Bicester 3 v Wantage 2 (13 December 2016)

Banbury 3
Wantage 2
 Crofts, Joshua (135)
0.5 - 0.5
 Morris, Stephen (131)
 Csecs, Gilbert (129)
0.5 - 0.5
 Hemmings, Peter (130)
 Rumsby, Stephen (117)
1 - 0
 Thompson, Steve (88)
 Vampling, Michael (75)
0.5 - 0.5
 Cordon, Ray (78)
 Gill, Stephen (61)
0 - 1
 Kachkanov, Slava (42)
 Miles, Josh (22)
0 - 1
 Stubberfield, Derek (8)
2.5 - 3.5
 Wantage 2 Achieved a much needed win in their away match against Banbury 3 on 13th December.

Both teams were strong on the top two boards and both of these games finished in draws.

Stephen had a strong start, but faded in the middle game, with his opponent getting a strong attack on centre pawns. He missed a chance to gain an advantage when he could have swapped a knight for a rook, playing a defensive move instead. Some pawn swaps gave his opponent a pawn advantage, which Stephen then managed to recover and go a pawn ahead after a his opponent made an incautious king move. With about minute left on the clock and with a king + rook + rook pawn v king + rook (and with the opponent's king ahead of the pawn), a draw was offered and accepted.

In Peter's game, after some opening sparring has opponent had a very exposed queenside castle but with rooks on the g and h-file was starting a kingside pawn storm and with the queens off it was difficult to defend. An injudicious knight swap allowed Peter to grab the e-pawn blunting the storm a bit and giving the pawn back enable allowed him to force a rook swap and that ensured safety. However, his opponent still managed to lodge a supported pawn on h7. Peter's queenside majority put his opponent on the defensive and the queenside pawns all disappeared enabling Peter to pick up the f-pawn and eventually that on h7 but at the cost of a final rook exchange. That left Peter with a king + f-pawn against a king, but his opponent had the opposition so the game petered out into a draw.

Steve Thompson lost to the Banbury captain who has a higher grade.

On board 4, Ray was a piece up and had passed pawns, but agreed a draw because he was way behind on time. (Ray remarks that he will have to learn to play quicker.)

Our two stars of the evening were Slava and Derek who won on the bottom two boards. Slava's opponent eventually ran out of time but  he was in hopeless position anyway.  I didn't see anything of Derek's game.

Report by Ray Cordon, Stephen Morris, Peter Hemmings, Slava Kachkanov