Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:


L Trent




R Payne 0 0.5 1 1.5
E Lutton 0 1 0 1
J Sneesby 0.5 1 1 2.5
S Trent 0.5 1 1 2.5
G Walker 0 1 0 1
J Lutton 1 1 1 3
A O' Neill 1 0 1 2
J Winkworth 1 1 0.5 2.5
J Klimach 1 1 1 3
H Walker 0 1 1 2
T Winkworth 0 0 0 0
TOTAL: 6 9.5 8.5 24





Essex 6 9.5 8.5 24
Richmond 9 6.5 8.5 24
Manchester 8 8 7 23
Surrey 8.5 7.5 6.5 22.5
Glamorgan 6 6 8 20
Wiltshire 6 3.5 3.5 13
Cheshire & N. Wales 3 5.5 4.5 13
Berkshire 1.5 2.5 2.5 6.5
Buckinghamshire 2.5 2.5 1.5 6.5
60 60 60 180

Teams from all over England and Wales converged on Stoke-on-Trent for the National Under-14 Chess Championships. This event is played over 12 boards in two divisions, and Essex has competed in the Championship division for the past few years. It was expected that the Richmond-on-Thames team was to be the favourite, but with a number of their stars missing, the event became more open. Kent and Essex were also likely to challenge strongly. At this age group, Surrey and Manchester are also strong.

The first round for Essex was a disappointment as at least one won position was frittered away and another drawn one lost on time. There were, of course, some encouraging signs. Jason Klimach had established a strong position against his Berkshire opponent, and his bishop pair proved to be decisive after a temporary queen sacrifice to win a pawn. Julian Winkworth also invaded his opponent's position and won well. The best game of the round was the last to finish as Lawrence Trent sacrificed a piece to open the centre and Liam Varnam (Berks) resigned rather than suffer further carnage. This round yielded six points, but clearly 50% was well short of the target and the team's potential.

Round 2 was a massive improvement and the wins began early. As in the first round, Heather Walker was the first to finish, but this time the result was a win. The other early results were on the low boards, but the top 6 were excellent, scoring 5.5. Graham Walker scored a very valuable point aganst Kent as he invaded the second rank with his rook and exchanged into an ending with opposite coloured bishops. This ending has the reputation of being drawish, but Graham had 4 extra pawns. Stewart Trent turned a difficult position into a win after a king and pawn endgame was reached and his opponent moved his pawns too far down the board and lost one of them. After his excellent effort in round one, Lawrence Trent was involved in a incident packed fiasco in which both players blundered rooks within a couple of moves of each other. Lawrence had been attacking quite strongly after his Sicilian Defence had wrecked White's queen side and hemmed in the white king. It was at this stage that Lawrence moved his king too far forward allowing a pawn check which discovered an attack on his rook. Almost immediately, white's king, now free from the predations of the demised black invader, celebrated too wantonly and walked straight int a knight fork, restoring the material balance. Normality now returned and Lawrence won the knight and pawn ending with accurate play.

The 9.5 points scored by Essex was the best of round two and it brought them back into contention. Kent were leading with 18 points and Surrey were sharing second place with Manchester on 16, although Manchester's score was inflated after a piece of careless play by an Essex opponent in round 1. Essex shared third place with Richmond on 15.5. Richmond's first round of 9 points was followed by a reversal.

The final round was another very good one for Essex. Once again, Heather Walker supplied the first point, and others in the bottom half were not far behind. Josiah Lutton put in a very satisfactory day's work, winning all his games with little apparent effort. Jason Klimach was another who reached 100%.

Julian Winkworth was unfortunate not to join them as he won a piece in the last round, but with his own king exposed he was obliged to settle for a draw.

As the last few games reached their frenetic climaxes, it became clear that no-one was going to catch Kent. However, the race for second was being contested by four teams. It looked as though Richmond were going to finish second ahead of Essex and Manchester with Surrey fifth, although the Essex team was given a boost when Bobby Payne, whom the draw had given a very tough day, declined the Surrey player's draw offer and went on to win. Lawrence Trent had sacrificed a pawn and had taken complete control of the position, even though the queens had been exchanged, and he too delivered his third point of the day. Ezra Lutton had been struggling with a very difficult position against Richmond's Michael Healey and, although a pawn up, Michael did not find a way of winning until both players' flags were hanging,

In the end, Essex were placed second as a result of a game which did not involve an Essex player. The top pair from Manchester and Richmond, David Shaw and Chetan Deva were involved and Chetan, playing black, had a strong attack. He won a piece, but David managed to win a few pawns, and all Chetan's work was undone as an ending was reached in which Chetan's rook and knight were no match for David's rook and 4 pawns. Richmond's total was the same as Essex's, but the tie-break was bottom board elimination, much to the Richmond team's extreme annoyance.

Trent,L (2180) - Varnam,L [B12]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 c5 7.h4 h6 8.Be3 Nd7 9.f4 Ne7 10.Qd2 Nc6 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Bxc5 Nxc5 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 Qb6 15.Bb5+ Ke7 16.0-0-0 a6 17.Be2 Qc7 18.f5 Bh7 19.Bf3 Ke8 20.Rhe1 Rc8 21.Re3 Nd7 22.Rde1 Qc4 23.Qxc4 Rxc4 24.Rd3 Ke7 25.b3 Rc6 26.Nxd5+ exd5 27.Bxd5 Rc7 28.e6 fxe6 29.Bxe6 Kd8 30.Red1 Kc8 31.Rxd7 1-0

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