Austins v Dyvels
The evening started badly, we were ten minutes late starting because of an misunderstanding. Then we were treated to an eccentric lorry driver, who was either tired or drunk and seemed to want both sides of the A69. Just as Peter Crichton overtook the mad lorry driver, the police stopped us at Greenhead, because of an accident near Low Row. We tried a diversion through Gilsland, but had to turn back to Greenhead, and take the back roads via Lambley to Halton Lea Gate and then Hallbankgate.
It would nice to say that the evening improved, but Peter Crichton apart, the team continued in disaster mode. Tim played an English Opening, but after a promising opening, started going backwards and lost rapidly to Chris Royle. 1-0 to Austins. Next to finish was Phil Taylor, who caught the sharp end of a Bill Hardwick attack, and lost one of those open games where either side could have won. Bill managed to position a crucial knight where it stopped Phil’s pieces while supporting his attack. 2-0 to Austins. Peter Booker played Drew Millar, and played the black side of an English Opening. I’ve seen the scoresheet, and would describe it as an odd game where neither side took much notice of what the other was doing. This continued right to the end when Drew managed to rescue a lost position with a 2 move mate, just as Peter was looking really good. 3-0 to Austins. This left Peter Crichton trying to avoid a whitewash, Peter says “Last night was indeed a night to be forgotten although I had a small silver lining: Bruce Wallace played a Benko Gambit against me but was never able to gain the compensating initiative that usually follows from the sacrificed pawn and, in time pressure, ended up succumbing to my advancing a and b pawns. It was the third time that this defence has been played against me in the last couple of months and the first occasion where I have managed to gain a point.”
As well as losing 3-1 (or 12-4) across the board we lost 19-17 on handicap, giving a final score of 31-21.