Thursday, 17 October 2013

Rock Cup Round 1 success for Dave Wightman

Tues 15 Oct 2013

Rock Cup Round 1:

Steve Heath (117) vs Dave Wightman (165)

Dave Wightman travelled to Rugeley with some trepidation, to open this year's  assault on the Rock Cup, having gone out of the competition at the same stage last year.  As a result, he was probably unnecessarily cautious in the opening, which led to a modest space and development advantage as white, but nothing concrete.  As the middle game developed, black enjoyed attacking chances against the advanced white centre and sacrificed a pawn in order to build up a dangerous attack.  With the white king still trapped in the centre, black centralised his rooks and then sacrificed a piece in order to break the position open.  In the ensuing carnage, white was fortunate to emerge unmated and with a rook for bishop material advantage.  The position remained complicated but, with time running out, black misplaced a rook and resigned immediately.  However, the narrowness of the winning margin belied the theoretical grading differential in what was in reality a very closely fought game.  Thanks to Steve for an excellent game and good luck in the Bidgood Cup.

By Dave Wightman

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

County Chess : Wolverhampton Chess Club members

Sat 05 Oct 2013

County Match – Greater Manchester vs Staffordshire

Dave Wightman took part in Staffordshire’s first county match of the season away at Greater Manchester.  The teams were very evenly matched and so a close contest was in prospect.  Dave got the better of the opening, as black, and left white with an isolated pawn in the centre.  However, he was unable to capitalise on the position and could never bring sufficient pieces to bear on this structural weakness.  Over time, white was able to stabilise and eventually dominate the centre and, with the time control approaching, he broke through to win the exchange, albeit at the cost of the lone pawn.

Dave held on, blockading the centre with his bishop pair and preventing white’s rooks from getting into the position.  As white manoeuvred for the win, his clock ticked down to a dangerous position, at which point the draw was agreed.  This was one of eight draws.  There were wins for David Anderton, John Staniforth and David Pritchard but, with a total of five losses, the match was lost 9 – 7.  Well done to Greater Manchester for some fine games played, and to the caterers for a fine spread including a wide selection of cakes.

By Dave Wightman

Friday, 11 October 2013

BDCL Div 2 10/10/2013: Wolverhampton battle against South Birmingham B

BDCL Div 2 Wolverhampton vs South Birmingham B

10 October 2013

Mike Townsend (187)   1 – 0      Faraz Malik (152)
Dave Wightman (165)    1 – 0      Ralf Weber (151)
Phil Bull (154)                0 – 1      Sean Ralph (151)
Frank Wood (151)        0.5 – 0.5  Terry Walker (149)
Phil Porter (136)            0.5 – 0.5   Mark Drugan (148)
Gordon Sands (120)      0 – 1       Derek Stockhall (134) 
                                                3 – 3

Wolverhampton’s third match began badly, with Gordon Sands going an early pawn down and losing quite quickly.  The remaining games remained level for much of the evening.  Dave Wightman eventually managed to convert a superior pawn structure into a pawn advantage and was able to close out the win to level the match.  Mike Townsend went a pawn ahead in the run up to the first time control, but this advantage was neutralised soon afterwards.  Phil Porter went a pawn ahead, as did Phil Bull, leading to some optimism of a positive result to the match as the second time control approached.  Mike Townsend finally managed to win on Board 1, in a multiple passed pawn ending.  Frank Wood drew but Phil Porter was unable to queen the last remaining pawn and the game ended in a draw.  So, 3 – 2 ahead and a pawn up in the ending of the last match,  Phil Bull was unlucky to miss a key defensive move which allowed one of the black passed pawns to queen and the game was lost.  A 3 - 3 draw on the night, which was probably a fair result given the similarity in grades between the teams, leaves Wolverhampton comfortably mid table.  Thanks to South Birmingham for some interesting games and good luck for the rest of the season.

By Dave Wightman