Played at the Navigation last evening -
Marple A V Stockport A: Stockport Lge Div One: 06/04/2017
1 A Horton 0.5/05 A Beardsworth
2 A Walton 0.5/0.5 A Reeve
3 G Trueman 0.5/0.5 P Cawley
4 P Kirby 0.5/0.5 D Sheppard
5 C Baker 0-1 D Parrotta
6 B Jacobson 1-0 M Taylor
After succumbing 1-5 to Stockport B in our previous match I had been fearing the worst. Fortunately Andy (Horton) and Alan (Walton) were able to make a welcome return to our team, however this was balanced by Michael and Isaac not being available. We were also without Alan (Hall) , Terry, and David (Preen) from our usual line ups this season.
When Stockport arrived I noticed they were perhaps a couple of players short of their strongest possible side. They were clear favourites though as they outgraded us on the bottom four boards, fielding a 2102 Fide player on Board 5 and a vastly experienced 171 ecf on Board 6.
Paul (Kirby) and myself both drew. My game with Paul Cawley was fairly uneventful but Paul (Kirby) had a fascinating encounter with Dan, winning the exchange but allowing a lot of piece activity. With Paul down to the last couple of minutes a draw was a completely acceptable result.
Mr Parrotta showed why he has such a high elo with a polished performance against Chris in a game that was very reminiscent of a Hort V Nunn encounter from the "Master Game" series in the late 70's. (Ed - He's really showing his age...). Chris gave it his best shot and taking on a 2100 with the Black pieces is of course an extremely tough ask.
Ben has been playing some tremendous chess for Marples second and third teams. Last season he played a beautiful winning Rook sac at Macclesfield and I seem to remember he won in 9 moves with Black at Altrincham just before Christmas. He superseded these achievements last evening with what I suspect may be the best first team debut in the history of Marple Chess Club, beating an opponent graded a mere 55 points higher than him! Mike went wrong in what should probably have been a drawn Rook ending allowing liquidation to a pawn ending that was clearly won for Ben. Whilst I am tremendously pleased for Ben I do feel immense sympathy for Mike who took defeat with admirable good grace. Unfortunately for him one of my laws of "negative chess" came in to play - trying too hard to win a slightly advantageous Rook ending is very dangerous....
So incredibly the score was 2-2 with the top two boards still in play and all four players running out of time.
Andy (H) had been trying for three hours to create something in a position that had been looking drawish from about move 10.Ultimately there was no way for either side to make progress and the game was drawn.
That left everything in the hands of Alan and Andy (Reeve). A fascinating battle which at one point had featured two Knights against two Bishops with your correspondent having no idea who was better had boiled down to a N v B ending with Alan having a pawn less but a passed "a" pawn and slightly better King. With Andy down to less than two minutes and Alan not having much more the players agreed to halve the point and the match.
Thus ended a memorable encounter played in excellent spirit. Many thanks to all who played.