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Bombardier come-up short

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 2 Dec 2004

With the demise of CIYMS this year, Bombardier have bolstered their team, recruiting Calum Leitch as board 2. Already a strong contender for the League, the addition of Calum makes Bombardier a front-runner for Division honours on last years performance. On Thursday 2nd, Bangor Barracudas gathered their best home team players to meet the challenge of Bombardier.

Board 1, James O'Fee defended against Paul McNaughton. James established a strong position but Paul fought back to regain balance. A tough battle ensued with both players threatening to claim the initiative; nip and tuck all the way until the end-game promised a stale position. Exhausted, both players grateful agreed a draw.

Philip Todd was on sparkling form against Calum Leitch on board 2. Philip took the game to Calum who had to keep his wits about not to lose initiative. As the end-game approached, Calum relaxed and Philip pounced to add a Knight capture to his pawn advantage; the game looked won. But Calum came back fighting and with a series of checks drained away Philips time until the pressure caught Philip in an ugly pawn fork costing him his Queen; Calum stealing the game at the last moment.

Martin Rogers was in great form too, defending against Stewart McConaghy on board 3. Stewart came under immediate pressure as Martin marshaled his forces to exert control. When it came, the end was swift, Martin claiming a strong win.

Board 4, David Symmington faced the indomitable Bill McKitterick, not best known for giving youngsters their head. David tried all the tricks he could to gain advantage but Bill negated all threats. Eventually both agreed at draw.

Final board featured last minute replacements Ken Browne defending against Bombardier's Ken Haddock. Ken Browne built up his defences calmly almost waiting for the dreadful moment when Ken Haddock gave up a piece. The material disadvantage was too great and Ken Browne exploited Ken Haddock's weak position leaving his ears singing.

Overall a 3-2 win for the Barracudas; a great result for the Bangor team even better considering the performance on top boards that nearly demolished the Bombardier team. The Barracudas recent performances, both home and away, suggest they may have underestimated their potential; next week against RVH Hawks will be a telling test of their real strength.

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