Essex scrape home against Oxfordshire

Peter Walker 2002

Board Colour Oxfordshire Grade Score Essex Grade Score
1 W Matt Rose 199 0 Lawrence Trent 209 1
2 B Kemal Ozeren 195 ½ Jon Manley 197 ½
3 W Harvey Meyer 193 0 Russell White 185 1
4 B Keiran Smallbone 185 1 Jeff Goldberg 181 0
5 W Richard Palliser (sub) 223 1 Ivan Myall 181 0
6 B Mark Hannon 176 0 Bill Stirling 180 1
7 W Ray Starkie 178 1 Bill Saunders 178 0
8 B Dave Bruce 173 0 Ezra Lutton 175 1
9 W Jim Stayt 165 0 Larry Marden 173 1
10 B Tony Lee 164 ½ Paul Williamson 172 ½
11 W John Vickers 148 1 Colin Ramage 160 0
12 B Tim Dickinson (sub) 188 ½ John White 160 ½
13 W Graham Morris 151 ½ Mark Weighell 160 ½
14 B Peter Harrison (sub) 126 0 David Millward 159 1
15 W William Burt 146 ½ Jason Roberts 152 ½
16 B Chris Levy 121 ½ Ken Clow 150 ½
TOTAL - Home 7 TOTAL - Away 9
Essex 3 3 0 0 3 31
Kent 3 3 0 0 3 29½
Cambs 3 2 0 1 2 30½
Surrey 3 1 1 1 24
Bucks 3 1 0 2 1 23
Herts 3 0 2 1 1 20½
Sussex 3 0 1 2 ½ 22
Oxon 3 0 0 3 0 11½

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

Essex continued their winning ways - just - when they visited Magdalen College School to play Oxfordshire. "There was a touch of chaos about this match, with no fewer than 3 Oxfordshire players missing," commented the Oxfordshire Captain Tim Dickinson, "but it's not bad when you have an IM as a substitute!"

That's one point of view, and not, apparently, against the rules, but it would appear to be a rule which allows captains to manipulate the board order. Why would a team just happen to have a 223 graded player available and not pick him as a first choice? And lots of Captains like the luxury of not having to play, especially when captaining a home match, but if you are graded 188 then surely you would include yourself as a team member rather than schedule a 121 as board 16, even if he did have a great result, sharing the point with a player 30 points higher graded. However, if the rules say it's OK, then presumably it is, but it's not the sort of thing which teams should make a habit of doing and it does cut across the principle that players should be placed in order of playing strength. How long was Ivan Myall kept waiting before he was given the news that his opponent would be graded 42 points higher than he is?

However, points are points and this fixture, in which acting Captain David Millward did a splendid job, was one in which a few seasons ago Essex came badly unstuck and Oxfordshire recorded their biggest win in about 40 years against us.

Elsewhere, there were few surprises in other matches. Kent beat Sussex, who now have just one tied match to show for their efforts, and Surrey beat Buckinghamshire, in which Bucks held their hosts to 5 - 5 on the top 10 boards but lost all of the bottom six. The most remarkable result was in Hertfordshire's home tie against Cambridgeshire. Two strong teams, with only a single point separating their respective grading averages, somehow contrived to play out a match so one-sided that there could have been 30 grading points between each pair. Cambs, fielding a full complement of players, and strong ones as well, after their mauling against Essex a couple of weeks ago, beat Herts. 11½ - 4½. The biggest grading discrepancy was on top board, where IM Simon Knott, graded 219, would not have been happy to lose to Eddie Dearing, graded 206, although Eddie no doubt smiled graciously throughout the game.

Essex's next match, on 30th November, is away to Kent in what may well prove to be the SCCU Championship decider. This will be the final match before Christmas and, although it is tempting fate to say so, on paper neither side should lose any matches in the New Year. Essex finish the season with three home matches, against Surrey and Bucks, on 25th January and 8th February, before rounding off the season as hosts against Hertfordshire on March 15th. Hertfordshire are the great underperformers of the County Championships in the past few seasons, and if there is one fixture which Essex would do well to beware, it is the one on the Ides of March.

Southend & District League Team Lightning

Rayleigh come second but win the Title

1.Basildon I13
2. Rayleigh I
3.Hadleigh I
4. Basildon II
5. Southend I
6. Rayleigh II
7. Southend II8
8. Hadleigh II7
9. Wickford II
10. Wickford I6
Basildon I		v	Rayleigh I

G Reid			0-1	P Williamson
E Lutton		1-0	J Baptie
K Bennett		0-1	J Moore
Final Score		1-2

It is generally considered that if you want to find the best team in a competition, you run an all-play-all. The next best option, if you haven't got time for an all-play-all, is a Swiss. Failing that, you run a knock-out and accept that good teams can fall by the wayside and lesser lights can have their day.

