|Posted on February 16, 2014 at 10:00 PM|
The club has had a relatively successful 2013. As we move into 2014 here is a look back at some of the key moments for the club in 2013.
The David Buckley stalemate - the most important stalemate in Brewood's history
The club has being going 34 years and there have been a few stalemates over the years involving the club, but none quite as important as this one. Infact even in the entire history of chess I would struggle to recall a stalemate as important as this one!! It saved the B team from certain relegation to division 4 of the Wolverhampton Chess League.
On Tuesday 12th February 2013 the Brewood B team played against Rushall C at home in the Wolverhampton Chess League Division 3 match. So far the 2012-2013 season for the Brewood B team had being a close, competitive season with different individual players doing well in different matches, but not enough of us doing well in the same matches to produce match wins.
However it had also being quite a bad season if the website was being honest. After 8 matches in the league the B team still only had 1 win and 2 draws with 5 defeats to its name, and only 4 points. To prove the point that the season had being close and competitive 3 of those 5 defeats had being by the margin of 3-2 the narrowiest margin of defeat, but that counted for nothing in the league table.
All was not lost though, and the match against Rushall C was a chance to secure a vital win and put ourselves out of danger. The bottom of the league also involved Walsall Kipping B, as well as the opponents Rushall C. With Rushall C also in relegation trouble the Brewood B team realistically had to get something out of this match to have any chance of staying in Division 3 for the next season.
With 4 boards out of 5 finished, producing a win each for Brewood and Rushall and two draws, the scoreline was locked at 2-2 and it came down to board 1 to decide the match. The top board was David Buckley playing for us, against Nigel Parker playing for Rushall.
A relegation for the B team would have been tough to take, but a 4th defeat by the scoreline of 3-2 looked on the cards. In football the R that appears next to teams in the league tables near the end of the season is a sort of final confirmation that a team has being relegated. I was getting ready to do the same on our website, as it looked certain David Buckley would lose his match.
David Buckley had just his King left. The incident was well documented at the time, but on reflection David Buckley had every right to play on, and Nigel had enough material and time to win. Nigel had promoted two pawns into queens, upon the 2nd pawn promotion he had a combination of two queens and a King blocking the 8 squares around David's King, but not checking the King itself.
There really was no need for the 2nd pawn promotion, and the incident reflects on why I suggest we teach juniors at the club the Queen and King v King checkmate using the knights checking distance technique. It is the best method, and once learned properly leads to a win 100% of the time.
In the end the result didn't affect Rushall C as they would have got relegated anyway, but it did affect us and Walsall Kipping. The Walsall Kipping C team had won division 4, and were denied promotion because of the fact that Walsall Kipping B had being relegated to division 4.
In practice the relegation for Walsall Kipping B, and the promotion for Walsall Kipping C had canceled each other out. Had David Buckley being checkmated then Walsall Kipping C could have got their promotion, as Brewood would have been relegated to division 4 and not Walsall Kipping B. Brewood were virtually certain of the drop, but had somehow escaped for now at least.
The website might have reflected on how important the stalemate was, but the website's review of the stalemate can not really do justice to explain just how the situation developed thoughout the evening. You really had to be there to know that. For those that weren't all I can say is that from time to time the story will be retold by the members who were there for years to come.
The Mircale Escape is complete
After escaping with a match draw against Rushall it then came down to the final match on Tuesday 5th March 2013 against Halesowen away for the B team. Before the match we knew that only a victory would do. This would be tough as perviously our A team had lost away against Halesowen. Even if we got the win, we then had to rely on another result, Walsall Kipping to lose against Wolverhampton.
The Brewood team were heavily outgraded, infact Halesowens bottom board outgraded our top board. With all the drama of the David Buckley stalemate against Rushall it can easily be forgotten how impressive a victory we got at Halesowen to secure our place in division 3 for the 2013-2014 season.
Despite being outgraded by a combined total of 118 across all 5 boards, with a points difference of between 21-26 on every board, the Brewood team managed to produce an upset against Halesowen for a 3-2 victory. Comparing the escape to a Harry Houdini escape might have been understating it a bit. It was more like a David Buckley escape!
In truth the Halesowen players did make mistakes, Andrew Davies opponent gifting Andrew a rook, and my own opponent could have supplied a photo image for google for people to find when they search: "Bad Bishop." David Buckley's opponent resigned from what the Halesowen player thought was a losing position, but was probably a winning position.
Captain Paul Guest was the last match to finish, the entire season for the B team, coming down to the final board in the final match. There wasn't much pressure on him then. Apart from the background chatter amongst the players which was whispered but I know from experience that he must have been aware of the situation. Also the fact that the whole team had gathered round his board to watch him.
We needed him to draw to survive relegation. If he lost the team would then be relegated. There had been several instances in the season for the B team where the match had gone down to the final board, one had being won, some drawn, the rest of them lost. He played quite calmly in the most extreme conditions and a draw was agreed with the board in a drawish position.
Then Walsall Kipping managed to lose against Wolverhampton away and the escape from relegation albeit via board count was complete. The mircale escape had been completed. Phew!
Coming up next
This website has not turned into some sort of TV show, but in the next part of the 2013 review the website will look at how the Dudley League Trophy was won, and at how the A team achieved promotion.
There was also the worst ever move (possibly) made in the entire history of chess by David Blower, and live boards being used at the club during the summer league game with Cannock.