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Essex win Minor Counties Championship

ECF Minor Final: Essex 9-7 Suffolk
Essex delivered for retiring Captain, Ivor Smith, a convincing 9-7 victory over Suffolk. Both teams hit the average grade limit of 180 spot on, but Suffolk had beaten Essex by a five point margin in the Semi-Final last season when both teams were similarly at maximum strength, so no-one was in any doubt that this was a tough challenge.

Suffolk made the early running, taking a two point lead. Essex then started fighting back with wins from John Hodgson and Larry Marden to level the scores. Ian Reynolds concluded a sacrificial attack with a win and Essex opened a two point lead with a point from David Spearman at 6-4; this lead was never narrowed. A couple of draws later, Kevin Bowmer's win secured the match as Board Count favoured Essex, but Steve Rix secured a draw from a tricky N & P ending to reach 8½-5½. Suffolk pulled one back, before Tim Hebbes treated his watching collegaues to a miraculous save the exchange and time down, outplaying his opponent in a blitz finish to secure a draw and conserve the two point winning margin.

Ivor Smith stood down as Match Captain at the AGM in June, so this was his final scene and the team responded with a gutsy performance, to enable Ivor to finish on a high.

Minor Counties | CommentsECF Website

ECF U160 Final: Essex 4½-11½ Lancs
The other Essex team in action in these Finals had a very different experience, in the U160 Final. The signs were there to be seen from the moment when Neville Twitchell had his first reverse of a fantastic County season. This one loss nonetheless leaves Neville with a County record this season of P12 W10 D1 L1 and a grading performance of 193. Outstanding.

Unfortunately, Lancs kept on chalking up points as Essex appeared completely outgunned. Lancs cruised past the winning post with a six point margin, eventually finishing seven points ahead at 11½-4½. A deflating moment, but at least the players could join their colleagues and cheer the Minor Counties success.

U160 | ECF Website

Do it for Neil

Finals Day - 4th July, Trident College, Trident Park, Poseidon Way, Warwick CV34 6SW.

Essex have two teams in the Finals:

Minor Counties - Essex v Suffolk
U160 - Essex v Lancs

The Website will be there, first and foremost as cover for the Minor Counties team, should anyone not make it to the Finals, but should our services not be needed over-the-board, we will be reporting events as they unfold, for both teams. Readers can, in any event, follow the ECF live results facility - link below - but if we're on our game, you'll see it first here! We will update developments via the teams' usual pages, links below.

A note of caution for anyone expecting an 'easy ride': the Minor Counties team is facing tough opposition and the U160 team is on a hat trick of wins on tie-break!

Minor Counties | U160 | ECF Results Website

Neil Carr R.I.P

As reported 12 June, Neil's funeral will be held 3pm Friday 3rd July 2015 at

South Chapel
City of London cemetery
Aldersbrook Road
London E12 5DQ

The reception will take place at the Boleyn Ground, E13 9AZ.

Please RSVP if you intend to attend the reception afterwards to Or 01732 742400

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the British Heart Foundation via

Ivor Smith has contributed an Obituary for Neil which you can find on the Features page via the following link:

Obituary for Neil

W&W Knightmares regain Team Blitz
Jeff Goldberg Lightning Champion

Today's events, an engaging day's chess, if hectic, resulted in W & W Knightmares winning the Team Blitz by a 6 point margin with 36/44, ahead of Writtle with 30, and Jeff Goldberg winning a last round clash with David Sands to snatch the Lightning Championship on 5/6. David finished in a tie for 2nd with Peter Laundy, on 4½.

Fuller reports when the dust has settled, but the bare results can be found on the respective pages.

Team Blitz | Lightning Championship

Team Blitz and Lightning, Ilford CC, 28 June

These two events take place tomorrow, Sunday 28 June 2015 at Ilford Chess Club.

Entries for the Team Blitz are now closed and will not be accepted on the day. Play starts at 10:00 a.m. There is an entry of 12 teams, not a record, but certainly the largest entry for a good few years. There was an entry of 13 in 1996 and a couple of instances of 12 teams also in the 1990s. Should be a cracking event.

The individual Lightning Championship in the afternoon is chess played to a 10 second buzzer; the player on move plays when the buzzer sounds. Good fun! Play starts 2:00 p.m. This year we increase the number of rounds from the traditional five rounds to six rounds. Entry to the Lightning can be made on the day, just come along and pay your entry fee - £6 (Juniors £4).

Both these events will be blogged live as the events progress, with round by round scores. If you can't get along to Ilford CC, you can at least follow events on the ECA Website! Page links below.

Team Blitz | Lightning | Entry Form (Information only re the Team Blitz)

AGM Meeting Pack

Better late than never, there is a link below to the zipped folder of meeting papers for tonight's AGM at Wanstead House, 7.30 p.m. All these papers have been circulated, but this folder of all documents in pdf format may be found convenient.

Download: Meeting Pack (zip 1,818 KB)

Essex Chess Association

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