Apologies for late report but my laptop blew a fuse last night and refused to work. Well, the news is that the amazing Bishops scored their first match win last night. We were up against Wymondham Eagles and they had to fly home with only 1.5 points in the nest.
First to the bar finish was Phil who played Eric Bradley. It was particularly dark and shadowy on Board 4 and it was difficult to see what was going on. Note to self: must try and find the electrical extension leads. Phil playing white seemed to have all the pressure on Eric's Kingside and the Bishops first win was in the bag.
Simon played Bodo Rissmann who used to be graded much higher a few years ago and is certainly capable of playing a strong game. The game was agreed a draw with still quite a few pieces on the board.
Richard playing White was drawn against the more highly graded Neil Hickman (140) and the game was fairly level until they both had a rook and 5 pawns each. But superb endgame play from Richard meant that he got a connected pass pawn and Neil threw in the towel.
Wymondham was unable to field Cor Dekker on Board 1 and Robert Rickard (142) stepped in to face our Templars transfer Nathan. Well, this was a helluva game and at the end a sizeable group of onlookers gathered to see the finish. Earlier in the game, Nathan had won one of Robert's bishops but for the cost of 2 pawns. He was under severe pressure and the positions were very complicated. However, at the end Nathan moved a rook and unfortunately left his queen en prise and it was all over.
There were some excellent games last night and I ask all of the players to send them in to me and if possible, some of our top players might like to write a few comments on them.
All in all it was a good night and it's good night from me (but it's morning!)
All the best
PS. The Bishops are now 6th= in Division 2
St John's Bishops v Wymondham
Massively out graded - well, on boards one and two, and languishing rather elegantly at the foot of the table with no wins no draws and four losses, the Bishops brought in "The Riddler" Nathan on board one to combat the 160 plus Cor Decker (Nathan had got a draw against him earlier in the season and in fact had the upper hand in that game).
Gerry sportingly dropped himself to allow The Riddler in, but hey, what was this? There was no Cor Decker....instead he had to face another 150 plus guy.
Anyway, Gerry politely told everyone not to piss in the women's' bog, and battle commenced with our brother team The Knights on the other side of the room who were facing Lowestoft in a Division Three clash.
I didn't see any of Simon or Phil's game, but Simon drew and Phil won.
My own game against 144 Neil Hickman was a trip down groundhog day, seemingly for every game played this season. Gerry and Fritz can confirm it. Crap opening as white...didn't know what I was doing in the middle game....a losing endgame...rooks swarming in for the kill....and then...and then.
Salvation! Firstly, the threat of going a central pawn down vanished, then the swarming rook threat crumpled and suddenly the draw offer came in with my five minutes versus his forty five. I turned down a draw offer for the first time in donkeys ears. It felt good! However, I was now in passed pawn territory and with the final pieces going, he had no option but to resign.
Nathan on board one was doing really well and had a minor piece for two pawns, but he seemed cramped up and it was tough to get his pieces out. With not much time left he left his queen enprie and it was all over. But as Gerry said "it was a very watchable game and far more gripping than the Carlsen affair."
So, we won our first game of the season and this victory propelled us a couple of places up the table to where four or five teams lay congested all with around eight points.
Next game is in December against fellow strugglers Kings Lynn.