The Southend & District League Team Lightning has, traditionally, been a bit of an anomoly in this respect. The organisers seem to have a fixation about having a "final", so, having run a perfectly respectable 5-round Team Swiss tournament in which Basildon I were clearly head and shoulders above all comers, they then held a Final in which Rayleigh, who were placed second above Hadleigh (Michael Bridger, Ken Clow, H. Norton), only on a tie-break, were given a second bite at the cherry as the top two battled it out. It was entirely predictable that Basildon I, who had dropped only two points all evening, and one of those to their own second team (Josiah Lutton, Peter Laundy, Daniel Hardy-Wallace), then lost to Rayleigh. Let's hope that the players concerned regard it as the bit of fun that it is, shrug their shoulders and applaud roundly as the second-best team is recorded as the Champion.

Basildon dominated the proceedings from start to finish, winning three of their matches in the Swiss competition 3 - 0, including, impressively, a clean sweep aginst Southend I, consisting of Mike Kelly, Ian Gilbert and Bill Luxton. They also beat Rayleigh 2 - 1 in the first match between the teams, but, critically, lost the Final.

Acknowledgements: Stephen Wedlock

George finds the going tough

George O'Toole, the Wunderkind of Southend Chess, has been representing England in the World Youth Congress in Crete. After 6 rounds, he is on 3 points, having suffered losses in rounds 1, 4 and 6.

The organisation has, apparently, been found wanting in that the first round pairings were badly affected by an unknown gremlin, which may have been computer-related. George sat at his board for 2 hours awaiting an opponent and, when he arrived, it was the Georgian representative, and therefore rather stronger than one would have hoped at so early a stage of the competition. Some of the players were still playing at 1 a.m., not an acceptable situation, and one feels for the organisers who, having put in so much hard work to make their event a success, find that their best efforts are frustrated by circumstances apparently beyond their control. Suffice it to say that two of the English players, of whom there are 16, won by default in round 1. David Howell is in contention for a medal in the under 12, his current score being 5/6, but unfortunately this included a fifth round loss to a Russian. Of the remainder, only Thirumurugan Thiruchelvam was ahead of George's score after 5 rounds. 'Murugan was on 3½ / 5 but drew the 6th.

I simply cannot resist the temptation of publishing a game played in the Boys' under 18 section:

Petrosyan, Tigran L. - Zivanic,M [B23]
WYC 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.f4 d5 4.Bb5+ Bd7 5.exd5 Bxb5 6.Nxb5 exd5 7.Qe2+ Be7 8.Qe5 Kf8 9.Nf3 Nc6 10.Qe2 c4 11.b3 Qb6 12.bxc4 Nf6 13.Ne5 a6 14.Nc3 Rd8 15.Rb1 Qc7 16.cxd5 Nd4 17.Qc4 Qxc4 18.Nxc4 b5 19.Ne3 b4 20.Ne2 Nxe2 21.Kxe2 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.a3 a5 24.axb4 axb4 25.Ra1 f6 26.Ra8+ Rd8 27.Rxd8+ Bxd8 28.d4 Kf7 29.Bd2 Bb6 30.Kd3 Rd8 31.Be3 Rc8 32.Rb1 Rc3+ 33.Kd2 Rc4 34.Rb3 Ba5 35.Kd3 Rc8 36.Bd2 Rb8 37.c3 Ke6 38.Rb1 Rd8 39.c4 Rb8 40.d5+ Kd6 41.f5 1-0

Something tells me that the Tigran Petrosyan who was World Champion between 1963 and 1969 would not have indulged in the Grand Prix Attack. This latest version was born on 17th April 1984, the same year as the Great Man died. He should not be confused with Tigran A. Petrosyan who was born on 18th October 1971. The FIDE rating list includes no fewer than 7 Petrosyans (although FIDE prefers the spelling Petrosian), all Armenians. It would appear that Tigran Petrosian is almost as common a name in Armenia as John Smith is in Britain: a quick search on Google unearths the first entry as professional folk musician of the same name, also Armenian, of course.

World Champion Petrosyan had a very famous wife, whose reputation for physical assault on her husband's opponents was legendary. I hope it doesn't run in the family.

Forthcoming Events

There is still time to enter the Saffron Walden Rapidplay on 1st December. Two sections for Adults, 3 for Juniors, click here for an entry form.

Forsyth: 8/2k5/p1P5/P1K5/32 Forsyth: 8/K1P4R/8/k7/8/8/2r4p/8
White to play and win Last week's solution (Em. Lasker 1890): 1 Rh5+ Ka4 (throughout, Black must keep his king on the a-file as a move to the b-file would allow White's king unhindered assitance to the pawn) 2 Kb7 Rb2+ 3 Ka6 Rc2 4 Rh4+ Ka3 5 Kb6 Rb2+ 6 Ka5 Rc2 7 Rh3+ Kh2 8 Rxh2 and wins

Peter Walker 2002

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