Witney 2 v Wantage 1 (17 October 2016)

Witney 2
Wantage 1
 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
0 - 1
 Robbings, Andrew (184)
 Gentry, Alan (148)
0 - 1
 Piggott, Roly (144)
 Sheremetyeva, Elizav. (155)
1 - 0
 Litwiniek, Miroslawa (-)
 Edwards,  Derek F (146)
0.5 - 0.5
 ​Hemmings, Peter (130)
 Blackwell, David (135)
1 - 0
 Brown, Gordon D (119)
 Turner, Roger N (124)
0.5 - 0.5
 Spalding, George H (116)
3 - 3
On Monday it was a fine start for the First Team with a draw versus the strong Witney 2 side.  I cannot recall the last time we avoided defeat in this tie.

It all started quietly with a very dull draw for your writer.  Fortunately all the other five games were much more interesting and exciting.

Andrew is going to be a great asset to the team as our new board 1.  Here he demolished the redoubtable Howard Searle;  when I saw the game he had contrived to bring the black king into the open where it soon perished.

Mirka will also win many games for the team.  Here she was very unlucky not to get something from the game.  Things looked quite promising to me, when I saw she had a couple of well advanced queenside pawns.  But her opponent countered centrally and was eventually successful.

Peter had quite a reasonable position but could not see a way to break through. Eventually he had to settle for a draw by repeated moves.

We are pleased to report an early win for Roly, who had to  face a slightly unusual f3 line versus his Nimzo-Indian Defence.   Things looked fairly balance  for much of the game.  However, Roly spotted he could pick up a pawn on h3, thanks to a pin, and his opponent rather fell apart after that.

Perhaps the greatest drama was on Board 5.  Gordon looked early on to be in big trouble with an undeveloped queen side and under mate threats. However , at the cost of the exchange he was able to get play.  Then he later picked up a knight. After queens were exchanged there was  an interesting material balance of knight and bishop versus rook, though white  had more pawns.  White was advancing his king side pawn armada, but then left a rook en pris!  But things were not yet over. The well placed king and three pawns proved stronger than Gordon's two pieces and White won.

Despite the unlucky climax, the team can be proud of the encouragement they get from this  result.

The Second Team, however, were not so successful last night, losing 2- 4 to Bicester 2  in their opener.  Matt will put the result up later. 

Our star in this tie was John Leake.  He was a rook up, but his opponent had a very active queen and rook, and John could not get out of check for a long time.  Fortunately,   he was able to force an exchange of queens, and then things were straightforward..   Slava came in with a comfortable draw, both players ending with a rook and four pawns each.  Simon also  drew, with neither his opponent nor himself ever  in any difficulty.

We can have no complaint about Paul's loss, he driven into a mating net near the side of the board.   We are grateful to Derek who stepped in at a moments notice, after Ray could not come owing to a neighbours health issues.  He was close to a result, only losing the endgame with one pawn each as his king was too far away.   That left just  Matt in play, who had just won a piece but fell victim to a one move mate.  We have all
done that in the past!  
Report by George Spalding