Southern Counties' under-175 Championship

Kent

Essex

1

R.J. Everson

0 1

Paul Williamson

2

G.M. Brown

1 0

Larry Marden

3

S. Firth

0.5 0.5

David Millward

4

J.R. Cordner

0 1

Trevor Coote

5

S.J. Pullinger

0 1

Peter Doye

6

A. Atkinson

1 0

Sid. Kalinsky

7

A.G. Ropek

1 0

Terry Whitton

8

M.D. Brougham

0.5 0.5

Colin Ramage

9

S.J. Peters

1 0

Neville Twitchell

10

J.H. Lewin

0 1

Ian Hunnable

11

G. Josephs

0 1

Les Crane

12

S.G.B James

0.5 0.5

Andy King

13

S.J. Jacob

0.5 0.5

Ken Clow

14

P. Rutland

0.5 0.5

Steve Williams

15

N.C. Mackett

0.5 0.5

Richard Weeber

16

A.J. Sherriff

0.5 0.5

Roberto Waldteufel

7.5 8.5

The 100% record of the Essex under-175 Team before Christmas, coupled with the other results in the competition, meant that an 8-8 tie in this match would be sufficient to secure one of the two qualifying places for the National Stages of the County Championship. However, Kent away is always a difficult prospect, and Essex had lost the corresponding fixture every season since the under-175 competition was instituted.

For most of the afternoon a convincing Kent victory looked the most likely outcome. Sid Kalinsky's loss in only 10 mioves as white was followed by defeats for Terry Whitton and Neville Twitchell as the home team rapidly established a 4½ - ½ lead. With several boards featuring promising postions for Kent, thoughts began to turn to Plan B for qualification - avoiding defeat against Sussex in the next match. Just before 5 p.m. the Essex Captain John Philpott indicated to top bard Paul Williamson, one of the few Essex players that appeared to be doing well at this stage, that he was leaving the playing hall for 10 minutes to listen to the football results and expected the match to be turned round while he was away. Although one of the football results (another loss for West Ham) was a major disappointment for John, the Essex team were clearly inspired by their Captain's absence and more than made up for this. Ian Hunnable picked up the first full point for the visitors with what he described as "something of a swindle" and a number of difficult games were subsequently drawn. The prospect of a hammering had receded, and there suddenly seemed an outside chance of salvaging something from the match, particularly after Essex tied the scored at 6½ - 6½. Paul Williamson, who had been a tower of strength on top board, scored his third successive win for the team through a convincing performance with the Grunfeld defence and Les Crane won a hard-fought game against the Ruy Lopez, with his opponent getting into time trouble at the end.

Essex unexpectedly took the lead when Peter Doye, who simply appeared to be a pawn down in the ending, seized a fleeting tactical opportunity to win a piece. After Larry Marden was forced to concede, it was all square with only Trevor Coote's game to finish. Trevor's Blackmar-Diemer Gambit had given him the initiative, and by the first time contriol he was a pawn up with the option of forcing perpetual check. The Captain's orders at this stage were "By all means win, but whatever you do don't lose!". Trevor thought for much of the extra hour allowed for the quick-play finish, calculated a decisive continuation, and duly checkmated his opponent, thus rounding off a nerve-racking but ultimately triumphant afternoon.

Acknowledgments: John Philpott.

Trevor Coote (Essex) v J.R. Cordner (Kent)

1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 e3 5.Bxe3 e6 6.Bd3 Bb4 7.Qd2 Nd5 8.a3 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nxe3 10.Qxe3 Qh4+ 11.g3 Qh5 12.Ne2 0-0 13.h4 f5 14.Nf4 Qf7 15.Bc4 Re8 16.0-0 Kh8 17.Rae1 Qf6 18.Bxe6 Bxe6 19.Nxe6 Nd7 20.d5 Nb6 21.Qd3 Re7 22.Kf2 c6 23.c4 Rae8 24.Nf4 Rxe1 25.Rxe1 Rxe1 26.Kxe1 Qe5+ 27.Kf2 cxd5 28.cxd5 Nd7 29.Qc4 Nb6 30.Qc5 Qe8 31.Ne6 h6 32.Qc7 Qd7 33.Qe5 Kg8 34.c4 Nxc4 35.Qb8+ Kf7 36.Qf8+ Kg6 37.h5+ Kh7 38.Qxf5+ Kg8 39.Qf8+ Kh7 40.g4 Nb6 41.g5 hxg5 42.Nxg5+ Kh6 43.Nf7+ Kxh5 44.Qxg7 Qf5 45.Qh6#