Played last night:
1 Horspool, Phil 180 1-0 181 Robinson, John
2 Morley, Andy 173 1-0 158 Bingham, Jim
3 Ward, Alan 173 0-1 159 Sandrovitch, David
4 Watkinson, Phil 159 0-1 156 Colburn, Paul J
5 Dodds, Iain 154 Drawn 0 Gonem, Sherif
calculated score ----2.5 - 2.5 -------------------
For the last match of the season both teams put out their strongest side; the chess played, however, was a lot more variable.
In my game, on board 4, my chess was terrible and easily the worst in a generally horrible season; my position was resignable within 20 moves. Alan, on board 3, wasn't a great deal happier; his loss was only marginally more dignified.
Iain, on Board 5, was also struggling; trying to defend a classic king side attack where the question to onlookers was "how many moves before he is mated?" rather than "can he survive?". But survive he did, at the cost of only one pawn, which Iain confidently steered to a draw.
This was the turning point in the match; on board 2, Andy had an excellent position with a pawn on the seventh rank; but Jim took him to a same coloured bishops ending before accepting defeat.
On board 1, Phil Horspool was a pawn up against John Robinson, also in a same coloured bishops ending, but looking like a draw. In a quick play part of the game, time trouble approached, and Phil was pressing on, and trying to make progress, John taking a lot of time to choose his moves. On a couple of occasions, John offered a draw, to be refused by Phil.
After John's flag fell, he claimed that there was a 3 fold repetition, which could not be verified due to the number of unrecorded moves; Phil, quite understandably, claimed the game.
The quickplay rules are tough, but they are clear. If John thought that the position was a draw and that Phil was only playing on to win on time, then John should have stopped the clock and made that claim; to make claims after your flag has fallen are unlikely to succeed. These two experienced players know this; and although the spirit of chess play may not be advanced, the letter of the quickplay rules support Phil's win.
The match was therefore drawn.
I would like to thank everyone who has played for the Second team this season.