Kenilworth A 2.5 Daventry 1.5
A rather low key conclusion to the season last night saw the A Team notch its 6th consecutive win. This guarantees us at least third place, and we may yet be second if Solihull fail to win their last match. Such was the air of ennui surrounding this largely meaningless match, though, that even our ever enthusiastic captain decided to take the night off.
For once I was first to finish, eventually nullifying Tim Lawson's dangerous early initiative (h5-h4-h3!) by plonking a massive knight on b6 and then invading the wide open black position with my queen to deliver mate. On Board 3, Carl seemed to be doing well in a rook and minor pieces ending against Andrew Foulds' two sets of doubled pawns, but shortly after my game concluded, and while my back was turned, hostilities ceased and a draw was agreed.
Mike D played a very measured game on 4 against Kevin Bowman, dominating the centre and the c file while Black tried to confuse the issue with a knight sacrifice on g3. Mike ignored it and just hoovered up the Black position, eventually emerging with rook and two connected passed pawns against a lone rook to clinch the match for us.
This was just as well, as Paul was engaged in a heavyweight struggle on Board 1 against Chris Ross. He played a very original opening and was soon a pawn up. He just survived the inevitable ferocious time trouble (6 moves in 20 seconds!), but by then was 2 pawns up with what should have been a winning position - except that his king was rather exposed and White's two bishops were waiting for a chance to break loose as soon as Paul started to advance his extra pawns. Unfortunately, in yet more time trouble for Paul, the bishops did indeed spring to life, and in company with a suddenly unshackled white queen, jumped into the Black position to deliver mate. A rather unlucky end to the season for Paul, to leave the match result closer than had looked likely for most of the evening.