For this match, the second friendly against Keswick this season, we were the home team. Again, I tried to match our players strength to theirs but perhaps I underestimated theirs.

As last time, it was to be a 5 board match to be played on our club night with, at Keswick’s request, a time control of one hour plus 15 seconds per move. Perhaps the time control had an affect on the result of the match as three of our players lost, perhaps because they played too quickly. I watched all the games and for the first hour or so, there looked to be no clear advantage for anyone but as time moved on, Keswick gained an edge on three of the boards. Yousef, on board 3 with black, had an attack against Mike Green’s king involving both rooks and a bishop but he overlooked a backward knight move, where Mike took his bishop and forked Yousef’s rooks all in one move and consequently, went on to win. Dave, with black against David Parker, found himself having to parry a mating attack so was forced to give up a rook and resigned soon after. Meanwhile, Richard playing Scott Carling on board 4, after a tough game where most of the pieces were exchanged, manged to get a draw. Board 2, Eggert against Clive Hutchby, looked to be heading that way too until Eggert fell for a cheapo which lost him a piece and eventually, Clive ended up with a piece and a two pawn advantage. This left only one game remaining, board 1, Neil Maxwell, Keswick’s strongest player with white against Jacob our strongest player. Jacob was getting very low on time and had to contend with a strong attack by Clive but his time was well spent as, despite being the exchange down, Jacob managed to conjure up a mating attack which Neil was powerless to stop.




So, we lost again but it was a very close hard fought match. The final score was: Penrith 1½ – Keswick 3½. On the positive side, the Keswick players seemed to enjoy themselves so much that they hoped to do the same next season and even came up with a name for our ‘friendlies’. Well it looks like Keswick will be the first team to have their name engraved on the A66 Cup…perhaps it’s time for us to put less emphasis on diplomacy and more on winning!