Last night saw the knaves open their season away to Norfolk and Norwich's new team the Nightingales under the captaincy of Cristina Casti.
On board one Brian took on Cristina in a game that finished very quickly. All minor pieces were traded in the middle of the board and a draw agreed as everything ground to a drawish halt.
The other 3 were all young lasses, on board 2 I took on Eve Boulter-Dolder who is rated 103. I had a horrible game blundering a minor piece early on and castling the wrong side trying to create counterplay. She then played what I and watching Brian agreed was immaculate chess to first suffocate and trap my pieces in defence of the king then force the win. A total stuffing.
Board 3 Ken took on Sasha Mukhtyar and I got to see the latter part of the game. Ken was up a full rook and then found a lovely knight fork on king and queen to win the queen and then the game forcing checkmate well ahead on material and with minutes in the bank.
Board 4 Olly played Shruti Alanoor and I began watching when Olly was a bishop for a pawn up. His opponent managed to win a pawn on the queen side and start a 3 on 1 pawn storm but olly had 2 king side pawns to one (and then none) and the extra piece and his opponent over pushed the storm and the pawns were gobbled leaving Olly to promote to queen and then ladder mate on the h file.
So personally a bag of spanners but the team having waited months for its first win in 2018-19 wins the first game of the new season 2.5 to 1.5 and sit proudly top of the table (for now!).
Cristina says the new n and n team will have a different flavour each time with exams etc taking the girls in and out of availability so it may be a very different nightingales that face the knights!