Depleted Cambs. are outclassed and outnumbered

Peter Walker 2002

  Essex Grade Score Cambridgeshire Grade
1 David J. Coleman 210 1 0 Oliver Cooley 178
2 Jon P. Manley 197 ½ ½ Peter Kemp 175
3 Zaki Harari 191 1 0 Bernhard Klein 173
4 John Hodgson 191 ½ ½ Phillip Fallon 171
5 David Sherman 190 0 1 P. Wallden 162
6 Li Wu 187 ½ ½ Nick Kingston-Smith 154
7 Jeff A. Goldberg 181 1 0 John Daugman 150
8 William J. Stirling 180 1 0 A. Park  
9 William L. Saunders 178 1 0 P. Wagner  
10 Robert J. Payne 176 1 0 M. Peet  
11 Larry E. Marden 173 ½ ½ K. Darling  
12 Julian Winkworth 170 1 0 G. Hernandez  
13 Ivan J. Myall 181 1 0 default  
14 Paul L. Williamson 172 1 0 default  
16 E. Josiah Lutton 158 1 0 default  
  Ave Grade (bds 1-7) 192 13 3 Ave Grade (bds 1-7) 166

Cambridgeshire's long-term brittle away form proved to be their undoing when they visited Wanstead House to play Essex in the Southern Counties' Chess Union match in the Open division. The strength of the Cambridgeshire team is very dependent upon the extent to which the Captain can persuade members of the student community to give up their Saturday, and is unpredictable. A couple of seasons ago their strength was such that they won the National Championship. Last season saw Cambs. suffering defaults or severely weakened teams and the high-risk policy of fielding a team consisting mostly of students means that the Captain never succeeds in building up any team loyalty amongst the indigenous playing community. When the students don't play, then no-one does.

Arriving with only 12 players, of whom only 7 had published grades, seems to be a recipe for disaster and the final score of 13 - 3 reflects that. However, the consitution of the Cambridgeshire team is of interest to those who have followed Junior chess over the years: Bernhard Klein, a strong Liverpool player, clearly had a good set of A-level results, as did Nick Kingston-Smith, who played board 1 for the Richmond under 9 team a decade or so ago and went on to win the London under 12 Championship.

With little excitement at the one-sided match in Wanstead, one has to look elsewhere for some interest in the Open competition, and there was a full complement of matches around the region. Kent beat Surrey 11 - 5, a fairly predictable result considering that the the majority of the Kent side outgraded their opponents by at least 20 points. Bucks dismissed Oxon with surprising ease as the teams were fairly close in grade. The final score here was a most emphatic 11½ - 4½.

Perhaps the best news from the point of view of the Essex team was that Hertfordshire drew with Sussex. Apart from Kent and Essex, these two are probably the strongest teams in this year's SCCU and Herts have drawn both their matches to date. Sussex lost to Essex and with only half a match-point from two matches, they will have to prove themselves throughout the rest of the season. One hopes that the Hertfordshire captain is of a placid disposition as his team has a track record of close finishes. Last season, two 8 - 8 draws, two 8½ - 7½ losses and a 9 - 7 win, followed by the two 8 - 8 results this season, all mean that the poor fellow never has the chance to relax at any time during the match: his team is constantly teetering on the tightrope of victory but at any moment a false move could send them plunging into the ravine of defeat. Not a job for the faint-hearted!

SCCU Open Championship League Table

Essex 2 2 0 0 2 22
Kent 2 2 0 0 2 20½
Cambs 2 1 0 1 1 19
Bucks 2 1 0 1 1 18
Herts 2 0 2 0 1 16
Sussex 2 0 1 1 ½ 15
Surrey 2 0 1 1 ½ 13
Oxon 2 0 0 2 0
Middx 0 0 0 0 0 0

The Cambs. v Oxon match was recorded as a 16 - 0 default to Cambs.

Nosher for Shell

Nigel Short will be coming to Essex in the New Year in order to give a Simultaneous Display at the Shell Club. This 30-board event, which begins at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 20th January, is being advertised on a first-come-first served basis at 35 per head. Spectators are welcome at a further 5. These prices include tea, coffee and sandwiches and the bar will be open. For further information contact Paul Lovell, (Shell Club Managing Director) (01375 672083) or Jim Luck (01375 407794). Entries should be sent to Paul Lovell, "Night of Knights", Shell Club Corringham Ltd., Springhouse Road, Corringham, SS17 7QT. Cheques should be made out to Shell Club Corringham Ltd.

Forthcoming events

The next two one-day Chess Congresses to be held in Essex will be in Basildon on 17th November (contact Arnold Lutton on 01268 280932) and Saffon Walden on 1st December (contact Peter Walker on 01702 309693). Each of these is a London Junior Championships Qualifying event for under 8s, under 10s and under 12s, but also include sections for adults. In Saffron Walden, there are two sections aimed at adult players (but of course older junior players will be welcome), an Open Championship and a Major for players graded 125 or below. The entry form for Saffron Walden is available here.

The following game was played last month at the Olympiad.
Short,N (2684) - Sulskis,S (2576) [C70] Olympiad Bled SLO (2), 27.10.2002
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Na5 6.0-0 d6 7.d4 Nxb3 8.axb3 f6 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.Nh4 Qd7 11.Nd5 Ne7 12.Qh5+ Kd8 13.c4 Nxd5 14.cxd5 g6 15.Qf3 Be7 16.Qg3 c6 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.d5 Bb7 19.Be3 Ke8 20.f4 Rc8 21.Rf2 Rf8 22.Nxg6 Rg8 23.f5 hxg6 24.fxg6 f5 25.exf5 Bf6 26.Rd1 Qe7 27.Qg4 Kd7 28.h4 Kc7 29.h5 Kb8 30.Qe4 Bg5 31.h6 Bxe3 32.Qxe3 Qf6 33.h7 Rge8 34.g4 Qh4 35.Qe4 Qf6 36.Rh2 Rc5 37.Rh5 Bc8 38.g5 Qg7 39.f6 Qc7 40.h8Q Rc1 41.Qe1 Qc5+ 42.Kh1 Rxh8 43.Rxh8 Rxd1 44.Qxd1 Qe3 45.Qc2 Qf3+ 46.Qg2 1-0

Game in PGN format here
Forsyth: 5k2/8/5p2/8/3K1P2/24

White to play and win.

Last week's solution


1 Ke6 Kd8 2 Kd5! (carefully avoiding the stalemate traps of 2 Ke6 and 2 b6) 2... Kxd7 3 b6! Kc8 4 Kc6 and wins. (Study by E. Pogosiants, 1961)

Peter Walker 2002

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