Match Report

Match Details
Date Event Home Team Result Away Team
Wed 29th April 2009 Sheffield Division 1 Ecclesall A 4-4 Barnsley A
Board Details
Board Home Player Result Away Player
1 (w) Adams David ½-½ Drabble Andrew
2 Hempson Peter ½-½ Pogson Tony
3 Stables Gordon ½-½ Sheard Martin
4 Hinchcliffe Gary ½-½ Marley Chris
5 McIntosh Ken ½-½ Hunter Ken
6 Norbury Ken ½-½ Greensmith David
7 Marley James 0-1 Farrell Tony
8 McIntosh Alan 1-0 Stevens John

Match Summary

The last chance saloon had arrived! Needing only two points from their last three games and gaining only one point from their last two games meant that your heroes had to draw this final match to ensure first division safety. Our opponents Ecclesall on the same number of points faced the same predicament.

Woodseats A who came equal first last year before losing a play off for the championship had done what was needed of them earlier in the week. A 6-2 win against Rotherham Juniors A meant a play-off waited either defeated team in this fixture.

Barnsley hoped to line-up with their strongest side fielded the previous week which drew with Chesterfield. Alas Andy Butterworth contracted a case of the trots. Although able captain John stepped in on bottom board all boards apart from the top board had to 'move up'.

All eyes were on Ecclesall - what team would they field? In the end they produced almost their strongest team so honours were about even, a close match was expected. With the stakes so high who would lose their nerve first?

Every player from both teams was aware of the situation. They kept one eye on their game and another on the remaining boards to try to evaluate the match score. It seemed the unsung order of the day was not to lose!

Having assessed the other games as two unclear, two better, one worse and two even, first to draw was yours truly on board three. With most of my pawns being on the same colour as my bishop I had a marginally worse position but no serious weaknesses and difficulties. With mass exchanges on the horizon hands were shaken.

Next to finish was board six in an unclear tactical complex position with chances for both sides. Neither player wanted to risk resigning.

On top board White had sacrificed a bishop for three connected passed pawns and some attacking chances. Black managed to manoeuvre his king to safety on the other side of the board and successfully blockade the pawns. Unfortunately this was all he could achieve and a draw was soon agreed.

Board two saw a bit of monkey business with Whites orang-utan (1.b4) opening winning a pawn with the better game. No sooner had white won the pawn he blundered it back ! Pieces were then exchanged and each team gained another half point from an equal ending.

Nearing the time control two other games on boards four and five were drawn. In both cases White had pressure on the Black position. However both Blacks defended carefully and whittled down Whites advantage in both instances before splitting the points.

Two games were left. Black had the advantage in both games. On bottom board blacks pressure led to the win of a pawn, extra material and the game despite being low on time. Ecclesall had taken the lead ! Barnsley needed to win the last game to draw the match!

The last game on board seven saw Barnsley had the advantage. Blacks pressure finally won him a pawn and then another. Going into the time scramble Black had three pawns against Whites one in a rook and pawn ending. Black after missing one clear win allowed White to counter with the chance of winning a pawn. This pawn was taken but allowed Black to set has own passed pawn in motion costing White his rook and the game.

The match had ended up a draw and both teams were safe!