County Championship 2005–06
Two evenly matched sides met at Syston on 15 October 2005 with only seven grading points separating the 16 players when all the players’ grades had been added up. Well at least that was the theory – but in the words of Darth Vader ‘the force is strong in this one’ as Notts swept aside their East Midlands rivals by 11–4½, including a 10–2 drubbing for Leicestershire over the top 12 boards. With 14 of the 16 players who won the National Under 150 Championships selected for Notts, team spirit was clearly in evidence as the county side started the 2005–06 campaign in winning style. I can’t really pick out any individual performances, largely as I had a complex game that took up most of my attention, but I was most impressed by the way the final boards played on to take full points. Leicestershire gave us a tough match in the national semis last year and I am sure that they will bounce back from this setback. Nevertheless, this is just the start we needed with matches against Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire to come in what is always a closely contested zone.
|1||Paul Deacon||147||0–1||Tim Lane||148|
|2||Jacob Mejlvang||146||0–1||Brian Hayward||148|
|3||Phil Evans||145||0–1||Sean Foreman||143|
|4||James Bingham||144||0–1||Keith Brameld||142|
|5||Brian Foreman||142||½–½||Keith Walters||140|
|6||Alan Jex||139||0–1||Kevin Harvey||138|
|7||James Miller||137||0–1||Dave Flynn||137|
|8||Iain Dodds||130||½–½||John Tassi||137|
|9||Otto Hardy||137||½–½||Tony Wright||134|
|10||Michael Cowley||136||½–½||Neil Graham||136|
|11||Steve Wylie||123||0–1||Stan Cranmer||132|
|12||Michael Tate||133||0–1||George Murfet||131|
|13||Graham Booley||132||1–0||Phil Morgan||128|
|14||Peter Harrison||124||0–1||Keith Roper||125|
|15||Phil Harlow||131||1–0||Marcel Taylor||126|
|16||Steve Turvey||127||½–½||Mike Nailard||121|
Thirteen of the sixteen players who trounced Leicestershire in the opening match were in the team that met Warwickshire at Sherwood. Steve Hunter, Dick Edwards and Drag Sudar were in for Keith Walters, John Tassi and Mike Nailard to make up the team.
Warwickshire have always been competitive and I was rather surprised to see them bottom of the Midlands zone last year with their exceptionally strong side.
This time they took an early lead after losses from George Murfet and Kevin Harvey, and although Stan Cranmer played a strong combinative game to pull back a point, Warwicks continued to pile up wins, with only Sean Foreman and Keith Brameld replying.
With three matches remaining their lead was 7½–5½. Last season we rescued any number of these with Houdini-like escapes. I really thought that perhaps we could do it again when Keith Roper’s opponent blundered horrendously, but this time it wasn’t to be. Tim Lane, who had saved the day in last year’s final, couldn't repeat the feat and his defeat meant the match was also lost. Marcel Taylor played on not knowing that the match was already lost and eventually his flag fell, thus giving Warwicks a deserved win.
We were in the same position last year and went on to win our last two matches, but the task facing us now is very much an uphill one.
|1||Tim Lane||148||0–1||A. J. Singh||–|
|2||Brian Hayward||148||0–1||Mark Cundy||145|
|3||Sean Foreman||143||1–0||Murray David||142|
|4||Keith Brameld||142||1–0||Robert Wallman||140|
|5||Steve Hunter||140||½–½||Mike Maher||140|
|6||Kevin Harvey||138||0–1||Pablo Padilla||141|
|7||Dave Flynn||137||0–1||Gary Hope||141|
|8||Tony Wright||134||½–½||Thomas Robinson||139|
|9||Richard Edwards||136||0–1||Neil Clarke||139|
|10||Neil Graham||136||½–½||John Fahy||131|
|11||Stan Cranmer||132||1–0||Keith Thomas||131|
|12||George Murfet||131||0–1||Mike Biddle||127|
|13||Drag Sudar||131||½–½||Alan Burnett||127|
|14||Phil Morgan||128||½–½||Paul Hodgskin||125|
|15||Keith Roper||125||1–0||Philip Bull||123|
|16||Marcel Taylor||126||0–1||Chris Pitt||124|
This match ended in an 8–8 draw, although with three games to go Notts were leading by 7½–5½. However, time and the Laws of Chess conspired to prevent a Nottinghamshire victory. The match was notable for a high percentage of draws, some more hard-fought than others. Steve Hunter was the only Notts loser until the last three games. There were wins for David Toms, with a discovered check that forced mate, Phil Morgan, who won a piece, and Keith Roper, who comprehensively outmanoeuvred his opponent. With three games to go the score stood at 7½–5½.
At this point Tony Wright made a claim under Law 9.2, but unfortunately executed the move on the board. He therefore lost the right to claim under Law 9.4. His opponent refused to accept a draw proferred under the normal rules, and although Tony at first thought he had a perpetual check this proved incorrect and he eventually lost. Score: 7½–6½.
