Yet another narrow result goes the wrong way

30th January 2018 - Downend C vs Thornbury

The first two boards were all over in no time but not with the kind of score we hoped for. Robert played a couple of most uncharacteristic moves which changed a pretty level opening against Lynda into one that was at first problematic and, a few moves later, dead and gone. Meanwhile Dominique's first move was neutralised efficiently by David V and they soon reached an opposite coloured bishops game with no real prospects for either side.

As I looked around, the middle boards appeared to offer some chances to level the score. I was defending against David D and, while he had an edge, I thought I might be able to hold on. But Andrew had a clear advantage against his namesake and it came down to a question of whether or not he could break through.

So, if we could just hold the bottom two boards, we might well achieve a drawn match which, given the very congested situation at the foot of the table, would at least mean we would hold our current position. Both Richards were contesting fairly level middle games with Richard P having the advantage of two bishops against two knights in a pawn ending, while Richard L had slightly the worse of a rook and knight ending.

And so, although we did get one and a half points from the middle boards, when push came to shove the last two boards only gave us one draw from Richard P, while Richard L, hampered by time running low, just failed to hang on.

A great shame for Andrew, whose fine effort in the end counted for nothing and also bad news as regards our struggle against relegation but all is certainly not lost and we still have enough strength in the team to fight our way out of trouble.

Ian Pickup