Southern Counties' Championship (under-175)

Essex

Kent

1

Paul Williamson

½ - ½

N.S.W. Alfred

2

Andrew Brett

0 - 1

G.M. Brown

3

Larry Marden

½ - ½

S. Firth

4

Ivor Smith

0 - 1

Z. Mehmet

5

David Millward

1 - 0

A. Atkinson

6

Peter Doye

1 - 0

P.W. Eldridge

7

Sid Kalinsky

0 - 1

S. J. Pullinger

8

Steve Harvey

½ - ½

M.D. Brougham

9

Colin Ramage

1 - 0

S.J. Peters

10

Neville Twitchell

½ - ½

N.C. Mackett

11

Ian Hunnable

0 - 1

R.J. Winterburn

12

Les Crane

½ - ½

A.C. Waters

13

Andy King

0 - 1

A.J. Sherriff

14

Steve Williams

1 - 0

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15

Peter Walker

1 - 0

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16

Mark Weighell

1 - 0

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8½ - 7½

Having spent some considerable time and effort picking his team well in advance of the match, John Philpott, the Essex under-175 Captain, spent the morning unpicking it again. His opposite number from Kent telephoned to say that the Kent team was lacking in quantity, thereby saving three of us a wasted journey.

The Essex team should have had no difficulty in winning this match by a large margin. Only on board 1 did the Kent player outgrade his opponent, and on the lower boards the Essex players were well ahead on grade. When Les Crane drew quickly and Peter Doye won soon afterwards the score stood at 4½ - 1½ in favour of the home side and it looked as though the traditional pattern of close matches between the two counties would be broken.

Kent, however, were determined to make a fight of it and by the time the next six results had been declared the scores were level. The only Essex win during this lean period was Colin Ramage's fine game with the Latvian Counter-Gambit. Neville Twitchell had been dominating proceedings until near the end when he missed a tactic and was perhaps fortunate to escape with a draw.

The four remaining games all passed the first time control. During the rapidplay finishes which followed, Larry Marden was unable to convert the passed pawn which he had nursed all the way to the seventh rank and this draw was soon followed by a hard-fought draw between Paul Williamson and the top board from St. Olave's School, Orpington. Steve Harvey had some problems and seemed to be in danger of defeat and was ultimately pleased to receive a draw offer. With the scores now balanced at 7½ - 7½ the match result rested upon the game between David Millward and A. Atkinson. David had black and had reached an ending from the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. David had an extra pawn as well as bishop against knight, and although David had two passed pawns on the queen-side, they were well blockaded and the win was far from easy. Both players were seriously short of time.

David eventually established a winning position by switching his attention to the other side of the board. He gave his bishop up to establish another passed pawn which he succeeded in queening. However, a winning position is only of use if you actually have sufficient time to take advantage of it. The match was finally decided in Essex's favour when Atkinson's flag fell while David had only a few seconds of his own time remaining, thereby ensuring the avoidance of the otherwise inevitable embarassment associated with not beating a team which arrives three players short.

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Peters, S.J. (Kent) - Ramage, C.R. (Essex)

SCCU under-175, 1996

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.d4 fxe4 4.Nxe5 Nf6 5.Be2 d6 6.Nc4 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 Qe8 9.Bb2 Qg6 10.Ne3 Be6 11.c4 Nbd7 12.Nc3 c6 13.Rc1 Rac8 14.Qc2 d5 15.Rfd1 Bd6 16.Qd2 Bf4 17.Ba3 Rf7 18.cxd5 Nxd5 19.Ncxd5 Bxd5 20.Qc3 Nf6 21.Bc4 Qh5 22.h3 Rd8 23.Re1 g5 24.Rc2 Bxc4 25.Nxc4 g4 26.Ne5 Nd5 27.Qc4 gxh3 28.g3 Bxe5 29.dxe5 h2+ 30.Kh1 Qf3+ 31.Kxh2 Rf5 32.Rxe4 b5 33.Rg4+ Kh8 34.Qe4 Rh5+ 35.Rh4 Qxe4 36.Rxh5 Qxc2 0-1