Last night we drew 2-2 at home against Coventry A in the Coventry League.
Star man in what was a cross between Whitehall farce and Greek tragedy was the inimitable Roy Watson. At 19.35 three of our team were present but the fourth was not. Just to be on the safe side I rang Roy at home, expecting to hear that he was on his way. Roy answered the phone which was not a good sign. Claiming he knew nothing about being selected (not correct as he has subsequently contritely admitted!), he nevertheless promised to rush to the Abbey Club to play.
He arrived and gradually got a good position, building up an attack on the black king along the half open g file. Eventually he saw a brilliancy and sacrificed on g7. But he had failed to notice a black rook guarding the square from a7. Suddenly white was a rook down. Then Black could have won the White queen but didn't. Then he could have given mate but didn't. Then he incarcerated his own queen on a3 and Roy started checking the black king all over the board, repeatedly offering draws in the process. Then Roy claimed a draw under the not trying to win rule. But it was an invalid claim as he had too much time. So Black got an extra 2 minutes. And then a few minutes later a draw was agreed as Roy secured perpetual check. This was undoubtedly one of the worst games of chess ever played. The only thing missing was Brian Rix entering stage left and losing his trousers. (Note to younger readers - look it up on Wikipedia.)
On Board 3 Ben played very sensibly (by comparison) and refuted Dave Filer's opening plan of pushing c5 with White against the Queen's Gambit. He won the exchange with a neat combination and then just motored to victory. Again! The man is a points machine. Nothing more to be said.
On Board 2 Mike had a very small edge from a tame line of the English against former Kenilworth man Ed Goodwin. But truth be told, not a lot happened and the game dwindled to a draw amidst mutual yawns.
If only mine had done the same thing. I played a line of Boris Gelfand's against the Grand Prix which completely defuses White's plan of a king side attack. But Dave Ireland, playing White, played very sensibly and switched his attention to my horribly cramped queenside pieces and the open d file. With little material he made big inroads into my position, as my queen's bishop floundered like a ..... well, a flounder, I guess. It's sole contribution to the game was to move from c8 to d7; back to c8 the very next move; then to d7 again. And then to be swapped off as White won a key pawn which was shepherded to victory to save the match for Cov A. Sorry guys. I let you down. And grovelling is normally one of my best qualities.
We have a two week break now until our next league match, and at least one of the squad (me) is taking advantage of this by flying out for some warm weather training in the Canaries. I guess everyone plays Bird's Opening out there. (Geddit?!)