Southern Counties Chess Union u100 Competition

Middlesex

Essex

1

T. Rowland

99

1

0

(def)

98

2

W.G.V McLaughlin

97

1

0

Katie Bates

98

3

Keith Grice

97

1

0

Graham Walker

96

4

Derek Birt

96

0

1

Josiah Lutton

96

5

Stephen Banks

93

0

1

Michael Bridger

95

6

Barry Miles

93

1

0

Ron Prickett

95

7

Larry McDonagh

93

0

1

Matthew Cain

90

8

Andrew Havery

93

0

1

John Marsh

77

9

Paul M. Roche

89

0

1

Heather Walker

77

10

Ted Bradley

83

1

0

Jonathan Livesley

61

11

Carl E.G. Toms

79

1

0

Nicholas Fenton

58

12

Cliff W. Aylett

76

1

0

Robert Parish

47

91

7

5

82

The Essex under-100 team suffered its second defeat of the season, this time at the hands of the strongest Middlesex side yet fielded at their venue of the Durham Castle pub in Bayswater. Since all but three of the Essex side were juniors, the benefits of the surroundings were lost on them. However, the three adults in the side and one or two of the accompanying parents were glad of the opportunity to slake their thirsts.

The match started badly for Essex when the scheduled board 1 failed to arrive, an absence expected in certain quarters but not conveyed to the Team Captain. Hence no replacement was available. However, a rapid and thoroughly deserved win for John Marsh levelled the scores. Middlesex took a 3 - 1 lead after the capitulation of boards 10 and 11. Jonathan Livesley won a pawn but then overlooked a knight check which drove his king away from the protection of his rook, which was then captured with no compensation. Katie Bates lost a queen-side pawn and then found her knight with nowhere to go when it was attacked twice. Ron Prickett's 100% record went with an uncharacteristically rapid loss.

With the score at 5 - 1 to the home side, one might have expected the result to be a formality, but of the remaining 6 games the Essex players were better in 4, level in 1 and only behind on board 12. Robert Parish has been in very difficult positions in previous matches and held on to draw, so it was not beyond the realms of possibility that a rearguard action could at least level the match.

Matthew Cain was the second Essex winner. He completely outplayed his opponent for the third consecutive time in County chess this season. Thereafter, there was a long wait for the next result. Heather Walker had been in the driving seat all afternoon, twice winning material with tactical play. There was some danger to her own king at one stage, but she defended well and set about winning an ending with a rook for knight and three extra pawns. A double pin on the knight tied black down completely, and she then sent her a-pawn forward towards the queening square. Her opponent finally resigned when he was about to lose his queen after yet another tactical oversight.

Vying with Heather for the best game of the match was Josiah Lutton. He had maintained some king-side pressure throughout the afternoon, and finally it paid off as holes appeared in white's position and Black's queen and rooks thundered through. Josiah's opponent still played on even after his material was reduced to bishop, knight and pawn against Josiah's queen and six pawns, but resigned eventually after even heavier material loss.

Michael Bridger had also had much the better of his game but seemed to lose the thread during the middle game. However, he found another plan after the exchange of queens and forced a pawn home to the queening square.

This left two games remaining: Robert Parish was losing so badly now that even his Houdini impersonations were not going to be sufficient, and Graham Walker's game against his opponent's Dutch Defence had given Graham a lot of pressure on the queen side which he was unable to exploit because of pressure against his own king. His opponent offered him a draw, which was a perfectly reasonable offer given the position of the game, but not in the context of the match, which currently stood at 5 - 5 but with Robert's game written off. Graham was instructed to continue and to try to find some way of taking advantage, and he did just that, spotting that an injudicious rook move by black had left his bishop with no escape squares. Graham attacked the bishop and a couple of moves later he took it off the board, but then failed to spot a simple mate in 2 and the match was over some 3.5 hours after it had begun.

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

In last month's London Junior Championships, one of the best results by an Essex player was Edward Morris's win against Jonathan Zoubaida in the under-10 Championship. Shortly afterwards, Jonathan had his best tournament ever, sharing second place in the u-12 event.

White J. Zoubaida (Richmond) Black - Edward Morris (Southend)

English Opening, London 1997

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bc5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 0-0 7.d3 Be6 8.Ng5 Qd7 9.Nxe6 Qxe6 10.a3 Rad8 11.Nb5 Qd7 12.b4 Bd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Bxb7 c6 15.Ba6 Qh3 16.f4 Ng4 17.Rf2 Nxf2 18.Kxf2 Qxh2+ 19.Ke1 Qg1+ 20.Kd2 Qxd1+ 21.Kxd1 Nb3 22.Rb1 Nxc1 23.Kxc1 exf4 24.gxf4 Rfe8 25.Kd2 Rb8 26.a4 Rb6 27.b5 cxb5 28.axb5 h5 29.e3 g6 30.Rg1 Kh7 31.Rh1 Rd8 32.Rg1 Kh6 33.Rg2 Rdb8 34.Kc3 f6 35.Kd4 g5 36.Ke4 g4 37.d4 Re8+ 38.Kd3 f5 39.Rg1 h4 40.c5 dxc5 41.dxc5 Rd8+ 42.Ke2 Rg6 43.c6 Rgd6 44.c7 Rd2+ 45.Kf1 Rd1+ 46.Kg2 R8d2+ 47.Kh1 g3 48.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 49.Kg2 Rd2+ 50.Kg1 Rd1+ 51.Kg2 Rd2+ 52.Kf1 g2+ 53.Kg1 h3 54.c8Q Rd1+ 55.Kf2 g1Q+ 56.Kf3 Qg2#

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