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.
Well, that should be safety provided the defaults don't continue. I seem to remember that three and a half points was enough last season - and that it was an abnormally high score required to stay up anyway.
Also, it should help that the Cavendish II game is very late in the season so they'll have to play without first-team players "doubling up"!
Yep, I looked up the relegatees of prior years:
2004-5: Wanstead 1, Richmond 1/2
2003-4: W'don 1, Hackney seconds 1/2
2002-3: B&C 2, us 1
Anyway, pleasing to see how a team prospers as soon as I'm not playing for it....
I don't suppose you might play for Wood Green next year, eh!?
Seriously though, the reason for the improvement is obvious - in our two fixtures this year that we won but lost last year, Susan was on board 1 this year. It's made everybody else's games just a touch easier, and that's the difference.
I heard Streatham was attributing its success to someone called Tom playing much more regularly for them. What's your score so far?
I'd just like to say I think Jeremy's game was stunning.
Nice one, Jeremy!
CP - aw, I sometimes I explain it that way too, just . . . after five pints!
I'm on 4/6 for the first team, which is ok.
By the way...
Prophets, however, will have to wait a little longer to know the match result for sure.
Isn't the whole point of a prophet that they prophesy, rather than waiting to know for sure?
Ah. But their prophesy was: "Match Versus Athenauem On All Fate Depends" - not the actual result! That's a direct quote incidentally from some guy in a bar I dreampt about once.
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