Rock Cup Final – Dave Wightman (165) vs Peter Banks (135)
Dave Wightman met Peter Banks in the final of the Rock Cup at Walsall Kipping. Dave Wightman won the toss and chose the white pieces. No clear advantage came of the opening and the game developed into a tense, tactical struggle. Black conceded doubled pawns in the centre in order to open up the f file against white’s castled king and this became the main feature of the game. Black eventually trebled his major pieces on the half open file and exerted extreme pressure on the white position. Eventually, though, while manoeuvring his pawns forward to completely break open the position, black made the smallest of positional mistakes and a pawn was lost. This halted the black pawn advance and allowed white to play f3 in return, relieving much of the pressure, but the game was far from won. The first time control was reached easily by both sides, but white could only slowly take advantage of a superior pawn structure, inching inexorably forwards. With the pressure on the black position growing, a second pawn was obtained and this was to prove crucial as white was then able to simply exchange off the remaining pieces until the pawn majority became conclusive.
So Dave Wightman wins the Rock Cup, but thanks are due to Peter Banks for a well executed game that completely belied the theoretical grading difference between the two sides. Thanks are also due to Frank Wood for his extremely efficient organisation of the competition and to Walsall Kipping for generously hosting the event.
By Dave Wightman
Thank you Dave and very well done indeed on retaining the Rock Cup at Wolverhampton for the 3rd consecutive year.