Aigburth 440
105 2.0 : 2.0 Atticus 440 102
Bond, Alistair
Wiseman, Jim K
Blades, Tony K
Webb, Tom EC
Collinson, William (Bill) EG
Hurley, Dave
Capstick, Paul
Ferret, Peter

The opening game of the new campaign couldn’t really have been much tougher as we were drawn against last year’s champions.
First to finish was my good self who was comprehensively outplayed from around move six by Tony Blade who gave a comprehensive lesson on how to gain space in the opening and then use it to tie your opponent in knots before coming up with a very clean finish. Fortunately for the team and my blushes, Jim Wiseman was delivering a chess masterclass to last year’s 440 league player of the year. To give Jim a space advantage, the attack and open lines around your own king is, well fatal, and so it proved and it wasn’t long before Alastair joined me at the trough of despond.
Next to finish were Paul and Peter. Peter managed to lock horns and with neither player prepared to take a gamble and headlong rush into the others cannons the game fizzled out to a fine fighting draw. Given that Peter was out-graded by 20 points and had black this was an outstanding result. So the match result came down to Dave and Bill’s game. As he frequently does Dave screamed into a heavy advantage out of the opening and again as he does he threw it away by blundering a piece for a pawn. However, so strong was Dave’s position he kept his opponents King in the middle and was exploiting weaknesses all over the board. In the event Bill’s position managed to hold but with his flag hovering perilously close to dropping he offered the draw and Dave in the spirit of the match accepted. So the match ended all square.
The captain owes a vote of thanks to his team mates and resolves to do better next time. Many thanks to Aigburth who as usual were excellent hosts.

Report by Tom Webb

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