Broadstairs 3½ Bridge 3½
|1||David Faldon (178)||½-½||Richard Eales (192)|
|2||Arnaud Wisman (168)||1-0||Patrick Burns (161)|
|3||Trefor Owens (165)||0-1||Alan Atkinson (158)|
|4||Richard Clement (145)||½-½||Jeff Green (149)|
|5||Chris Stampe (141)||½-½||Peter Blundell (115)|
|6||Dominic Blundell (136)||0-1||Gary Hilleard (107)|
|7||Paul Carfrae (131)||1-0||Graeme Boxall (86)|
Bob Page writes:
It may be Super Tuesday in America but it was Super Monday in Broadstairs yesterday as we played host to two league matches simultaneously for the the second time this season. Our Walker Shield victory over Sheldwich P.S. is reported elsewhere but the big match was undoubtedly the return Millar Cup fixture with Bridge and what a match this was! Drawn matches are not that common in the Millar Cup and the fact that we have drawn our last two home fixtures shows how tight the competition is this year. Team selection was struck a blow the day before the match when Manoj declared himself unavailable. Nevertheless, Paul stood in on Board 7 and for once we outgraded Bridge on five of the seven boards.
This was a cagey affair. For the first hour or so there seemed to be no advantage to either side but Dominic was soon in trouble on Board 6, losing first a pawn and then a piece. He attempted to fight back gamely but there was only going to be one winner. Chris won two pawns on Board 5 but the next time I looked he had lost a piece and a draw was soon agreed. The other games seemed level and it was no surprise when David and Richard both agreed draws in quick succession. Finally, Dominic conceded and Bridge were ahead 2½-1½. This is where the match became quite exciting. On Board 3 Trefor had built up a convincing attack with queen and rook but then lost a key pawn. After a few exchanges he offered Alan a draw which was declined. Trefor fought hard in a rook and pawn ending but Alan held his position and once the rooks were forced off, Trefor resigned. Bridge now only needed a draw from the last two games to win the match while Broadstairs, of course, had to win both games just to draw.
The game on Board 2 had looked level for a long time. Few pieces had been exchanged and with Patrick’s knights firmly embedded in the centre of the board, Arnaud was struggling to make a breakthrough. He had already declined a draw offer before Trefor resigned and now it was clear he had to win. Somehow – and your correspondent, busy watching the game on Board 7, missed this – Arnaud won a piece for a pawn, both knights were off the board and Patrick resigned. So attention now focused on the final game between Paul and Graeme.
Paul had been a pawn down for some time and tried a sharp tactic that only served to lose him the exchange. Gradually, however, he picked off the pawns with the result that he had a knight and two pawns for the rook but Graeme had a strong a-pawn that marched up the board and which Paul could not stop. With Graeme’s time running out, he managed to queen the pawn and Paul was left with queen, rook and knight against two queens and a rook! By this time it was almost 11.00, Graeme had less than a minute left and Paul was forced to check with his queen alone as his knight had gone awol and his rook was pinned by the new queen. But Graeme could not escape the checks and it seemed a draw by repetition might be the likely result and then just when it seemed Paul had run out of ideas, Graeme walked into a mating net where his only escape square after yet another queen check was covered by a lone Black pawn: checkmate!
Phew! What a match! Bridge deserve great credit being outgraded in most of the boards and the home team can count themselves fortunate but a draw is a draw. Well played, Broadstairs!