The champs come out swinging

Atticus 1  3½-4½  Atticus 2, MCA League Division One, Monday September 11 2017.

202 John Redmond   ½  ½ Andrej Stancak 198
194 Dave James   1  0 Steve Kee 190
186 Nick Martin   ½  ½ Tom Bimpson 181
156 James Rothwell   0  1 David Odunaiya 177
150 John Lambert   0  1 Giorgos Christodoulou 172
134 Derek Rooney   0  1 Brian Ewart 159
134 Chris Wentworth   1  0 Dave Stuttard 147
130 Steve Philip   ½  ½ Andrea Brecevich 153
     3½  4½    

It could turn out to be a close season. We played our first Division One match in our new home, and the current champions came away the winners. Chris, who stepped in kindly from Atticus 4, had a convincing victory over Dave Stuttard, winning an exchange and closing in on the White King. Dave James played a tense game against Steve Kee's Classical Dutch. They went into a R+B v R+N where Dave's active rook seemed to balance Steve's better Knight. In time-pressure at the end, Steve allowed a King and pawn ending which turned out to be hopeless. Steve Philp was considerably better in his game with two Bishops and a passed pawn but couldn't overcome his opponent's blockading defence. Andrej and I played an opening where White gets two Bishops for doubled pawns, Andrej undoubled his pawns at the right moment but lost the two Bishops and neither side had much after that. Our debutante, James Rothwell, had a tough introduction to league chess against Dave Odunaiya. Black won a pawn in a Dragon-style position and, after that, seemed to suppress White's counterplay very effectively. Derek played a sharp-looking game where Brian had a big centre but a slightly exposed King. Somewhere in the complications Derek may have had good chances but he lost in the end. John Lambert played a long game where he seemed to lose a pawn early. In time-pressue, his doughty defence couldn't quite save the game. So well done to Atticus 2 - it looks set to be a competitive season.


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