Playing without me
Well I wasn't playing, but what the hey, I'm sure I'm qualified to comment on what happened. As it happens, I've had access to 3 games. See if you can spot which ones.
Richard's game, which according to the PGN was streamed on chess24.com, opened with an opening that he's keeping as a surprise weapon. It will be surprising because I don't know what it was. In fairness, Buckers contributed to the mess of the position early on. Richard got a cheeky Greek gift sacrifice in, and threatened to simply repeat in the Russian style to assert his machismo, and then took the draw.
Martin also tried a bold new opening, as far as I know, and I love it. Somehow it transposed in a Sicilian on move 17, but it wasn't a Martin-Sicilian, so it counts as new. Martin very cooly established a passed central pawn and also managed to mop up some pawns for his troubles. Once he had an extra three and one of them was on d2, white chucked in the towel.
Ian very quickly established a beautiful wave of pawns in the centre and pieces were swapped. Both sides had a majority on one side and an isolated pawn. Both players also had an awkwardly placed piece and one that was poised for action. Fortunately, before I was required to put some serious analysis into the game, a draw was agreed.
Jerry was crushing, as one would imagine considering his season, but was doubtless robbed. Who knows? You'd expect him to be able to bail out for a draw, at worst, so something must've gone wrong.
In the last 5 A-team matches, the A-team has failed to win 3. I'm not saying it's because I've missed all 3 of those, but you really have to question those coincidences.