The match is it’s still in the balance: match card

We beat Cav 2 in a tight match last season, and we expected nothing less this time. Kostya had warned me in advance that he might need to withdraw, and unfortunately this proved to be the case but David Varley kindly stepped in with about 24 hours’ notice. Cavendish were a little weaker than they were for their opening match, and we went 1-0 up when Meri Grigoryan didn’t show on Board 7: Pavel was more than happy to have an early night. Jonathan followed up with a good draw from his Pirc before Peter, making a rare excursion into zone 1, won smoothly. Alan also won and Martin drew which made it 4-1 to us. Nearly there - except not all the remaining games were going our way. Geoff had what seemed like a nice attack going, but it petered out and he was forced to resign a few moves later. Robin was pawns down in a R+B ending and also lost. Nello seemed to be level but in his customary time trouble and it unravelled in the end.

This made it 4-4 when time was called. David was a pawn down for most of the game and has sealed in a 2R + pawns ending where his opponent has got a pawn down to the second rank. It wasn’t looking good for us, but I may be wrong. David - please circulate your position to the team. I have N+3p against B+2p and need to win it. Adjourned position is below, use game selector to open it.

Now below is Alan’s game, annotated by the winner:

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Written by Antony Hall and Alan Hayward

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