Writtle v Upminster I – 24/01/2024

Based on Les Crane's (captain) report:

Writtle (6.5) to Upminster I (1.5)

Last night’s match was a bit about luck and a little about management of the clock.

We were unlucky that 3 of our top 5 players were unable to play. Scott had always said this was a date he could not make, Martin had a family funeral to attend and Rob had to pull out having tested positive for COVID.

We were lucky that Writtle also were missing a number of their top players but they still outgraded us on every board.

First to finish was Sergey who had a very tactical game with his opponent but ultimately lost. Then Sasha won his game on bd1, a noteworthy performance against a strong player enjoying a successful season to date, when his opponent, in time trouble, blundered a rook to a knight fork. The position at the time was complicated with both sides advancing past pawns and was possibly drawn with best play - but Sasha showed commendable spirit by declining a draw offer and battling to gain his first win for the club on top board.

 My opponent was pushing all through the game for an advantage, but he also got into time trouble and missed a clear win right at the end and we reached a equal knight and pawn ending and drew. Andy fell victim to a tactic leaving him with a very cramped position and the eventual loss of a rook.

Aidan played well and had a clear advantage at one point, unfortunately whilst under some time pressure he went wrong and lost in the end. Nick lost on time. I think his position was slightly worse but unlucky to lose like that.

John blundered a pawn in a locked position but battled on to reach a bishop and pawn ending that may well have ended in a draw with best play, unfortunately once again time pressure told and he lost the game on time, just as the draw was in sight.

Rasike was a bit unlucky to lose, reaching a rook and pawn ending against the very experienced David Millward, he was ultimately ground down

More pictures from the night:

Les drew
The start
Nick focused
Nick pre start
Aidan and Rasike

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