England u-11, Rd 1

Essex u-12

England, Rd 2

1

Kenan Boztas

1 - 0

Lawrence Trent 0 - 1 Thomas Rendle
2

Thomas Rendle

1 - 0

Ezra Lutton

1 - 0

Kenan Boztas

3

Stephen Gordon

1 - 0

Alex O'Neill

.5 - .5

Tom Cameron

4

Tom Cameron

.5 - .5

Bobby Payne

.5 - .5

Stephen Gordon

5

Chris Hansell

.5 - .5

Graham Walker

.5 - .5

Lydia Goodwin

6

Lydia Goodwin

1 - 0

Josiah Lutton

.5 - .5

Chris Hansell

7

Kristian Maton

1 - 0

John Sneesby

.5 - .5

Oliver Coddington

8

Oliver Coddington

0 - 1 Jamie Berlin .5 - .5 Kristian Marton
9

Jody Stanger

1 - 0

Matthew Jellett

1 - 0

S. Morrell

10

S. Morrell

1 - 0

Heather Walker

0 - 1

Jody Stanger

11

Sophie Payne

1 - 0

Jonathan Livesley

1 - 0

Alex Mace

12

Alex Mace

1 - 0

Katie Bates

0 - 1

Sophie Payne

13

Chris Jones

0 - 1

Michael Bridger

0 - 1

R. Marder

14

R. Marder

1 - 0

Stewart Trent

.5 - .5

Chris Jones

15

Robert Woodhead

1 - 0

Nicholas Jellett

.5 - .5

David Jackson

16

David Jackson

1 - 0

David Gunn

0 - 1

Robert Woodhead

17

C. Lythgoe

.5 - .5

Liam Mullen

.5 - .5

C. Newnham

18

C. Newnham

.5 - .5

Jason Klimach

1 - 0

C. Lythgoe

19

Joel Talbot

1 - 0

Mark Huntley

0 - 1

Kenji Nicholas

20

Kenji Nicholas

1 - 0

Daniel Hedges

0 - 1

Joel Talbot

16 - 4

8.5 - 11.5

The 1997 version of the annual encounter between the previous year's Champion County and the Rest of England took place at the St. Laurence Church Hall, Upminster, supported by the Save & Prosper Group and the David Wood Memorial Trust. This was the first occasion that Essex had participated in this event, as 1996 was the first time that Essex became Champion County at under-11 level. On certain boards, Essex had an age advantage as under-12 members of last year's team took their places to play England under-11s. This was counteracted by England's policy of picking only year 5 and year 6 children for the team. Essex included three year 4s.

The match was played as a double-rounder in which boards 1 and 2 from each team simply swapped opponents and so on down the order. Technically, in round 1 each board 1 played the other team's board 2, but this did not make the slightest difference as Essex were soundly thrashed by their opponents. There were two wins for Essex. Jamie Berlin, who is almost certainly the strongest player in the age group not to achieve an England place, due to badly-timed illnesses during critical tournaments, demonstrated superiority over Hampshire player Oliver Coddington, who did earn himself the coveted Yellow Jersey during the trial in April. Michael Bridger also took an early advantage and kept it, maintaining lasting pressure against white's backward f-pawn and finally eliciting resignation when he won a rook. Graham Walker, the only Essex player to achieve an England place last year, was relegated to board 5 to allow the "New Recruits", of whom Essex has four, to test themselves against their England colleagues. Graham launched a promising king-side attack against Christopher Hansell, but with both players in time trouble Graham's exchange sacrifice was more speculative than devastating, and white was forced to allow a perpetual check.

In round 2 Essex responded far better to the challenge, and for a long time there was little between the sides. Matthew Jellett ensnared his opponent's queen and would have been the first winner had the England player not allowed the clock to tick on for twenty unnecessary minutes while facing mate on the move. That privilege was afforded to Jason Klimach, whose 1.5 / 2 was an excellent day's work and will, hopefully, have been noticed by the England selectors when next year's team is considered. Jamie Berlin also scored 1.5, drawing his second round. Graham Walker's game was almost a carbon copy of his first, in which he launched the attack but his opponent succeeded in covering the gaps. Jonathan Livesley won very well.

Just as it looked as though Essex would at least draw round 2, two setbacks occurred within seconds of one another. Firstly, Heather Walker lost patience with a drawn position in which she was a pawn down. The required strategy was simply to sit tight and do nothing but shuffle her king, but she committed herself to something more adventurous and was punished: this was very unfortunate, as Heather had made an error in a good position in the first round and lost a game in which she had earlier had winning chances. Immediately after Heather's loss, Lawrence Trent, playing the England top board, captured a pawn with a flourish which belied the fact that black could play a simple knight fork to win the rook. There was another pawn capture available which would have given Lawrence two connected passed pawns on the g- and h-files, and probable winning chances.

The last game to finish was on board 2. Ezra Lutton had played very well in limited space. He created a passed pawn on the blind side of a scrum of black pawns and this cost black his bishop. This fine piece of work was followed by a time-trouble blunder as Ezra promptly gave the bishop back again and slapped his forehead in frustration. However, Ezra had more time than his opponent and, by this time, more pawns and the fall of Black's flag gave Ezra the result he deserved and Essex a more respectable showing than had earlier looked likely.

--------------------------------------------------------------

In the following game, Essex's top under-13 player demonstrates his ability against of the Essex League's more experienced competitors.

White - Matthew Lewsey Black - Rod Nixon

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.e3 c5 5.c3 Qb6 6.Qb3 Qxb3 7.axb3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Na6 9.Bb5+ Nd7 10.Rxa6 bxa6 11.Bc6 Bc5 12.Nf3 e5 13.Bxe5 0-0 14.Bxa8 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bf5 16.Bb7 Bxb1 17.Nd7 1 - 0

3/7/97

XABCDEFGHY

8-+-+q+-+(

7zppzp-+-mk-'

6-+nvl-zp-+&

5+-+LzpPzp-%

4-zP-+-+Q+$

3+-zP-vL-zP-#

2P+-+-zP-+"

1+-+-+-+K!

xabcdefghy

White to play and win

Fosyth check: 4q3/ppp3k1/2nb1p2/3BpPp1/1P4Q1/2P1B1P1/P4P2/7K.

Last week's solution: 1...Bxe4 2 Qd1 Bd3 3 Qxd3 Qg2+ 4 Ke1 Qxf2 0 - 1