal fashion and one that I refuse to look at until at least 10 moves have been made to stop me falling asleep. Glyn was trying to bully his opponent with a very aggressive style of chess and was looking good. I as usual had got myslef into mess early on and the aim was to try and survive. The normally easy to read Steve on 4 was most definately not enjoying his game so at this early stage of the night I was getting a little worried , this was to become even more edgy when board 5 took the early draw little over an hour in. Both me and Adrian looked at each other knowing I was clearly losing , adding even more pressure to him. Again games were dragging on , I could see Glyn's opponent had weathered the storm and gone to an equal posistion , a look across to Steve and still no signs of positivity, I just couldn't seem to conjure up anything from a hopeless position and the way my opponent was playing carefully to keep a strangle hold on his advantage. Things were really going wrong.
For some reason Glyn's opponent decided to give him a pawn and swap off all his material , it wasn't long before Glyn constructed a zugzwang and his opponent shook his hand 1.5-0.5 but still no confidence as Adrian was maybe slightly better but nothing concrete and Steve was constantly in deep thought. Mine good as lost but not chalked up yet. These 3 games were all going to be late finshers. I started to relax in my game as basically I thought well I can't do anything I've lost and as my opponents clock went into his last 30 minutes I saw signs that he was worrying about it, only one course of action speed up moves, this was clearly having an unsettling effect on him , however in doing so I made an absolute losing blunder, which I thought my opponent had seen as he started the correct sequence of moves, oh well lost but no my opponent was hesitating and unsure of his moves by now I had eaten all his time and he was down to 2 minutes , I had about 20 but he had repeated moves afew times and although he had a win on the board I cheekily offered a draw. He looked at the board he looked at his clock and then said yes. I must admit I was delighted I had even convinced myself it was a draw on the board. But Adrian was to totally diprove this later in the night. 2-1 surely we were going to get a point Adrian was going into a time scramble but looked easy for me. Time for a close look at Steve's board totally won position but he had about 3 minutes and lots of moves to make , fortunately he had plenty of time and finished before board 1, 3-1 and smiles all round thankfully because Adrian had some how blown his game and wasn't long before he was conceding it 3-2 on the night and I think overall a very lucky result.
3 - 2
|A Zdanowski 0, B Whyte 1; W Bates 0.5, D Bennion 0.5; G Pugh 1, J Davies 0; S Tarr 1, K Grice 0; G Viszokai 0.5, S Tulett 0.5.|