Rock Cup Quarter Final – Lee Collier vs Dave Wightman
It was another action packed game as Dave Wightman took on Lee Collier for a place in the Semi Finals of this year’s Rock Cup. Playing black but with home advantage, Dave Wightman got off to the traditional slow start, allowing white to develop a strong centre and superior development. Both sides played relatively experimental openings, but it is probably safe to say that any time black plays both Nb8 and Ng8 in the first ten moves, it isn’t going well. With white having a firm control over the centre and threats on the kingside, the black king castled long to the relative safety of the queenside. Behind interlocked pawns, but facing massing white pieces, the peace didn’t last long. White sacrificed a knight for two pawns to break open the position and there followed an extended period of scrambling defence as white tried to pour through the breech. Black’s queen and a rook were tied down to holding back the white pawn advance, while minor pieces circled the fray probing for weaknesses. As the tension built, white sacrificed a pawn, and then another pawn, to progressively dismantle the black defences. However, when the attack finally subsided, the black king emerged unscathed from the wreckage of the queenside and with a piece advantage.
The game was far from over, however, as black pressed forwards for a further 20 moves with a material advantage and white defended resolutely. Eventually, the mounting pressure of an advancing passed pawn told and black gained the opportunity to win a piece. However, this opportunity was missed and black’s ineffectual attempts to try to break through were eventually halted by white’s flag falling. So, Dave Wightman advances once again thanks to a large slice of luck. Thanks are due to Lee Collier for a tremendously exciting game, played in a great spirit of sportsmanship. Good luck for the rest of the season.
By Dave Wightman