Saturday, 21 April 2018

Kingmakers for a night

Finally there, the final game of the season. However this isn't any old game, it an opportunity.

Banbury had to win to keep their promotion hopes on track. With fourth place almost certain, the only motivating factor for us was the possibility of denting Banbury C title hopes along with Banbury B from a few weeks previous.

Dave was the first to finish playing Nathan Manley with the black pieces with a Sicilian defence. Unfortunately Nathan was having a bad day at the office and lost an exchange too easily. With a second loss of an exchange looming, he resigned.

Phil had the white pieces against Arthur Hibbitt. Following the opening exchanges in a Benoni, black accidently lost a piece leaving Phil to win.

The games on the top two boards were very tense and long. Ben was playing a London system against Dan Rowan. A complex middle game gave both sides opportunity but an ending was eventually reached with both sides very short of time. When the dust finally settled, Ben was two pawns down in a bishop ending but sides were down to their last minute. Dan won the ending with ten seconds to spare.

Mike was playing Paul Rowan. Some unusually over ambitious opening play left Mike with a difficult middle game. When the ending was reached he was two pawns down but had active pieces. However, cometh the moment cometh the Mike. Sixty moves of complex technical play left Mike with a bishop ending a pawn down that black felt that he couldn't make any more progress. Draw agreed.

So that was it, a final victory for Kenilworth on the final game. I resisted the temptation to grab the union jack flag from the side (Banbury play at a Rafa venue) and put it around myself and run around the club room on the grounds of poor taste and inappropriate behaviour.

Banbury thanked us for ruining both the B and C team's promotion chances. I couldn't help thinking that they were missing the point. We love Banbury we love going there, we love playing them and we like to be in the same division as them!

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