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Town chess club shock reigning champions
Andover Chess Club pulled off a shock 3-2 victory over 2013 champions, and 2014 champions elect, University A.
They have been toying with relegation all season but this has given them a massive boost towards avoiding it.
Stuart Knox was the catalyst for the win with a brilliant win on board two as at that time Andover were trailing 1.5-0.5.
In time trouble, with 18 moves to make in ten minutes and two pawns down, Stuart turned defence into attack when his opponent over extended himself without developing enough of his pieces first.
Stuart’s pieces were all active, while his opponent’s two rooks were on their starting squares as was his king. The king was the target and Stuart exploited this to the full, breaking through with knight, rook and queen and forcing a resignation with seconds to spare when he forced a knight fork on king and queen.
That win changed the momentum of the match. Terry Gray played soundly on board four to secure a very good draw despite his opponent appearing to have a slightly edge with more active pieces.
On board one Paul Hackman turned what appeared to be a certain draw into an excellent victory against someone who has been a thorn in his side over the last couple of years.
His opponent, perhaps over confident, tried to go for a victory when he would have been better served by trying to hold on for the draw. As a result Paul ended up with two passed pawns in exchange for the loss of the bishop for rook exchange.
The pawns were monsters and would have been forced through for a queen and his opponent, having realised his error, quickly resigned in a lost position.
Earlier in the evening, Dave Thompson secured a good draw on board three.
He appeared to be under pressure, with his opponent having the better of the opening and middle game in the space and activity of his pieces.
However, he swapped off the pieces down to a pawn and bishop end game when the draw was agreed.
Kevin Steele lost a pawn early in his game and was on the receiving end of two marching connected passed pawn backed by two rooks which proved to be unstoppable.
l Andover Chess Club meets on Wednesday nights at the Central Club on East Street. Contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.