Priorslee Lions V Telford and Shifnal B
Were not the best team in the league by some margin, but equally on paper Shifnal and Telford B are the worst and having beaten them convincingly earlier in the season we were very hopeful of doing it again and sealing there fate as the first team relegated and at the same time sealing our own safety in the division.
They turned up with a little ringer in tow they had recruited Toby Neal from Wellington to play top board a good player that can not be underestimated very capable of beating anyone on his day, in turn that had lowered all their boards and made this match much closer grade wise, but with Jim able to play we were fielding our strongest team and were still expecting to win.
I was expecting to play Simon Maydew and had it clearly set in my mind that I was not just going to be beat him but enjoy doing it, but with the inclusion of Toby and Richard Thompson playing he was only on board 3 abit of a blow to my plans, but that was evened out when Toby arrived and stated that he was expecting to play glyn. so neither of us were ready to face each other.
Before the off banter between Richard Thompson and Jim added abit of edge to the match and tension. When Richard made some quip about how much more hospitable they were as host and Jim responded with not what he had heard obviously banter regarding Steve Tarr who this year left Telford and Shifnal to play for us.
The matches themselves were over quite quickly first to finish myself against Toby. In a rather none event of a game , I some how ended a piece up and only realizing this when Toby went to place his rook on a square were I could take it and milliseconds before he released it moved it somewhere else but this was the end for him because having reacessed the situation and discovering I had an extra piece, not a pawn that I thought I had quickly moved to exchange pieces off the board knowing that my advantage was to great.
Next to finish was a glum Jim agreeing a draw against Simon on 3. It was Jim's last game for us this season and he was very quick to point out that it was a dull Colle thats a draw from about move 2. He did say he tried one trick that he had beat a 160 with but his opponent had dodged the bullet.
Then came Glyn, I don't know what it is about Richard Thompson but he rubs up people the wrong way and we all get great pleasure out of seeing him beaten. Glyn has him on the rack early and on move about 10 Richard scratching his head said aloud thats what Nick Rutter played, we knew that meant he had lost from this position before. There was still alot of play in it but Glyn was a pawn up then he played a strange knight move one that not only seemed to swap pieces off but give Richard at least one pawn if not 2. On closer inspection it was a very sound plan as long as Richard if became greedy. Glyn looked at me and knew I had seen the plan and of course Richard had'nt shaking my head at disbelief at what was transpiring on the board ,it was as if Glyn had hypnotized his opponent as he played right into the plan the final move of which was a bishop skewer against a rook and a square that delivered checkmate. Richard totally blinded to this just moved his rook and Glyn dealt the blow, even then it took Richard a while to realize he had lost as he slammed down his score book.
2.5 - 0.5 at this stage Andy had told everyone his was drawn and Steve on 5 was also looking drawn knights and pawns endgame
It was Steve that was next to finish expecting it to be drawn I had stopped watching his game but when I returned he had won his opponents knight for a pawn (what?) somehow his opponent had tried to attack with his knight and walked into a trap and got himself no escape squares. Steve quickly locked up all the pawns and waiting for zugzwang his opponent resigned.
With the match all over Andy decided it was time to offer the draw and Stefan knowing that realistically he had little chance of forcing a win and with no benefit to the match outcome accepted to complete a very good 4-1 win to us.
After the match there was abit more banter with me telling Simon how had I planned to crush him and why had he run off to board 3. But was harmless Jim and Richards however was a little less playful as it boarder on bickering but Jim was in devilish mood knowing that he was off back to Scotland. A big loss to our team but Jim has'nt ruled out playing for us in the future, however doubtful that maybe so we just wish him well with his new job.
Forgot to add the match card.
Priorslee Lions v Telford and Shifnal B
W Bates (165) 1 T Neal (155) 0
G Pugh (161) 1 R Thompson (153) 0
J O'Neil (157) 0.5 S Maydew (138) 0.5
S Tarr (147) 1 R Szwajkun (138) 0
A Tunk (144) 0.5 S Tennant (123) 0.5
4 - 1