Nervous night at Yate
Because of the closeness to Easter, we were without two regulars, James and Oli, so were were extremely grateful that Mike and Richard were able to step in.
After an hour or so, I thought things were going reasonably well - the top three looked good to comfortable and the bottom three looked safe. The only one of these to manifest itself speedily the way I was hoping was Mike's game. This time he couldn't hide his score sheet before it was copied so we shall all be able to witness his crushing attack.
But Neil's attack was counter-balanced by an invasion on the other wing and, although I had some small amount of pressure, I wasn't able to make anything of it. Still, two points were in the bag and we would hope to be able to scramble at least three draws to clinch the match. However, it wasn't to be at all straightforward.
Nigel had drifted into a slightly inferior complex middle game where, after he missed on opportunity to prevent White from setting up a pawn avalanche, he was eventually overcome.
Dave had reached a rook ending where he had three pawns versus two on the K-side and three against four on the Q-side. So, level numerically, but the four included a doubled pair and were relatively immobile. Dave got the Rooks off in quick time and was able to advance his King and force a passed pawn. If and when he chose to give it up, he had time to mop up the Q-side pawns and Queen on a square which covered the opposing advancing pawn.
That gave us three points and by now Richard had liquidated down to B and pawn versus N and pawn. Not a lot of play there then! So a draw clinched the match, somewhat nervously it must be admitted, and now we have just one more to go.