Wanstead & Woodford Grade Woodbridge Grade
1 Laurie Marden   179    1 0 Michael Bird    151
2 John Philpott   155      Roy Watts       160
3 Terry Whitton   177      Charlie Harding 151
4 George McNally  172      Colin Ramage    153
5 Ian Hunnable    166      John Davenport  154
6 Paul Barclay    165      Richard Manning 149
7 Laurie Burtt    142    0 1 Trevor Carr    e133
8 John Keehner    148      Chris White     143
9 Carlton Barrett 115      Rod Johnson     144
10 Patrick Pattison 111  0 1 Ron Chisholm    126
                        4 5

Both teams involved in this London League Division 2 match, played at the Bishopsgate Institute, were weakened by the absence of key players. Woodbridge were missing their top three of Barry Rumsey, Paul Savin and Les Crane, whereas Karl Mah, Ian Stables and David Smith would normally have been amongst the Wanstead & Woodford side.

The first game to finish was on board 2 where the respective Presidents of the Southern Counties' Chess Union and the Essex Chess Association agreed an early draw in order to discuss Affairs of State. Soon afterwards, Colin Ramage talked his Essex team-mate George McNally into a draw, in spite of a strange opening to the game. The board three game began to look serious, but these two old adversaries eventually decided that a discussion on various ailments over a pint of ale was preferable to an exploration of the Alekhine. Paul Barclay opened 1 b3, an odd decision, but the draw offer, when it came, was accepted. Chris White and John Keehner did their best to upset the equilibrium of the match, but neither could deliver the final blow. Rod Johnson and Carlton Barrett achieved a blocked position which prevented progress.

When Patrick Pattison attacked his weakened e-pawn, Ron Chisholm kept his nerve. Patrick, on the other hand, spent so much time attempting to find a win that he left himself a minute for more than 15 moves. This proved to be fatal. Michael Bird, who was presented with a large tankard to mark his 50th birthday, launched an attack on Laurie Marden's centre but then found his king surrounded by black pieces when the white ones were absent. The match was finally decided by the board 7 struggle, although some of the faint hearts who had already finished their games were not there to witness the heroics: they had retired to a local hostelry to await news. Trevor had a fine attack but Laurie then found a move which won a piece. Even so, Trevor's pieces were so well placed that mate followed and Woodbridge had won. Relegation to the Third Division is now looking less likely.

Acknowledgments: Richard Manning

The Essex under 125 Team has, so far, had an excellent season. In the first two matches, Essex won by large margins, and last weekend they managed to defeat Oxfordshire, once again pushing the team's total game points into double figures. The following game was played by 11-year-old Stewart Trent against Graham Morris, a similar aged Oxfordshire player.

Morris,G - Trent,S [B76] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 Nc6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Bh6 Qa5 11.Nb3 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Qh5 13.Qxh5 Nxh5 14.g4 Nf4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Ne5 17.Be2 Rac8 18.h4 f5 19.g5 Nc4 20.f4 Nb6 21.Bf3 Rc4 22.Rd4 Bb5 23.Rhd1 Rfc8 24.R1d2 Rxd4 25.Nxd4 Bc4 26.Nb3 Bxb3 27.axb3 Nd7 28.Kd1 Kf7 29.Rd4 Nb6 30.c4 a6 31.Rd2 Nd7 32.Re2 Nc5 33.Re3 b5 34.Be2 b4 35.Bf3 a5 36.Be2 Ra8 37.Kc2 a4 38.bxa4 Rxa4 39.Kb1 b3 40.h5 Ne4 41.Rd3 Rxc4 42.h6 Rc2 43.Rxb3 Rxe2 and white is forced to give up his bishop as otherwise mate follows quickly. Graham chose to continue just in case Stewart should lose patience and make some sort of blunder, but Stewart made a further 28 error-free moves in order to deliver mate on move 71.