Match Report

Match Details
Date Event Home Team Result Away Team
Mon 30th March 2009 Sheffield Division 1 Chesterfield A 4-4 Barnsley A
Board Details
Board Home Player Result Away Player
1 (w) Latham Dave 0-1 Butterworth Andrew
2 Alcock Mike ½-½ Pogson Tony
3 Johnson Michael 0-1 Sheard Martin
4 Housley Steve 1-0 Hinchcliffe Gary
5 Mort Andy ½-½ Hunter Ken
6 Howard Martin ½-½ Greensmith David
7 Bracey Steve 1-0 Farrell Tony
8 Crofts Brian ½-½ Stevens John

SAVE OF THE SEASON: CHESTERFIELD A V BARNSLEY A

Report by David Greensmith

Move over Van der Sar, Reina and Cech !! The best save of the (chess) season, clearly occurred on Monday March 30th when your heroes travelled to Chesterfield. We were without top board Andrew Drabble, but this was balanced by the absence of Chesterfeld's new, very powerful, top board Hubert Mossong (rated over 200) so honours more then even. We lined up Andy, Tony Pogson, Martin, Ken, Gary, myself, Tony Farrell and John against Dave Latham, Mike Alcock, Mike Johnson, Steve Housley, Andrew Mort, Martin Howard, Steve Bracey and that well known regular campaigner, A.N. Other. Chesterfield outgraded us by around 10 points or more, on every board.

Your scribe achieved a "goal-less draw" fairly rapidly against Howard, and I make no apologies for stodging around as I remember Howard being rated 188 at his best. Surely he must retain some of that great ability - at least enough to see me off ?

Finishing early allowed me to view the remaining games at length, and it became apparent that Andy, both Tonys, Gary (maybe still mentally on holiday ?) and Ken were all getting pasted, with only Martin and John holding equality. In the event Tony Pogson manged to somehow salvage a draw from what looked like a hopeless position with Alcock crashing through in the centre, and then Andy Mort remarkably dropped a piece to Ken in clearly won position from his usual d4 bore. With Mort still two connected pawns up for the piece, Ken got the three white feathers out and agreed a draw. Bracey duly finished off Tony Farrell in good style - a fine attack in typical Bracey "take no prisoners" style - and Housleys relentless pressure defeated Gary comfortably. John then agreed a draw in a very even position on bottom board.

So at this stage we stood 2-4 down, with Andy under massive tactical mating pressure on Board One where Latham had chucked the kitchen sink at Andy's K-side castled king in a hairy Sicilian. Running away seemed an eminently sensible option, and Andy somehow got his King clean away to safety on the Queenside, after which a ferocious Queen and Bishop threat alond the a8 to h1 diagonal rapidly finished Latham off. A fascinating game worthy of publishing on the website.

Still 3-4 down, we now needed Martin to somehow win his apparently dead drawn game in the time scramble (Martin was a pawn up, but a doubled pawn and very limited chances). However, in a classic "Portillo moment" (see **) Martin managed to checkmate Johnson with 20 seconds left on his clock, to complete a remarkable recovery to draw 4-4 and further enhance our chances of Division One survival.

In summary, a great save against much stronger opposition !

(** A Portillo moment describes a situation when, when you think things surely cannot get any better, they suddenly do. Named after the Tory MP Michael Portillo. In the 1997 General Election when the Tories were trounced and, for centre-left voters at least, things could surely get no better, Portillo lost his seat at 3 AM).