Going into the match, we were missing some familiar and friendly faces. However, we managed to field a full team by welcoming some of our B Team regulars. We had 2 new players making their debut performances: Julien and Dubgie.
Admittedly we would likely need some good results on the top boards to secure a match win, however this is not always so easy to accomplish.
The results started to come in and Julien had a tough game where he was “literally out of theory on move 4”. He unfortunately went on to lose leaving us off to a 0 – 1 start. Shortly after Fergus played a solid game making a nice draw.
Some would say the highlight of the match was getting the chance to finally witness Dubgie in action. His opponent attempted to play with an isolated pawn which Dubgie favourably (for at least one of the players involved) transformed into an excellent hanging pawns structure, although not necessarily backed my computational analysis I consider it a brilliant psychological ploy, lulling his opponent into a false sense of security. It seems on the day, he was only able to self-actualise into Drawgie and conceded a draw in an equal(ish) rook endgame.
This left the 3 Gold Certified ECF Members to battle it out, requiring 2.5/3 to win the match. On Board 1, James played a good game against Max who is a tricky opponent, eventually converting a Knight Endgame 2 pawns up after solving a difficult philosophical question:
Dan played masterful game although I think this became more apparent to everyone involved after the fact when we analysed in the pub. This left the score 3 – 2 to the University with everything to play for in the final game remaining.
Tom remained and his game was highly complex, leaving any result possible. Unfortunately the result was not the one we needed and after falling victim to what is only fair to call a “continuous lapse in judgement” he went on to lose. As a side note I would recommend investing in some new shoes, New Balance have reached out for a sponsorship deal if you’re interested (they make great, inaudible trainers).
This resulted in a final score of 3 – 3, for which all things considered is a great result. Many thanks to those who stepped up and helped us on towards our goal. Next week we are up against Bath, where I feel the likely result is University A 3.5 – 2.5 Bath A but that remains to be seen…