The visit of Gosforth Empire to the Dyvels on Tuesday 4/12 represented a good chance for points – Gosforth have been punching above their weight a bit, and would be slight favourites on paper, but the Tans had a fighting chance
Dave Weldon didn’t make much headway with the white pieces against Roy Bagnall (172) and agreed a quick draw as an even rook and minor piece ending loomed.
Dave Stebbings (155) played a fairly unadventurous opening against Tim Wrigley and Tim was able to take the game to Dave. Tim found himself with the bishop pair and nice open lines to work with, but Dave managed to bring his rooks into play quickly enough to neutralise Tim’s bishops. A mass exchange of pieces followed, resulting in a rook & bishop vs rook & bishop ending where Tim’s pieces were less well coordinated. To his mild surprise, Dave immediately offered a draw and Tim accepted.
David Wrigley was in trouble quickly against Mike Yianni (181). Mike played an unusual line in the exchange french, and David had to leave his king in the centre, the sole defender of a backwards e-pawn. Mike played conservatively, and David was able to confuse matters with a kingside pawn advance. A flurry of tactics followed, and David had managed to shore up his own position and win a pawn. David missed the chance to win another pawn, and a rook ending arose where Mike was able to restore material equality. A draw was the natural result.
Jeremy Handley sacrificed a pawn early onagainst Paul Sumner (152). He got plenty of play for it, but Paul defended stoutly and eventually they were left with a rook each and opposite coloured bishops. Jeremy fell foul of some tactics, and Paul double his pawn advantage. Jeremy had to throw caution to the wind and had a good go at Paul’s king, but the pawns kept dropping and Jeremy wasn’t getting enough for them.
Derek Blair and Geoff Harrison (147) had a fascinating tussle – Derek seemed to gain a positional advantage, but their pawns chains found themselves locked together and it was difficult to see how either playedrwould be able to make progress. Derek managed to win a pawn, but Geoff’s Queen was able to penetrate threateningly in return , and they agreed a draw in severe mutual time trouble.
Tans 2-3 Gosforth Empire
David Wrigley ½-½ Michael Yianni (181)
Dave Weldon ½-½ Roy Bagnall (172)
Jeremy Handley 0-1 Paul Sumner (152)
Derek Blair ½-½ Geoff Harrison (147)
Tim Wrigley ½-½ Dave Stebbings (155)
So the Tans fall just short again, and a tough scrap against relegation looms in the new year.