The EGM was called to discuss progress on re-equipping the club with electronic chess clocks, but after dealing with this business, we got down to the serious business of the evening with the old clocks set at 5 minutes.
Your blogmeister had downloaded a nice application for controlling tournaments called Vega, written by Luigi Forlano, which was free for club use, and this was used for pairing each round. With one or two hiccups due to my inexperience with the use of the program (only downloaded this morning!), it worked very well.
Mike Hancock slaughtered all opposition, finishing with 6/6, followed by Ian Bates on 4.5 and Martin Gill on 3.5.
We all had an enjoyable evening, the first social chess in this club for many years. All agreed that we must do it again.
It’s the first match of 2012, and it’s against Macclesfield in the Stoke League Cup over eight boards. And it’s down to business …
Macclesfield did well to hold our top three boards to draws, but they did even better lower down the board order. With one game to go, we were a point adrift, and we needed a full point from Jon Blackburn to tie the match. If he lost or drew, the match was lost.
With everyone else looking on (which makes it easy, of course), Jon checked with his queen. In terrible time pressure, Jon’s opponent had a choice of three king moves, two of which would draw and one which succumbed to checkmate. He chose the wrong one.
Checkmate! Win for Jon, we draw the match, but win on board count. I hope our good fortune extends to the rest of this year!