Oxford City 2 v Wantage 1 (7 November 2016)

Oxford University 2
Wantage 1
 Lee, Anthony (170)
0 - 1
 Piggott, Roly (144)
 King, Simon E (145)
1 - 0
 Langham, Rod E (-)
 Smith, Roger A (143)
0 - 1
 Litwiniec, Miroslawa (-)
 Yates, John O (142)
0.5 - 0.5
 Morris, Stephen A (131)
 Godfrey, David (130)
0.5 - 0.5
 Richard, Simon A (120)
 Brooke, Ian R (129)
0.5 - 0.5
 Spalding, George H (116)
2.5 - 3.5
First of all, we are delighted to report a great victory for the First Team against one of the top Division 2 teams
Things started not too well when Rod lost.   He accepted a gambited pawn on e4 and this ultimately proved to be his undoing versus an opponent who was clearly versed in this line.
Next were two draws on the bottom boards.  Simon had won a pawn but a later error meant he was forced to choose between losing the exchange or a knight. He wisely chose the latter and was able to save the draw.  Your scribe was under some kingside pressure via a pawn storm, but generated enough counterplay on the  queenside to hold things   After some play on the c-file, all rooks came off, and a queen and pawn ending ensued that was likely to end with a perpetual check.
Stephen played well versus the solid John Yates.   In the queen, knight and pawn ending he was a pawn, albeit doubled,  ahead.    He captured the knight,  but Yates wisely refrained from a recapture (which would have lost) and went for perpetual check which he obtained. 
These results still left the enemy one point up, but the drama was to unfold over the last two games..
Mirka is proving to be a real asset to the side with a third win in four games. She seems to excel in obtaining a modest material edge, but setting opponents so many problems that they tend to be pushed into severe time trouble as here..
That left our redoubtable captain playing in the deciding game on Board 1.  Roly said he missed a winning move at one time.  Things descended into a great time scramble, with both players alternately in worse trouble.   But Roly kept his nerve to administer mate and get his third win, giving the team the match, despite being outgraded  on every board..
This win lifts Wantage 1 to  the comfort of exact mid-table on 5 points from 4 ties

Report by George Spalding