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On Tuesday 3rd the Second Team entertained Nomads 2 and it started out looking like a straightforward victory as Mike Swanwick rang up twenty minutes before the match start to tell us that they only had three players. Also we were pretty much at full strength (I had left myself out). However, chess being chess, things didn’t quite turn out as planned. They eventually turned up with four players and we started off well, Andy’s opponent blundering a Rook and resigning to add to the default point. Lukasz faced Rob Parker again, the player who had checkmated him quickly a week before. This time he made much more of a game of it but was outplayed to give Nomads a point back.

Pat had a tough game with Mike Swanwick who seems to be playing for all three Nomads teams. I had taken on the role of ‘irritating observer’ and when Pat agreed a draw I wasted no time in showing him a move he had missed that led to – a different draw!

Graham was, as ever, the last to finish and with both players short of time his opponent, Graham Neil, showed great composure to bring home the full point and draw the match.

A week later, both the First and Third teams played at home against Uni 2 and 4. It was pretty cramped in our upstairs room. Added to this was the unique King Billy atmosphere with a folk group downstairs and a woman with an incredibly annoying laugh somewhere outside.

I didn’t see much of the Third Team’s games as I couldn’t physically get to that end of the room. Alex was the first to finish with a crushing win. She later told me that she had ‘checkmated him at least 5 times’ which I took to mean that she had enjoyed an enduring initiative. The match finished drawn.

Unfortunately the First Team unexpectedly lost 3-2 with both Alan and John uncharacteristically losing on the top two boards. Andy had a small advantage from the opening but made a mistake in recapturing with the Queen instead of a Pawn and his opponent took full advantage with two connected central passed pawns eventually deciding the game. Steve and Graham both won well but it wasn’t enough to save the game.

Still, as is the Central way, the night finished with some rousing choruses of ‘Rolling Home’ from me, Andy and Simon before we eventually did roll home.

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