A poor response for the 2050 section sees only Essex and Surrey taking to the screens. The double round pairing will be played 28 November and 16 January.
The Essex team in the Major 2050 is named after Roy Heppinstall, the last Essex Match Captain to capture the Open County Championship (OTB), in 2005-06.
|28 Nov 2020||Essex Heppinstall||2-6||Surrey Major|
|16 Jan 2021||Surrey Major||3½-4½||Essex Heppinstall|
Played Saturday 28 November 2020
|Essex Heppinstall||v||Surrey Major|
|1||John Hodgson 2103 (B)||0-1||Nigel Povah 2283|
|2||Ian Hunnable 1968||0-1||Clive Frostick 2148|
|3||Edgar Wilson 1953||0-1||Alan Punnett 2103|
|4||Christopher Hampton 1923||½-½||Nigel White 2095|
|5||Twitchell, Neville 1923||0-1||Peter Hasson 2073|
|6||Paul Kenning 1923||½-½||Julien Shepley 2005|
|7||Ian Reynolds 1915||0-1||Jessica Mellor 1863|
|8||Martin McCall 1915||1-0||Abhishek Pradhan 1810|
|Average 1953||2-6||Average 2048|
Essex outgunned by an average 95 points a board, against its only opponents. The return match, 16 January, hopefully will see a more representative Essex turnout.
Ian Reynolds was unlucky to fall for a nasty surprise; even though you’ve been told it’s there, play through the game below (without following the score) and see if you can spot it before it happens.
Played Saturday 16 January 2021
|Surrey Major||v||Essex Heppinstall|
|1||Mark Josse 2260 (B)||½-½||Andrew Lewis 2260 (W)|
|2||Clive Frostick 2148||0-1||Partha Mulay 2140|
|3||Alan Punnett 2103||½-½||Kyan Bui 2133|
|4||Nigel White 2095||1-0||Julian Corfield 1983|
|5||Julien Shepley 2005||1-0||Martin McCall 1915|
|6||Olufemi George 1878||0-1||Chris Hampton 1923|
|7||Abhishek Pradhan 1810||0-1||Ian Hunnable 1968|
|8||Jessica Mellor 1863||½-½||Philip Gregory 1915|
|Average 2021||3½-4½||Average 2030|
The Essex line-up suffered two late withdrawals from the heart of the team, which shaved about 20 points off their average rating, with chances of cancelling out Surrey’s 6-2 advantage from the first match being consequently reduced.
Nonetheless, Essex took a two point lead with Boards 2, 4 and 5 left in play. By now, however, Julian’s and Martin’s positions looked precarious and both resigned within minutes of each other a few moves later. This left Partha to secure a narrow victory from a minor piece ending, White’s N+6P v Partha’s B+6P with both players’ time down to one minute and change, plus increments. With faultless technique, Partha organised the exchange of the central pawns, to leave four pawns each, evenly placed on a and b-files and g and h-files so that White’s knight was hard pressed to cover both sides of the board. After Partha had picked off two pawns, one on each side of the board, the poor animal was cornered on a8 and White resigned.