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Copperworks B v Rose Forgrove C

warren dennison

Match report by Warren Dennison: Rose Forgrove C correspondent

LCA Match Week 8

  • Venue: New Inn, Drighlington
  • Date: Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Team News
Rose Forgrove C team fielded their usual line up but Copperworks B put out a team that was almost unrecognisable from the one which defeated our ‘E’ team 5-0 the previous week. Their team was strengthened up at the top with the inclusion of young Bowler and the slightly older Salisbury. .
Match Preview
Rose Forgrove C finished last in the Leeds league division one last season. Copperworks B ended last season joint third in division two just missing out on promotion.
Match Report

Copperworks B 1.5   Rose Forgrove C 3.5
Name Grade Result Name Grade
James Bowler 168 1 - 0 Warren Dennison 157
Paul Salisbury 145 0 - 1 Andy Ross 142
Mike Farley 118 0 - 1 Keith Riach 135
Ron Laing 102 0.5 - 0.5 Martin Blythe 130
Charley Brennan UG 0 - 1 Helmut Auer 110

For the final match of 2012, Rose Forgrove ‘C’ travelled to play Copperworks ‘B’. With Leeds United entertaining Chelsea in the League Cup on the same evening, getting to the venue was no easy task and all the games were late starting.

On board 1, I was in for a nasty surprise. James Bowler had dropped down from the Copperworks ‘A’ team to make a first appearance of the season in division 2. Being a school night, James was in a massive hurry to get the game finished and he flew through the first 20 moves within about 10 minutes. He played a variation of the Sicilian I’d never seen before which doesn’t feature in the opening manuals and so put me under huge pressure on the clock as I tried to figure out how best to proceed. Unfortunately I made a very similar blunder to the one last week against Stan Alekzandrowicz and so went from a reasonably comfortable position to being a piece down. I played on to the bitter end but there was never any realistic chance of James screwing up despite playing at blitz speed most of the time.

Copperworks B 0 - 1 Rose Forgrove C

 

No one envied Helmut Auer on board 5, who faced a very young opponent in Charley Brennan. Most of us at one time or another has been on the wrong end of a pasting from a promising youngster but this time Helmut’s opponent was a little bit too inexperienced to cause an upset. Helmut developed a strong pawn centre and following the exchange of queens he was able to pick up an extra piece. However Charley didn’t give up and marched his king up the board in support of a passed central pawn which reached the seventh rank. Helmut was making a bit of a meal of it at this stage but with his extra bishop he was always able to cover the queening square and advance his own pawn, the promotion of which his opponent could not prevent.

Copperworks B 1 - 1 Rose Forgrove C

 

Next game to finish was Martin Blythe on board 4. This was a very dull game. All four knights were exchanged off early on and the pawn configuration led to a closed position with four bad bishops. Chances of progress for either side looked slim and once the heavy pieces were swapped, there was little option but to agree on a draw.

Copperworks B 1.5 - 1.5 Rose Forgrove C

 

So far this season Andy Ross has had a virtual monopoly on the most exciting games in the match. No doubt this is not unconnected to the fact that he plays some sort of gambit in every game. I’ve never been entirely convinced that his gambits are sound but you can’t argue with his results and despite having watched many of his games at close quarter I don’t recall a single boring encounter. Tonight’s match took a while to liven up but, when it did, boy, were there fireworks. Andy had sacrificed two pawns and his attack appeared to be petering out but then he tucked his king away on h1 and advanced his g pawn. This pawn supported a knight on the f6 square which tied down his opponent’s defences. He then transferred his rook onto the h3 square, bearing down on the black pawn on h7 and threatening to force black to give up his queen for rook and knight. Defending against Andy’s attack had cost Paul Salisbury a huge amount of time and he was now down to his final few minutes on the clock. Andy also appeared to be down to his final few minutes but was playing at normal speed and still recording all his moves. Andy’s flag fell first. His clock showed zero time left, so I thought he had lost. At this point Ron Laing intervened and pointed out to Andy’s opponent that Andy’s clock had fallen. Fortunately this quite disgraceful interference in someone else’s game (Ron really ought to know better) didn’t affect the outcome of the match as, unbeknownst to me, Andy still had 15 minutes left – it was just that his clock was showing zero. Chaos then took hold as Paul Salisbury asked for a replacement non-digital clock and we had the bizarre scenario of Paul’s time (of which only seconds remained) being counted down on a digital clock while Andy’s 15 minutes were being counted down on a separate non-digital clock. Meanwhile in the room, general claims and counter-claims were flying around about whose fault it was and whose responsibility it was for the clocks being incorrectly set. This melee threw Andy off his stride and he started putting pieces en pris. Paul gobbled them up and all of a sudden from being material down and losing he was material ahead but still with only seconds left on his clock. Paul then offered a draw which Andy refused. The game continued until Paul’s flag fell with his position being tantalisingly just short of forcing a checkmate. That wasn’t the end though, as accusations of poor sportsmanship were levelled against Andy and further brouhaha followed regarding the incorrectly set clocks.

Copperworks B 1.5 - 2.5 Rose Forgrove C

 


The final match to finish was Keith Riach’s game on board 3. This game looked lost for Keith from very early on as he was totally outplayed in the opening and the middle game. However, as has been noted before in these match reports, Keith never knows when he’s beaten. We should really call him Frank Sinatra as he has made so many comebacks. Clocks were also a problem in this match, with the digital clock being replaced after the time control as the extra 15 minutes did not register for either side. The lesson emerging from tonight’s match is that digital clocks are great devices but they aren’t much use if only one person in your club knows how to set them. As the game approached its denouement , Keith’s opponent somehow lost his way and, despite having two rooks on the seventh rank, he dropped a piece and then his strong pawn on the sixth rank. No doubt the row on board 2 broke the concentration of Keith’s opponent just as it had with Andy. Suddenly from being crushed, Keith now had two knights for a rook and appeared out of danger. At this point Keith offered a draw, but with the match result still in balance this was refused. Keith then started using his knight pair in tandem to force the black king into a corner and when he introduced his rook into the fray, black was forced to resign as he could do nothing to prevent checkmate.

 

Final score: Copperworks B 1.5 - 3.5 Rose Forgrove C

 

So, at the end of a bad tempered match, a victory for Rose Forgrove ‘C’ sees us finish the year at the top of division 2. The big news of the night, however, was the defeat of the Leeds ‘A’ team at the hands of Pudsey ‘B’. Leeds ‘A’ were only able to field 2 players in that match and so, with four defaults so far this season, they not only lost the match but incurred a 2 penalty point deduction, leaving their title challenge in disarray. That win takes Pudsey ‘B’ to second place in the league only a point behind Rose Forgrove ‘C’ but with a game in hand. The next match for Rose Forgrove ‘C’ isn’t until 30th January but what a match it promises to be as we take on Pudsey ‘B’ in what could well prove to be a title decider.

 

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