County Championships postscript

TITLES Four Essex teams entered the return of the Couties Championships back in September. Two of the Essex teams – U2050 and U1850 – were SCCU Champions, the other two – U1650 and U1450 – were runners up, two went on to become National Champions: U2050 and U1450. Congratulations to everyone involved for a fine season’s work!

PICTURE We have added a picture of the winning U2050 team, courtesy of ECF/Mike Gunn: above and yesterday’s Finals post.

STATS We have now updated the Essex match stats with the Finals – links below. Congratulations to David Smith of Wanstead, winner of the Website Trophy for 2021-22 – for the highest points score for the County – with 6 points ahead of Ruqayyah Rida and Peter Jaszkiwskyj who each scored 5½. 107 players represented Essex in 2021-22, playing 412 games with only one point conceded by default; a tremendous record, reflecting a lot of hard work by the skippers and outstanding support from the players.

REPORT AND GAMES We have added a fuller report of the Final match on the U2050 page and all the games for both U2050 and U1450 finals, with thanks to ECF for their same-day provision, aided by Krishna Raikundalia of Wanstead with inputting.

ORGANISERS And of course nothing happens without the hard graft of organisation. The season has been a triumph for ECF County Championships Controller, Essex’ own Mark Murrell, who had to overcome the Finals setback when the booking of the Finals venue in Nuneaton fell through. Mark extends his own thanks for those who helped make the three finals hosted by Essex a success:

My thanks to the many who helped to ensure that the three ECF national County Championships Finals hosted by Essex at Wanstead House, ran like clockwork and continued our tradition of great hospitality. Readying the House for three full matches in the space of an hour hosting 100 people or so was quite a feat and all without inconveniencing other users of the House. Preparation started early in the morning redesigning the lounges with extra tables, transporting the catering and moving kit for quick & easy access later. Next up was the live boards set up, and finding a workaround the House’s server security to ensure our live connection to the Finals Day broadcast. Rooms were set up as they became free, ensuring the scheduled start was met and cleared to leave the House as we found it. During the afternoon as games began to finish, we had our own resident barman, to keep the Controller refreshed. In particular, thanks to Ben Harte, Krishna Raikundalia, David Smith, John Davenport and Steve Rix. No Essex County event would be quite the same without Mrs Essex Teas keeping the players in check and refreshed. We were very fortunate that Jane Smith felt sufficiently well to volunteer her services on the morning of the event. An unexpected and very welcome one-off appearance. A six hour stint, uniform and all, was way above the call of duty. Thank you Jane. Her team went on to finish second in the Higham’s Players’ fundraising quiz that followed on in the Hall, before joining the remnants of the Essex celebrations in The George.
Quite a day, two Championships won, one at a canter the other a down to the wire, rearguard action. The Open was quite close too! [Northumberland 8-8 Yorks, North’land on tie-break – WM].
Business as usual…

Mark Murrell

Links: U2050 | U1850 | U1650 | U1450 | Aggregate stats | SCCU LMS | ECF LMS

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  1. Ian – I don’t think my game was anything like as clear as the report suggests. Black should play 28 .. f4 rather then 28.. Rf6. Play might then go (after 28 .. f4) 29 Qg5 Bf5 30 Be4 Be4 31 Re4 Rbe8 when the position looks fairly level. After Black played 28 ..Rf6 29 Qe5 Qe5 30 Re5 Ba6 31 Rfe1 White is better again but the win is still not simple. If Black was as tired as I was after a very long session, that might explain why he lost quite quickly. If he had played 31 .. Rd8 32 b3 Bc8 then he could meet 33 Re7 with 33.. Rf7 and he is keeping control of some important squares. White’s win would then still be quite difficult.

    Best Regards


    • Thank you John for those notes.

      I was reflecting the mood of the spectators; the word was “John’s winning” – perhaps this was after Black had played 28… Rxf6. We were four down at the time and possibly ‘clutching at straws’, but those of us who had finished (and lost) were confident in your ability to get the full point!


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