Thurs 01 May 2014
Robert Ward Memorial Trophy – Dave Wightman vs Frank Wood
Dave Wightman met Frank Wood in the Final of the Robert Ward Memorial Trophy. It was the second time in three years that the final has been an all-Wolverhampton contest. Dave Wightman won the toss and chose the white pieces. The opening was a Queen’s Gambit Accepted, which led to advanced but scattered black pawns on the queenside. White benefited from the early developmental advantage of the gambit, but this was soon traded back to equalise the material by recapturing the extra black pawn that had made it all the way to c2. No clear advantage went to either side once the material had been recovered, although black’s castled king was more secure than white’s exposed king.
Both players moved quickly and so time was never going to be a factor. As the middle game developed, white tried to apply pressure to black’s inferior pawn structure, while black tried to break into the white position in order to take advantage of the open king. The pressure built on the centre until a crucial pawn pair was exchanged and both queens took the opportunity to move forwards. White’s king was sent scurrying for the corner, while black’s a and f pawns came under pressure from the opposing queen on the seventh rank. In the end, white had sufficient time to take the f and e pawns before black’s mating attack could come to fruition. Once the queens were forced off, black’s attack could not succeed and the two pawn advantage was sufficient to win the game for white.
Thanks are due to Frank Wood, for an exciting game featuring chances on both sides, and to Roy Smith for organising the competition.
Courtesy Dave Wightman