"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Grantham-1 beat Long Eaton 3:2

Yesterday evening Grantham first team beat Long Eaton by a narrow but sufficient margin.

Long Eaton
Mangione C
Evans R
Birtwistle N
Williams D
Payne N
Robins A
Prior S
Murphy R
Hebert A
Davies N

Team Captain, Nigel Birtwistle, had to do some last minute changes in the line-up, however, the team performed very well. Nigel himself won for team very important point in lovely game and he equalized the score shortly after Andy Hebert on the bottom board had been forced to resign. 

Andy Hebert's game is a typical example of what we can see on the club level. London System is very popular opening among the club players. I have already published certain recipe which was demonstrated by Richard Truman at Hinckley Open. The major opening battle plan is: Kingside fianchetto, King's Indian set-up and then the blow e5. This time Andy came with rather dubious novelty. However, it was not easy to find the right plan. His opponent, Norman Davies, achieved eventually much better position, then he blundered and Andy possibly frustrated by the previous course of game did not find a refutation.

Stephen Prior did not give his lower rated opponent too many chances to harass him. He built up very solid position, then he put his Knight on fore-post d6 and finally won a pawn. With pawn up in strategically won position it was just a matter of time to force his opponent to throw in the towel. Very convincing performance!

Grantham being point up, all eyes were focused on top board and board 3.

Playing with Black, Claudio Mangione did not have an easy task. Ray Evans is very strong player and he had the advantage of White pieces. Claudio went for very risky line in Modern Defence and he bamboozled his opponent completely. Claudio's position was perhaps worse at certain point but very complex and Ray was struggling to devise a winning plan and on the top of that he was running short of time. With the hanging flag he offered a draw in position which was very complex and plenty of chess has remained to play. Claudio did not want to take the risk in team competition. He checked the situation on the board 3 and draw had been agreed.

Nick Payne on the board 3 agreed a draw in rook and pawns ending which had arisen from Dragon variation of Sicilian Defence. His position had been very promising and perhaps if he had had more time he would have found the right plan.

This draw sealed the victory of Grantham-1 team.

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