The Crusaders played their first division 1 match for a number of years and gave a good account of themselves even though we eventually went down 1-3 to a decent Dons Buccaneers side.
With Sebastian missing out due to illness, Javier stepped in to face tough opposition in his first league match for St Johns. On bd4, Javier got himself in trouble quite early but determinedly, battled on a piece down to force Jim McAvoy to play accurately to avoid a number of tricks and traps. After about 2hours of play Javier finally succumbed and resigned.
On bd3, Nigel faced Dave Hall with the black pieces and got a good position out of the opening. Nigel reported that he made one inaccurate move and Dave punished him and converted it into a win. Unlucky Nigel, but a great effort!
My game on bd2 was against Alex New was looking promising with white having a slight edge for most of the game. Both of used a lot of time on the clock and the position got very complicated. I chickened out of a knight sac because I couldn't confidently calculate the lines - Fritz tells me it would have been better than what I played.
Meanwhile, on bd1 Dan was in defensive mode against Phil Bonafont who had a strong attack. I could hear Phil offering draws so I got up to look at the board. It looked unclear but Dan had survived and had chances. I returned to my game hoping to find a win.
Dan played on a few more moves and Phil made another draw offer. Dan thought carefully, then accepted. Afterwards, Dan said it had been a high tension game.
Alex offered me a draw and I asked him to make his move first. He made a move but didn't offer so I made my move and offered the draw. He sat and thought for about 7 minutes. While he was thinking I was seeing all sorts of things that could go wrong, but he eventually accepted - to my relief!
An exciting evening at the Coachmakers - it promises to be a tough season ahead.