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Atticus 2 in the Wirral League

10.xii.18

 

 

 

 

Wallasey 6

 

2½-2½

 

Atticus 2

Graham Carr (B)

116

1-0

123

Sanjoy Banerjee (W)

Alan Kelly (W)

108

½-½

117

Ben Ellington (B)

Steve Farry (B)

ug

0-1

100

Steve Winstanley (W)

Graham Heath (W)

102

1-0

92

Natasha May (B)

Barry O’Brien (B)

86

0-1

87

Neil Tabor (W)

A night of “if only”s and “what might have been”s. We got off to a fast start when Steve Winstanley demonstrated you should not accept a Smith-Morra Gambit lightly. Pushing e5 before the usual 0-0, Qe2, Rd1 manoeuvre looked a little premature yet the next time I looked at the board, Steve’s rook was on d8 and black’s queen was at the side of the board. I was not clear whether his opponent had simply blundered or it was a beautiful tactical coup, nevertheless Steve’s value to the team, both in terms of points, influence and not least transport, is invaluable.

Neil Tabor was the next to claim a decisive result to take us into a 2-0 lead. I did not see much of Neil’s game, so cannot really do it any justice. However I note he has only lost once this season, and looks on course to add to his +18 improvement in the last twelve months when the new grades come out in January.

Next to finish was yours truly. After an inaccurate opening, I felt fortunate I had not been punished, but thereafter a positional pawn sacrifice led to middlegame domination. Yet I could not put my opponent away as chances came and went and on move 35 as we reached the time control a catastrophic lapse gifted the full point to Wallasey.

This left just Natasha and Ben. Natasha had found herself at a material disadvantage after the opening but had fought stoically in search of counterplay and took the game deep into the ending before material simplification allowed her opponent to convert.

So back to 2-2, all eyes turned to Ben, who was in a closed middlegame position following a King’s Indian Defence. His opponent seemed happy to keep the game quiet, and Ben told me afterwards he had been looking at sacrificing either knight to create winning chances but could not find a way to make it work. With time ticking down, he agreed to suspend hostilities and a draw meant we tied the match.

A frustrating way to lose our 100% record, yet we stay unbeaten and half a point behind Wallasey at the top of the table, with a game in hand. We had a strong squad of improving players and simply need to find a level of consistency and we will surely maintain our promotion challenge into next year.

 
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