YP Article 22 – 12th March 2016

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The top division of the Yorkshire league, the Woodhouse Cup, saw the top two teams face off last week as York RI A travelled to Sheffield A. York had won every game so far this while Sheffield had only dropped one draw, so a win for Sheffield was crucial. Sheffield posted a strong line-up but York were very well-armed, boasting 3 IMs on the top three boards!

The first game didn’t finish until close to 3 hours into the day’s play. Sheffield took a 1.5-0.5 lead thanks to Dave Latham forcing his opponent into desperate time trouble where he fell apart. The first really major swing in the match came when IM Richard Palliser launched a fierce attack and managed to land a killer punch against his opponent. Further wins from Gavyn Cooper, Detlef Plump and Chris Ross (see today’s puzzle) saw York open up an unassailable lead. The last two games to finish were well-played draws on the top two boards.

This result puts York three points ahead of the chasing pack with only two games to go and are near-certainties to take the title now. Meanwhile the relegation battle remains very tight and should go right to the wire.

The Winning Move

O’Driscoll-Ross, Sheffield 2016. White needs to restore the material balance but should he play Qxe6 or axb4?  Last week: Answer: White played 28.Rxb6?? which was met by 28…Bc5! Presumably Navara thought he could escape with 29.Rb8+ but the shot 29…Rd8+! is a counter-check and White resigned.

O’Driscoll-Ross, Sheffield 2016. White needs to restore the material balance but should he play Qxe6 or axb4?
Last week: Answer: White played 28.Rxb6?? which was met by 28…Bc5! Presumably Navara thought he could escape with 29.Rb8+ but the shot 29…Rd8+! is a counter-check and White resigned.