Battling draw

Widnes  4-4  Atticus 1, MCA League Division One, Wednesday March 22 2017

205 S Jones  1  0 J Redmond 203
188 M Mazek  0  1 D Foord 197
183 M Ellis  0  1 D James 188
169 D McCarthy  ½  ½ N Martin 190
163 S Potter  ½  ½ N Wall 169
171 T Dugdale  ½  ½ B Ewart 159
150 M Connor  ½  ½ J Lambert 154
150 P Coughlin  1  0 D Rooney 135
     4  4    

In a less-than-critical variation of the Ruy Lopez, Dominic mixed it up and a cute tactic forced Marek to capitulate early. Dave James faced a kingside pawn storm from Mark Ellis but Mark's King became very exposed as a result - Dave won some pawns and methodically exploited the space around Mark's King. Nick Martin got a space advantage as Black v Damian's English. However a series of piece-trades took all of the momentum out of Nick's position. Nick Wall won a pawn against Steve Potter's favourite b6 set-up and appeared to be winning but Steve got his usual unclear counterplay and this was enough to secure an early draw. Brian and Tom Dugdale had a fierce tussle where Brian was well on top but then sacced the exchange for Bishop and far-advanced a-pawn. An exciting finale in a time-scramble saw the pawn queen but the position ended up as 2 Bishops v Bishop and pawn and a draw was agreed with both players in their last minute. John Lambert struggled to contain Mick Connor's Grunfeld structure but he held the pressure well with another valiant time-scramble draw. Derek unfortunately allowed Phil free rein against his Kingside and the attack proved too much to defend. I developed a good position with attacking possibilities, but allowed my opponent a bit too much of a time-edge. In a hectic time-scramble I got flagged - my opponent having 4 seconds remaining. All in all it was a hard-fought drawn match against the strongest side Widnes have put out this season.

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