Wellington A v Priorslee Lions.
Well the newly promoted team Wellington have found themselves near the top of the table rather than the bottom fighting relegation , mainly due to the form of their board one Toby who has won all his games thus far this season in the league and with board 3 James who has gone over 12months without defeat they are proving a difficult team to turn over. Were as we found ourselves joint bottom of the table sharing that position with the other new boys to the division our B team, we turned up knowing that a win was already at this stage of the season a must. On grades we were the better but with so many of us out of form this was going to prove a tough task or so I thought.
How wrong I was! this match really could not have gone much smoother for us. Both me and Adrian had kicked off in steady fashion with simlar games being played on 1 and 2 , board 3 was going well from my own experience of playing James I was pleased to see Glyn attack from the off and put James under early pressure, something I don't believe he is very good at dealing with. On 4 Jim and Steffan were playing out an opening that they both knew which was pleasing because if Jim knows an opeing he knows it well and usually means he comes out on top or worst even, finally on board 5 no sooner had I got up to look about 30 minutes into the match, positionally it was over Steve had absolutely destroyed his opponent, I retook my seat and within a futher 5 minutes Steve's opponent resigned and left abruptly. 1-0 to the lions the top 3 boards were all looking good at this point no one losing and all seemingly with a slight edge. Next to take advantage was Jim on 4 having done exactly as predicted was swapping pieces off the board knowing he would have a won endgame, as it happens it didn't get that far as Steffan trying to salvage anything he could blundered his rook and promptly resigned 2-0. This was time to quickly survey the remaining 3 boards mine was looking an easy draw at worst, but did I want to take any chances, glyn was still piling on the pressure and looking like he was going to make James fold and Adrian was still in a strong position against Toby on 1. I decided to put the pressure on wellington and my opponent I offered the draw knowing that I had a slight advantage but feeling that if it was rejected i could totally close the position which left Colin with little option to accept, after a pause of about 5 minutes he begrudgingly did so as he too was aware of the match score and positions on the remaining boards. 2.5-0.5 a point in the bag and surely the match was going to be a formality from here!
No such luck my attention was solely on board 3 waiting for James to crack alas he was putting up good resistance, but he was miles down on the clock. Jim watching board one gave me the shake of the head and came over to me Adrian has blown it, he's going to lose within seconds of saying it, it became reality 2.5-1.5. Glyns positional had now become a game of bluff with James moving instantly due to time trouble. James with a Bishop and 3 pawns and Glyn a Knight and 3 pawns, there became occasions when James could have won a pawn for nothing which would have meant a drawn game ,there were others when the pawn was poisoned and would have meant Glyn winning but even with so few pieces on the board it was complicated and that was to prove the main factor as James ended up losing on time a win that proved to be much harder work than it should have been, but one that sealed our team victory 3.5-1.5
A Zdanowski (169) 0 T Neal (177) 1
W Bates (168) 0.5 C Robert (162)0.5
G Pugh (159) 1 J Kuczynski (152) 0
J O'Neil (158) 1 S Tennant (140) 0
S Tarr (152) 1 K Hickmott (131) 0