Olton C 1.5 - 2.5 Leamington A

25 November 2014

With a new look team, we were hoping to maintain our run of good form against Olton, a team who've struggled this season but who put out a team of comparable overall strength to our own.

  • Evans, Garry (144) 0 - 1 Price, Andy (155)
  • Allen, Kenneth E (140) 0.5 - 0.5 Darling, Tom (151)
  • Archibald, Warren (133) 0 - 1 Collins, Andy (145)
  • Evans, Thomas (133) 1 - 0 Hodgkins, David (130)
  • The game score doesn't really tell the story of one of our more dramatic evenings. We got off to a bad start even before we'd walked in the door: as we neared our destination we were confronted by a traffic jam, as though the car drivers of Olton were doing their best to help their team ... ! This served to make us 15 minutes late. Olton had started our clocks fairly promptly, so we had each lost about a dozen minutes by the time we took our chairs.

    Andy Price got us onto the scoreboard first, taking advantage of somewhat defensive play from his opponent to seize the initiative and win with a well executed attack, which you can see below.

    However, Olton tied things up soon afterwards. David made a few mistakes while rushing to make up for the lost time, ultimately leaving a rook hanging and resigning shortly afterwards.

    The situation appeared grim at this point. Andy was down to his last couple of minutes on the clock (his opponent still having about a quarter of an hour), and had dropped the exchange after missing a knight fork. I was also short of time, and defending a minor piece endgame a pawn down and with play on both flanks favouring his bishop over my knight. The chances of both of us salvaging the draws we needed to rescue a point from the game appeared slim.

    I think that I let the time deficit rattle me. I had made several indifferent moves after getting equality from the opening, and it took me three or four attempts to calculate the sum 7 + 15 correctly when resetting the clocks after the time control. As the end of the game neared some clarity returned, however, and I was able to give up my knight for his penultimate pawn, in such a way as to deflect his bishop for long enough for my king the round up the last one.

    A draw, then, but surely all for naught, as Andy was now down to about a minute left, and down a rook for only two pawns. He kept finding moves to make things difficult, though, and the time difference was slowly whittled away. Through some chess sorcery, he managed to reach a theoretically drawn rook vs pawn endgame. Black might still have had winning chances in a time scramble, but, perhaps affected by this sudden turn of events, he forgot about his own clock, and sat frozen for a full minute before his flag fell!

    An even narrower escape than at Shirley earlier in the season, then: the adrenaline rush of a rather stressful evening kept me awake until about 4am.

    And we do this for fun!