Whilst sticking to our usual fill the boards from the bottom up policy, we took a higher graded side than usual to Melton as Dave and Ray, two of our regular players, were unavailable. There were a few remarks from Melton players about us having a different team from last time and about our having a higher graded side. Three out of four of our players, however, had appeared in our last match at Melton (when we played five boards). On this occasion, it was our top board, however, who was outgraded, and our second board player was the same grade as his opponent. True, John outgraded his opponent, and, on paper, i outgraded my opponent although i suspect that, that with some good wins so far this season, Andrew's actual grade will turn out to be higher than his provisional grade of 80. Any real grade advantage was likely to be slight.
The first result was a win for me. I had been able to chip away at my opponent's pawns and build a central majority, and although harrassed by rooks, i was eventually able to push my pawns forwards. Pete then lost to Alan Jex. Rob had a two pawn advantage and simplified into an opposite coloured bishops endgame against Ian Farquharson and was able to force the win ( the game was a good one and went like this: 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Bb4 4. c3 Ba5 5. b4 Bb6 6. b5 Na5 7. Nxe5 Nxc4 8.Nxc4 Bxf2+ 9. Kxf2 d5 10. exd5 Qh4+ 11. g3 Qxc4 12. Qe2+ Qxe2+ 13. Kxe2 Nf6 14.c4 O-O 15. Bb2 Bg4+ 16. Kf2 Rfe8 17. h3 Ne4+ 18. Kg2 Be2 19. Na3 Nxd2 20. Rhe1 Nxc4 21. Nxc4 Bxc4 22. a4 Bxd5+ 23. Kf2 Re6 24. Rxe6 Bxe6 25. h4 Rd8 26. Ke3 c5 27. bxc6 bxc6 28. Bd4 a6 29. Rc1 Bd5 30. Bb6 Re8+ 31. Kf2 Re4 32. a5 f5 33. Bc7 Rc4 34. Rb1 Rc5 35. Bb6 Rb5 36. Re1 Kf7 37. Re5 Be4 38. Rc5 Rxc5 39. Bxc5 Ke6 40. Ke3 Kd5 41. Bd4 g6 42. Bf6 c5 43. Kd2 c4 44. Kc3 Bd3 45. Bd8 Ke4 46. Bc7 Kf3 47. Bf4 h6 48. Kd4 g5 49. hxg5 hxg5 50. Bxg5 Kxg3 51. Ke3 Bf1 52. Bf4+ Kg4 53. Bh6 Bd3 54. Kf2 c3 55. Ke3 Be4 56. Bg7 c2 57. Kd2 f4 58. Bb2 Kh3 59. Bd4 Kg2 60. Kc1 f3 61. Kd2 f2 62. Bxf2 Kxf2 63. Kc1 Ke2 64. Kb2 Kd2 0-1 ). John had been winning by a piece and a pawn and was able to checkmate his opponent in the Kingside corner with queen and bishop.
Jex, Alan (152) 1-0 (140) Harrison, Pete
Farquharson, Ian (135) 0-1 (135) Ensor, Rob
Smith, Peter (107) 0-1 (134) Manger, John
Keightley, Andrew (80) 0-1 (112) Ross, Colin
Melton (3) 1 - 3 Heathcote Arms (2)
Well done everyone.
Next week, we are at home against the Red Admiral (3) on Tuesday night.