And the night, and the match and indeed the Knight.
MARPLE C 2.5-2.5 ALTRINCHAM B
1. Toby Brown 0-1 Tony Lane
2. Martin Cutts 0.5-0.5 Bill McCartney
3. Neil Dainty 0.5-0.5 Vijay Kakarparthi
4. Tony Doust 0.5-0.5 Steve Ward
5. Joseph Anderson 1-0 Kip Summer
We got off to a bad start. Toby was the only one of us to be outgraded and he lost quite quickly on top board. All the other games were pretty level for most of the evening but there was plenty of action on four and five.
Next to me, Martin was pressing against a strong opponent, but Bill seemed to have little trouble keeping him at bay. A draw was agreed. On my right Tony was a piece down, which I presume was a sacrifice as Steve's King was under siege in the middle of the board. However Tony lost another piece later on and was relieved to come away with a draw.
My own game with Vijay was quite enjoyable and I thought I had good prospects most of the time, but offered a draw when I realised I hadn't! Note to self: stop kidding yourself.
The real fun was on Board 5. Kip had a passed pawn on d6, supported by his queen and later a rook. Joseph had a rook on a8 ready to skip to d8 if needed, but he also had a nasty attack on the other wing. with a passed h pawn behind his queen and the other rook behind the pawn. He also had a Knight totally out of the game on the a-file which was screaming to be employed. Eventually it came to the d-file, protected by two pawns and isolating Kip's passed pawn; it also threatened to join the attack. Kip managed to free his queen which continually checked the king. Once the king got to safety it was Joseph who had the threats and more than one opportunity for a royal fork from the freed knight. Lots of wood was traded and then we had a pawn race resulting in two new queens and a time scramble, with Joseph having a few extra minutes. The new queens were exchanged leaving Joseph with three or four passed pawns and Kip resigned.
The knight had saved the day!