Crystal-ball gazers had long looked to the 22nd January 2007 as a crunch date for the fate of Streatham & Brixton Chess Club's first team in the London League Division 1. The match scheduled for then against Athenaeum, half way through the season, had the potential define the year: a loss and we might be dragged back into a relegation dog-fight, like last year. A draw would be alright - but a win and safety would suddenly really be in sight.
Prophets, however, will have to wait a little longer to know the match result for sure. The good news is that it currently stands at 6-4 to us, with two adjournments. Even better, with Sue looking like she has at least a draw, and Toby's position completely unclear, the odds for a win are currently stacked somewhat in our favour too. Fingers crossed.
In spite of two defaults (one a piece) the match itself saw numerous interesting games, from the chaos caused by Adam FF's Benko, to two nearly won but eventually drawn bishop endgames for Andrew and Steve, to the stunning blunder my opponent blessed our game with, to Robert cruising his way to a won Grunfeld endgame, having barely left his own half of the board. But the best game - and perhaps game of the season already, speculated Martin - was undoubtedly the following effort by Jeremy on board 2. Playing black, he unleased straight out of the opening a swift and decisive sacrificial attack.