Promotion hopes given huge boost

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Pontefract Chess Club gave their Yorkshire League Division Three promotion hopes a massive boost by beating Calderdale B 4½-3½ on Saturday.

Peter Gray was Pontefract’s match-winner as they inflicted Calderdale’s first defeat of the season.

Chris Roche’s early win of a bishop gave Pontefract a flying start but they were pegged back when Bill Pinder’s opponent made the most of multiple mating options.

Roy Thomas also lost when he gave up his pinned bishop to prevent mate but Pontefract bounced back to win the next two games on the top two boards.

Steve Parker’s two rooks mastered his opponent’s queen and Dave Parton’s clever play was also rewarded with a victory.

Mateusz Szczepaniuk wisely accepted a draw offer when his opponent had all the winning chances.

However, Can Govern was beaten when he was two pawns down in a bishop ending. With the score locked at 3½-3½, everything depended on the outcome of Gray’s game in a tense finale.

Gray, who had two bishops against his opponent’s rook and pawn, managed to trap the rook for a bishop for a winning endgame with his extra bishop.

Pontefract now need to win their last two matches at home to lowly Harrogate C and away to Hull DCA B to snatch runners up spot.

Pontefract’s record so far this season is four victories, one draw and one defeat from their six matches.