Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Playing for laughs

This blog may well confuse you, relating as it does to our Coventry League match against Nuneaton B, which took place last Tuesday. Heck, I've even managed to play twice for Kenilworth since that night, so what can I say? Busy and all that, I suppose. To compound matters, I've lost the notes Mike sent me on his game, I saw nothing of the other games and we lost 2.5-1.5, but other than all that I am absolutely thrilled as I sit down to finally write these probably not especially informative (see above) words.

So, let's go back in time to last Tuesday... With our embattled leader taking the night off to watch Rob Brydon, it fell to the rest of us to ease the pressure on him (obviously we failed), as we took on Nuneaton B for the second time in a handful of weeks. Having defeated them in the Divisional Cup not that long ago, identical teams lined up with the same colours for the re-match, but unfortunately the result did not go our way.

Carl drew with Tony Green and Mike drew with Dave Kearney, before Dave succumbed to Mike Maher to leave us 2-1 down. Dave said of his game, “With black pieces, I played a Nimzo-Indian defence. Unfortunately I didn't play the opening very well and had to allow white to double my kingside pawns. I managed to sacrifice a pawn to provide some counter play but this only left me with a drawn out inferior ending. White played well and I was unable to hold the ending."

So that left me.. A few weeks ago, my game against P Briggs was one of my most traumatic defeats of the season (and there have been a lot of candidates, let's be honest.) That night I had built up a great position, lost my way and somehow managed to lose an endgame in which I was probably winning as my clock ticked down to zero. For a horribly long time it looked like history was going to repeat itself. I played the opening well, built up a lot of pressure and was really firing into Black’s position. However, some very good defending followed and in the end Phil gave up his Queen for two Rooks, which ended my attack. I was convinced I was still better, but his Rooks co-ordinated well and suddenly I was really up against it. I dropped a pawn and was in all sorts of danger of getting mated or having my Queen pinned to my King. By some miracle I found the best defence and Phil then went for a tempting check that seemed to ease the pressure.

With my flag literally hanging Mike blundered a Rook, to leave me up Queen v Rook but with no time. Why anyone likes analogue clocks I do not know, as when up against it is helpful to have some idea as to whether you have ten seconds or a minute... I agreed the draw and the subsequent check showed I had been at about 45 seconds, so it was probably the right decision, although very frustrating as a full point would have salvaged something.

It's one of those seasons!

As Rob Brydon might have said in Gavin and Stacey - we are a cracking bunch of lads - so surely our luck will turn soon!

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