Essex

Bd Name Rd 1 Opp Rd 2 Opp Rd3 Opp Score

1 Heather Walker 1 F1 0 D1 1 B1 2

2 Katie Bates 1 H2 1 J2 1 L2 3

3 Francesca Berlin 1 Q3 0 O3 1 G4 2

4 Leah Oaker 1 N4 1 P4 0 A4 2

5 Lauren Simonds 0 K5 1 I5 0 J5 1

6 Laura Pearson 1 C6 0 E6 1 F6 2

7 Natasha Vickers 0 L7 0 N7 0 P7 0

8 Abigail Flint 1 D8 1 B8 .5 Q8 2.5

9 Lisa Dickinson 0 A9 1 C9 0 G9 1

10 Jeneille Bushell 0 O10 0 H9 0 I10 0

11 Nicola Crawley 1 B11 1 F11 1 E11 3

12 Rebecca McTaggart 0 P12 0 res 1 res

13 Michaela Oaker .5 res 0 L12 .5 K12 .5

Team score 7 6 6 19

1 I Wey Valley 31

2 P Devon 27.5

3 H Kent 24.5

4 O Liverpool 23.5

5 K Notts 22.5

6 N Wilts 19.5

7 M Essex 19

8 Q Somerset 18.5

9 D NW London 17.5

L Barnet 17.5

11 A Manchester 16.5

12 E Hants 15.5

13 G Northants 13.5

J Lincs 13.5

15 B Suffolk 12

16 C S. London 7.5

F Herts 7.5

Essex sent a team to the National under-11 Girls' Championships for the first time for some years and, because of this inexperience, it was hard to predict the quality of the opposition and the County's likely performance. The top four boards were of known pedigree, and the nine points achieved by Heather Walker, Katie Bates, Francesca Berlin and Leah Oaker was an illustration of this. Indeed, in only one of those 12 games was the Essex player clearly outplayed, when Heather lost to Vaness Aarons (N.W. London). Leah Oaker was unfortunate to lose after establishing a promising position against her Manchester opponent and Francesca Berlin played an enterprising line as black against Suzie Blackburn (Liverpool) and would have achieved at least a draw if she had played a critical rook check. Kate Bates spent the day demolishing lesser opposition. It is a luxury having two players of board 1 calibre.

More than half the remaining Essex points were scored by just two players. Abigail Flint could perhaps have been a board or two higher than she was, but an under-7 playing against older girls deserves some protection, and Nicola Crawley took full advantage against her three opponents.

The best result of the day was the game between Heather Walker and Sophie Payne (Suffolk). Sophie played on top board for the Rest of England in the recent match against London, but there was no doubting the comprehensive nature of Black's win in this encounter.

Payne, Sophie - Walker, Heather

EPSCA Girls' Championships, 1997

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 Bd7 8.h3 Nc6 9.g4 Qb6 10.0-0-0 Qa5 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.f3 0-0 13.h4 a5 14.h5 a4 15.Na1 Qa5 16.a3 Ne5 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.g5 Nh5 19.f4 Nf3 20.Qg2 Bxc3 21.Qxf3 Bg7 22.Be2 e5 23.Rxd6 Bb5 24.c4 Rac8 25.Rd5 exf4 26.Rxb5 Qxb5 27.c5 Qxb2+ 28.Kd1 Rcd8+ 29.Ke1 Qxa1+ 30.Bd1 fxe3 31.Qe2 Bc3+ 32.Qd2 Rxd2 33.Rf1 Qxd1# 0-1

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Essex League Division 1.

P W D L Pts

Southend 10 8 1 1 17

Wanstead & Woodford 10 7 3 0 17

Writtle 9 7 1 1 15

Ilford 7 5 1 1 11

Eastbrook 9 4 2 3 10

Upminster 10 4 1 5 9

Powdermill 10 4 0 6 8

Brentwood 9 2 1 6 5

Basildon 10 2 1 7 5

Grays 10 2 0 8 4

Edmonton 10 1 1 8 3

Since declaring in a recent Recorder that Wanstead & Woodford had become Essex League Champions, a ruling of the League Management Committee upheld an appeal by the Southend club and reversed the result of a game between Upminster and Southend. This changed the result of that match to a 6-4 win for Southend and therefore gave them the extra point required to finish level with Wanstead.

Informed sources indicate that the outstanding result between Writtle and Ilford will be 5 - 5. Writtle are now 5-4 ahead with one game sent for adjudication. I understand that the Writtle player is not optimistic that his claim of a draw will be upheld and a tie in that match would force a play-off between Wanstead and Southend, since the first tie-break rule is the match between the two leading teams, which was also drawn. However, if Writtle do pick ip two points from the Ilford match, Wanstead will be Champions as Wanstead beat Writtle and Writtle beat Southend. Of course, Upminster may well appeal against the League Management Committee's decision. That's the beauty of chess: it's never over until the next season starts.

[diagram for 29/5/97]

Black to play and win.

Forsyth check: 3rkb2/ppp1q2p/6N1/7Q/3nn3/8/PPP1BPPP/RNB1K2R.

Last week's solution: 1 Ng5 hxg5 2 fxg5 Qxf1+ 3 Rxf1 Nxe5 4 Bxe6 Black resigns