Broadstairs  3     Woodnesborough  1

1. Paul Carfrae   (131) 1-0    Robin Bellion (e138)
2. John Couzens (118) ½-½    Kit Blundell (127)
3. Bob Cronin (112) ½-½    John Thorley (e113)
4. Andy Flood   (111) 1-0     David Erwee  (108)

Andy Flood writes:

The Hargreaves team found themselves for the first time playing in the unlikely setting of the Phoenix Club, the new temporary venue of Woodnesborough chess club. Both teams were at full strength and unusually Boroadstairs were out-graded on three of the four boards.

It seemed that we had only just started and settled down to play this crucial match against a Woodnesborough team that had won all their matches when news of a Paul Carfrae win on Board 1 spread across the room – an absolute must for game of the week for the website. Without giving too much away, the game was very attacking, very decisive and very short as Paul destroyed his higher-graded opponent. Meanwhile, on Board 4 I was establishing a good solid position going initially one pawn up and then two pawns up before Broadstairs went 2–0 up as my opponent blundered under the pressure and swiftly resigned.

The other two games looked like certain Broadstairs losses. Bob Cronin was well and truly under the cosh with his king on the back rank and his pieces pinned by two rooks, a bishop and a queen. Bob had never really recovered from the opening.  Similarly the ‘Gullbuster’ was being ‘busted’ on Board 2 and was in danger of being mated, again losing the initiative very early on in his game.

But back to Board 3, a flurry of exchanges of all the pinned pieces resulted in Bob having material advantage and then astutely and sportingly offering his opponent a draw to secure the points and a Broadstairs win. We all then huddled around the remaining match to see a lesson to us all. John managed to survive the threatened mate and from being material down he mounted his own counter-play and threats to get into a position of being just one pawn down and being able to offer and have accepted a draw.

So the team went home happy with a 3–1 win, all players unbeaten and the team remaining unbeaten at the top of the league with just two more matches to go.

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