Then Keith Walters, who had been a pawn down for some time, found his opponent able to exchange rooks to leave Notts with a lost pawn ending. Score: 7½–7½.
Dave Flynn struggled past the first time control with seconds to spare. The match suddenly depended on his game. Dave firstly equalised and then won pawns in a queen and pawn ending and was two pawns up. If Dave had had 15 minutes left, I’m sure he’d have won – unfortunately he had closer to 15 seconds. The Manchester player took a perpetual check and the match was all square: score 8–8.
|1||Brian Hayward||148||½–½||Adam Tyton||148|
|2||Keith Brameld||142||½–½||Mick Norris||146|
|3||Keith Walters||140||0–1||Richard Glover||143|
|4||Steve Hunter||140||0–1||Marcial Flores||141|
|5||Kevin Harvey||138||½–½||Jon Lonsdale||139|
|6||Dave Flynn||137||½–½||Ghassan Ele Gehani||138|
|7||John Tassi||137||½–½||Chris Jardine||137|
|8||Tony Wright||134||0–1||Michael Compston||129|
|9||Neil Graham||136||½–½||Jim Nicholson||134|
|10||Bill Ray||135||½–½||Alan Edwards||136|
|11||Stan Cranmer||132||½–½||David Pardoe||130|
|12||David Toms||131||1–0||Mick Connor||129|
|13||George Murfet||131||½–½||Alan Beresford||124|
|14||Phil Morgan||128||1–0||Robert Glover||109|
|15||Keith Roper||125||1–0||Mick Connolly||117|
|16||Marcel Taylor||126||½–½||Chris Murfin||109|
Notts had the bye in the fourth round of the above competition. Prior to the fourth round there were some 24 different possible outcomes, with all the five counties competing still in with a chance. The results from that round did not favour Notts – Leicestershire beat Warwickshire 8½–7½, whilst Staffordshire drew 8–8 with Greater Manchester. Without dwelling too much on the outcome of these matches, Notts entered the final round knowing that only a win against Staffordshire would suffice, but that their chances of progressing to the national finals were slim. The other remaining match was between Manchester and Leicestershire – a victory by either side would see them through to the final stages, whilst only the unlikeliest of results – a fourth successive draw for Manchester – would mean Notts could go forward. Warwickshire, meanwhile, could sit at home secure that despite their loss to Leicestershire they would qualify because of the arcane MCCU rules on tie breaks.
Notts were slightly weaker than normal and on paper the two teams were evenly matched; the grading difference between the teams being a matter of single points when added together. As it was, Notts took the lead and after eight results had established a 5½–2½ lead thanks to wins from Kevin Harvey and three Ashfield players. The half points continued to drift in, but Staffordshire started to pick up wins. After 13 boards were declared, the Notts lead had been cut to 7–6, with three Gambit players left to either win or lose the match. Drag Sudar duly obliged with a win and eventually Brian Hayward, realising we led 8–6, agreed the draw to give us the match. I’m afraid I sloped off home then, convinced that Tony Wright’s game would yield nothing more than a draw, only to find that he had engineered an unlikely win to give us a 9½–6½ victory.
Another unlikely scenario awaited me at home – Leicestershire and Greater Manchester had drawn their match after Leicestershire won three of the last four games to finish. Thus Notts had not only qualified, they had also retained the Midlands title. Here are the final placings:
The quarter-finals are on 20 May – hopefully we haven’t expended all our luck in the Midland stages.
|1||Stephane Pedder||148||½–½||Tim Lane||148|
|2||Martyn Harris||145||½–½||Brian Hayward||148|
|3||Derek Laight||144||½–½||Steve Hunter||140|
|4||Philip Porter||140||1–0||Keith Walters||140|
|5||Andrew Leadbetter||137||0–1||Kevin Harvey||138|
|6||Frank Wood||137||½–½||John Tassi||137|
|7||Steve Hill||134||0–1||Tony Wright||134|
|8||Manoy Arora||133||0–1||Neil Graham||136|
|9||Diarmid Gibson||134||½–½||Bill Ray||135|
|10||Alex Pready||131||½–½||Stan Cranmer||132|
|11||Michael Roberts||130e||1–0||George Murfet||131|
|12||Robert Fell||126||0–1||Drag Sudar||131|
|13||Roger Grainger||125||0–1||Phil Morgan||128|
|14||Steve Harris||125e||1–0||Keith Roper||125|
|15||John Day||118||½–½||Austen Carlton||121|
|16||Bob Daniels||122||0–1||Bob Taylor||124|
Neil Graham signed off his last report with the hope that the team hadn’t used up all its luck in the Midlands stages. I’m pleased to say that there was something still left in the tank, but as always seems to happen it was a close-run thing.
