Essex Present

Essex Past

Gary Kenworthy

Andrew Martin

Michael Twyble

Neil Carr

David Sands

½0

½1

Tony Stebbings

Jon Manley

½½

½½

Jim Howson

Graham Reid

1 0

0 1

Peter Hempson

Robert Parker

1 0 Peter Doye
Trevor Coote 0 0 1 1 Keith Oliff
Ian Hunnable ½ 1 ½ 0 Robert Rodie
David Millward ½ 1 ½ 0 Ray Forey
Paul Barclay ½ 1 ½ 0 Peter Haddock
John Philpott 0 0 1 1 Tim Congdon
Colin Ramage 1 0 0 1 Geoff Elliston
Terry Cole 1 0 0 1 Don Imrie
Nigel Nice 0 0 1 1 Dick Elliott
11 16

One of the main events organised to mark the centenary of the Essex Chess Association was the match between Essex Past and Essex Present. This was held last Saturday afternoon at the Dukes Hall in Hornchurch. Two teams of County Stalwarts of varying vintages assembled around lunch time and sat down for two games of chess each. Just to prove that it was a chess match and that complete agreement is out of the question, Robert Parker and Peter Doye played only the one game and there was some speculation after the match that Robert's win should have counted twice!

There were some real stars amongst the teams. Gary Kenworthy was the top board for Essex Present, and Gary is a particularly unusual variety of chess player. Not only is he a very strong player, but he is also a very hard working organiser. He is a past president of the Essex Chess Association, but most of his work in recent years has been for the Barbican Club, one of the strongest British chess clubs at present. Gary has become Director of Coaching for the BCF recently and is doing his best to untangle a particularly knotty can of worms in that capacity. Gary's opponent was International Master Andrew Martin, the strongest player in attendance yesterday and one of the strongest ever to come from Essex. Andrew's first club was East Ham.

Michael Twyble, from Southend, is the strongest player from the South-Eastern corner of the County for many years. His opponent was Neil Carr, who was by quite some way the youngest player on the Essex Past team. Neil won British Championships in his age group when in his teens, and also won the World under-14 Championship, but pressure of work now prevents him from pursuing chess as vigorously as he once did. Neil also began his chess playing career at the East Ham club.

Perhaps the one player present in Saturday's match to have generated the greatest influenceof all, but not in the world of chess, was Professor Tim Congdon. Tim used to play for Colchester many years ago, but in the intervening period wrote a number of books and essays on economics. He was one of the "wise men" who advised the Thatcher government on economic policy. It was quite remarkable to witness somebody who has not, apparently, played competitive chess for about 20 years take to the board as effectively as he did. John Phipott, a seasoned and active campaigner, found himself on the receiving end twice.

The afternoon session of competition moved seamlessly into an evening of celebration when a company numbering, appropriately, 64 sat down to enjoy the Centenary Dinner. The meal of Beef Wellington was speedily demolished and three of the County's dignitories were called upon to speak. John Cook, who had acted as Captain during the afternoon's match, reminisced and reminded all present of the players who had graced the County's teams over the years. Andrew Martin regaled us all with a variety of anecdotes, some of which concerned directly persons on the Top Table and which were received with mirth by the assembled company. Last to speak was John Philpott, currently President of the Southern Counties' Chess Union, and he too was highly entertaining in his own inimitable way.

During the evening guests took the opportunity to peruse the display of Essex Chess Memorabilia, which had been thoroughly researched by Ivor Smith. A newspaper cutting from the Stratford Express of 1898 recorded the inaugural meeting, and the match score was available from the 50 year celebrations. At least one player, Jack Speigel, who turned out in 1948 is still active in the County today.

The proceedings were rounded off with the drawing of the raffle, conducted by Colin Ramage. Colin's chosen colour scheme for the evening was a plum-coloured blazer and a very attractive primrose-yellow waistcoat. I am not sure whether he was in full regalia for the afternoon's match, but if he was the I am sure that Geoff Elliston would have had excellent reason to protest. It would have been like playing chess in the full glare of the rising sun on midsummer's day.

There was an uncanny tendency for members of the Woodbridge side and their wives to win raffle prizes, although the bottle of Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, produce of Dufftown, was won by Andrew Martin himself

The following game was won by Andrew Martin in the 1992 British Championships

Levitt,J (2455) - Martin,A (2420) [A53]

BCF-ch (9), 1992

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.g3 e5 5.Bg2 Be7 6.e4 0-0 7.Nge2 [ An experiment to which White later attributed many of his coming woes. The knight just seems to get in the way from now on ] 7...c6 8.0-0 a6 9.b3 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Bb2 Re8 12.Qc2 Bf8 13.Rfd1 b4 14.Nb1?! [ 14.Na4 … Rac1 ] 14...Ba6! 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Nc1 Qb6 [ The queen will capture on f2 eventually. White cannot hold this square ] 17.h3 Nc5 18.a3 Rad8 19.Rd2 bxa3 20.Bxa3 Ne6 21.Bxf8 Rxf8 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Nc3 h5! 24.h4?! Ng4+- 25.Qb2 Nd4 26.b4 Be2!!

0 - 1

Solution to last week's problem (Ilievsky - Gulko, Moscow 1973): 1...b3 2 cxb3 d3 3 Rd1 Rc1 white resigns

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