SCCU Under 100 Competition

Essex

Herts

1

John Sneesby

1 - 0

Michael Brroks

2

Katie Bates

.5 - .5

Robert Huhn

3

Josiah Lutton

0 - 1

Kris Devoti

4

Michael Bridger

1 - 0 Keith Soars
5

Ron Prickett

1 - 0 Peter Tuck
6

Stewart Trent

1- 0

Ros Wosik

7

Matthew Cain

1 - 0

Frank Batchelor

8

John Marsh

0 - 1

Reece Gates

9

Heather Walker

0 - 1

Simon Morris

10

Robert Parish

1 - 0

Mark Senn

11

Jonathan Livesley

1 - 0

Alan Brewis

12

Nicholas Fenton

1 - 0

John Dolton

8.5 - 3.5

After the frustration and disappointment of their first match, in which Essex lost narrowly away to Surrey, the team made amends in great style against Hertfordshire. Indeed, the victory should have been more emphatic than it was.

The first game to finish was on board 9. Heather Walker won a piece but then forgot about the safety of her own king. With half her forces still on their starting squares, she began operations against her opponent's king, only to leave a one-move mate available. Stewart Trent won well. Playing white, he opened up his opponent's position and finished off very efficiently.

Katie Bates agreed a fairly quick draw, but around the half-way stage, the majority of the games appeared to be in favour of the home side. Michael Bridger, who was not available for the Surrey match, played very sensibly, winning material and exchanging pieces. As his endgame progressed, Michael had imprisoned his opponent's last remaining piece, a rook, on the b2 square and was merely playing his own king and pawn ending, two pawns up, on the other side of the board. When black's king strayed to the e5 square, Michael's knight jumped in to d3, forking king and rook and precipitating a resignation which was in order some 20 moves previously.

Nicholas Fenton played some aggressive, vigourous chess and emerged two pieces up. Again, the Hertfordshire player seemed very disinclined to resign, perhaps because he had a passed pawn. Eventually he walked into a one move mate. John Marsh was unlucky for the second match in succession. He had reached an endgame with an extra pawn and no weaknesses, but somehow managed to contrive a losing move. Jonathan Livesley, playing with the black pieces, put in a superb effort against the Hertfordshire captain. Jonathan's opponent castled queen-side, and Jonathan's pawn storm persuaded the white pawns to advance. The black queen invaded and since Jonathan's rooks held the central files, there were some serious mating threats. Finally Mr. Brewis captured a pawn which, to judge by the sheepish smile after Jonathan pinned queen to rook, was heavily laced with strichnine.

Josiah Lutton had lost the exchange in the early part of the game, but won it back and reached a rook and pawn ending. Sadly Josiah's king was in the wrong place to help prevent the advance of white's queen-side pawn majority. Robert Parish, however, had won a piece and exchanged into an ending. With the pawns down to two each and white with just a bishop and knight against bishop, it was becoming quite likely that Jonathan was going to have to attempt the notoriously difficult King, Bishop and Knight checkmate. However, he managed to preserve his pawns and converted one of them to a queen, which was by far the best way of going about things.

For the scond game in succession, Matthew Cain broke through on the queen side and deserved victory. This result gave Essex an unassailable lead. The two remaining games were both in favour of the home side, as John Sneesby had two extra pawns but still needed to exercise great care because the Hertfordshire player's bishops were more active than John's. However, with a certain air of inevitability John steamrollered out the win. Ron Prickett, who was a regular in the side last season but was not available for the Surrey match, also had a small advantage which suddenyl became a big one when his opponent blundered a rook. However, whit had an advanced passed pawn it was quite difficult at one stage to work out how black was to avoid a queen check from one square which won the rook back or commence a series of checks which might have ended in a draw. However, Ron settled down and had a long think and eventually came up with the best move. His opponent resigned soon afterwards and Essex had won by a wide margin with more than an hour of the scheduled playing time remaining.

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The following game was submitted as one of the best in the recent Braintree tournament.

Hare,R - Casement,S [C55]

Braintree

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.g4 Qg6 12.Nxe6 fxe6 13.Rxe6+ Kf7 14.Nd5 Bd6 15.fxg7 Kxe6 16.gxh8Q Rxh8 17.Qf3 Rf8 18.Qxf8 Qxg4+ White resigns.