The Reivers’ first match of the season was played at home on Tuesday October 7th, against Tynemouth D. The line-up was
1. Derek Blair (135) v Richard Oxnard (138)
2. Phil Taylor (115) v Dennis White (125)
3. Steve Larkin (107) v Dennis Beagarie (121)
4. Dave Foster jr (84) v Bob Batten (113)
5. Peter Booker (77) v Peter Combellack (86)
First to finish was Dave, who writes of his game: “I played the Polish orang-utan, which Bob was unfamiliar with. My game went OK until I left a weak pawn on the c file , which cost me the game. He heavily attacked my queenside with his queen and bishop and it was over in an instant – I resigned” (on move 15). 0-1
Next came Phil, who writes: “My usual QP opening led to a very locked up position with rooks and opposite coloured bishops and pawns providing an almost impenetrable barrier on both sides. The lack of knights didn’t help the position and, although there was the best part of 45 minutes on each of our clocks, I offered the draw and Dennis accepted. I think we were both happy to get the draw in our first game of the new season. My king was less protected than I liked and I had 3 sets of doubled pawns, so I’m not sure I could have pulled off a victory.” 0.5-1.5
On board 5 Peter B. had what looked like a close tussle, from which he eventually emerged victorious – nice to see him beating a higher graded player – and we were back on level terms. 1.5-1.5
Steve went rook for knight down after an oversight on move 16 and thereafter was on the back foot. However a bishop and a particularly active knight kept him in the game and Dennis offered the draw when he had just three and a half minutes on his clock to Steve’s nine and a half. Steve accepted the offer – there was no way he was going to win over the board – though events on board 1 gave him pause for thought afterwards. 2-2
For the second time in 8 days Derek lost on time to Richard, though on this occasion Derek had overwhelming superiority on the board when his time ran out. Given that Richard had no possibility of winning over the board and that he himself had less than 2 minutes left, one might have thought that an offer of a draw was in order, but no such offer was made and so Tynemouth won the match 3-2. Hmm!
This result raises an issue which the Reivers may like to address before they play any further league games, namely where a win on the clock is achievable, should we play on for that regardless of the position on the board?