1 L.J. Cannon 149 0.5 0.5 Mustafa Rahaman 148
2 D.L.Roberts 148 0.5 0.5 David J. Rawlings 146
3 P.A.Greaves 147 0 1 Jason Roberts 145
4 K. Davies 146 0.5 0.5 Anthony Drake 145
5 D.G. Ratcliffe 146 0 1 Mark Brazier 144
6 P.R. Selby 146 1 0 Laurie J. Burtt 142
7 R.C. Grundy 146 0 1 Peter Walker 142
8 P.N. Kington 144 0.5 0.5 Ian MacLachlan 141
9 E.J. Hillier 140 0.5 0.5 David F.C. Bird 141
10 T.J. Woods 135 1 0 Mark R.A. Murrell 139
11 G.J. Cox 130 0 1 Ian P. Morgan 138
12 M.R. Hickman 129 0 1 Ellen Walker 137
13 B.J. Izzard 126 0.5 0.5 Thomas G. Winter 137
14 P.S. Smith 125 1 0 David G. Cannan 131
15 D.W.L. Howell 104 1 0 J. Arnold Lutton 133
16 J.L. Bryant 119 1 0 J. Ezra Lutton 117
136 8 8 139

The Essex under-150 team begain its campaign in the Southern Counties' Championship with a trip to Horsham where the opponents were Sussex. This match was being played at the same time and venue as the First teams' match which was reported in last week's Recorder, so an intriguing afternoon's chess was in prospect. A number of players were decidedly moist as a result of the short walk from the car park to the playing hall in the monsoon conditions which evidently affect the South Downs at this time of year.

Your correspondent has assumed the responsibility as Captain of the under-150 team, and this spell of Captaincy was given a dream start when the Sussex board 7 played his opening badly. Such was his impending material loss that he preferred to resign rather than play his 9th move. Cloud 9 was replaced by generally more overcast conditions when the Sussex board 10 levelled the scores after a fine sacrificial attack.

The next two results were draws as Maldon players David Bird and Ian MacLachlan were content to share the points, and Mustafa Rahaman also agreed his result. Sussex then took the lead as their player's queen-side attack proved more effective than Laurie Burtt's attack on the king-side.

The Essex lead was restored within a few minutes as firstly Ellen Walker, who had won a piece for a couple of pawns when her opponent miscalculated a tactic, forced an easily-won ending and, secondly, Ian Morgan offered his queen, the capture of which would have led to instant mate. His opponent refused the offer but the dramatic invasion of black's position led to a swift mate in any case. Jason Roberts then delivered the coup de grace to an opponent who had been struggling all afternoon to cope with the advancing white pawns.David Rawlings, who had been giving his opponent some difficulties, then agreed a draw when his threats disappeared.

With the score at 6 - 4 in Essex's favour, it was very hard to see where the winning points were coming from. Mark Brazier had lost three or four pawns for the exchange. Tom Winter had played aggressively and must have been winning at one point, but his light-squared bishop was so useless that his opponent did not even bother to capture it when the opportunity arose. However, Tom's knights were very dangerous and his queen was firmly fixed on g6, terrorising the black king.Tony Drake had a level position, but no more. Meanwhile, Mark Brazier had "got round the back" with his queen and forced his opponent's resignation. This unexpected point put Essex in a commanding position, and now only one point from the remaining four games was required as Tony agreed the draw which had been on the cards for a couple of hours.

Most unusually, the last four games in progress were the bottom four boards and, even though Essex outgraded Sussex quite heavily here, our players were struggling. After a series of exchanges, Tom Winter agreed a draw, even though Tom's attack seemed to have gone and he was a pawn down. Perhaps both sides were relieved not to have lost. Arnold Lutton had the unenviable task of playing 7-year-old David Howell, whose recent results have made ludicrous the BCF's decision not to sent him to the World Youth Championships for under-10s. David is probably playing better than Luke McShane was when he won the event as an 8-year-old, but having said that, the BCF was against sending Luke as well! Arnold must have been very disappointed that David was in Sussex and not in Spain as Arnold was under the cosh.

Eventually David made a miscalculation as Arnold won back the pawn he had lost. This was a real bonus, and the fact that Arnold won two further pawns and was now two pawns up meant that the match should have been in the bag. However, Arnold was very short of time and when he could have forced a draw by repetition he failed to do so. David played very accurately and Arnold, with no plan and no time, saw his position deteriorate as finally his flag fell tying the match at 8 - 8.

Roberts,J - Greaves,P [A48]

Sussex v Essex

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Bd3 d6 5.Nbd2 0-0 6.e4 Nbd7 7.c3 e5 8.0-0 Re8 9.Re1 c6 10.Qc2 Qc7 11.h3 Nf8 12.Nf1 Bd7 13.Be3 h6 14.Ng3 a6 15.Qd2 Kh7 16.a4 c5 17.d5 b5 18.a5 c4 19.Bb6 Qb7 20.Bc2 Bc8 21.b4 cxb3 22.Bxb3 N8d7 23.Be3 Qc7 24.Rec1 Nc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.c4 b4 27.Qc2 Bd7 28.Ne2 Rab8 29.Ne1 Bf8 30.Qd3 Nh5 31.Qf3 Kg7 32.Nd3 Qc7 33.c5 Bb5 34.c6 Nf6 35.Nb2 Ng8 36.Nc4 Ne7 37.Nb6 f5 38.Nd7 Rbd8 39.exf5 gxf5 40.Ng3 f4 41.Nh5+ Kf7 42.Nxe5+ dxe5 43.d6+ 1-0

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