Clay Cross Chess Club

Newsletter 12th December

December 9th, Sheffield Div 2:
Clay Cross A 1 v 5 Chesterfield B.
Match Card
Sheffield League Division Two
      Clay Cross A   1 5 Chesterfield B      
1 1499 166 :15 Anthony L Natt W ½ ½ Steven J Burke 175 :04 3689
2 4242 146 :48 Dean M Hartley B 0 1 George Peters 158 :27 1541
3 4316 141 :16 Paul Williams W 0 1 Steve Bracey 152 :30 1801
4 4354 122 :14 Paul Kelman B 0 1 Brian Crofts 135 :33 2805
5 7711 129 :21 Jerome Redhead W 0 1 T Amarnath 136 :12 7193
6 4253 095 :06 Neil Cameron B ½ ½ Ian Edmundson 132 :17 3105

10th December, Derby & District League Div 2

Clay Cross A 4 v 0 Derby/Mickleover
This was an easier match than the one above, but the result  is still rather flattering.

Antony Natt (159) 1    0 Steve Retout (152)
Once again Antony describes his result as lucky! This time a difficult position, with two queens squabbling among a fairly neat arrangement of pawns, ought to have resulted in a draw, given the time factor. But instead it went into a frantic time scramble. Antony deserves, for the 1st time ever, to be awarded the Columbo Board, even though he came victorious from the chaos: Steve left his queen unguarded and en prise at one point. Antony missed it!
Carl Gartside (146) 1    0 Mike Allen (128)      
A confident Carl was first to finish. His record in all competitions this season  is comparable to Antony's. I think he said he hasn't lost in 19 games!
Jerome Redhead (No ECF grade) 1    0 Stephen Lamont (128)                    
Like Carl, Jerome made steady progress towards this victory. Judge for yourself.
Brian Lever (127) 1    0 Andre Cockburn (125)
Like Antony, I was rather lucky! Made a mess of the opening on move 7 and was fortunate to be able to generate a swindle.

Newsletter 11th December

For the club as a whole the last few weeks have been ominous: Clay Cross "A" have lost their last 3 matches in Sheffield Division 2, so that what looked like steady progress towards a respectable and safe Dr. Jekyll position has morphed into the Mr. Hyde germ of relegation struggle (6 points from 16).

Let's hope December 9th was only a brief if bitter low:
Clay Cross A 1 v 5 Chesterfield B.
Dean, Pauls W and K, and Jerome: all either struggled, or came unstuck at the end.
Neil on Board 6 had the best chance, having an easy endgame to win: with a pawn on the 7th, he may have feared putting Ian Edmundson in stalemate (remembering having done the same in his maiden match for the club), overlooking the fact that the latter would merely be zugzwanged into giving his 2 remaining pawns to the executioner. Neil withdrew his King - to avoid the stalemate?? - and Ian, who, clearly resigned to defeat, had even stopped bothering to press his clock, gobbled the pawn-that-would-be-queen, at the same time denying Neil's king access to his own. Draw agreed.

While the foot-soldiers struggled thus, our knight in shining armour continued to stride colossus-like over the proceedings: Antony did give up an exchange for a pawn, but Steve Burke (YCA 175, ECF 171) seemed to understand that the weaknesses inflicted by the sacrifice were compensation enough, and the match's second draw was agreed.

Antony had an even better game in the county match on Saturday. After proposing for some weeks that his long run of success has been due to a lot of luck, Antony at last feels able to say of this game:
"I have to admit this was a better played game although 6 moves before my opponent resigned I thought he had the better game. Let Fritz decide!"

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