WIMBLEDON

WOODBRIDGE

1

C. Purdon

1 - 0

R.D. Manning

2

L.J. Fincham

1 - 0

C.R. Ramage

3

P. Gibbons

½-½

R. Watts

4

J.A. Tuck

½-½

V.B. Rumsey

5

R.J. Wilcox

0 - 1

P. Savin

6

M. Lunn

0 - 1

C.F. Harding

7

F.C. Manning

½-½

M. Bird

8

D. Innes

0 - 1

C. White

9

A. Farinha

0 - 1

A.C. Compton

10

J. Sprackett

½-½

A. Gascoyne

4 - 6

Woodbridge won for only the second time this season in the second division of the London League, but these wins, combined with the two drawn matches, should enable the team to avoid relegation. For such a small club with a very exclusive membership this is a fine achievement, as the second division of the London League is very tough indeed.

Chris White's opponent blundered his queen, which set Woodbridge off on the right track, but Colin Ramage, playing against the normally placid Reti opening, suddenly found himself short of a piece. Charlie Harding played on a lower board than usual, did exactly what he was meant to do, winning a pawn and then converting into a won ending.

Roy Watts lost a pawn early in the game, but then created sufficient complications to be able to win it back. Barry Rumsey, also playing on a lower board than usual, tried hard for the full point but could only draw. Michael Bird also kept his opponent on the defensive, but could not break through, and Tony Gascoyne played well to draw from the Scotch opening.

Richard Manning played white against the French and attempted to make the running. His opponent succeeded in getting some play along the c-file and after the Wimbledon top board won a knight there was no recovery. TonyCompton decided upon the direct approach, smashing into his opponent's castled king position. Just as black was looing to free his position on the queen side, Tony delivered a bishop check which just happened to be mate. Paul Savin shed many pawns to keep his attack going and finally succeeded.

With only one match left, Colin Ramage and Charlie Harding are leading the field fo rthe Best Performance prize, with Chris White just half a point behind.

Acknowledgments: Richard Manning.

The North Essex League organised an excellent Schools' Championship, involving some 19 teams from as far north as Ipswich, as far south as Beckenham and as far west as Richmond. St. Olave's, in the news recently for other reasons, were the hot favourites and indeed they won their first match 4 - 0. In round 2 they met Temple Sutton under-9s, whom they also beat 4 - 0, but only after Nicholas Jellett had missed the win of a piece against Oliver Cooley and Heather Walker had whipped up a dangerous king-side attack which kept her opponent worried for quite some time.

St. Benedict's, the host team, kept pace with the leaders, but Liam Hylands panicked in what he perceived as time trouble and missed a simple win against David Spence (Northgate, Ipswich). Temple Sutton under-11s were deprived of two Star Players by illness and football, but still performed creditably. They lost 4 - 0 in round 1 to Northgate but then fought back well with two consecutive 4 - 0 victories. This left them to play Bishops Stortford High in the final round.

The Bishops Stortford side eventually ground out wins on all boards which left for a very tight finish: they had overhauled St. Olave's total but the Kent side still had games to play. Finally St. Olaves won sufficient games against St. Benedicts to finish half-a-point ahead of the Hertfordshire challengers. This was justice indeed, as it is in the nature of a team Swiss to allow sides through against lesser opposition whilst the top teams are taking points off each other.

St. Teresa's (Colchester) registered an important 3 - 1 win against Temple Sutton under-9s, who then came back to win 3 - 1 in their final round to finish on 8 alongside their under-11 side. It had appeared to be a straight fight between these two schools for the primary schools shield, but Thorpe Hall (Walthamstow) came through with a late surge whilst St. Teresa's were being beaten 4 - 0 by Colchester High. St. Benedict's took the senior schools' shield. These trophies, donated by the David Wood Trust, are only available for Essex schools.