440 League

Formby v Atticus 29th January 2020

Board Formby Score Atticus

1 Rob Owens 0 - 1 Jim Wiseman

2 Alan Worthington 0.5- 0.5 Tom Webb

3 Bob Greaves 0 - 1 Steve Winstanley

4 Dave Whitby 1 - 0 Default

Total 1.5 –2.5


A top of the table clash with Atticus starting one point below Formby.

The last time the two teams played Formby whitewashed us, deservedly winning on all four boards. To compound a sense of dread and due to lack of availability and various commitments, Atticus were unable to field a bottom board which meant we started this crunch match with history against us and a full point down.

On Board 1 Jim was playing Rob Owens, who he had beaten the night before. I observe that Rob by nature likes seems to enjoy playing an attacking defence. Well, as I reached my 23rd move I could see that Rob and Jim were on move 48 and they weren’t hanging around. The game was something of an oddity with Jim developing while blocking, stalling and countering Rob’s aggressive attacks. In fact Jim was playing in the classic style to beat Jimmy. Unfortunately for Rob, he kept over extending and being duly picked off. Jim first won the initiative, then material and ultimately the game thereby levelling the match score on the night.

Next to finish was my game with Alan Worthington. Alan is one of those players who gives away nothing, ploughs his own furrow in the opening and is more than capable of finishing a game if his opponent errs. According to Fritz Alan took the game went out of book on move 3. After a highly irregular opening I found myself in a bind, cramped and very uncomfortable with my position. I therefore made an unsound sac of the exchange to get counter play…..well when you are as bad at chess as me then that is the only thing to do. Counter play I duly achieved and thought I had managed to snare his Queen. Unfortunately I had missed one escape square and after a few moves of repetition the game was drawn.

So the whole match went down to Steve Winstanley and Bob Greaves. Again the players had played each other the night before where Bob ran had out the eventual winner. I am afraid I missed the start and middle of the game. However when I looked at the end game Bob had 5 pawns , a Queen and a very strong Knight outpost. Meanwhile, Steve had 5 Pawns, a Queen and a very strong Bishop outpost. The big differences were that Bob had an exposed King, his knight wasn’t as aggressively placed as the Bishop and was well down on time. Eventually Steve was able to capitalise on these advantages and mated Bob who by that time was down to 57 seconds.

That final result gave Atticus a highly improbable win. A great match between two sporting teams…….it’s for nights like this that we know why we play chess. Many thanks and commiserations to Formby but I take my hat off to Jim and Steve.

Tom Webb

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