On paper there was practically nothing between the teams on the top eight boards, while on the bottom eight Notts had an advantage of over 10 grading points per player. But in truly perverse fashion, the top half yielded most of the points, while the bottom half struggled. As the afternoon wore on, the early lead established by Notts looked more and more fragile and thoughts began to turn to the possibility of resorting to board count to separate the teams. Notts reached 7½ points when Tony Wright demonstrated sound technique to win a nice bishop endgame and Steve Hunter successfully withstood some unpleasant pressure to secure a draw. That left Phil Morgan and David Toms to find half a point between them, as it was now becoming clear that the board count would be in our favour.
Phil had the exchange for a couple of pawns, and under normal circumstances a win was certainly possible. Unfortunately, he was desperately short of time, and his flag fell while he was definitely not worse. Meanwhile, David had fought back from being a piece for two pawns down, constructing an apparently impenetrable fortress. Somehow this transformed itself into an unclear queen and pawn endgame, but the Sussex player manoeuvred cleverly to set up a queen exchange that gained a crucial tempo in the ensuing pawn race.
And that was when our small reservoir of luck yielded its last drop of good fortune: in a straightforward endgame with no fewer than three winning plans from which to choose, David’s opponent opted for a fourth option that led to a simple K + h-pawn vs. K draw. Much relief all round, and fitting reward for the captain’s Herculean efforts in finding players.
|1||Tim Lane||148||0–1||Jim Graham||148|
|2||Ian Kingston||144||1–0||Ray Williams||145|
|3||Keith Brameld||142||0–1||John Cannon||142|
|4||Steve Hunter||140||½–½||Anthony Higgs||140|
|5||Kevin Harvey||138||1–0||Alan Palmer||138|
|6||Dave Flynn||137||1–0||Jerry Stone||137|
|7||John Tassi||137||½–½||Keith Davies||135|
|8||Tony Wright||134||1–0||Peter Rayment||132|
|9||Neil Graham||136||½–½||Brian Izzard||130|
|10||Drag Sudar||131||½–½||Tim Woods||123|
|11||George Murfet||131||0–1||John Scholey||121|
|12||David Toms||131||½–½||Jamie Wilson||121|
|13||Phil Morgan||128||0–1||Graham Thomas||120|
|14||Shane Bhayat||127||0–1||Mick Plumb||113|
|15||Keith Roper||125||½–½||Paul Taylor||111|
|16||Marcel Taylor||126||1–0||Daniel Hirsch||110|
Notts lost in the Under 150 semi-finals to Cambridgeshire by 9–7 at Northborough, Peterborough. Whilst this was a disappointing result, it underlines Notts competitiveness at this level:
|2002–03||Midlands Champions||National Semi-finals|
|2003–04||Midlands Runners-up||National Semi-finals|
|2004–05||Midlands Champions||National Champions|
|2005–06||Midlands Champions||National Semi-finals|
Unfortunately, several key team members – notably Keith Brameld, Tony Wright, Dave Flynn and Keith Roper – were unavailable for this vital match. Whilst other squad members were back, I normally look to the above four players for full points. In addition, I found myself two players short on the morning of the match, one player dropping out after an unexpected death in his close family on Saturday night. I am indebted to Ian Nicholson and Ray Sayer who stood in at the last minute.
We faced Cambridgeshire at the same stage two years ago and then were comprehensively beaten 10–6 as the East Anglian side went on to win the final. Last year we had three strong juniors in the squad, but this time round we had to depend on pensioner power to pull us through. Unfortunately, although we were stronger on the upper boards, the last six boards yielded only two draws. The score was 6–6 after 12 games but towards the end the positions slipped away, with Tim Lane’s top board win a mere consolation. If one board had gone the other way we would have again romped home on board count, but as Ian Kingston remarked last time, the luck reservoir had clearly run dry after our last two matches.
Ian Kingston adds:
There was always a sense that we were in trouble in this match – at no stage did we ever take the lead, although we were never, until close to the end, more than a point behind. We were also giving away an average of three grading points per board, but Ray Sayer showed how little that can mean with his draw on bottom board.
With three games remaining we trailed by a point and needed to find two points to secure a win on board count, but we were obviously losing on two boards, with only Tim Lane having serious winning prospects. As it turned out, Tim displayed excellent technique to win a rook and pawn endgame, but the other games had already been lost.
|1||Tim Lane||148||1–0||John Bell||146|
|2||Brian Hayward||148||0–1||Nigel Holroyd||145|
|3||Ian Kingston||144||1–0||Richard Donaghay||144|
|4||Steve Hunter||140||1–0||John Daugman||144|
|5||Kevin Harvey||138||½–½||Stephen Pride||143|
|6||John Tassi||137||½–½||Colin Byrne||141|
|7||Keith Walters||142||½–½||Peter Wagner||141|
|8||Neil Graham||136||0–1||Patrick Ribbands||141|
|9||Richard Edwards||135||1–0||Bernard Duff||140|
|10||Stan Cranmer||132||½–½||Richard Newman||140|
|11||Ian Nicholson||132||0–1||Mike Bradley||132|
|12||David Toms||131||0–1||Phil Turp||135|
|13||George Murfet||131||0–1||Stephen Hart||132|
|14||Phil Morgan||128||0–1||Peter Barkas||129|
|15||Marcel Taylor||126||½–½||Glyn Ward||127|
|16||Ray Sayer||109||½–½||Patrick Heneghan||126|
Goose Fair traffic delayed the start of this chess battle, where 13 junior talents were on display.
