Sidcup went to league leaders Dartford on Thursday, needing a win to give them any chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Prior to this game we had achieved a 50% record with 2 wins, 2 loses, and a draw.
It was always going to be a tough ask, especially with 2 regular first team players away, but it turned out to be a close fought match.
Ken Smith was disappointed with his performance succumbing to an early loss on board 4. Keith Thompson then followed this with a draw on board 6, despite being out-graded by nearly 30 points, and playing his first game for the first team. Lee Brockwell on Board 5 then followed with another draw.
The remaining 3 games all went to the wire, with the clock playing a massive part. Ian McAllan on board 1 saw his opponent withstand a strong king side attack, which then left Ian in time trouble. Despite coming through the time control with his position intact, Ian was unaware that the time control had been reached and played the next 2 moves instantly, believing he still had moves to make. Those moves were critical and turned a potential winning position into a position which was eventually played to a draw. David Gilbert on board 3 then delivered a fine win, in a finely edged position, where his better time management probably made all the difference. This left everything hinging on board 2 and Gary Sharp. Time once again was key here, and Gary was always behind on that score. Unfortunately it was the type of end game which needed a large number of moves to see completion. This played into his opponent’s hands, who played solid moves, knowing Gary’s clock would run out eventually. This it duly did, giving Dartford a well-earned 3.5 to 2.5 win.
So far our experiment of playing in the stronger En Passant league, has been positive and we have acquitted ourselves well. It’s also giving the better players more games which can only be beneficial.