Broadstairs 2 Margate 2
|1||Manoj Natarajan (149)||1-0||Colin Gregory (127)|
|2||Paul Carfrae (131)||½-½||Keith Findley (125)|
|3||Andy Flood (115)||½-½||Clive Le Baigue (121)|
|4||Reg Pidduck (99)||0-1||Leon Garfield (104)|
Bob Page writes:
This was a tough match and in the end a fair result. A win would have kept Broadstairs in the hunt to win the Steele Cup at our first attempt but at the half-way stage in the competition, with only one win from four matches, we have it all to do. Apart from Manoj’s clear grading superiority on board 1, all the other three pairings were fairly evenly matched and this is how the games turned out. Board 1 was the first to finish when, in an innocuous position, Colin miscalculated and instead of winning a pawn he lost a bishop in the exchange and resigned soon afterwards. The next to finish was Paul’s game on board 2. After a rather messy opening with doubled pawns and his queen’s rook dragged out of position, Paul recovered and looked to be winning when a draw was agreed. Keith’s king was trapped in the corner and while he appeared to have sufficient defence to hold off an army of White attacking pieces, to the neutral eye a win seemed distinctly possible and with analysis after the game, the answer was found (No it wasn’t! Stockfish thinks otherwise. See Game of the Week – Ed.).
The draw on board 2 was with hindsight the decisive result. On board 4 Reg, having sacrificed a pawn, in the opening, did not appear to have gained anything for it and canny play from Leon later won a second pawn and Reg could not prevent Black’s queenside pawns from marching up the board. So, with the scores level, it was left to Andy and Clive to decide the outcome of the match. The game had been even all the way through and it was no surprise when the players agreed a draw which was how the match ended.
We don’t appear to have quite got the hang of this new competition yet. Perhaps having too many players available – the team’s total grades must not exceed 500 – is a disadvantage because ten different players have represented the club in four matches where a settled side might be more successful. Still, four wins from the remaining four matches could make for an interesting finale.