Last Tuesday was the last official club night of the season. It was a chance to get the remaining games in the club competitions finished. I managed to play my Knockout Final game against Phil Stimpson, although I do still have the Final of the Quickplay Knockout, against Mike Forster, to complete. That match should be played right at the start of next season, before the Champion’s simul; this will mean that we will have a winner by the AGM the following week.
The priority in the final was to get a result on the night if at all possible. The opening saw Phil swap queens and obtain a solid position with Black; however, I decided to reject his draw offer on move 16 and press on. I took the chance to complicate the position a few moves later, and was a little fortunate when a miscalculation on my part was not exploited by my opponent. Instead, Black made a series of small mistakes as he ran short of time, and in a difficult endgame, allowed me a forcing continuation that led to a definitely won position. On reaching the time control soon after, he decided to concede at once. This left me as the winner of the Knockout.
I give the game below with some brief notes.