Atticus v Aigburth matches are generally well-fought and last night's match was no exception with an exciting finish and interesting games on most boards.

Atticus 1
177 5.0 : 2.0 Aigburth 1 165
Redmond, John P
Williamson, Roger G
Kennaugh, Charles W
Lee, Steven
James, David J
Faulkner, James
McCarthy, Jim P
Rowlandson, Daniel
Martin, Nicholas E
Eisen, David
Rothwell, James P
Kane, Brendan D
Lambert, John F
McNamara, AM (Tony)

On Board 2, Charlie seemed to have full control against Steve Lee and picked up an exchange. However, after Charlie abstained from a Bishop-for-Knight trade, Steve, with his advanced pawn on h3, incarcerated Charlie's king and found a tactic to get the exchange back (or a perpetual.) This tied Charlie up. There was a tense finish in time-pressure and a draw was agreed. On Board 3, there was a double-edged struggle. James Faulkner won a pawn with a 2-rook and opposite-squared Bishop ending. There was dynamic equilibrium, however, and Dave had a more active King. It was probably still level when Dave started rolling a central pawn and managed to trap James's bishop. Exemplary technique saw Dave pick up the full point. On Board 4 Jim faced Daniel Rowlandson who has steadily improved over the last 2 years into a strong player. However in this game Jim got a marginal advantage and had an extra pawn (albeit doubled) as pieces were swapped to a Rook ending where Jim's active king was able to support a passed pawn. This forced the win - another fine controlled game by Jim. On Board 5  Dave played a gentle version of the London system against Nick and when all bishops were swapped in an almost symmetrical position an early draw was agreed. In a French on Board 6 James got pressure on the a-file and also in the centre leading to the win of an exchange. However James's Queen then became stuck on d6 with Brendan Kane controlling many squares with his pieces. So James sensibly agreed the draw as he ran short of time. Board 7 featured a really exciting game. In a Slav John got superior central pawns versus Tony's passed a-pawn. John won a pawn but Tonys' a-pawn reached a6 when all three results were still possible. With both players having less than 3 minutes John picked up a rook when Tony tried to attack. However Tony continued to defend well while John was in his last minute. A draw was honorably agreed with John having 6 seconds left. A real nail-biter which was a credit to both players. On Board 1 John Redmond pulled off a dire swindle in time-pressure when Roger, having controlled the game and built up a winning position, ran his King up the board and fell into a one-move mate.

Therefore Atticus 1 secured a 5-2 victory which looked quite improbable with 20 minutes to go. Credit to Aigburth for being tough and very sporting opponents. Waterloo in 2 weeks time is likely to be an equally tough match.

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