Our Richardson Cup defence began and ended at the quarter final stage. We had a tough draw, away to Glasgow Polytechnic. Things were not looking good after a couple of hours play, and we were under pressure on a number of boards. We showed great fighting spirit to stay within striking distance – Kafka winning from a dubious looking position, and Oswald taking great risks to also net a point. We were still a bit behind – with 2 games to play we were a point behind. MacQueen had decent winning chances, but I was a pawn down in a Rook Ending to John Shaw. I expected to suffer, but defended well and even came up with a sneaky trap:
Now if White plays 1.Rf3??, Black has 1…g2 2.Rg3 and now the deflection 2…Rf3+! forces promotion. John played 1.Rf1, and after 1…Kxf6 2.Rg1 Rf3+ 3.Kb4 Kg5 a draw was soon agreed as both sides will give up their Rooks for the remaining pawns.
John said afterwards that he nearly played 1.Rf3! I’m not sure how close he actually was, but that was probably the last moment where victory was possible. Calum’s game was also eventually drawn, so the final result was:
Polytechnic 4.5-3.5 Edinburgh
Colin McNab 1-0 Clement Sreeves (W)
John Shaw draw Neil Berry
Vitalijs Samolins draw Calum MacQueen
Iain Swan draw Andrew Green
Larry Kirk 0-1 David Oswald
Algirdas Tiuninas 1-0 Hugh Brechin
Elaine Bamber 1-0 Raj Bhopal
Joseff Thomas 0-1 Graeme Kafka
So congratulations to Polytechnic. They will be hard to stop this year.
Home Director Keith Rose has tried to instigate a consolation tournament for the Richardson Cup losers. A very good idea in principle, but there hasn’t been too much interest. We will play one match at least, against last years’ finalists Edinburgh West next month at the club.