After Waterloo struggled in the first half of 2018-2019 they are a resurgent force and a tough away-match was expected when Atticus 1 travelled to their venue last night. The event did not disappoint.

Waterloo 1
174 3.0 : 4.0 Atticus 1 177
Quillan, Gary
Redmond, John P
Dobson, Graham W
Kennaugh, Charles W
Horton, Colin D
James, David J
Ormrod, Joe P
McCarthy, Jim P
O'Driscoll, Peter
Rothwell, James P
Williamson, Graham AG
Martin, Nicholas E
Connor, Michael I
Lambert, John F

On Board 1 against Gary, John Redmond got a solid blockading-style position and - apart from one nice shot for White pointed out by 'Compy' - the evaluation was never too far from equal. On Board 2 Charlie seemed to have a dynamic position against Graham who had the 2 Bishops in a g3-system opening. The game seemed evenly balanced until exchanges saw Graham get a passed and menacing d-pawn. But Charlie had control of more squares while restraining the passed pawn and held the game through some tricky tactics. On Board 3 Dave played another controlled d-pawn game where he gained space and damaged Colin's kingside pawns and then won 2 pawns with double-rooks and Bishop v Knight ending. Dave started rolling the queenside pawns and swapped one pair of rooks - exemplary technique saw Dave pick up the full point. On Board 4 Joe played the increasingly fashionable and dangerous d4/Bf4/Nc3 opening (associated with Jobava) but Jim kept equality and fianchettoed solidly leading to an early draw offer that was accepted. It is good to have Joe playing again. On Board 5 James played the Ruy Lopez and Peter played a Carlsen favourite, the Berlin Defence, which is a really hard nut to crack. Though James had easier piece play, Peter was very solid indeed and once James' efforts had been parried repeatedly an honourable draw was agreed. On Board 6 Nick almost did not make the game being trapped on a train without power for 45 minutes! He then got a bus arriving just before a 30 minute default. Nick played a favourite antidote to Graham's London system and had a slight edge when Graham offered the draw. Nick accepted for their fourth draw in the last 2 years ! On board 7 Mick Connor is a great acquisition for Waterloo and this had the makings of a tough battle. However John was slightly passive in the opening allowing Mick space and Mick trapped John's queen to win Queen for Rook. John could have resigned at that point but sought to attack and somehow trapped Mick's king with the remaining pieces winning Queen for rook back ! An enthralling battle continued and I think John may have even had a forced mate possibility after this. John was a pawn down but caused Mick all sorts of problems even as material was exchanged. John eventually secured a draw which was an incredible fight-back.

Therefore Atticus had secured a 4-3 victory  by virtue of 6 draws and Dave's win, which had looked an unlikely result with 30 minutes to go. Credit to Waterloo for being tough and sporting opponents. This season already features multiple teams vying for the top positions and is quite unlike last year when Hoylake and Liverpool were well ahead of the rest.


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