John Sneesby (98)



A. Palmer (99)


Katie Bates



Jessie Gilbert (91)


Julian Winkworth



Oliver Wilson )99)


Graham Walker



Laila Tillet (98)


Josiah Lutton



Nick Bawden (93)


Michael Bridger



Bartek Jablonski (91)


Ron Prickett



Harvey Murray-Smith (96)


Stewart Trent



Richard Davy (96)


Alan Trent



David Briscoe


John Marsh



Fred Bleasdale(92)


Heather Walker



Andrew Foster-Yeow (88)


Edward Morris



John Barron (82)



Essex kept the organisers waiting to see who the nominees would be for the National knockout stage of the competition. Surrey, having won four out of their five previous matches, were already assured of a place in the National Championships, and needed only a draw from this match in order to take the Southern Counties' title outright.

Until the last quarter of the match, they looked to be well on course to get that draw, or better.

The first games to finish both went in favour of the home side and were concluded within a minute of one another by Surrey blunders. Josiah Lutton had been a pawn down for a long period and the absence of queens gave white the edge. It seemed to be a mistake for white not

to complete his development when he had the chance, and although Josiah, playing black, completed his development, his pieces were tied down by a very aggressive white knight. Finally white's pieces did emerge, but to his cost as the act of moving his rook allowed Josiah to finish with a back-rank mate.

Heather Walker's game had been very interesting, as both sides attempted to attack on the king side. At one point white pushed his e-pawn forward with a flourish, probably imagining that he won a knight as the move discovered a bishop attack on black's queen. Heather, however, had anticipated this and played her rook to b2, pinning the bishop to the king and threatening mate. A few moves later white played another ostentatious move, inviting Heather to capture a bishop as to do so would have allowed mate in 2. This was another piece of false analysis as when black captured the bishop it was with check, a detail overlooked by the Surrey player, who now had no defence to a mate on g2.

Ron Prickett's draw was agreed long before the middlegame struggle had been concluded, but the next result was a body blow: Stewart Trent had played a very good opening and had won a couple of pawns, but slack play allowed black to whip up a king-side attack which soon

became decisive. This brought Surrey right back into the match as Alan Trent had mis-played his endgame, allowing rook and 4 pawns to beat bishop, rook and two. John Marsh seemed to be attacking well, but found himslf a piece down after exchanges. Jessie Gilbert gave Katie Bates a lesson in the French Defence, so with the score standing at 2.5 - 4.5 Essex were staring defeat in the face. John Sneesby was a pawn down, but with no open files and the only

pieces left being rooks, white was finding progress difficult.

Everything was now dependant upon endgame play. Edward Morris, playing for the team for the first time, had established a winning advantage in a queen and pawns ending, but he captured too many unimportant pawns rather than push the important one and allowed black to escape with a perpetual check.

Julian Winkworth, also on his debut, played a very controlled game against Oliver Wilson, creating a passed pawn and then crushing white with a central advance. Graham Walker reached a king and pawn ending with level pawns but a slightly superior king position and showed great application as he nursed his advantage to a win.

John Sneesby's game seemed to have made no progress for some long time, other than that John had far less time left than his opponent. White eventually ran out of ideas: his extra pawn was of no use as he could not advance any pawn without losing it and a draw was agreed.

This left board 6, also in a double rook and pawn ending, to decide the match. This ending was of a completely different character from that on board 1, as there were such luxuries as open files and black even had a passed pawn. Had he not been so ambitious, this game would

have been drawn, but the Surrey player decided to advance his pawn so Michael Bridger decided to win it. A pair of rooks was exchanged, after which Michael's remaining rook was a far superior beast to black's. White won a couple of pawns and the exchange of rooks made

the king and pawn ending a formality.

Essex will now need a draw with Middlesex this coming Saturday to reach the National stages in second place. A win will give us the same number of points as Surrey but, since the two matches between the sides 6.5 - 5.5 to the home side, the first tie break, the team scoring the most points against the other, will be of no use. If Essex beats Middlesex by a score of 7 - 5 or better, we will then win the title on game points. Should the score be 6.5 - 5.5 to Essex, the Essex and Surrey game points total will be identical at 38.5 each. In that eventuality Essex will be declared Southern Counties' Champions on board count as in both matches between Essex and Surrey the Essex wins were on average on much higher boards than were Surrey's.

Current table:

1. Surrey 4 / 6

2. Essex 3 / 5

3. Middlesex 2 / 5

4. Herts 2 / 6

Wilson,O - Winkworth,J [B13]


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.Bd3 Bxd3 7.Qxd3 e6 8.0-0 Bd6 9.Qb5+ Qd7 10.Qxd7+ Kxd7 11.Bxd6 Kxd6 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Rfe1 Raf8 14.a3 a6 15.Rac1 Nd7 16.Rcd1 h6 17.b4 b5 18.Na2 Nb6 19.Ra1 g5 20.Nc1 g4 21.Ne5 Nxd4 22.Ra2 Rhg8 23.Ned3 Na4 24.Nb3 Nc3 25.Rb2 Nxb3 26.cxb3 Ne4 27.a4 Rc8 28.g3 f5 29.Rbe2 Rge8 30.Nf4 Ng5 31.Kg2 Rc3 32.Re3 Rxe3 33.Rxe3 Rc8 34.h4 gxh3+ 35.Nxh3 Rb8 36.a5 Rc8 37.Rd3 Rc2 38.Nxg5 hxg5 39.Kf1 e5 40.Rf3 Ke6 41.Ke1 e4 42.Re3 d4 43.Re2 Rxe2+ 44.Kxe2 Ke5 45.Kd2 f4 46.gxf4+ gxf4 47.Ke2 f3+ 48.Kd2 Kf4 49.Ke1 e3 50.Kf1 Ke4 51.Ke1 Kd3 52.fxe3 dxe3 53.Kf1 f2 0-1