Player

Played

Points

%

Grade

Graham Moore

8 6.5 81.25

214

David Millward

10 6.5 65

193

Robert Parker

7 6 85.71

189

Michael Twyble

10 6 60

218

Russell White

6 5.5 91.67

210

Andrew Lewis

7 5.5 78.57

228

Jonathan Rogers

8 5.5 68.75

235

Gary Kenworthy

6 5 83.33

215

Lawrie Marden

6 5 83.33

194

Ivan Myall

6 5 83.33

202

David Sands

8 5 62.5

206

Ivor Smith

6 4.5 75

188

Brian Kemish

7 4.5 64.29

201

Paul Williamson

8 4.5 56.25

179

David Coleman

6 4 66.67

214

John Moore

7 4 57.14

175

Michael Roberts

5 3.5 70

194

David Sherman

6 3.5 58.33

195

Karl Mah

3 3 100

232

An analysis of the results of the Essex first team this year indicates what an excellent season it has been, and also brings into perspective the intense disappointment caused by the loss to Warwickshire in the semifinals of the County Championships. This Essex team was as good as any in recent years. Had they reached the final, they would have played Kent, whom Essex beat earlier in the season.

There are some outstanding individual achievements. Jonathan Rogers played eight times, seven times on board 1, and scored 5½ points. His grading performance of 235 is easily International Master standard and is as good as some Grandmasters. Likewise, Michael Twyble showed huge dedication to the cause, playing in all 10 matches, mostly on board 2, and scoring 6 points. Andrew Lewis also put in an excellent season's work. Andrew was normally board 3, and again his score of 5.5/7, a grading performance of 228, and again IM standard.

As well as those players included in the table, there were some 23 others who in most cases played less often, and occasionally as short-notice stand-ins. Perhaps the finest performance of all was that of Richard Manning, the Acting Captain. Richard played twice, scoring a draw and a loss, when others failed to arrive at the venue. Richard told me that he made a total in excess of 500 phone calls to raise teams. Out of 184 games played by Essex players this season, not one was lost by default.

Somewhere in excess of 110 players contested the Suffolk Open Championships at the weekend, playing in four sections. Several Essex competitors made the journey north in order to participate.

It always adds to the entertainment when the hot favourite stumbles at the first hurdle, and that is precisely what happened to International Master Andrew Ledger when he played local man Ian Wallace. Andrew appeared to be coasting comfortably from the Caro-Kann defence when suddenly Ian broke through in the centre and set up some mating threats. Andrew was forced to give up rook for knight to avoid these and could have resigned on move 40 when the queens came off. However, IMs don't like having their bad games publicised so Andrew carried on to move 68 in the hope that nobody would publish such a long game! In spite of this set-back, Andrew still shared first place with 4/5, along with Chris Dunworth and Alexis Harakis.

In the under-100 section, two Essex competitors fared well. Iain Gunn(Maldon) and David Flynn (Basildon) shared first place with two others, and Lawrence Trent won the junior prize with 3½/5. Suffolk Association still pay inadequate attention to the pairings their computer produces, and Lawrence was obliged to play his father in round 2 in spite of protests being lodged. When Lawrence's younger brother Stewart was also paired against the Old Man in round 4, the organisers did relent. If the pairing is wrong in round 4 it is certainly wrong in round 2.

In the under-130 section, Ellen Walker's unbeaten 3½/5 was sufficient for her to win the Junior Prize.

Wallace, I. - Ledger, A.

Suffolk Open, 1996

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 Qb6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 e6 7.Nce2 c5 8.c3 Nc6 9.Nf3 cxd4 10.Nexd4 Nge7 11.0-0 Ng6 12.Qe2 Be7 13.Be3 Qc7 14.Nb5 Qd7 15.Bd4 0-0 16.g3 a6 17.Na3 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Bxa3 19.bxa3 Qc7 20.f4 Qxc3 21.Rad1 Rac8 22.f5 exf5 23.e6 fxe6 24.Qxe6+ Kh8 25.Nxf5 Qxa3 26.Nd6 Qc5+ 27.Kh1 Qc6 28.Rxf8+ Rxf8 29.Nf7+ Rxf7 30.Qxf7 d4+ 31.Kg1 h6 32.Rxd4 Qb6 33.Qf2 Ne5 34.Rf4 Qb1+ 35.Kg2 Kh7 36.Qe2 Ng6 37.Re4 Qb6 38.Re6 Qd4 39.h4 Qd5+ 40.Qe4 Qxe4+ 41.Rxe4 and white won on move 68.

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White to play and win.

Forsyth: rnb2r2/4qpkp/p3NpNp1/4P3/R7/1n1B4/3Q1PPP/7K1

Last week's solution: 1 Bc4 Qxc4 2 Rxg7 Kh8 3 Bxe5 Qc2 4 Rf8+ Rxf8 % Rxg6 1 - 0