Y. Tello (def)
P. Bell (def)
The Essex team marginally outgraded their Middlesex opponents, but far more important to the outcome of the match was the fact that Middlesex defaulted on board 3 and 4, giving David Smith the opportunity to be a non-playing Captain and allowing Essex the luxury of a two point start. The early results also went the way of the home side, with wins from Roger Sharman, Mark Murrell and Laurie Burtt. Two draws left a score of 6 - 1 at the half-way stage, and Middlesex succeeded in pulling back to 7 - 4. Mike Cresswell and Steve Williams both held on in difficult positions to achieve their draws, and with their two most promising positions having yielded nothing for Middlesex, the result was now not in doubt. Tony Drake won in one of the last games to finish to make the winning margin of 4 clear points very comfortable indeed.
Once again, Middlesex Association have found themselves in difficulties, and have withdrawn their under-175 team from the Southern Counties' Championship without a match having been played. It is a great pity from the Southern Counties' point of view that their competitions are not as well supported as they should be: Middlesex has at its disposal some of the finest players in the Country but it seems to be devoid of organisers prepared to persuade 15 other chess players to sit down for a Saturday afternoon.
The Essex Primary Schools' Team Championships were held in Southend at Temple Sutton school and 25 teams of four players participated. Although 100 children makes for a fine chess tournament, it was disappointing that these teams were produced by only 7 schools, in spite of considerable publicity being given to the event.
The under-11 title was won again by the Home Side, making it five wins in succession since the event's inception. Three straight wins by a score of 4 - 0 made Temple Sutton A almost certain of the title with a round to spare, but Thorpe Hall (Walthamstow), headed by Stewart Trent held them to a 2 - 2 draw in the final round, Thorpe Hall winning on boards 1 and 2. Temple Sutton A therefore won the event with a total of 14 points from a possible 16, and a four-way tie for second place involved Thorpe Hall, St. Teresa's A, a very welcome return to form for the Colchester school, and Temple Sutton B and C. Perhaps the performance of the afternoon in the under-11 was by the team calling itself Temple Sutton E: this team, which consisted of the School's four best footballers, was placed 6th amongst the 19 under-11 sides, and was unbeaten. A 4 - 0 win was followed by three drawn matches, one of which was against Thorpe Hall and effectively ended any challenge that the Walthamstow side was likely to make against the Temple Sutton top four.
In the under-9 Championships, the end of an era was signalled as St. Alban's School, Harlow, scored an excellent 12.5 / 16 to take the title and thereby became only the second name on the trophy, every other year Temple Sutton having demolished all comers. Indeed, three of the teams were from Temple Sutton and these finished very close to one another in second, third and fourth places.
The next event for Juniors to take place in Essex is the Basildon junior congress, which takes place at Woodlands School on 16th November. Players wishing to enter should contact Arnold Lutton on 01268 280932.
The following game was played at the London Grandmaster event between Tal Shaked, recently crowned as World Junior Champion, and Jonathan Rowson, the young Scots player who has been playing very impressively during the past six months.
Shaked,T (2500) - Rowson,J (2490)
London GM (Rd 1), 18.10.1997
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Be3 c58.Qd2 0-0 9.Nf3 Qa5 10.Rc1 Nd7 11.d5 Nb6 12.c4 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Na4 14.Bd3 f5 15.exf5 Bxf5 16.Bxf5 Rxf5 17.Ng5 b5 18.g4 Re5 19.f4 Rxg5 20.fxg5 b4 21.Kc2 Rc8 22.Kb3 Nc3 23.Rhe1 a5 24.a4 Ne4 25.Bf4 Nf2 26.Rxe7 Nd3 27.Rf1 Rf8 28.d6 1-0