Southern Counties Chess Union u-150 Competition.

Match played at Wanstead House

Essex

Herts

1

Paul Barclay

0.5 0.5

A. Hall

2

Tom Winter

1 0

A. Fulton

3

David Smith

0.5 0.5

D. Young

4

L.J. Burtt

1 0

S. Charles

5

Stan Harwood

1 0

C. Howe

6

David Payne

0 1

R. Gordonsmith

7

Alan Parsons

0.5 0.5

S. Weston

8

George Gooding

1 0

default

9

Phil Zammit

0 1

P. Lawrence

10

David Rawlings

0.5 0.5

M. Wali (res)

11

David Cannan

0.5 0.5

J. Coles

12

M.J. Cresswell

1 0

D. Price

13

Roger Sharman

0 1

M. Waltham

14

J.T. Luck (res)

1 0

J. Marshall

15

I. MacLachlan

0.5 0.5

P. Myers

16

Roger Medcalf

0 1

R. Kearns

9 7

The Essex under-150 team performed extremely well to win this match against a Hertfordshire side, whose players outgraded their Essex counterparts by almost 4 points per board. The match was not without its problems, as both scheduled teams were amended by late replacements, and in the case of board 8, the Hertfordshire player failed to arrive, giving George Gooding a free point. I am sure he would have preferred to have had a game.

Neither side could establish any domination at any stage of the match. Roger Sharman miscalculated and dropped a pawn, and his opponent won very neatly in an ending in which each player had a light-squared bishop and Roger, playing black, had three pawns to his opponent's four. This was countered by Stan Harwood, who had a passed pawn on the d-file and succeeded in pushing it to the queening square. He confessed afterwards that he thought his opponent should have been able to stop the pawn, as the only pieces in attendance were two rooks and a queen each. With just the heavy artillery on the board, a difference of just one pawn is often insufficient for a win to be forced.

There were some excellent efforts by both sides' reserves. The Herts. captain Mir Wali stepped in against David Rawlings and it was not long before David had won a piece. A fine rearguard action by the Hertfordshire player denied David the full point. The Essex reserve, James Luck, came in on board 14, and, unfettered by any expectation that he could win against an opponent 28 grading points above him and with a significant time advantage, proceeded to do just that and launched an irresistible mating attack.

The match was in doubt right up to the end, as the Essex lead was 8 - 6, but in the two remaining games it was the Hertfordshire players who were attacking. Paul Barclay and Alan Parsons were both forced on the defensive as their opponents attempted to force home advantages. The defence was sufficient, however, and Essex won deservedly.

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Pts

1

Essex

3 2 1 0

2

Sussex

3 1 1 1

3

Surrey

2 1 0 1 1
4

Herts

3 1 0 2 1
5

Kent

3 1 0 2 1

Remaining matches: Kent v Surrey, Surrey v Essex, Sussex v Herts (all to be played during February).