|Bristol & District Chess League||
28 April 2013
League Knockout Final 2009
Clifton v Bath
The League Knockout was won by Bath on board count as the last half an hour of the match dramatically swung in Bath's favour.
Boards 4 and 8 finished in early draws as Neil Dunlop and John Waterfield found themselves in a completely drawn King and Pawn ending. With John Curtis ( Board 5 ) and Dave Collier ( Board 6 ) and Duncan Grossett ( Board 7 ) holding the advantage in their games and it seemed only a matter of time before they would be converted into wins for Clifton, the pressure was on the top 3 boards for Bath to deliver.
Duncan Grossett was first to cement a win with a pretty smothered mate ! advantage Clifton.
James Cobb seemed to be holding the advantage on top board but gave David Buckley a route back into the game after a temporary exchange sacrifice went wrong and left James facing an ending a pawn down and he resigned.
All the focus now was on Boards Two and Three with both Bath players needing to win and in time trouble. James Sherwin on board three was a piece up for 3 pawns but in a healthy position with Gareth Morris having Pawn weaknesses. Andy Pickering was holding a slight advantage on board two as Peter Poobalasingam's clock time was disappearing fast. A number of tactical exchanges forced the game into a Queen and Rook ending that appeared to look drawn and it was a surprise to me when Peter turned down Andy's offer of a draw but Bath needed wins and draws were no good. Meanwhile Dave Collier and John Curtis converted their advantages into wins making the overall score 4-2 in favour of Clifton.
All eyes on boards 2 and 3 again as things were looking good for James Sherwin as he had a passed 'a' pawn and knights linking up well. Peter Poobalasingam was applying pressure and after White blundered his Queen for a Rook it was simply a question whether the seconds left on Peter's clock would hold out. Peter delivered mate with his flag poised to drop ! James Sherwin ( last to finish ) made no mistake in mopping up Blacks army of pawns as his knights held out to the finish to record a memorable win for Bath.
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