Yesterday was good, today held Caissa’s slap in the face for enjoying yesterday too much.
The portents were not good when Ian lost a piece in the opening, and David also came out of the opening poorly. However, a draw from John Turner and a good win by John Gorman gave us hope, particularly as we seemed to have an edge on the top two boards.
However, I mismanaged my time against Craig Whitfield – a fault I cannot shake – and didn’t make it to the first time control, while Jonathan lost a tough game to Alex Richardson.
Our only consolation was Ian’s tremendous fight-back against Bill Armstrong after losing a piece in the opening. From memory, the position was as follows:
The game concluded 1. a6, Kh1 2. a7, h2 3. Kg3, f2 4. Kxf2 Stalemate. Bill had a win, but he didn’t spot it, so Ian gained a deserved draw. I’ll leave it to the reader to spot Bill’s win – it’s always much easier for us spectators to see such things!
Here we are at Redworth Hall near Darlington, for the first round of 4NCL’s Northern League.
Play was in the Conference Room, where conditions were of the usual 4NCL high standard.
Our opponents were Aigburth from Liverpool, and we soon had our noses in front when my game quickly came to a violent conclusion.
Later, the match was finely balanced with just Jonathan and David still in play. When Jonathan won, all depended on David’s game. He had a clear win after playing energetically from the opening, but it came down to a rook and pawn ending in which he was a pawn up.
Pawns gradually came off as the first time control came and went, and our team members came and went, observing David’s progress, pondering on the real possibilities of his opponent promoting a pawn or stealing a mate, feeling the pangs of hunger.
A posse departed to find a pub (the evening meal at the hotel was inordinately expensive) while a rearguard waited upon the final result. Eventually, David’s opponent was ground down and resigned, and we all met at a convivial hostelry where we revived after the tension and enjoyed the aftermath of a successful day.
Cheddleton tomorrow. It’s a long drag to Cheddleton normally, but coming to Darlington to play them seems bizarre.