Southport 1
143 2.0 : 4.0 Atticus 3 134
1
Sage, Geoffrey W
163
0-1
Ewart, Brian R
148
2
Wright, Fergal
166
0.5-0.5
Lambert, John F
145
3
Dansey, Paul
144
0-1
Ellington, Ben
131
4
Ramsey, Phil
130
0.5-0.5
Blasczyk, Martin
132
5
Nadin, Karl
128
0.5-0.5
Banerjee, Sanjoy K
129
6
Kennedy, Carl
128
0.5-0.5
Burge, Steve J
121

It was a pleasure to welcome Brian back into the fold, fresh from his exploits representing England at the European Senior Team Championship in Lošinj, Croatia, where he achieved a silver medal on Board 5.  I felt like a football manager who had signed a new striker, but how would he fare on a cold November night in Southport?

First to finish was Ben, who came, saw and conquered, eviscerating his opponent in 17 moves, and spending the rest of the evening regretting leaving the house without more change for the bar.

Steve Burge then extended his unbeaten run for the team this season, with a draw in his customary Classical Dutch.  Martin also earned half a point in what appeared to be a sort of King’s Indian, with white aiming at a modest deployment of his forces.

My own game was one to forget.  Dead lost out of the opening, I scrambled my way to an undeserved draw.  Yet it meant we needed only a share of the spoils on the top two boards to achieve our first victory of the season.

Brian had managed to win a queen for a rook, and looked overwhelming favourite, but as his clocked ticked under five minutes, it was no done deal.  Equally nerve-wracking (at least for his captain) was John’s courageous refusal to settle for a draw in a dead equal position, declining both a draw offer and a draw by repetition and seemingly going out of his way to find a creative and hair-raising way to keep life in a king and pawn endgame.

Thankfully Brian’s opponent then blundered while trying to apply time pressure and resigned with mate in two on the board, leaving John to finally settle for a half while he still had enough ticks left.

Overall a match played in a good spirit between the teams.  Improbably the win raises us to mid-table, and sets us in good spirits for an away trip to Skelmersdale in a fortnight.

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