Surrey

Essex

1

Robert K. Thomas

174

0

1

Andrew Brett

173

2

David R. Sedgwick

173

0

1

Trevor D. Coote

173

3

Matthew Broomfield

171

0

1

Tim Hebbes

174

4

Chris Briscoe

171

0.5

0.5

Roy Heppinstall

170

5

David Malcolm

169

0.5

0.5

Larry E. Marden

169

6

Chris R.A. Clegg

168

1

0

George McNally

172

7

John S. White

165

1

0

William L. Saunders

171

8

Martin C. Page

164

0.5

0.5

Ken W. Clow

173

9

S. MacDonald-Ross

162

0

1

David Millward

168

10

Kenneth F.H. Inwood

160

0.5

0.5

Ian D. Hunnable

166

11

Neil Maxwell

160

0

1

Ivor B.N. Smith

161

12

Paul Dupre

158

0

1

Colin R. Ramage

167

13

Nicholas D. Grey

156

0.5

0.5

Les J. Crane

164

14

R. John Wilcox

152

0

1

Roberto E. Waldteufel

163

15

Paul R. Archer

151

0

1

Neville H. Twitchell

160

16

S.T. Kevin Wilkinson

139

1

0

Andy D. Hartland

160

Ave grade

162

Ave grade

168

Total

5.5

10.5

The Essex under-175 Team travelled to Surrey for its penultimate match in the season's programme in the knowledge that the minimum requirement for Essex to retain its Southern Counties' Championship at this level was to draw the match 8 - 8. However, since the closest Essex had come to losing a match in this competition was a 10 - 6 home win over Kent, hopes of another solid victory were high.

It was pleasant, according to one member of the team, to have a proper chess match. The last time the under-175 team ventured afield, they found their Kentish hosts short of players, refreshments and equipment. Surrey, however, were well prepared and they made Essex work hard for almost every point. The one Essex player to win quickly was Roberto Waldteufel, whose opponent turned his king over after only 7 moves. This gave Essex a 1 - 0 lead before David Millward's opponent had arrived!

There were early draws for Les Crane and Ian Hunnable, after which Colin Ramage's Grob went into credit for the season after Colin had selected a rook on a pawn's promotion. An endgame was reached in which Colin was temporarily a pawn down, but his knights were in excellent postitions to take advantage of weaknesses in Black's pawn structure. Ivor Smith has been in fine form all season and was allowed the luxury of a queen sacrifice to force immediate mate. Surrey picked up their first full point at the expense of Bill Saunders, but Neville Twitchell restored the three point lead and when Roy Hepinstall's game ended as a draw, half the results were in and Essex were comfortably placed at 5.5 - 2.5.

The next three games to finish were the top three boards. Andrew Brett has returned to the County after a period of absence, and Trevor Coote had not played since the opening fixture. Board order was a difficult choice, but with Andrew on 1, Trevor on 2 and Tim Hebbes on 3 all three won well, so the Captain felt that his decision was entirely vindicated. Tim was the first to finish, scoring a welcome win against Matthew Broomfield, who is just about Britain's second highest graded 14-year old, the first being Luke McShane. Trevor played David Sedgwick, who is International Director for the BCF. Trevor played a fine sacrifice to finish the game with ten consecutive checks which forced a mate with Black's king on d6. It was then left to Andrew to secure a win with the King's Indian Defence which sealed the match and the title.

The remaining points for Essex came as David Millward won a rook and pawn ending which reached Lucena's position. Ken Clow was unable to force his advantage home and had to settle for a draw, but Larry Marden continued his excellent form and his draw with Black keeps his grading performance for the team this season at above the 200 level.

Essex have one remaining fixture in the regional stage of the Competition before they set out to defend their Championship in the National stages. This will be at home to Sussex on 21st March.

White - Trevor Coote Black - David Sedgwick

Queen's Gambit, SCCU U175, 1998

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 dxc4 5.Nf3 c5 6.e3 a6 7.dxc5 Nbd7 8.Bxc4 Bxc5 9.0-0 0-0 10.e4 Qc7 11.Bd3 Rd8 12.Qe2 Ne5 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Kh1 Qg5 16.f4 Qh6 17.Rf3 Kf8 18.Raf1 Qh5 19.Qc2 Bd4 20.Rh3 Qc5 21.Rxh7 Bd7 22.Qe2 Bxc3 23.Rc1 Bb5 24.Rxc3 Bxd3 25.Qg4 Bc4 26.Qg7+ Ke7 27.Qxf7+ Kd6 28.Qe7+ Kc6 29.Qxb7+ Kd6 30.Qe7+ Kc6 31.Qb7+ Kd6 32.e5+ fxe5 33.fxe5+ Qxe5 34.Qc7+ Kd5 35.Qxc4+ Line