Monday night it was the might Kenilworth D facing what turned out to be the mightier Daventry B. We entered the ritual of 'The Clock' and 'The Setting of The Clocks' before reaching the climax of the ritual - 'Leave Everything alone - Mark has already set them. Don't touch anything'.
The scene was set fair for 'The Battle'.
Roy faced Alan Eley in an epic struggle. Alan dropped a pawn on move six which was nice. This was followed by White putting ALL his pawns on the same colour as his Bishop, it being particularly immobilised on e3 by his blocked pawns on f4 and d4. White, however made it difficult and after a series of wally moves by Roy he threatened to recapture a pawn forcing Roy into a desperate Queen exchange which, I think should still have lost the pawn. But following an inaccuracy by Alan, the coup de grace was a Knight fork against King and Rook when an unavoidable slaughter followed. Alan's noble, last stand in the final stages of the battle of the Custer variety - did not rescue the situation. One/Nil to Kenilworth.
I did not see much of Tony's game but Angela Pates looked to have the better of it from early on. After he had succumbed to a the loss of the exchange (and I think a couple of pawns) Tony wisely resigned - although he could have played on for a bit longer. But I do not think eternal hope was springing in Tony's breast that night. One all.
So we come to Steve.
Again I did not see much of the early game although it appeared to me that having smashed his opponent's King-side pawns and following up with a Queen check he had more than the edge against Huw Davies. Sadly, Steve had no other pieces in the vicinity and his Queen on the same semi-open g-file as his King was asking for Huw to play Rg1. Which he did. Sadly for Steve, Huw also had a Bishop on the long a1- h8 diagonal - a diagonal which just happened to be clear of all pieces. This enabled Huw to force Steve to give up his Queen for zip in order to avoid mate.
BUT this is when Steve's strategic creativity came to the fore with his hyper-super-dooper-modernist interpretation of chess strategy. Joshua might have invented the powerful fianchettoed knight but stand aside and gasp! Weep aloud! Steve realised that when you are Queen and Knight down the best approach is to exchange your rooks in order to create chances on the open lines for your Knight! Bingo!
Now those of us in the nether bowels of the chess world are, I feel, much more insightful to chess psychology than those of the lofty 180+ world. Hence Steve's famous, if individualistic, H-S-D-M strategy confounded his opponent who failed to see a) mate in one on SEVERAL occasions b) the win of a Rook for zip c) some other things too deep to explain! Sadly, Steve also failed to see these wrinkles in his grand strategy. As with Harry Potter's 'Invisibility Cloak' NOTHING can be seen. Notwithstanding this, Steve put up a fight of Gotterdamerung proportions before eventually succumbing and exclaiming, in General MacArthur mode 'I shall return' (last bit [and much more] made up). One/Two to Daventry B.
We need an anthem!