This was a match we were looking forward to a bit more than yesterday. Bradford had won no matches this season and struggling to get a team, but for this match they brought Steven Jones in on Board 1 and all their others moved down making them more respectable. Even so we comfortably outgraded them.
David found himself under a lot of pressure after his opponent sacrificed two pawns in the opening but Jones could do no better than repetition and the game ended in an early draw. A short time later Mike, propelled up to board 3 to replace Nigel, agreed a draw with his 187 opponent. Maybe he is hoping to captain the team one day. The other boards all had a fairly decent start so we were expecting a strong result.
Steve sacrificed a piece, which we all supposed meant his opponent could safely resign, and sure enough he was mated a couple of moves later. There was a bit of a slip-up when Jerry lost control of a very sharp Sicilian but Martin won his game quite easily and the rest of the match was looking good.
Max transposed into an endgame with R+B+7 against 2R+5 which he was sure was always winning, at least in practical terms, and eventually managed to convert it simply by regrouping and advancing his extra pawns. Then Daniel trapped his opponent's queen and it was all over. Chris added a bonus half-point when he managed to hold a R+N ending where his opponent had an outside passed pawn, giving us our first win since Round 3.
So all that was left for the day was to revisit our new-found Wetherspoons, where we were pretty well drowned out by a very loud pub quiz. And back to the hotel where there seemed to be remarkable enthusiasm for a game called Dominant Species whose aim I gather is to become alpha animal, a status finally achieved by Jack Rudd at about one in the morning.