12 FebWigston 2vShepshed 2
  4 - 1  
1 B 189 Morley, Andrew ½ - ½ Henfrey, Robert 173
2 W 187 Horspool, Philip 1 - 0 McDermott, Patrick 159
3 B 183 Ward, Alan ½ - ½ Farrall, David 150
4 W 165 Norton, Craig 1 - 0 Harrison, Graham 135
5 B 165 Harlow, Phil 1 - 0 Bennett, Kevin 136
With several regulars not available we travelled with hope rather than expectation but still determined to give our best on the night. Wigston as usual fielded a very strong team from their vast resources and outgraded us by around 27 points per board.
On one Bobby had his usual tactical battle with Andy and although building up a large time advantage and complicating the position to a great extent was unable to force a win and the point was shared. On 2 I had an interesting battle with Phil with both of us feeling that we were worse at certain points during the game. After withstanding significant early pressure I managed to exchange Queens but although material was level I was unable to coordinate my pieces and greater space and clever play saw Phil run out the winner.
On 3 Dave always had a slight initiative but with Alan defending stoutly Dave could not quite force his way through and drew. Graham lost a very strange game on 4, all minor pieces were exchanged early on and with both sides striving to break through Craig infiltrated with his Queen and it was quickly over.
On  5 Kevin looked to be doing ok until a minor error allowed Phil to set up a massive central pawn roller with enabled him to break through with multiple threats to win.
A disappointing match in many ways but matches against Wigston are never easy!      
11 FebThurnby 2vShepshed 3
  3 - 1  
1 B 137 Tate, Michael ½ - ½ Farrall, David 150
2 W 132 Busby, Michael 1 - 0 Harrison, Graham 135
3 B 121 Collins, RF (Bob) ½ - ½ Bennett, Kevin 136
4 W 119 Pratt, Dave 1 - 0 **DEFAULT** ?

Our 3rd team default bottom board and suffer a defeat to Thurnby 2. Now just 3 points ahead of Ashby 3 but played 3 more games.



05 FebShepshed 1vWigston 1
  2½ - 2½  
1 B 181 Toothill, Andrew ½ - ½ Morley, Andrew 189
2 W 169 Bowley, Rupert ½ - ½ Horspool, Philip 187
3 B 173 Henfrey, Robert ½ - ½ Ward, Alan 183
4 W 165 Toothill, Neil 1 - 0 Dodds, Iain 158
5 B 135 Harrison, Graham 0 - 1 Norton, Craig 165
Always a close match and this was no exception. Wigston had their two top players missing but are always a good side. We gave Graham a run out with the first team as he has had some good results recently.
I was the first to finish. I had a good time advantage and started a king side attack. Alan played some good counter moves and we eventually had ten minutes each left and an incredibly complicated postion. I was a rook up for a bishop but Alan had a pawn on the sixth rank and potential breakthrough on the kingside. The game would have been decided with time trouble blunders and so we agreed a draw. Even in the cold light of day, it is difficult to know who is better!
Andrew then agreed a draw. It looked like Andy was going to launch a kingside attack so Andrew broke open the centre with c6 and got a lot of play. As the game went into time trouble Andrew was a pawn down but had enough play and a good draw was agreed.
Graham on board 5 had a strange game. His opponent Craig had doubled knight pawns on both wings but had the rook files open as compensation. Come move 16 all four rooks had not moved! The rest of the board was pretty much stonewalled. As the game wore on, Graham allowed a knight into his position and had to give a rook up for it. After that the game was slowly lost.
Neil on board four had all the play and a good kingside attack. He had all the tactics in the game and Iain had to use a lot of time up taking great care. Despite holding the position, the time and complications eventually got the better of Iain and he lost on time. A well play game by Neil and yet another win!
Rupert had to exchange a pair of bishops and knights just out of the opening. This left him with a backward 'c' pawn which Phil put under pressure with his rooks and queen. Rupert comfortably held it with his rooks and queen. As time pressed a draw was agreed which was a fair result.
So a drawn match and a point each for the teams. So Wigston 2 is the next match. Our clubs seem to play each other every week!
R.D. Henfrey