Surrey

Essex

1

Richard Bates

0.5 0.5

Jonathan Rogers

2

def

0 1

Andrew Lewis

3

def

0 1

David Sands

4

R.A. Allicock

0 1

Michael Twyble

5

P.D. Kemp

0 1

Gary Kenworthy

6

D.W. Gunter

0.5 0.5

John Hodgson

7

M.E. Osborne

0.5 0.5

John Moore

8

P.D. Kemp

0 1

Paul Williamson

9

T.M. Thrower

0 1

Robert Parker

10

J. M. Shepley

1 0

Tim Hebbes

11

S. Thrower

0 1

Bill Saunders

12

K. Hurst

0.5 0.5

Roy Heppinstall

13

P.M. Stimpson

1 0

Ivan Myall

14

C.R.A. Clegg

0.5 0.5

David Millward

15

M.C. Page

1 0

Colin Ramage

16

F.C. Manning

0 1

Ivor Smith

5.5 10.5

The Essex First Team began its defence of the Southern Counties' Championship with a workmanlike performance away to Surrey. The home side somehow defaulted two high boards and of course to lose one game by default can be regarded as a misfortune. When both defaults are on adjacent boards ensuring that two of the opposition's top three players are without opponents, it begins to look like something other than carelessness.

The Essex team which played so well last year has lost three of its regulars. Andreas Plug has returned to Germany, having graced the County with some very fine chess during his short stay and during the same period having achieved no fewer than three BCF grades, of 209, 208 and 226! Jim Burnett and Andrew Dunn have both returned to the north of England with their work. With six other strong players missing, Essex might have been expected to struggle.

The Surrey players were made to suffer on the top boards, gleaning just three draws in the top 9. Tim Hebbes miscalculated to allow an early point to the opposition, but Robert Parker demolished Tomas Thrower, a strong junior from the Mike Basman coaching scheme. Tomas mis-played a Benko Gambit, an opening in which Black sacrifices a pawn, normally giving his own position no weaknesses but leaving white with some very vulnerable pawns and, quite often, some holes in his position which Black can occupy with his minor pieces. Tomas handed Robert an invitation to attack while Black's king was still in the centre, and Robert accepted it gratefully. Bill Saunders added to the Thrower family's woes by beating Tomas's father in one of the last games to finish.

White - Robert Parker (Essex)

Black - Tomas Thrower (Surrey)

Benko Gambit

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 6.Nc3 d6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Nf3 e6 9.dxe6 fxe6 10.e4 Bb7 11.Bc4 Qe7 12.0-0 Nxe4 13.Re1 Nxc3 14.bxc3 d5 15.Ng5 black resigns

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The annual Basildon Junior Rapidplay Tournament takes place on 16th Novermber at the Woodlands School. Organised by Arnold Lutton, this event invariable attracts large numbers as Arnold is a great believer in distributing entry forms almost a year in advance of the event. Sometimes such preparation can backfire, though. This event is a London Junior Qualifier for 12s and younger, and Arnold carefully advertised the qualifying criteria, which were then changed by the London organisers. Fortunately, Arnold does not print all his entry forms in one batch, and was able to alter the relevant points.

The Basildon tournament will have sections ranging from under-6 to under-18 and is likely to attract more than 200 competitors. Prospective entrants can contact Arnold Lutton on 01268 280932.

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Four Essex juniors took part in the English under-11 Championships in Nuneaton last month. Bobby Payne was the top Essex scorer with 4.5 / 6, just half-a-point behind the joint winners. Josiah Lutton scored 3.5, winning a very fine game against Thomas Rendle (Sussex). This game reached a fascinating K & P ending and at one stage resembled a study. Rendle was one of the two players to share first place with 5/6. Unfortunately, the pairings force Bobby and Josiah together in final round, which resulted in a win for Bobby. The other two Essex competitors were Stewart Trent and Heather Walker, both of whom scored 2 / 6 against some of the strongest primary school players in the country.