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Challenge Match: Champions v The President's Team

In the Challenge match, Champions (Wanstead) v The President's Team ("TPT"), played at Wanstead on 22 September, The President's Team won by 9-7. A keenly contested fixture over 16 boards, saw 10 drawn games, with the TPT winning 4-2 on the boards with outright results.

Wins for Wanstead from Paul Bancroft and Mark Murrell, wins for the TPT from Ivan Myall, who refuted Jeff Boardman's Evans Gambit, Neville Twitchell, David Millward and Gavin Strachan.

There was only a 4.3 points a board grading difference, in favour of The President's Team, but strangely, the area where Wanstead were marginally stronger - Boards 1-6 - was won by TPT, while the area where TPT was stronger - Boards 7-16 - was drawn.

The President himself had to step in on Board 12 in when Aidan Corish didn't appear. In fairness, Aidan's introduction was a late modification to the team list and it seems that the message didn't get through.

All nine other League teams were represented in the President's Team. The fixture started out as a projected 12-board match but such was the interest shown, it expanded eventually to 16-boards.

The game in which there was the largest grading discrepancy, Board 13, gave TPT their first win when Gavin mated Niall. Otherwise, wins were hard to come by, as draws on Boards 6, 8, 15 and 16 were followed by the draws on Board 10 and in the top board game, where the players were defeated by lack of an open file, neither being able to find a breakthrough.

The next score saw TPT open a two point lead through David Millward, after Paul Barclay allowed a tactic in the opening and lost material; David was able to complete his development before Paul could fashion any counter-play. The Champions pulled one back when skipper Mark Murrell, down by a piece for a couple of pawns, managed to exploit Jason's exposed king. Further draws on 12 and 14 maintained the one-point gap. A tour of the room at this time afforded the impression that TPT were more likely to increase their lead rather than the Champions were to level it.

All the games left in play were in the top half, Boards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7. Neville was clearly in the ascendency against Larry Marden, Neville having had the advantage of the exchange for much of the evening, Jeff Boardman and Ivan Myall were having another ding-dong battle from Jeff's Evans Gambit, but 2 and 7 were tense affairs and on Board 4 David Spearman had two rooks for the queen.

The score sheet began to crystallise with Larry's resignation, restoring TPT's two point advantage. David Spearman couldn't make his pair of rooks tell and this game was drawn. So, with just three games left in play, Wanstead now required 2½/3 to level, but this now looked a tough ask. In the tactical melee on Board 2, Ivan finally secured a material advantage of two pieces to force Jeff's resignation and give TPT a winning 8½ points. Paul Bancroft narrowed the margin with the win against Neil Sutherland. Paul intriguingly attributed his success to his being able to prevent Neil's knight on c3 from moving further: "if he'd been able to move that knight, I would have lost".

All that now remained was Kraszewski-Rix, which had looked drawn for some time. But Steve is loathe to settle for a draw if there is the slightest chance to press for a win. In the minor piece ending, Dave had knight and 3P v Steve's B and 4P, but there was no way through for either king. Steve played his last card, sac'ing his bishop for a passed b-pawn, while Dave's king was occupied with Steve's passed h-pawn. But, of course, Dave's knight on the Q-side was sufficient to hold K & P and eventually the draw was agreed. TPT win 9-7.

Photo Gallery

Played 22 Sep 2015, at Wanstead House
W & W had Black on odds

 

W & W

v

The President's Team

1

Artur Sygulski 202

½-½

David Sands 200

2

Jeff Boardman 189

0-1

Ivan Myall 184

3

Steve Rix 185

½-½

David Kraszewski 183

4

David Spearman 185

½-½

Kevin Bowmer 180

5

Larry Marden 177

0-1

Neville Twitchell 176

6

Ian Hunnable 174

½-½

Bill Stirling 173

7

Paul Bancroft 164

1-0

Neil Sutherland 170

8

Naomi Wei 162j

½-½

Colin Ramage 169

9

Paul Barclay 157

0-1

David Millward 168

10

Philip Staniland 156

½-½

Jim Howson 167

11

Mark Murrell 155

1-0

Jason Klimach 164

12

Keith Jones 149

½-½

Ivor Smith 160 (sub)

13

Niall Ali 142j

0-1

Gavin Strachan 160

14

David Smith 141

½-½

Rod Johnson 150

15

John Keehner 139

½-½

Mustapha Rahaman 145

16

Jim Slattery 92

½-½

Richard Ball 87

 

Ave: 160.6 Grade perf.159

7-9

Ave: 164.8 Grade perf.167

Challenge Match Gallery

All pictures: Ian Hunnable
Click on thumbnails to enlarge

Champs v Rest - the teams

The Challenge match League Champions (Wanstead) v The President's Team will play on 22 September at Wanstead. The provisional teams lists for the Challenge Match shows the following line-up (updated 21 Sep with an increase to 16 boards):

 

Wanstead 

v

Essex President’s Team

1

202

Artur Sygulski

-

David Sands

200

Barking

2

189

Jeff Boardman

-

Ivan Myall

184

Writtle

3

185

Steve Rix

-

Dave Kraszewski

183

Basildon

4

185

David Spearman

-

Kevin Bowmer

180

Loughton

5

177

Larry Marden

-

Neville Twitchell

176

Ilford

6

174

Ian Hunnable

-

Bill Stirling

173

Barking

7

164

Paul Bancroft

-

Neil Sutherland

170

Southend

8

162

Naomi Wei

-

Colin Ramage

169

Barking

9

157

Paul Barclay

-

David Millward

168

Writtle

10

156

Philip Staniland

-

Jim Howson

167

Upminster

11

155

Mark Murrell

-

Jason Klimach

164

Ilford

12

149

Keith Jones

-

Aidan Corish

162

Upminster

13

142

Niall Ali

-

Gavin Strachan

160

Brentwood

14

141

David Smith

-

Rod Johnson

150

Brentwood

15

139

John Keehner

-

Mustapha  Rahaman

145

Upminster

16

92

Jim Slattery

 -

Richard Ball

87

Thurrock

New League Season

The League files for the 2015-16 Season have been uploaded and the index is available. Access via the Activities selection on the Main Menu, or from the direct Essex League link in the front page mast head.

Champions v The President's Team

The traditional Challenge match has been revived after three years abeyance. The challenge from 2014-15 League Champions, Wanstead, has been taken up and the match will be played on 22 September at Wanstead House, provisionally over 12 boards.

Calendar

Upminster V Fixtures

The Upminster V fixture list has been finalised. All the matches are within the official season, although the venue of the match against Wanstead IV has been switched to Wanstead House.

Essex Chess Association

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