Two weeks ago he drew against a 124-graded player. Tonight he checkmates an opponent whose latest running-grade shown on Chessnuts is 144. Yes, it was very much Steve Hodgson’s party tonight.
The match: second round of the Mini League, with Limewood’s second-string team playing Rose Forgrove’s finest and Steve at Board 2 having the black pieces.
Steve made a shaky start but recovered and brilliantly won a rook in a queen exchange. His opponent, now under pressure and somewhat rattled, blundered a bishop and a couple of pawns. Reaching the endgame with time and material advantage, Steve queened a pawn. His opponent played on for stalemate but Steve was not falling for that and executed checkmate with queen and rook.
Steve’s game is now featured in our Best Games section: Game: Tom Devlin v STEVE HODGSON
Meanwhile at Board 1, Steve Kelley had a good game against the redoubtable Paul Clarke (grade 151) with good mating chances but his opponent was always one step ahead. Emma, at Board 3, also did herself credit but eventually had to concede defeat.
This being a handicap match and Limewood being the grading underdogs by a long way, Limewood got the two handicap points. With Steve’s win this meant the team won by 3:2. Congratulations to all!
Our other Mini team, playing at Rose Forgrove, didn’t have such a happy time and lost by 3½:0, forfeiting its handicap points on account of being a player short.
The overall outcome of the evening is that our second team, Limewood M2, is now top of the Mini League table with 6½ points. Our first team, Limewood M1, languishes at the foot of the table with 1½. Anyone want to open a book on how they will compare at the end of the season?