PONTEFRACT Chess Club moved joint top of Yorkshire League Division Three with a 4½-3½ home victory over previously unbeaten Dewsbury.
Pontefract’s cause was helped when Dewsbury arrived a man short and Mateuse Szspaniuk was gifted a default win.
Steve Parkler’s roaming knight ensured he won to make it 2-0.
In a tight game on board two, Pontefract’s Dave Parton made the better opening but his middle game inaccuracies caused him to lose two pawns and only solid defence earned him a draw.
Roy Thomas’s unusual opening lost him a pawn and Dewsbury then levelled at 2½-2½ when Norman Carr surprisingly lost an even game.
Chris Roche restored Pontefract’s lead with an unstoppable pawn.
Peter Gray gained the much-needed winning point in a tense bishop-plus-pawning ending when he was first to force a pawn home.
Bill Pinder, who was last to finish, was relieved to concede when he was two connected pawns down in a lost ending.
Pontefract’s last match is a tough away fixture at third-placed West Leeds who have a game in hand.
A victory for either side will clinch them promotion. If Pontefract win, there is also the strong possibility of them lifting the league title, depending on Dewsbury’s result at home to York.