Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Division 3 Title Race Going To Last Match Of The Season

The Division 3 title race won't be decided until the final match of the season when Fenton travel to Alsager and needing a win to become Champions. We were extremely fortunate to beat bottom of the table Kidsgrove on Monday evening. Midway through the evening we looked to be heading for a surprise loss and the end of our title hopes. Steve and Neal agreed grandmaster draws early on in the evening on Boards 3 and 4. At this stage Rob's game on Board 2 looked very even and a draw the likely outcome. However, knowing that Derrick was in a bad position on Board 1 he had no option but to go for the win to try to salvage something from the match. He launched a king side attack, culminating in a Knight sacrifice, and forced his opponent to resign when faced with the prospect of the loss of his Queen or checkmate. So not for the first time this season Rob found an unlikely win to dig the team out of a hole. His game will be published on the website in the next day or so. Derrick was the victim of a Bishop sacrifice on Board 1 and his game looked totally lost. He had to give the piece back a few moves later but found himself 3 pawns down. Fortunately, his opponent was very short on time and Derrick kept things complicated to give himself a chance. This proved to be the right strategy as there was no possibility of his opponent winning in the couple of minutes he had remaining and he agreed a draw, thus giving us the match by 2.5 - 1.5. We were hoping that Holmes Chapel Pawns would do us a favour by taking something from their match against Cheddleton 'D'. Unfortunately they failed to do this, going down by 3-1. This leaves Cheddleton a point in front of us still but having completed all of their fixtures. We now go to Alsager at the beginning of May needing a draw to share the title or a win to take it outright.