Wantage is a market town in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, England. The town is on Letcombe Brook, about 8 miles south-west of Abingdon, a similar distance west of Didcot and 14 miles south-west of Oxford. It is notable as the birthplace of King Alfred the Great in 849 and for having a pretty good Chess Club.
Cumnor 1 had the honor of heading over to Wantage on Tuesday evening (St. Patrick’s Day) for a match. Earlier in the season Cumnor won the reverse fixture, in a match which will be talked about for many years to come, the match report can be found here. This time would the luck of the Irish rub off on us or would we be left looking for answers at the bottom of a pint of Guinness?
Before I start, special thanks go out to David, Steve and Richard who came into the team after a couple of our regulars couldn’t make it, as well as Andrew and Mark who moved up the boards.
Steve was the first to finish on the night, a very early draw which was accomplished by forcing Nicolas in to repeating moves or losing. Mark won his game on board 3, with a lovely tactic which won a Knight and swapped off the remaining pieces into a clearly won endgame but Stephen resigned before it got to that point.
Andrew lost his game on board 2 leaving the match tried after 3 games 1.5 each. My game was the next to finish, which I won. We had reached an equal-ish position as the Rooks came off but I managed to activate my Knights. The position (right) shows the problematic situation Peter was in. David had a decent game but the rating difference took it’s toll and David lost. He did point out that if he had played that game for Cumnor 2 he would have won on time as they only play 75 minutes instead of the 90 played in division 2.
Well, not for the first time this season Richard was the last to finish and the result of the match was going to be decide on this game. Richard had reached a great position but didn’t have much time left. However, with a little work Richard finished George off and got the win for Cumnor. What makes this such an impressive result is that George is 36 Grading points higher than Richard. In fact Cumnor was out-graded (or equal too) on every board!
It was an remarkable result especially as we where down a number of first team regulars.