Reivers v Gateshead Knights
This match was played at the Dyvels on Tuesday Feb 19th, with the following line-up:
1. Peter Crichton (137) v Bill Noble (134)
2. Phil Taylor (126) v Kevin Cox (131)
3. Bruce Reed (121) v Colin Gilroy (109)
4. Steve Larkin (107) v Alex Johnson (119)
5. Dave Foster jr (82) v Robin McKay (96)
Peter got us off to a good start when, in a game of many errors, Bill outdid him in the error department, allowing Peter to go first one piece up, then two. 1-0
Phil likewise benefitted from his opponent’s errors, as his account reveals: “As Kevin had recently drawn with Jeremy of the Tans and with Lateefah Messam-Sparks of Newcastle University, I knew I’d be in for a tough game. Imagine my surprise therefore when the entire game went like a dream with me hardly putting a foot wrong and Kevin piling mistakes onto mistakes. My preference is for Queen’s Gambit but Kevin ignored the central pawns and went for a Queen’s Indian. Apparently moves went with the book until move 8 when Kevin, for some strange reason, blocked off his fianchettoed bishop with Nc6. There was a threat of Nb4 threatening my Queen which I should have ignored but which I prevented with a3. Eventually, Kevin gave me enough time to push my e pawn to e4 and start to build pressure. Most of my moves were thought of as good by Fritz and analysis showed I had the upper hand from move 12. It was one of those games where my pieces all protected one another and had threatening places to go, while his were cramped and every move seemed to cause him further problems. On move 22 I got a piece up. By move 25 it was two pieces up. By move 26 I had assured myself of black’s queen, so the rest of the game was played out until my opponent resigned one move before mate. Why can’t they all be like that?” 2-0
Dave lost a knight for a pawn early on, but then went on the offensive and got back into the game on more or less equal terms, only to fall victim to a mating combination which he did not spot till it was too late. 2-1
Steve pressured Alex from the start and eventually went a bishop up. With only the queens and four pawns apiece on the board apart from that bishop, Steve was busy lining up a mate in one when he allowed Alex a check which won the bishop. Back to equality once more, and with little time left a draw was agreed. 2.5-1.5
Bruce had spent much of the time on the defensive, but emerged a pawn up and with two linked, passed pawns. Alas, he dropped one in the closing moments, the complexion of the game changed and a draw was agreed. 3-2
This was a good result against a very experienced side. If Lady Luck helped us a bit on some boards, she made amends on others (or if you prefer, incompetence was pretty evenly shared, with the Reivers on balance playing better than their opponents).
To whatever we attribute the result, it gives a much needed boost to our points tally in the league.