Didcot 1 v Wantage 1 (13 December 2017)

Didcot 1
Wantage 1
 Oldhnovics, Andrejs (180)
1 - 0
 Litwiniec, Miroslawa (154)
 Cooper, Bernard (147)
0.5 - 0.5
 Piggott, Roly (153)
 Robins, Andrew (143)
0.5 - 0.5
 Ashford, Martin (139)
 Ashley, Peter (141)
0.5 - 0.5
 Spalding, George (119)
 Webb, Andrew (139)
1 - 0
 Richards, Simon (117)
 Jacobs, Robert (131)
1 - 0
 Cordon, Ray (78)
4.5 - 1.5
Neither we nor Didcot were at full strength last night but Didcot still managed to outgrade us by an average of 20 points, so the result is no disgrace, especially as Mirka, George and Ray all lost 15 minutes on their clocks due to traffic disruption on the way to the match.

I was the only member of our team to have the luxury of playing a lower-graded opponent but it didn't feel like it as Bernard Cooper managed to turn my attempt to play the modern Benoni into something more like a Queen's Indian, reminding me why I gave up playing that defence!  I hung on and eventually managed to exchange down to a drawn ending, much to my relief.

Simon and Ray had both finished by the time I had time to look around; Ray told me he made a mistake in move order in the Marshall gambit against the Ruy Lopez and his determined rearguard action failed to save him.  Martin's game looked fairly even throughout and, though his opponent tried to develop some pressure on the kingside, Martin was able to simplify into a drawn position.

The two most interesting games of the evening were those of Mirka and George.  Mirka seemed to have a promising position out of the opening but apparently went wrong in complications, possibly due to time pressure, and eventually lost on time in what had become a hopeless position.  George played the Albin countergambit and soon reversed the time deficit but in a complicated position with both kings exposed he failed to find a killer punch and, with the match decided, settled for a draw.
Report by Roly Piggott