Played 24 August 2023, at Basildon
|1||Baptie, Justin P 1888 (W, B)||½-½||½-½||Goldberg, Jeff A 2150 (B, W)|
|2||Somogyi, Tamas 2127||½-½||0-1||Jaszkiwskyj, Peter 1958|
|3||Kraszewski, David 1985||½-½||0-1||Ramage, Colin R 1826|
|4||Staff, Robbie 1856||0-1||½-½||Robinson, James M 1875|
|5||Gedvilas, Arunas 1888||1-0||1-0||Clow, Ken W 1703|
|Average: 1949||2½-2½||2-3||Average: 1903|
Barking were not too confident going into this match, missing David Sands, Zaki Harari and Roman Ismailov from their top five players, while Basildon were well-represented. Indeed, to go with their home advantage, Basildon also held the edge on ratings, the moreso when one considers that Justin Baptie has a standard-play rating of 2190.
So, all square at half time, 2½-2½. The psychology at this point is interesting: Basildon, with the edge on Board Count, would have been thinking that their rating advantage would tell in R2, while Barking perhaps feared that this was so.
What took place elevates this match to one of the classic semi-finals: Peter and Colin, with rating deficits of 169 and 159 respectively, turned in stellar results to edge R2 by 3-2 and steal the match for the visitors.
There is a post script: the following day, Barking skipper Colin Ramage declared that the Barking A Board 5, Ken Clow, was in fact ineligible as he had played for Barking B in an earlier round. (The Rules state that a player can play for only one team in the competition.) The penalty for an ineligible player is loss of the game(s) and a further penalty point, for each offence, in this case that would mean two penalty points and it would be Basildon to progress to the Final 4½-3½. But Rule 20 is couched in terms of the opponents “may protest…”:
20. A team may protest against the alleged commission by its opponents of any breach of the foregoing rules. Such protest shall be referred to the Controller within 7 days of the related incident.
So we must applaud Colin for his honesty in declaring the infringement and for calling the Basildon captain, Dave Kraszewski, to notify the position. After consulting his players and considering their position, Dave magnanimously replied: “Given that Ken scored zero points and this had no effect on the outcome of the match, Basildon have no inclination to pursue this matter, so Barking A can happily proceed to the final.”.
Two such sporting decisions can only be applauded, allowing the spirit of the contest to shine through. Thank you to both.
WANSTEAD A meet BARKING A in the KO Final at Wanstead, the match fixed for 19 September.
Before that, on 6 September, we have the Plate Final, Loughton v Wanstead B at Loughton.