A valiant performance
Missing our top three boards for a match against one of the stronger teams in our division was not something we were looking forward too. There was a chance that Grendel may give a few of their weaker players a go on the bottom boards, but we were not so lucky. They came armed with a full strength team, even their board 6 was graded above our board 1. With what seemed like an impossible task we sat down to play.
All the opening exchanges went OK and no one made any blunders, and I think we all dug in trying to hold on. Richard Livermore was the first to finish agreeing a draw on board 2. I followed shortly afterwards finally having to concede a lost position. I never really managed to get fully developed and Mark just kept piling on the pressure until I finally cracked.
A quick look around the boards at this point showed that things looked quite good. Richard Palmer was under some pressure but was defending fine and had a few extra pawns. Toby looked OK and was starting to mount an attack. Jack looked to be in a good position and Grant was holding his own.
With Alistair's time running down Richard offered a draw which was gratefully accepted. A point from the top two boards was totally unexpected and great results for both Richards. Next Jack converted his advantage into our only win of the night, another great result. We were level with only two matches left. Unfortunately Toby's attack petered out and his opponent found a combination of knight moves which resulted in the loss of Toby's Queen and the game.
It was 2-3 and all down to Grant in the last match. Despite his best efforts, it was not to be, and Ben's strength told in the end game and the match finished 2-4. Considering how out graded we were, a credible result and we certainly made them work for it.
Back to full strength next week we take on Clevedon B our rivals from last year. Dare we hope for another point?