What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster?
No. it's the Club Chairman skiing to our rescue!
Fresh from his recent week schussing and slaloming on the slopes in France, he glided to the rescue of our Coventry League team last night, as we nervously edged home 2.5-1.5 against Warwick University R. (Yes, R, but I'm not going to bother explaining that again!) With our top two boards having clearly applied the wrong wax for the conditions, it was our engine room on Boards 3 and 4 which got us over the line to collect another two valuable points in our quest for a first ever League title. A quest which will now go to the last, rearranged match against Warwick Uni A.
Mike got the ball rolling for us with a very convincing win as Black against James Parkinson. White had sacked a knight on f7 but never seemed to have anything for the piece, and Mike wrapped up victory in short order. I was next to finish on Board 2, when sharing the point with Jonathan Fowler. This was a massive relief, as I had suffered the tortures of the damned after going wrong almost straight from the opening. My position was undoubtedly busted, but he went for a loose pawn with the wrong knight and suddenly I was OK in a bishop and knight ending.
I adjourned to analyse with my opponent, and shortly afterwards a clearly happy (dare I say smug?) Chairman emerged from the playing room to announce he had won and so clinched the match for us. This was somewhat surprising news, as he seemed to have been on the defensive for what little of the game I had seen, and at one point I distinctly heard him offer a draw. It was a massive stroke of luck for us that Ansh Batura decided to play on. (This echoes another crucial win for the Chairman earlier this season, when a crude knight fork gave us a draw against Nuneaton A, after Colin Green had also turned down a draw offer. Lightning does strike twice!)
And all this was just as well, because Andrew's inexplicably poor record against students this season continued with a loss to Partha Mulay on Board 1. For once his solid Slav type set up failed to go sproink and he was always rather short of space and counter-play. White clinched the win using two bishops against a bishop and knight to annex a couple of pawns. So its now 4/4 against non-students, but just 2/5 against Warwick Uni this season. With yet another encounter against academia to come. Aaarrgh!!
But for the time being, let's concentrate on the positives from last night's match. Which is where our second tune of the week comes in. (And make sure you admire the action shot of Bernard in full flow at around 32 seconds.)
BTW, if anyone wants to hear my excellent dyslexic skiers joke, feel free to ask at any club night!