Wirral Div 3







Atticus B

Phil Wright (B)




Ben Ellington (W)

Vinny O’Brien (W)




Sanjoy Banerjee (B)

Max Yates (B)




John Lawton (W)

Frank McGuigan (W)




Natasha May (B)

Nils Malmros (B)




Neil Thorpe (W)

 “All things can tempt me from this craft of verse:         
One time it was a woman’s face, or worse—   
The seeming needs of my fool-driven land;     
Now nothing but comes readier to the hand    
Than this accustomed toil.”

I felt a bit sorry for Frodsham tonight.  They had previously allowed us to postpone this fixture on the day it was due to take place, since I could not get a team together, while the new date was only confirmed at short notice last week and in the event due to unforeseen absences resulted in a weakened side on the part of the hosts, which was a shame since it resulted in a match that was needlessly one-sided.  That said, all was not entirely clear until the final moments. 

Neil Thorpe, making a return to Atticus this season, began in style checkmating his hapless opponent in fifteen moves.  Things were much closer of John’s board, where a London System led to an endgame where I felt John’s opponent, who was returning to competitive chess after a long break, was slightly generous to accept a draw.  Natasha showed her tactical nous to emerge a piece and pawn up out of the opening, and her technical understanding to convert this into a won rook and pawn endgame two pawns to the good. 

My game was a curious affair.  In a Closed Sicilian, the first capture did not occur until black’s twenty-ninth move by which time we both had only 20 minutes before the time control, yet by this stage white was already much worse, with a poorly placed king, an eccentric structure and little piece co-ordination.  And finally Ben broke through with a combination after a see-saw game, though not before he had caused a few jitters by only registering very late in the game that he was a half-dozen or so moves from reaching the time-control as his clock dipped below a minute.

Thus we registered our third win of the season, which keeps us healthily in third place in the table.  There is one more fixture to fulfil this season on 8th April, at home to Wallasey, by which time I will have handed over the reins.  It has been an honour to captain this team.  In our sophomore season, our aim should have been to secure promotion.  Hopefully a new captain will be able to take up the cudgels to provide a keen and able squad with the challenges they require and deserve.

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