A very closely contested match resulted in a 7½–7½ draw. With two games to go, Notts B needed two wins to level the match, which they proceeded to do.
The junior players scored a total of 7 wins, 5 against very experienced adults, and demonstrated skill, knowledge and enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure to see the tigerish attacking skills of Eric Williamson; the methodical endgame technique of Amarjit Mann; and the mastery of strategy and tactics of Toby Thurgood. Our two ladies (girls) battled it out on Board 4, Anjai Lakhani proving the winner on this occasion.
Notts is very fortunate to have such talent. They are so calm and confident! They might be young but they are mature chess players.
|1||Bob Taylor||124||0–1||Mike Nailard||121|
|2||Dominic Heining||120||0–1||Phil Burley||115|
|3||Alan Robinson||114||0–1||M. N. Nguyen||–|
|4||Anjali Lakhani||101||1–0||Lateefah Messam-Sparks||107|
|5||Ray Sayer||109||½–½||Mick Harper||107|
|6||Alan Morrey||108||0–1||Dave Griffiths||106|
|7||Derek Padvis||104||0–1||Toby Thurgood||105|
|8||Amar Mann||–||1–0||Daniel Lin||104|
|9||Graham Gibson||99||1–0||Ben Hobson||104|
|10||Jonathan Day||99||1–0||Ian Fillingham||103|
|11||Chris Heining||94||1–0||Oliver Exton||98|
|12||Edwin Justice||76||1–0||David Dunne||99|
|13||Hamzah Ali||75||0–1||Len Darby||97|
|14||Teodor Peytcher||–||0–1||Eric Williamson||96|
|15||Terry Norris-Hunt||71||1–0||Ashton Alfred||–|
Derbyshire had begun the Under 125 zonal matches by playing with only 14 players against Leicestershire and being comprehensively beaten. Against Nottinghamshire B, the home side were one player over-subscribed but were still outgraded throughout. Nottinghamshire were eventually all present, including one player who had forgotten but was, fortunately, local, and an extra player who turned up at Syston!
However, the vagaries of the grading system were, as usual, highlighted in that Notts had a last-gasp victory. The match started well enough with a quick win for Jonathan Day, and soon Notts had established a 3½–½ lead. Then the results began to change – top board Bob Taylor capitulated and Ian Harris, who had been a piece down for a considerable time, also lost, and by the time 12 boards were declared, Derbyshire had taken a 6½–5½ lead after several prospective extra half points looked to have been lost by the visitors. However, both Graham Gibson and Richard Myers converted their advantages to wins and then Colin Tribe drew in a game of fluctuating fortunes to give Notts an 8–7 lead.
The final game to finish involved Alan Robinson and Roger Walker. Alan’s clock management had just about seen him through the first time control, but resulted in the loss of a piece immediately afterwards. With two advancing central connected passed pawns, the Ashfield player managed to create enough threats to force his opponent to repeat moves with only seconds left on the Nottinghamshire clock. A more mercenary opponent could well have played on secure in the knowledge that there was insufficient time for Alan to have done anything other than lose on time. So a win for Notts B, with Leicestershire to play in a qualifying decider.
Finally, the player from Syston, Hamzah Ali, did arrive at the venue and played a graded game with Derbyshire’s extra player, which the Nottinghamshire junior won. The mix-up was entirely due to a communication problem between the captain and the player’s parents and my inability to remember the difference between Leicestershire and Derbyshire.
|1||David Hoddy||124||1–0||Bob Taylor||124|
|2||Paul O’Flanagan||114||½–½||Colin Tribe||124|
|3||Barry Archer||112||1–0||Ian Harris||122|
|4||Doug Bramley||101||½–½||Benny Lim||120|
|5||Roger Walker||97||½–½||Alan Robinson||114|
|6||Ron Harrison||97||½–½||Ray Sayer||109|
|7||Sally McIntosh||96||0–1||Alan Morrey||108|
|8||Graham Pace||96||0–1||Richard Myers||107|
|9||P. Sheldon||89||0–1||Norman Davies||104|
|10||Howard Bradbury||88||0–1||Graham Gibson||99|
|11||Nigel Marshall||88||½–½||Amar Mann||95|
|12||Nigel Wright||87||0–1||Jonathan Day||99|
|13||Phil Smith||78||½–½||Anthony Rourke||98|
|14||M. J. Orridge||84||1–0||Matthew Moore||88|
|15||John Waller||72||½–½||Paul Todd||85|
|16||Steve Watson||–||1–0||Edwin Justice||76|
Two closely matched sides played out an appropriately close contest at Syston on 29 October. All games were keenly contested; our top boards did us proud by scoring 4½ points out of a possible 7.
