Div 4 – 30/11/17 – Poole E 2.5/1.5 Highcliffe C

‘Twas’ St Andrew’s Night. All teams arrived in good time and so Poole E are already one up in my book, such is the relief of a having a complete team – 4 on the board.
I was on board 3 with the black pieces. I achieved a nice position but then took a wrong turn positionally. By this time I could see Adam was drawing (not literally) so I took another page out of Chris Ambrose’s book and offered a draw which was accepted. 0.5 – 0.5.
Adam on board 2 quickly followed suit having achieved a very equal position early on in a closed, complex game. He could have pushed it but sensibly took the draw. Fair play to his opponent for putting up such a strong challenge. 1-1.
Ciaran on board 1 with the black pieces played a calm calculated game gradually building up the position probably contemplating Steinitz’s wise words –  ‘Only the player with the initiative has the right to attack’. Attack he did and went an exchange up  – rook for bishop. Ciaran kept on building his advantage until it was enough to kill off his opponent with checkmate with the Queen. 2-1.
All attention circled on the final game with Chris Roberts – strong and solid on board 4 against Rachel Richardson – equally so. Both playing extremely well. The game a series of ebb and flow with advantage passing between players at different times in the game. Rachel had two menacingly placed rooks and a central passed pawn. It looked like the writing was on the wall for Chris. She dug deep, saw a glimmer of hope and persevered to her credit. She got her rewards when her opponent allowed Christine to reach a rook + king endgame – no pawns so with correct play a complete draw. With 2 minutes to go Chris rightly claimed the draw. The clocks were stopped but this was only the start of the debate over the result. The final position was a technical draw with best play. This point was made, the rules whipped out and echoed through the British Legion but only a win in this game was enough for Highcliffe to draw the match. With high stakes and tension we agreed to defer to the bar and to Mike Jay, the lead controller to make the final decision. We all grew older, wiser and with shorter nails as Mike scientifically reviewed all angles on the game. The decision fell in our favour and with a draw in the final game took the score to 2.5 – 1.5. So Mike Jay and the final say and I leave with one of his comments.
‘I would also like to compliment the 2 players on such a competitive 80 moves each game.’

Eric Sachs
December 4, 2017