Essex

Combined Counties

1

T. Thomas

1 - 0

M.J. Donnelly (Warks)

2

M.W. Wills

½-½

I .Wallis (Suffolk)

3

Dr. K.D. Sales

1 - 0

C.R. Hattersley (Kent)

4

K.J. Bowyer

1 - 0

P. Dupre (Surrey)

5

D. Futter

½-½

O. Hardy (Leics)

6

A. Lewis

1 - 0

S. Appleby (Lancs)

7

A.J. Stebbings

½-½

M.E. Burn (Gloucs)

8

P.C. Doye

0 - 1

M.D. Nicholas (Sussex)

9

J.R. Cooke

1 - 0

D. Amour (Notts)

10

A. Martin

½-½

M. Taylor (Berks)

11

G. Kenworthy

1 - 0

P. Harris (Wilts)

12

J. Manley

1 - 0

R. Hewes (Lincs)

13

J. Rogers

1 - 0

D. Hodge (Devon)

14

K. Bowden

1 - 0

E. Myers (Worcs)

15

N. Carr

1 - 0

P. Morton (Middx)

16

T. Tredinnick

1 - 0

B. Whitehouse (Warks)

17

I.B.N. Smith

1 - 0

K. Greenacre (Suffolk)

18

W. Stirling

1 - 0

D.E. Obey (Kent)

19

I. Myall

1 - 0

S.C. Crowdy (Surrey)

20

G. Hayes

1 - 0

D. George (Leics)

21

T. Hart

1 - 0

M.R. Addis (Lancs)

22

R. Latter

0 - 1

D.C. Herbert (Gloucs)

23

M. Fleury

1 - 0

S. Blewitt (Sussex)

24

L.E. Marden

1 - 0

C. Taylor (Notts)

25

G. Green

1 - 0

D. Grantham (Berks)

26

P. Townsend

1 - 0

D.H. Pott (Wilts)

27

J.R. Sargent

1 - 0

K. Hemming (Lincs)

28

S. Ruthen

1 - 0

P. Marriott (Devon)

29

K. Mah

1 - 0

B.G. Foord (Worcs)

30

S. Kalinsky

1 - 0

M. Doe (Middx)

26 - 4

1st Essex 26
=2nd Warks, Kent, Gloucs 18
5th Sussex 17½

In June, at the County Association's A.G.M., the County Captain, Steve Abbott, gave a guarded prediction that Essex would "probably come first" in the Ward-Higgs Inter-County Correspondence Chess Championships. At that stage, about two-thirds of the results were in. As it turned out, Steve's prediction was a masterly understatement: the 26 points achieved was the highest for a generation, equalling the record set by the 1952 Essex team.

It is difficult to identify key players in such an emphatic victory. The margin over the sides in 2nd place was a cool 8 points and the odd loss here and there would have made little difference. Neveretheless, Terry Thomas achieved a very creditable win with black over the Warwickshire top board, and likewise Keith Sales, again with black, beat the Kent board 3. Gloucestershire will have been pleased with their players' efforts, taking 1½/2 against Essex opponents.

Essex have won the Ward-Higgs Trophy 6 times in the last 9 years. This is a marvellous achievement and is a tribute to Steve Abbott's captaincy. Although Essex tends to do well in most areas of inter-county chess, and of course with an already large population boosted by the inclusion of 5 London boroughs we would expect to be amongst the best, the domination achieved since Steve took over as Captain must make other Counties' captains gnash their teeth. Steve has established an astonishing array of superbly talented players and has managed them excellently.

The success does not end with the first team. The Essex second team plays as a Minor County, thereby competing against other Counties' first team. In this event, the Sinclair Trophy, Essex II were second on 20½/30. 2 points behind Dorset I and 2 points ahead of Hampshire I. The Third Team, playing in the Brown-Pond, also won their championship. They scored 15½/20, ahead of Devon II and Warks II (13½) and Kent III (11). Essex IV, the only fourth team to compete, also played in the Brown-Pond, managing 8/20.

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The next event in Essex is the Junior Rapidplay Championships in Colchester on 6th October. There will be sections for under-8s, 10s, 12s and 14s and this year an Open Section in which adult players will be welcome to compete against the under-18s and aspiring younger players. Details can be obtained from Roger Sharman at Trefoil, Crown Lane North, Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex (01206 231025).

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Parker, Jonathan - Sadler, Matthew

British Championship, 1996

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nxc3 8.bxc3 c5 9.0-0 Qc7 10.Qe2 Bg4 11.Ba3 Nd7 12.Rac1 Qa5 13.Bb2 Nb6 14.Bb3 cxd4 15.cxd4 Rfc8 16.Qd2 Qb5 17.Ba3 Bf6 18.Ne5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Qxe5 20.Qb4 Be2 21.Rfe1 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 e6 23.Qe7 Bd3 24.Rd1 Qa5 25.Bb2 Qf5 26.Bc2 Nd5 27.Qxb7 1-0

A remarkable final round defeat for Sadler, who started this year's Championships as favourite. Black resigned as he is about to lose a piece and has the added problem that he has 13 more moves to make in the allotted time, of which he had used up all but about 35 seconds!