Culcheth A v Culcheth B
On 6 March this very local Division 1 derby took place. The A Team were without several of their regular players but the B Team was, by contrast, oversubscribed. So one of the B Team’s stronger players, Andy Coe, was loaned to the A Team ensuring that they out-graded the B Team on four of the 5 boards.
The first game to finish was my Board 4 encounter with Bryan Slater, who had spectacularly won his two most recent league games and was clearly in great form. By contrast I had won only 2 of my 10 games this season, albeit most of them had been against players graded significantly higher than me. But chess is a great leveller and having lost one pawn, followed swiftly by the loss of another Bryan conceded.
On Board 2 Ilya Dubov was playing Black against Keith Maudsley and opted for his favourite Caro Kann Defence. Ilya has had a terrific first season with the club and also at Blackpool, but Keith is an immensely experienced, resilient and resourceful player. Perhaps it was no surprise that this encounter ended in a draw.
The B Team was assured of at least a share of the match spoils when Nick Cooke overcame Dan Robinson in a see-saw encounter on Board 5.
Victory for The Mighty Bees was achieved in a thrilling game on Board 3 in which Jonathan Miller built a winning advantage against Andy Coe only to dissipate it in time trouble. But for his slips on moves 53 and 54 the winning margin would have been even greater.
Last, and by no means least, was the game on the top board between Tom Vout and Damian McCarthy. (This game is unannotated as of yet may come later! My only comment would be that it was a classic case of “Too many Rooks spoiling the broth”)