There were two matches at Chandler’s Ford on Tuesday evening, 12th March: the D team in the Division 5 Cup Final against Ringwood C, and the A Team in the Division 3 fixture against University B. Malcolm Clarke reports.
For the division 5 cup final against Ringwood C, Chandlers Ford D were comfortably outgraded on every board with even the Ringwood bottom board being higher graded than the Chandlers Ford top board. It was therefore no surprise that Chandlers Ford suffered a 3-1 defeat in which James Lesniak and Steve Dunleavy the two players playing with the white pieces obtained draws.
Lesniak played very solidly against an experienced player, while technical issues in the latter stages of Dunleavy’s game were resolved by both players agreeing that a drawn game was the fairest outcome. Rob Strachan on board 3 also had a good position going into the end game, but once his opponent won his rook and forced an exchange of queens the game was effectively over.
In contrast the Chandlers Ford A team suffered their fourth 3-2 defeat in five matches when they lost to University B despite being at full strength with all of their players being available and they outgraded the opposition on the two boards in which University fielded a graded player. Phil Overton returning to the team was the sole Chandlers Ford winner with David Holmes and Graham Stuart drawing their games.
However unusually for him David Culliford found himself in a position where his queen was attacked by a knight and he could not move it safely to any square without allowing the knight to fork and win his rook and the handicap of losing a rook proved too much. On board 5 University’s Mo Leily playing against Dick Meredith was for the second time in matches between the teams this season able to turn the match decisively his team’s way by seemingly snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.