SCCU under 150 Championship 1998 - 99

	Essex				Kent	
1  Richard Weeber    147   1  0   V. Southern   149
2  David J. Rawlings 146        A. Heard      147
3  Jason Roberts     145   0  1   P.C. Rutland  147
4  Stan Harwood      145   0  1   P. Titmas     146
5  Mark Brazier      144   1  0   P. Childs     143
6  Antony Drake      144   0  1   A. Sherriff   142
7  Lawrie J. Burtt   142   1  0   S. Moate      141
8  David F.C. Bird   141   0  1   D. Helsby     141
9  William Luxton    140        E. Bromilow   141
10 Ian P. Morgan     138   0  1   P. Challis    138
11 Thomas G. Winter  137   1  0   G. Steele     137
12 Phil Zammit       135        R. Wallace   e132
13 David G. Cannan   131        D. Davis      131
14 David J. Payne    125   0  1   M. Jones      124
15 Graham Walker     112   0  1   G. Bishop     124
16 Michael J. Bridger 112       C. Summerfield 115
                          6  9
The Essex under 150 team continued its dismal run of form with a home defeat at 
the hands of Kent. There was little to choose between the teams in terms of grade:
Kent tailed away on the bottom three boards slightly less than Essex. A number of key 
players were absent, in two cases because of other chess commitments. Roger Sharman 
was preparing for the North Essex Rapidplay tournament which was due to take place 
the following day and Arnold Lutton was fulfilling his duty as Minutes Secretary 
at the BCF Management Board meeting. Your correspondent was indisposed, suffering 
from a torn muscle in the lower back, no doubt the result of the lifting of a 
heavy chess piece. 

In fact, the Essex team put in a sterling effort in preparing an empty school 
hall into the venue for a chess match in record time, and the clocks were started
promptly at 2 p.m. For the first half hour or so there was no sign of any player 
taking the upper hand, but Mark Brazier's Bird's Opening was met with From's Gambit,
and an exciting tussle was developing. 

Within minutes of each other, there were two decisive Essex errors on boards 14 and 15.
David Payne had allowed his opponent to set up several nasty threats on the c6 square, 
and it was to David's credit that he avoided losing a rook. However, he lost two 
pawns and with nothing for it but all out attack, he almost pulled off an heroic 
victory. Curously, from being the first game which Kent were clearly winning, 
it was actually the last game of the afternoon to finish. Meanwhile, Graham Walker 
had played an enterprising pawn sacrifice which doubled his opponent's e-pawns 
and promised white some long term attacking chances. The Kent player was clearly 
rattled and spent some 20 minutes thinking about capturing the pawn, which he 
was really obliged to do, but once he had done so Graham replied instantly, blundering 
a piece. 

Richard Weeber was facing a Marshall Attack, but black misplayed this 
badly and although Richard was one of the last winners of the afternoon, this 
was largely due to the fact that the Kent player missed several great opportunities 
to resign. The early draws were achieved by David Rawlings and Phil Zammit. David 
Cannan agreed a draw just before the endgame and Michael Bridger, in his first 
outing at this level, gave a good account of himself. 

The first Essex winner was indeed Mark Brazier, who had nullified black's early
king-side activity and proceeded with a simple mating attack. This was the only
time in the match that Essex were in the lead, although Tom Winter, and afterwards
Lawrie Burtt, succeeded in levelling the scores. Tom's King's Gambit gave him an 
excellent attacking position and he won a knight for two pawns. However, there
was some doubt about whether white was really winning this and Black may well have
had drawing chances if he had played the endgame differently. Lawrie again found
himself in desperate time trouble, and had to scramble about 15 moves in his last
5 minutes before the first time control. This led to a knight & pawns ending in
which each side had four pawns on the same side of the board, and with his flag
rising for the second time Lawrie found a combination which won a pawn and swapped
knights, so black resigned. This made the scores 6.5 each, but it had been clear 
for a couple of hours that the three remaining games were going Kent's way,
so the final score ot 9.5 - 6.5 was a fair reflection of the afternoon's 
Brazier,M - Childs,P [A02] Essex v Kent (u150) 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.g3 g4 6.Nh4 Ne7 7.Nc3 Ng6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Ne4 Be5 10.d3 f5 11.Bg5 Qd5 12.Nf2 Bxg3 13.hxg3 Rxh1 14.Nxh1 Qxh1 15.Qd2 Qg1 16.0-0-0 Nc6 17.e4 Qxg3 18.d4 fxe4 19.d5 Nd8 20.Bxd8 e3 21.Qc3 Kxd8 22.Qf6+ Ke8 23.Bb5+ Bd7 24.Bxd7+ Kxd7 25.Qe6+ Kd8 26.Rh1 c6 27.d6 1-0