Mutual Circle were without a number of regular players for this Birmingham League clash. As a result, they faced an uphill task, facing a grading deficit of just under 26 points per board. Jonathan Hunt was the first to break ranks, sacrificing a rook for bishop in order to generate an attack. Frank Wood also offered a gambit pawn in the opening, but Peter Pearson-Jones went an early pawn ahead. In the early middle game, Dave Wightman gained a piece, due to a decisive check in the middle of a minor piece exchange, and Mike Townsend gained a pawn which soon became passed.
With the time control approaching, Dave Wightman was able to exchange off the last of the major pieces to win, while Frank Wood executed an exchange sacrifice to break through against his opponent. Jonathan Hunt managed to conclude his attack, for three wins in quick succession. Phil Bull’s opponent managed to reach the first time control, but with just a few seconds left on the clock, while Mike Townsend gained a second pawn, also passed, and won shortly afterwards. Phil Bull went a pawn ahead in the endgame and, with passed pawns on either wing, was able to close out the match. Finally, Peter Pearson-Jones went two pawns up, winning on time shortly afterwards at the second time control.
So, a resounding win for Wolverhampton, which keeps alive their slender hopes of promotion to Division 1. Thanks are due to Mutual Circle for putting up strong resistance in a difficult situation, and good luck for the rest of the season.
By Dave Wightman