Some you win, some you lose!
We were at full strength for the first time this season for our annual outing to the seaside. I believe the tide was in, which perhaps augured well.
It was very much a game of two halves and it started off very nicely thank you. The top three boards all looked promising; not sure who finished first, possibly Dominique, who equalised comfortably against our erstwhile junior star, Matthew and provoked weaknesses, leading to material gain.
Before he left, Mike Passmore assessed the score line and reckoned on 3½ - 2½, a trifle pessimistic perchance! Robert made better use of his Rooks than Paul in the middle game to confound Mike's view. He won a pawn and a second one was about to drop, so Paul conceded.
I had pressure against Chris's dragon with various promising lines against his King. Needless to say, I didn't find all the best ones but I kept enough of an edge going so that when I managed to invade on the white squares, Chris sportingly allowed St. George to slay his adversary.
With three in the bag, Mike would probably have upgraded his prediction. Boards 5 and 6 were better than even while Andrew's game was level provided he didn't attempt anything too wacky. I am afraid to say he did and Stuart kept his cool and emerged with far too much material.
But the two Richards still looked good for a minimum of two draws. Unfortunately Richard P miscalculated in an ending where he was a Rook down but with an overwhelming pawn mass which could be shepherded home as Max's King was miles away.
Richard L, by now a comfortable pawn up, was however in a spot of time-trouble against Greg. It was two rooks and a minor piece each and the remaining pawns were in Richard's favour on balance. But a cunning check turned out to cost Richard his bishop and although drawing chances remained, sad to say, time told in the end. Oops! I didn't mean to use the S word.
Clevedon took their chances in the final half hour, which of course is exactly what you are supposed to do, isn't it? Curses! Never mind, we must see it as a point gained, not a point lost. And certainly a great improvement on the first two matches. Onward and upward!