Spookier and spookier!

31st October 2017 - Grendel vs Downend C

To win a match it seems we need to be level or perhaps a little behind. Then we can storm through at the end - witness the shootout between the Andrews at the Thornbury OK Corral. But if we reach a winning match position, we're bound to mess it up. Now is that spooky or should we simply blame the ghosts of Halloween?

It all started off fine as Dave was evidently not keen on a long evening at the Salthouse and resigned against me possibly a little prematurely. This was my first outing to Grendel's new premises and I must say it is a lot nicer than the last two pubs they used, and much easier to park. Mike had kindly agreed to stand in when Robert was unavailable at the last minute but he didn't really get going against Will though and the score became level at 1-1.

But I had high hopes because by then Andrew seemed to have the better of his game with Mark and the other three all looked good for draws at least. Andrew won a piece, fended off some back rank mate threats and converted nicely. Then it all started to take on the form of the principal constituent of perry.

Richard L was a comfortable, if doubled, pawn up against Patrick when he blocked an escape route for his rook and found he had to give up the exchange. Possibly a little shaken, he then overlooked the best continuation which would have given him seven pawns against five. A queen sortie worked out badly and he soon succumbed. Meanwhile Richard P, while a little worse against Ben, had a great chance to open up White's King but instead drifted into a pretty hopeless ending.

It meant that now Dominique was under orders that only a win against Alistair would save the match. This was a shame because he had had a perfectly sound game until he started taking risks to try to find a win. It was not to be, as quite suddenly he was invaded on the dark squares with terminal loss of material.

So a 2-4 loss was another setback. Grendel certainly took their chances and now maybe are heading back to division one.

Ian Pickup