It’s always nice to play an away match within walking distance and this was one of those occasions (the other being Gambit). It was the first time I have played at Nomads venue, the Organ Grinder, and it turned out to be an enjoyable experience (if you ignore the match result). The pub has a nice selection of Blue Monkey real ales.
Upon arrival I was led through a door, up the stairs, to the ‘players’ entrance’. The other entrance is from the outside and this way all the heat is kept in. Unfortunately Mike Swanwick came in through the ‘street’ entrance and let all the heat out anyway.
We were facing a stiff task against the high-flying Nomads team being rather badly outgraded and the result reflected this. Lukasz was facing Rob Parker for the third(!) time this season and the result was depressingly familiar, Lukasz playing very quickly and very quickly losing.
Graham lost on board one against Shane Bhayat and I was under a lot of pressure against Paul Rees so already things were looking bleak. On board 2 Andy Sutton was doing well against Greg Sargent and went a piece up when Greg blundered in Andy’s time pressure. After the time control Andy could have ended matters by forking Greg’s King and Bishop but only saw the win of a Pawn in the time available. Eventually, with only a few seconds left he had to agree a draw.
I was struggling on board 4 but under heavy pressure I found what turned out to be a saving move. There was still a win for Paul but the line, although looking very dangerous, involved temporarily losing a Rook and it was beyond both our calculating abilities to see to the win. After a long think he decided to passively defend a weak Pawn and the attack was gone. I then took over the initiative but Paul had a draw by perpetual check.
After Simon lost on board 5 to Will Eyre, the match finished 4-1 to Nomads.
The consolation was a welcome pint of Blue Monkey ale and I learnt how to play Backgammon.