It's said that human beings can turn almost any pain into a pleasure. And lo, despite the fact I knew I was getting battered -with the computer at one point evaluating my position as 13.74 pawns to the worse- I can now recall my rather lucky draw against Richmond, from November 3rd for our First Team in the London League, with a certain smile. Why? Because it enabled our depleted first team -albeit ably reinforced with third teamers- to win the match by the narrowest of margins: 6½ to 5½.
And on the subject of narrow margins and depleted teams, the two adjourned games from our first team match versus Cavendish Firsts from the 23rd October have both concluded, and we've won that one 6½ to 5½ as well. Those with particularly alert mental calendars may recognize that date as clashing with the European Team Championships - the reason in this case for a far weaker than usual Cavendish team turning out. Still, it's a great result for our first team who now sit a remarkable second in the table.
The news from our second and third teams, in the third and fourth divisions of the London League respectively, is a bit more mixed. Our second team lost to Wimbledon 2 on November 20th by the fairly devastating score of 1½ to 5½ (with three adjourned) and I don't think there's any kind of way to turn that pain into a pleasure. The news from the third team is a bit more promising however. They lead their match from Monday 16th against West London 2 by the score of 4-2, with two games adjourned. And both the adjourned games feature rook endgames which, if the saying is correct, are always drawn - thus a victory looks reasonably likely. Don't forget you can see the league tables here and here.
The news from the Croydon Leagues is also mixed. In Division 2 our second team managed a draw on November 18th versus Coulsdon Seconds, but the First Division match a day later sees us leading 2-1 with one game to be adjudicated - which to my eyes does not look losable. Still, as you may have gathered my eyes aren't always the most accurate witness to events on the chess board, and indeed my game from that evening provides more evidence of that: at one point the computer evaluated my position as 7.80 pawns to the worse, and again I joyfully went on to draw. With this much karma floating around, I guess I'm due more than one totally painful loss!