The Notts captain scored an early win after offering a pawn for a ferocious attack and other wins were scored by Mick Harper, Len Darby and Darran Ince, until, with two games to go, we needed 1 point to secure the match. Dave Dunne did for his opponent (pun intended) and it was left to our young Vietnamese star, Gavin, to demonstrate his exemplary endgame technique in a same-colour bishop ending.
|1||P. Harrison||124||½–½||M. Nailard||121|
|2||L. Turner||124||0–1||M. N. Nguyen||–|
|3||T. Lee||122||½–½||A. Carlton||121|
|4||C. Johnson||119||0–1||D. Ince||119|
|5||A. Robinson||117||1–0||R. Willoughby||111|
|6||S. Smith||117||0–1||M. Harper||107|
|7||R. Toon||110||½–½||D. Griffiths||106|
|8||D. Ward||109||1–0||I. Fillingham||103|
|10||P. Cresswell||105||0–1||D. Cronshaw||105|
|11||T. Pinckard||107||1–0||D. Lin||104|
|12||B. Radesk||101||0–1||D. Dunne||99|
|13||G. Hewitt||100||½–½||O. Exton||98|
|14||T. Clay||96||0–1||L. Darby||97|
|15||R. King||88||1–0||E. Williamson||96|
|16||S. Preocanin||78||½–½||P. Smith||87|
The U125 A team moved smoothly into the semi-final of the MCCU championship, beating a Derbyshire team which had struggled for players 11–5, losing only two games. Notts’ bottom 9 boards amassed 8½ points and the top boards more than held their own. Well done everybody!
The semi-final will be on 28 Jan vs. Staffordshire. Please reserve the date.
|1||M. Nailard||121||½–½||D. Hoddy||124|
|2||A. Carlton||121||½–½||R. Woods||110|
|3||D. Ince||119||½–½||P. O'Flanagan||114|
|4||P. Burley||115||½–½||J. Kelsall||110|
|5||M. Harper||107||1–0||L. Alldread||104|
|6||D. Griffiths||106||0–1||R. Harrison||97|
|7||L. Bowen||106||½–½||G. Pace||96|
|8||T. Thurgood||105||1–0||P. Sheldon||89|
|9||I. Fillingham||103||0–1||H. Bradbury||88|
|10||D. Cronshaw||105||1–0||H. Loomes||87|
|11||J. Yang||104||1–0||P. Ellis||85|
|12||D. Lin||104||1–0||M. Orridge||84|
|13||L. Darby||97||1–0||P. Smith||78|
|14||P. Smith||87||1–0||H. Ratner||76|
|15||D. Blampied||66||1–0||D. Jeffrey||–|
|16||A. Alfred||–||½–½||J. Morrell||–|
Notts B lost to Leicestershire by 10 boards to 6 on Saturday. Despite being outgraded throughout Notts held their local rivals on the top ten boards but could only score one point in the lower order. Leicestershire took an early 5–2 lead and although the score was pegged back to 5–4, Leicester then made a match-winning surge. This means that Notts B, who had to win the match, are eliminated.
The B team introduced a number of younger players who performed exceptionally in addition to plenty of experienced players. No games were defaulted at all.
The East Midlands matches were affected by the inclusion of a player who clearly was ineligible for this competition; his strength was unknown before the season and it is unfortunate that his results were instrumental in deciding the matches in which he played. The results of the two Nottinghamshire sides has shown that the county can compete at this level and it is hoped that the A team can now progress into the national stages.
|1||Bob Taylor||124||0–1||Steve Wylie||123|
|2||Benny Lim||120||0–1||Peter Harrison||124|
|3||Alan Robinson||114||½–½||Lewis Turner||124|
|4||Anjali Lakhani||101||0–1||John Manger||124|
|5||Ray Sayer||109||1–0||Cyril Johnson||119|
|6||Alan Morrey||108||½–½||Chris Graves||119|
|7||Richard Myers||107||1–0||Anthony Robinson||117|
|8||Norman Davies||104||1–0||Stephen Smith||117|
|9||Patrick Allen||102||½–½||Roy Toon||110|
|10||Graham Gibson||99||½–½||David Ward||109|
|11||Amar Mann||95||0–1||Lea Adlard||107|
|12||Barry Redburn||95||0–1||Tom Pinckard||107|
|13||Chris Heining||94||0–1||Andy Johnson||101|
|14||Paul Todd||85||0–1||Graham Hewitt||100|
|15||Hamzah Ali||75||1–0||Robert Stone||103|
|16||Edwin Justice||76||0–1||Paul Clark||90|
The Notts U125 A team won their semi-final match against Staffs by 9–7 at Spondon on 28 January and will play Warwickshire in the Midlands final.
