Essex League Division 1

P

W

D

L

Pts

Def

Wanstead I

6 6 0 0 12 0

Writtle

5 4 0 1 8 1

Southend

5 3 1 1 7 4

Eastbrook

3 3 0 0 6 0

Ilford I

3 3 0 0 6 0

Edmonton

6 2 1 3 5 0

Basildon

4 2 0 2 4 7

Brentwood

6 2 0 4 4 2

Ilford II

7 1 0 6 2 2

Powdermill

3 1 0 2 2 0

Upminster

5 1 0 4 2 1

Wanstead II

5 0 0 5 0 0

The past two or three seasons have seen the Wanstead & Woodford Club as an influence on the Essex League rather than a main contender: always capable of taking points off the top teams, they have been unable to string together a set of results which would win them the Championship. This year they look as though they mean business, with six won matches to their credit already. Their best win to date was without doubt against Writtle, whom they dismissed by 6 - 4, and both Wanstead and Ilford must be waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the one adjourned game in their match in which the score stands at 4½ - 4½.

Powdermill, who have won the Championship recently and have been strong contenders for the past 5 years or so, do not have the look of front runners this season. They have beaten Upminster 6 - 3 (1 unfinished) but lost 7 - 3 to Southend. The most remarkable result was their 9 - 1 drubbing at the hands of Writtle, an outcome which throws some light onto the Wanstead - Writtle result.

Southend, who have improved considerably during the past few years or so and will next year be celebrating their centenary, drew with Edmonton and flopped badly when they lost to Basildon: half the Southend team arrived at a venue which has not been used for two years! In another unfinished match, Southend are 4 - 5 down to Ilford I, so the outstanding game remains critical.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Southend Chess Club will be holding its 40th Annual Congress at the town's Civic Centre over the Easter holidays, 5th - 8th April. This congress is one of the oldest annual weekend events on the national chess calendar and, although its venue has changed from time to time, the founder, Jack Speigel (known to some as Jack Shhhpeigel, on account of his insistence upon silence during play) is still the arbiter in charge of the tournament.

This year, the Congress has attracted a sponsor in the form of the GFI Group as well as receving its traditional support from the local town council. The result is somewhat larger prizes without a great intcrease in the entry fees.

The Open Championship consists of 7 rounds at 40 moves in 2 hours followed by 20 moves per hour. One of the luxuries of having 4 days for the event is that quick-play finishes are definitely not part of the tournament and endgame specialists are allowed just as much thinking time as are the devotees of sharp opening lines and middle-game mating attacks. The first prize in this section is £500, and the entry fee is £16 with discounts for BCF direct members and juniors.

As well as the Open Championship, there are 5-round graded sections of approximately 20 players per section. The time control is the same as for the Open Championship. The first prize in each section is £100, and the entry fee is £12 (£6 for juniors). Again, there is a reduction for BCF direct members.

The closing date for entries is Good Friday, 5th April, but entries received after 22nd March will be subject to a late entry fee of £3 and entries on the day will be subject to a further £2. Entries should be sent to G.M.A. Smith, 41, Westwood Gardens, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 2SH (Tel/fax: 01702 556086).

Pillsbury,H - Lasker,Em

Nuremberg, 1896

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.dxc5 Nc6 7.a3 Nxc5 8.b4 Nd7 9.Bd3 a5 10.b5 Ncb8 11.Nf3 Nc5 12.Be3 Nbd7 13.0-0 g6 14.Ne2 Be7 15.Qe1 Nb6 16.Nfd4 Bd7 17.Qf2 Nba4 18.Rab1 h5 19.b6 Nxd3 20.cxd3 Bxa3 21.f5 gxf5 22.Nf4 h4 23.Ra1 Be7 24.Rxa4 Bxa4 25.Nfxe6 fxe6 26.Nxe6 Bd7 27.Nxd8 Rxd8 28.Bc5 Rc8 29.Bxe7 Kxe7 30.Qe3 Rc6 31.Qg5+ Kf7 32.Rc1 Rxc1+ 33.Qxc1 Rc8 34.Qe1 h3 35.gxh3 Rg8+ 36.Kf2 a4 37.Qb4 Rg6 38.Kf3 1-0