Atticus 1 scrape through

Atticus 1  4½-3½  Aigburth 1, MCA League Division One Monday March 6 2017

203 J Redmond ½ ½ R Williamson 209
197 D Foord 1 0 G Cohen 171
188 D James 1 0 B Kane 171
190 N Martin ½ ½ S Lee 163
169 N Wall 1 0 J Faulkner 160
159 B Ewart 0 1 R Frith 150
154 J Lambert 0 1 D Eisen 143
135 D Rooney ½ ½ A Bond 117

Something of a fortunate victory for the home side - Aigburth were entitled to feel that they had this match in the bag, but let it slip right at the end. Dominic, who seems to specialise in wild-looking games had another one on Board 2, where his knowledge of Benko theory gave him an edge out of the opening. Dave craftily sidestepped Brendan's Morra Gambit and went into a Maroczy where his long experience brought him through to win. Derek got down to a Rook ending and had an early draw, while Nick Martin was unable to improve on his plus score against Steve Lee. I got a fractional edge against Roger in a Hecht-Reefschlager but a locked-up centre meant I couldn't do much with my two Bishops. Brian went for a big centre against Rob Frith, but ended up in a Bishop ending two pawns down. John Lambert was also in a Bishop ending but only one pawn down - and a doubled pawn at that. With best play John might have been holding, but time-pressure told against him. So the scores were level with one game to play. Nick Wall was well worse - his opponent had an extra piece in a middlegame and, although Nick had three pawns for it they were not contributing much to the action. With his opponent's pieces buzzing around his King, Nick should have gone down to a mating attack - and Atticus 1 should have gone down with him - but, as ever, the clock had its say. Nick's opponent sacced a piece, then swapped off queens, and - with all advantage suddenly gone, resigned with only a few seconds left on his clock. So Atticus 1 succeeded in keeping the League 'interesting' - at least for a little while. There may yet be some twists and turns before the title is decided.

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