Outgraded on all but two boards, the performance of the top four boards and of the juniors was noteworthy. Rob Willoughby made a welcome return to form, defeating Staffs’ highest graded player, whilst his fellow club member, Phillip Burley, used the Morra Gambit to good effect against a very defensively minded player. Mike Nailard’s was the first game to finish: a kingside attack winning the exchange and leaving two rooks dominant on the 7th. The ever-reliable Austin Carlton turned in a solid draw – three and a half points out of four!
More than a quarter of the team is made up of juniors: I am very proud of them and so is Notts. Toby Thurgood played an English Opening with great positional insight and was coolness itself under mate-in-one threats. Oliver Exton won a sharp dynamic tactical battle and Ted Pynegar made his opponent fight every inch of a long battle, only to be defeated by the clock in the end. Daniel Lin was the first to post a win, his opponent having locked his keys in his car and failing to make the venue. Daniel’s smile said it all, and was a great morale booster. Eric Williamson played a difficult minor piece ending that was admired and praised by the senior players of both teams for its maturity and skill. Well done lads!
Please note the date of the final: Saturday 25 February.
|1||M. Nailard||121||1–0||J. Day||118|
|2||A. Carlton||121||½–½||S. Harris||120|
|3||P. Burley||115||1–0||K. Francis||116|
|4||R. Willoughby||111||1–0||R. Daniels||122|
|5||M. Harper||107||0–1||P. Leary||118|
|6||L. Bowen||106||0–1||D. Daniels||115|
|7||T. Thurgood||105||½–½||M. Wotton||113|
|8||D. Cronshaw||105||1–0||G. Rosser||113|
|10||I. Fillingham||103||0–1||A. Stott||110|
|11||D. Dunne||99||½–½||A. Dobson||104|
|12||O. Exton||98||1–0||P. Broomhall||104|
|13||L. Darby||97||½–½||J. Montague||104|
|14||E. Pynegar||96||0–1||K. Jones||100|
|15||E. Williamson||96||1–0||S. Cooksey||100|
|16||P. Smith||87||0–1||P. Shaw||98|
Nottinghamshire fell at the final hurdle in their bid to capture the U125 title, but nevertheless reached the national stage of the competition.
|1||A. Carlton||121||0–1||C. Pitt||124|
|2||M. Nailard||121||0–1||P. Bull||123|
|3||D. Ince||119||½–½||M. Walker||121|
|4||P. Burley||115||0–1||A. Draper||119|
|5||R. Willoughby||111||1–0||J. Asbury||117|
|6||M. Harper||107||0–1||D. Lee||117|
|7||L. Messam-Sparks||107||0–1||L. Rawson||115|
|8||D. Griffiths||106||½–½||J. Murray||110|
|9||L. Bowen||105||0–1||D. Seale||–|
|10||D. Lin||104||½–½||J. Llewellyn||109|
|11||I. Fillingham||103||0–1||K. Warren||106|
|12||E. Williamson||96||1–0||R. Anderton||103|
|13||J. Day||95||1–0||C. Lee||97|
|14||L. Morrell||89||½–½||A. Jones||98|
|15||P. Smith||87||0–1||K. Gilbert||94|
|16||J. Buttery||84||1–0||D. McCarthy||87|
Without eight of the players who taken the team to the Midlands final, Notts A were seriously handicapped in their match against Sussex, on 29 April. The win on board count therefore, against stronger opposition, was a real achievement for all the players involved. Games were evenly contested throughout, but of particular importance were the late draws from Ken Heath and Darran Ince, and a fine win in a complex game by Rob Willoughby. Well done everybody!
|1||A. Carlton||121||½–½||D. Hirsch||110|
|2||D. Ince||119||½–½||J. Wilson||121|
|3||P. Burley||115||½–½||G. Thomas||120|
|4||R. Willoughby||111||1–0||R. Jones||112|
|5||T. Thurgood||105||0–1||R. Fisher||121|
|6||D. Lin||104||1–0||M. Plumb||113|
|7||J. Yang||104||1–0||R. Waddingham||104|
|8||B. Hobson||104||½–½||R. Hunt||112|
|9||D. Cronshaw||105||1–0||N. Carter||100|
|10||I. Fillingham||103||1–0||C. Linnett||105|
|11||D. Dunne||99||0–1||D. Grant||103|
|12||Ed Pynegar||96||½–½||E. Hillier||106|
|13||L. Morrell||89||0–1||R. Cumming||98|
|14||P. Smith||86||0–1||H. Gold||102|
|15||D. Blampied||66||0–1||D. Wallis||99|
|16||K. Heath||64||½–½||N. Mansfield||77|
Neil Graham and Mike Barnes worked wonders to produce 3 teams for Saturday 20 May. It seemed that everyone who could push a pawn was pressed into service, from baby-faced assassins to grizzled veterans. In the U125 match, Henry Pynegar and Michael Zhang, who don’t yet play regular league chess, got us off to a flying start and for a time it looked as though we might pull off the impossible. However the odds proved too great and we eventually lost, 9–7.
