Northwich V Culcheth A

The A team managed a comfortable win in the end against Northwich. At the bottom of the page, Rob Furness kindly provides us with an insight into his standout game against Tom Walton.

Match Report – 23 rd Sept 2019 – Northwich A.
Apologies for the late submission of this report – my opponent’s efforts deserved sooner praise, but I
found myself deluged in work.
5½ – ½ is one of those scorelines that gives the impression of a fairly straightforward evening, but
although though Northwich A were short of their top 2 board players (Richard and Paul’s absence
meant that Northwich’s average grade was 100 (against our 175)) we were given more than a
decent match.
I acknowledge that this report is woefully short on match commentary: the reason is that I spent
little time on manoeuvres checking out the other boards and spent most of the evening at my board
undertaking significant works of repair to my increasingly threadbare position.
Damian was the first to finish and did so before I even got a chance to have a good look at it, 1-0.
However, although I got the sense that things were starting to turn in our favour on most boards
(mine being the notable exception), there was no change to the match score until the sun had long
disappeared below the horizon and we had got to the business end of the evening.
John Benyon’s 2.e5 against the Sicilian on top board appeared to be holding material equality
against Marek, but Marek found a tactic with queen and rook which (IIRC) exploited a possible back
rank mate and gain the upper hand – 2-0.
Rob was next to finish, and his game with annotation of the tactics is already on the blog, 3-0.
I had expected Tom to finish off his board 6 opponent somewhat sooner, not because of the grade
disparity, but because Tom had steadily accumulated a significant material advantage at seemingly
minimal risk, but he later observed that although he was a rook up he still had to work hard for the
win. 4-0.
Iain had started off in usual buccaneering style and entered into tactics early on, but they seemed to
fizzle out, and he ended a pawn up in a better ending, 5-0.
My ‘trauma’ was the last game to finish, and is one which I would prefer to forget. This is not
because Charles missed a clearly winning knight sac (or to be more exact, spotted it and then
rejected it) so strong that I had seriously considered resigning on the spot.
No, Caissa had worse to come…
Charles played well but it is fair to say that the game was not ‘el classico’. Charles managed to lose
the exchange but still had a lot of play with connected passed pawns, but after much effort (and
clock time !) I had shepherded the game into a winning K+P ending, and needed only to choose
between pushing my remaining pawn (to where it could not be caught before queening), or moving
my king, I inexplicably and somewhat absent-mindedly touched my king….and we all know the rules
don’t we ? Ouch ! 5½ – ½ .
No excuses…It brought back terrible memories from last season when I did the same at St Helens
and there is a moral about sitting on your hands here somewhere. In truth, I could, and probably
should, have been dead and buried at least a couple of times. I didn’t get any traction in the
opening, shoved my h pawn down the board, failed to castle, and for these sacrifices of position, I
got nothing of note for it except grief.

Next match: St.Helens (home) on 9 th Oct.

Jonathan Smith – A Team Captain

NorthwichVCulcheth A
John Benyon0-1Marek Mazek
Charles Metcalfe0.5-0.5Jonathan Smith
Peter Hamill-Stewert0-1Iain Johnson
Tom Walton0-1Robert Furness
Aaron Milne0-1Damian McCarthy
John Lightfoot0-1Tom Vout
Final Score0.5-5.5(Culcheth white on boards
2,4 & 6)

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