Pontefract maintain excellent start

Pontefract have won their first two matches in Yorkshire Chess League Division Three.
Pontefract have won their first two matches in Yorkshire Chess League Division Three.

Pontefract survived another tough encounter to maintain their 100 per cent record in Yorkshire Chess League Division Three on Saturday.

They recorded a 5-3 home win over relegated Dewsbury after being gifted a 2-0 lead because their opponents arrived two men short.

Steve Spencer’s steady play was enough to earn a draw but Pontefract then suffered a setback when Dave Parton, who made the better opening, allowed a speculative attack to succeed after some poor moves.

At 2½-1½ behind, Dewsbury tried hard to get back in the game.

Pontefract’s Chris Roche, who had been two pawns up, made a wrong move and lost his bishop.

He did well to survive for a draw to leave Pontefract 3-2 ahead.

Top board Steve Parker was a pawn ahead but agreed a draw when time control was reached in a difficult position.

Adam Routledge allowed a passed pawn but blocked the position which his opponent surprisingly allowed for another draw.

Peter Gray was a rook for a bishop and pawn down but good play from the Pontefract man forced a pawn to queen.

His opponent, who had to win to save the match for Dewsbury, refused to give up rook for queen which would have resulted in a drawn game. He played on and lost a few moves later.

Although Pontefract have won their opening two matches against Wakefield B and Dewsbury, they must play better if they are to improve on last season when they narrowly missed out on promotion.