Ah, well; it will have to be the World Cup...
|1||Mike Nailard||121||½–½||John Harbour||120|
|2||Rob Willoughby||111||½–½||George Ward||123|
|3||Mick Harper||107||½–½||Mark Atlay||120|
|4||Toby Thurgood||105||0–1||Pierre Casaubeith||105|
|5||Daniel Lin||104||0–1||Mike Botteley||112e|
|6||Ben Hobson||104||1–0||Les Mabb||112|
|7||Jixin Yang||104||0–1||Nigel Staddon||112|
|8||Derek Cronshaw||105||1–0||Chuck Robbins||111|
|9||Oliver Exton||98||1–0||Barry McLoughlin||109|
|10||David Dunne||99||½–½||Jon Bilsberry||109|
|11||Len Morell||89||0–1||Colin Solloway||107|
|12||Peter Smith||87||0–1||Kevin Bryant||107|
|13||Ebrahim Fredricks||80||0–1||Mark Puffett||102|
|14||Henry Pynegar||75||1–0||Turner Suvek||100e|
|15||John Buttery||84||0–1||Jack Tattersall||97|
|16||Michael Zhang||–||1–0||Peter Housden||89|
|1||Graham Gibson||99||0–1||Adrian Hussain||97|
|2||David Dunne||99||0–1||Lennie Johnson||95|
|3||Len Morrell||89||1–0||Kim Gilbert||94|
|4||Matthew Moore||88||1–0||Graham Gee||92|
|5||Peter Smith||87||½–½||Ken Wise||87|
|6||Paul Todd||85||1–0||John Burke||86|
|7||John Buttery||84||0–1||John Pakenham||82|
|8||Ebrahim Fredricks||80||½–½||Doug Cooper||75|
|9||Dorothy Blampied||66||1–0||Peter Hodkinson||74|
|10||Terry Norris-Hunt||71||½–½||Bram Garner||69|
|11||Tracey Clegg||49||0–1||Steven Bower||–|
|12||Ken Heath||64||0–1||Adam Parkinson||–|
|1||Frank S. Hilford||97||0–1||David Dunne||99|
|2||Tom Lester||81||0–1||Graham Gibson||99|
|3||Alan Butler||80||0–1||Eric Williamson||96|
|4||Stephen Tatlow||39||0–1||Len Darby||97|
|5||Stan Parsons||75||0–1||Amar Mann||95|
|6||Edris Kibalama||–||1–0||Len Morrell||89|
|7||Richard Davis||73||1–0||Matthew Moore||88|
|8||Peter Wood||66||½–½||Peter Smith||87|
|9||Don Lockton||63||0–1||John Buttery||84|
|11||Keval Rughani||50||0–1||Terry Norris-Hunt||71|
|12||Peter Poolan||–||1–0||Tracy Clegg||49|
|1||Jeff Toon||98||0–1||Jonathan Day||99|
|2||Mike Thornton||96||0–1||Graham Gibson||99|
|3||Darren Poulacheris||92||0–1||David Dunne||99|
|4||Howard Walden||–||½–½||Oliver Exton||98|
|5||Richard Smith||98||0–1||Len Darby||97|
|6||Terry Clay||96||1–0||Eric Williamson||96|
|7||John Leonard||–||0–1||Ted Pynegar||96|
|8||Stewart Hollingworth||–||½–½||Len Morrell||89|
|9||Ray Walker||91||½–½||Peter G. Smith||87|
|10||George Winterton||85||0–1||Paul Todd||85|
|11||Stevan Preocanin||78||1–0||John Buttery||84|
|12||John Creasey||86||1–0||Hamzah Ali||E75|
A good win by Notts with a slightly weakened team, but again the juniors played very well. Hamzah Ali finished first, closely followed by Oliver Exton. Then, after that what seemed a lifetime, Eric Williamson and Len Morrell both won pawn endings. Jonathan Day and Ted Pynegar both won well and the match was ours. It is always nice to be a winning captain (acting), but why doesn’t every team play in grade order like Notts?
