Wimborne A 1.5/ 2.5 Poole A – 13/10/21

And they’re off!!!!

Poole A got their campaign underway with an away trip to pre-season favourites Wimborne A on Wednesday night. Out-graded on all boards and without ‘El Capitano’, it was always going to be a tough grind and the crowds were not to be disappointed.

Still, we had Dugs (w) on 1 and yours truly (b) on 2. With Martin O (w) making his debut on 3 and Super-Sub-Smith (b) on 4. So we were always going to be in the fight.

I seemed to have selected the right opening against Ian Clark. Who I can only think got distracted by the half time tea trolley as he compounded a small error and followed it up immediately with a much bigger one. So we were shortly one up and the nerves were settled. (Certainly for me). 1-0

Dugs (as usual) had demanded all the space on the board leaving Allan Pleasants obliged to sacrifice a pawn for open (a+b) files staring at Mike’s king. For me white was standing a little better but it proved very hard to see how progress could be made without removing key defenders from in front of his King. So Dugs once again displayed his knack for the perfectly timed draw offer and it was 1.5–0.5

All eyes then moved to Richi’s game which certainly won the gest game prize. Looking level, then who knows, moving to winning and then on to losing, it was clear there could always be another twist in the plot. In the end the final swing was in Poole’s favour as he displayed great endgame technique to save the draw. Like some sort of optical illusion Richi’s Knight came out nowhere, delivered a crucial check and managed to stop Eddie Barker’s passer right on the 7th rank. Even when supported by the King, the Knight dances and prevents promotion.  (This endgame can be found in the critically acclaimed book ‘100 Endgames you Must Know’. Once you’ve checked it out, you’ll only have 99 to go). So 2-1 and we had at least the draw in the bag.

Martin O looked to have it all under control then the drama started. Mark Littleton snaffled a pawn in a Q+R vs Q+R ending and went into ‘convert to win mode’. But our Martin didn’t panic. Displaying a nice mixture of attack and defence he did enough to continually frustrate his opponent and it would have been years since either party had played such a long game. Perhaps Mark had some chances right at the death but at 10:30 Poole were celebrating as another Rook and pawn ending became drawn. 2.5-1.5

So it would have been straight to the bar which alas is no longer open. (So for those who are yet to play at Wimborne; remember bring your own water/irn-bru/special brew)?

Great to be back and what a start!!

Well done all – John

October 14, 2021