WDCL 1: Wolverhampton vs Warley Quinborne
Dave Wightman (165) 0.5 – 0.5 Simon Smith (174)
Phil Bull (154) 0.5 – 0.5 Ian Emery (157)
Jonathan Hunt (153) Adj – Adj John Fahy (151)
Frank Wood (151) Adj – Adj Alex Holowczak (139)
Peter Pearson-Jones (140) 0 – 1 Alan Burnet (132)
Peter Griffith (Ung) Adj – Adj David Jeffs (132)
1 – 2 (+ 3 Adj)
Warley Quinborne came to Wolverhampton in the first game of the new year, for what could well turn out to be a relegation decider. Both teams have faced difficulties fielding their first choice teams regularly and are precariously placed towards the foot of the table. As it turned out, the two teams were evenly matched on the night, and some close encounters ensued. Frank Wood went an early pawn down. Although Peter Pearson-Jones went a pawn up, the position quickly became very complex, with multiple threats on the black king, and a queen for rook and bishop exchange was forced by white. Phil Bull and then Peter Griffith both went a pawn up in good positions, giving hope that Wolverhampton might just take the points. Playing the longer time control, Dave Wightman escaped with a draw when he was able to successfully blockade a protected, connected passed pawn in an otherwise level position. Shortly afterwards, Peter Pearson-Jones was unable to hold the position and lost.
The remaining positions held all the way to the adjournment, with Wolverhampton a pawn ahead in three games and a pawn behind in one game. Unusually, each of the four games featured a pair of opposite coloured bishops. Phil Bull agreed a draw on Board 2, putting the match position on the night at 2 – 1 in favour of the visitors, but the remaining three games were adjourned. Thanks are due to Warley Quinborne for some interesting and tightly contested matches, and good luck for the remaining games.