Dick Turpin rides again

5th October 2017 - Thornbury vs Downend C

Captain Andrew was early at Thornbury's new venue, to give him plenty of time for stabling Black Bess and oiling his blunderbusses. He had managed to recruit Dave in place of Dominique, who was unavailable. It meant we were certainly out-graded on the top four but still ready for a tough fight.

The early stages of the match saw us share the spoils on three of the boards. Robert always had a comfortable game against Lynda and agreed to cease hostilities after 27 moves but not before treating us to a new variation of the English as early as move 5. Our matched pair of Richards also shared the points - Richard P continuing his excellent form (if you overlook the catastrophe at Clevedon) with a tidy win against Chris. He sportingly tried to keep Chris in the game by overlooking a mate in two, though. Richard L won a pawn but subsequently got a bit tangled up and missed a cheapo by Jim. As it turned out and as we all pointed out later, it didn't cost the team!

With one and a half points each it fell to yours truly to try to keep it level with a quite exciting game with David D. When the dust had settled with three minutes each remaining in a very unclear endgame we agreed neither of us really knew what was going on and split the point.

So now it was 2-2. Dave looked safe for a draw, with a slight positional edge against David V but Captain Dick, sorry Andrew, playing against his namesake, gave us a fine example of highway robbery. By his own admission, he was seriously up against a strong attack by move 11 but Andrew B handled it a trifle too cautiously and our Andrew played his get out of jail card, well several of them, as the game fluctuated. By move 20 the tide had turned and when Andrew grabbed the key f file, the writing was on the wall. So now, with three game points in the bag, Dave, holding a comfortable, if only slight, plus and still with over six minutes in hand(!), offered a draw to clinch the match.

Finally, at the the fourth attempt, we had managed to win a match, albeit with some close games. Maybe some of the luck that had eluded us in earlier matches came back to help us this time.

Ian Pickup