The first tentative steps towards returning to over-the-board County competition are taken with regional challenge matches in two sections, Major (average 2000) and Minor (average 1600, with uppler limit 2000).
The entrants in the Minor are Essex, Hants, Kent Haddrell and Kent Steele. Teams are eight boards.
The Union stages of the County Champions will take place – October 2021 to March 2022, with the ECF National knockout stages April to July 2022.
Navigation Challenge Major | Challenge Minor
|Date||Home Team||v||Away Team|
|14 Aug 2021||Essex Minor||7½-½||Hants|
|4 Sep 2021||Essex Minor||5½-2½||Kent Steele|
|25 Sep 2021||Kent Haddrell||4-4||Essex Minor|
Played 14 August 2021
|1||Michael Spurr 1863 (W)||1d0||Daniel Shek 1702 (B)|
|2||Muhunthan Charukgan 1840||1-0||Amanda Jones 1698|
|3||Trevor Dickerson 1683||1-0||David Culliford 1653|
|4||Keith Cook 1675||½-½||Alan Wills 1615|
|5||Olga Latypova 1645||1-0||Sam Murphy 1585|
|6||Charlotte Willoughby 1645||1-0||Manoj Chandar 1585|
|7||Ruqayyah Rida 1231||1-0||Philip Ware 1518|
|8||Huzaifa Baig 1200||1-0||Maha Chandar 1330|
A full report on this match is given in the Essex Fest 1 page
Played 4 September 2021
|Essex Minor||v||Kent Steele
|1||Muhunthan Charukgan 1840 (B)||1-0||Ton Packham 1833|
|2||Ian Morgan 1810||½-½||Robert Lane 1773|
|3||Mike Cresswell 1690||1-0||Robert Thompson 1713|
|4||Trevor Dickerson 1683||1-0||Malcolm Mourant 1638|
|5||Ben Bishop 1623||0-1||Gary Clifford 1503|
|6||Vladimir Chtym 1525||1-0||Juciano Di Mattia 1407|
|7||Panos Aristides 1368||0-1||Mason Thorpe 1368|
|8||Huzaifa Baig 1200||1-0||Marco Neri|
Two from two, as have Essex’ remaining opponents, Kent Haddrell, so all to play for in the final fixture on 25 September.
Played 25 September 2021
|Kent Haddrell||v||Essex Minor
|1||Nevols, Keith 1938 (1788) (W)||1-0||Woodward, Ian P 1855 (1660) (B)|
|2||Pezet, Robert 1840 (1825)||1d0||Morgan, Ian P 1810 (1698)|
|3||Dovey, Andrew JW 1675 (1495)||½-½||Cresswell, Mike J 1690 (1743)|
|4||Gilbert, David J 1612 (1608)||½-½||Dickerson, Trevor A 1683 ()|
|5||Sainiuc, Stefan 1600 ()||1-0||Cook, Keith B 1675 ()|
|6||Mitchell, Robert S 1413 (1338)||0-1||Raikundalia, Krishna 1638 (1403)|
|7||Twigg, Robert 1383 (1180)||0-1||Rida, Ruqayyah 1231 (1093)|
|8||Avery, David 1200 ()||0-1||Baig, Huzaifa 1200 (1293)|
|Average 1583||4-4||Average 1598|
Just enough! For once, Essex win on tie-break. Luckily, the tie-break was total points. Essex and Kent Haddrell both finished on 5 Match Points, Essex scoring 17 Game Points to Kent H’s 15½.
Ian Morgan failed to reach the venue through traffic hold ups on the Essex side of the river, owing to the shortages at petrol stations causing long queues. Probably the same traffic problems that caused Keith Cook’s late arrival, by at least 40 minutes. These issues played a part in Kent’s advantage over Boards 1-5, but the Essex tail wagged in full value, taking the bottom three boards, to draw the match and win the competition!
Elsewhere, Hants defaulted their match away to Kent Steele.