Chester C got off to a winning start in the Wirral League despite being understrengthed. Due to a miscommunication, the captain (me) failed to save a place for regular board 3 Ian McLean. And with squad members John Harvey and Nick Pendlebury also unavailable, new member Anh Pham was drafted at almost the 11th hour.
Over on board 5 Anh had a decent position against Kevin Mitchell and soon began to take advantage. Then, Anh delivered the incredible Queen (on g6) to e7! Checkmate! The two players shook hands until a spectator pointed out the irregularity of the move. Discussions then took place about whether to accept the result or continue. The two players agreed to continue and Anh (fairly this time) soon converted his piece advantage to victory.
Board 4 saw Phil McKeown (C) play Graham Bromley (B). The two played a slow French defence and it one point it looked like both players would end up in a time scramble. The match seemed destined for a draw until Graham blundered his Queen. 2-0
My game with Chris Doran had it’s ups and downs. My anti-King’s Indian set up saw me launch the h pawn up the board and later exchange for the g6 pawn to open up his kingside. However Chris had a strong centre and was slightly better. Soon, after exchanges I went a pawn down with check, forcing my uncastled king to f1. With his queen threatened, Chris elected to sacrifice his rook for my knight on f4, however in hindsite this wasn’t the best plan as it allowed me to open up the g file. Chris then tried to make something happen in the centre however this lead to his king being exposed to my bishops. After I sacrificed the exchange to further expose the king, Chris soon resigned. 3-0
Chester B pulled one back when Rokas defeated Colm Buckley on board 2 after Colm gave away a pawn. Finally on board 1 C’s Mike McDonagh may have had chances to win against Phil Crocker and declined his draw offer when the scores were 3-1. However he was not able to find a way to win and a draw was agreed instead. 3.5-1.5 to C which sees them go top of the league, at least temporarily!