Oxford City 2 v Wantage 1 (25 January 2016)

Oxford City 2
Score
Wantage 1
1
 March, Mike (171)
1 - 0
 Piggot, Roly (151)
2
 Dixon, Leif (159)
1 - 0
 Hemmings, Peter (149)
3
 Godfrey, David (143)
0.5 - 0.5
 Ashford, Martin (144)
4
 Yates, John O (144)
1 - 0
 Bekris, Nicolas (140)
5
 Biswas, Karl (144)
1 - 0
 Spalding, George H (115)
6
 Smith, Roger A (139)
1 - 0
 Richard, Simon A (129)
Result
5.5 - 0.5
Though City 2 are a strong team this was a real hammering.
 
Your scribe was the first to fall, in yet another double took ending.  But at least in the Frank Wood last week I had been outplayed. This time there was no such excuse.  I fell victim to an elementary trap of the kind I have seen dozens of times, which cost a couple of pawns.  This was just at the point when my opponent confessed he was ready to offer a draw.
 
Peter was under pressure fairly soon and could not recover.
 
Nicolas fell victim to a shot from his opponent who took a pawn with his queen  with check on g6. Our man could not capture the queen with his f-pawn owing to this being pinned by an enemy bishop. Losing the exchange, he soon had to give up.
 
I saw Simon lose the exchange, but a few moves later he won it back. His main problem though was a well supported  passed pawn whose promotion could be stopped only at vast material cost.
 
We had Martin to thank for avoiding a whitewash.  In the minor pieces ending with blocked pawn chains neither player could make progress Martin remains our most successful player this season, the only one of us with a Wantage 1 record over 50%.
 
Roly was under pressure but was staying in the game.  His main problem was time shortage which essentially cost the game.
 
Report by George Spalding