National U100 County Championship: Quarter-Finals

Board

Grade

S. Staffordshire

Result

Result

Essex

Grade

1

95

J. Button

1

0

J. Sneesby

98

2

94

B. Hall

0

1

J. Winkworth

98

3

94

D. Buckley

0

1

G. Walker

96

4

93

D. Bull

0.5

0.5

J. Lutton

96

5

89

D. Mackintosh

0

1

M. Bridger

95

6

89

P. Gavin

0

1

R. Prickett

95

7

77

R. Dolan

1

0

J. Berlin (def)

91

8

82

J. Evans

0

1

S. Trent

93

9

71

P. Nixon

0.5

0.5

M. Cain

90

10

71

K. Moore

1

0

J. Marsh (def)

77

11

68

J. Hennion

0.5

0.5

E. Morris

77

12

ug

B. Lynham

0

1

A. Trent

78

84

4.5

7.5

90

Bicester was the agreed neutral venue for the under-100 quarter-final of the County Championship in which Staffordshire were nominally the home side. Apparently, before the match began a number of the Staffordshire players seemed to relish the fact that most of the Essex players were juniors. What they did not know was that all but one of these juniors were in the team which won the National Under-11 Championship for Essex in 1996.

Essex had a poor start as two of the scheduled players failed to arrive. However, the match was not very old before Michael Bridger had reduced the deficit with a convincing win. The deficit was wiped out by Graham Walker, who succeeded in advancing a pawn to c7 where it immobilised most of black's forces. The remainder of the game was a fairly straightforward series of exchanges after which white forced the pawn home. Staffordshire had obtained special permission to include an ungraded player on board 12, but it was to no avail as Alan Trent won fairly quickly to give Essex a lead which Staffordshire were thereafter unable to threaten.

Josiah Lutton had established a winning position but allowed a perpetual check. Matthew Cain agreed a draw, but Stewart Trent played very solidly to earn his win. When Ron Prickett won, Essex now needed only a draw from the remaining games to win the match. Edward Morris had had some winning chances, but once Alan Trent, who was captaining the team, pointed out that all Essex needed was a draw, Edward promptly removed all the pawns, leaving himself and his opponent with just a knight each.

Julian Winkworth was in the driving seat throughout his game, but was in no hurry and played out the win with no pressure upon him other that his own. John Sneesby lasted more than four hours but John is nothing if not determined. However, even his determination was insufficient to keep out the attack.

Essex will have a home fixture against Surrey in the semi-final. Essex have something to prove here, as Surrey were awarded the Southern Counties' Title at Essex's expense because Middlesex defaulted a match against us. The issue was all to do with the application of the game points tie break rule when one county had played one more match than the other. The rule was applied according to the book, but the Essex captain appealed on the grounds of fairness: any sort of win (except by default) would have given Essex the title, and Middlesex had a very poor away record. The Southern Counties' Rules and Appeals Sub-Committee simply ruled that the Tournament Organiser had applied the rules correctly (this was never in question) and did not, apparently, concern themselves with the justice of the case.

All semi-final matches are due to be played on the weekend of 13th June, which is also unfortunate as a number of Essex players are due to be participating in the English Primary Schools' Championships in Sussex that weekend. This may also affect some of the Surrey players. There is some room for leeway, and the National Controller merely requires that the finalists be available for the weekend of 4th July.

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This coming weekend sees the annual Essex Chess Association Congress, to be held for the third time at Woodlands School, Basildon. There are three sections. The Open Championship has a first prize of £300, the Major (for players graded under 160) is offering £200 as a first prize, and the minor (under-120) £200. Any late entries (fees are £23, £21 and £21 respectively) should be addressed to John Sargent, 908 Longbridge Road, Dagenham, RM8 2BU.

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R.J. Wallman (Warks) v J. White (Essex)

Played at BEDFORD on 7th June 1997

U150 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS 1996-7 SEMI-FINAL, ESSEX v WARWICKSHIRE

OPENING: TWO KNIGHT'S DEFENCE

1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6 3. Bf1-c4 Ng8-f6 4. Nf3-g5 d7-d5 5. e4xd5 Nc6-a5 6. Bc4-b5+ c7-c6 7. d5xc6 b7xc6 8. Bb5-e2 h7-h6 9. Ng5-f3 e5-e4 10. Nf3-e5 Qd8-c7 11. d2-d4 e4xd3 e.p. 12. Ne5xd3 Bf8-d6 13. h2-h3 O-O
14. Nb1-c3 Ra8-b8 15. O-O c6-c5 16. Be2-f3 Rf8-d8! 17. Qd1-e2 Rd8-e8 18. Qe2-d1 Bc8-e6 19. a2-a4 a7-a6
20. Kg1-h1 Na5-c6 21. Nc3-e2 Nc6-e5 22. Nd3xe5 Bd6xe5 23. Ra1-b1? Re8-d8 24. Qd1-e1 Be6-f5 25. Ne2-c3 Bf5xc2 26. Rb1-a1 Bc2-d3 27. Bf3-e2 c5-c4! 28. Ra1-a2 Rd8-e8 29. Bc1-e3 Rb8-b3 30. Qe1-d2 Be5xc3 31. b2xc3 Nf6-e4
32. Qd2-e1 Rb3-b1 33. Be3-c1 Qc7-e5! 34. f2-f4 Qe5xc3 35. Kh1-h2 Qc3xe1 36. Rf1xe1 Ne4-c3 37. Be2xd3 Re8xe1 38. Bd3xb1 Nc3xa2 39. RESIGNS

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