PS from Michael Barnes: Thanks to Len, Peter Smith and Len Morrell for driving and Len for assistance before and on the day.
|1||John Loynes||93||0–1||Jonathan Day||99|
|2||Ian Ellis||98||0–1||Graham Gibson||99|
|3||Terry Pountney||96||1–0||David Dunne||99|
|4||Michelle Clark||95||0–1||Oliver Exton||98|
|5||Maureen Clark||94||½–½||Len Darby||97|
|6||Derek Digger||98||0–1||Eric Williamson||96|
|7||Bert Foord||95||0–1||Ted Pynegar||96|
|8||Penny Wood||94||0–1||Len Morrell||89|
|9||William Pugh||85||1–0||Matthew Moore||88|
|10||Fred Freshwater||90||½–½||Peter G. Smith||87|
|11||Ashley Davis||–||0–1||Hamzah Ali||75|
|12||Martin Boreley||84||1–0||Ashton Alfred||E60|
Two evenly matched teams met in the MCCU final. This was shown by the closely fought games, with the result only decided just before the first time control.
Ted Pynegar won first with his usual steady play. This cancelled out a couple of games which were going against us. Ken Heath, who stepped in at 10:30 due to illness (thanks again Ken), fought back well to win. Paul Todd’s opponent played better than any 82 I’ve seen. Len and Oliver both drew a pawn down. Once the match was decided, Peter Smith gave his opponent a draw.
Congratulations to Shropshire.
Notts U100 will now play the winners of the SCCU on 20 May in the National quarter-final. Opponents and venue to be decided.
|1||R. Brown||94||1–0||Jonathan Day||99|
|2||C. Lewis||97||1–0||Graham Gibson||99|
|3||D. Oguhside||99||0–1||David Dunne||99|
|4||K. Grice||95||½–½||Oliver Exton||98|
|5||Ian Davies||92||½–½||Len Darby||97|
|6||D. Powell||92||0–1||Ted Pynegar||96|
|7||G. Hampson||85||½–½||Len Morrell||89|
|8||A. Pickles||86||½–½||Peter G. Smith||87|
|9||S. Davies||82||1–0||Paul Todd||85|
|10||A. Taylor||83||1–0||John Buttery||84|
|11||I. Fenton||82||1–0||Hamzah Ali||75|
|12||H. Graham||–||0–1||Ken Heath||64|
Firstly thank you to all who played for both the U125 and U100 teams, often at short notice.
The clash with the U125 match meant that eight players under 100 were not available. Also, the time of year meant that several people were on holiday or playing cricket. So a much weakened team were playing against a team with a lowest grade of 87. We were outgraded by an average of 16 points a board.
All players fought right to the end and made it as difficult as possible for their opponents, which is great for the whole team. First to finish was Andrew Garside, who won well against a 92 grade who several times told me he couldn’t believe how good he is. Ashton only lost to a one move blunder after being about equal after 25 moves. Ken on bottom board played steadily and got what turned out to be a crucial half point. Graham Gibson played one of the best five games of his life to destroy his opponent. Clifford won after being a piece down.
When the dust settled we needed one point from the last two games. Edwin Justice defended really well in a difficult position for about two hours when his phone rang after it had switched itself on in his pocket, resulting in an automatic default. Really unfortunate. Jonathan Day was a pawn up in a rook ending, but with split pawns. He lost one but outplayed his opponent in superb fashion to win.
So the semi-final is on Sunday 11 June vs. Norfolk (probably) at 1 p.m. at Peterborough (to avoid the England World Cup match on Saturday). This will be the same venue as the U150 match vs. Cambridgeshire.
I now face the problem of who to leave out, as many regular players who played for the U125 team are now available. I thank all who played and apologise if anyone is offended.
|1||J. MacWain||94||0–1||Jonathan Day||99|
|2||C. Phillips||98||0–1||Graham Gibson||99|
|3||D. Lewis||99||½–½||Barry Redburn||95|
|4||S. Burns||95||1–0||Matthew Moore||88|
|5||G. Gooding||95||0–1||Clifford Potter||87|
|6||A. Haydon||95||1–0||Edwin Justice||76|
|7||V. Chtym||94||0–1||Hamzah Ali||75|
|8||G. Lane||92||0–1||Andrew Garside||57|
|9||R. Prickett||91||1–0||Ashton Alfred||37|
|10||M. Crane||87||1–0||Mike Falgate||72|
|11||L. Whittaker||89||1–0||Terry Norris-Hunt||71|
|12||W. De Jong||89||½–½||Ken Heath||64|
|1||Crompton Clarke||99||½–½||Graham Gibson||99|
|2||Victor Morris||99||0–1||David Dunne||99|
|3||Robert Rickard||98||½–½||Oliver Exton||98|
|4||Nicholas Slater||96||½–½||Ted Pynegar||96|
|5||Gabriel Barr||93||1–0||Eric Williamson||96|
|6||Mark Collins||83||1–0||Barry Redburn||95|
|7||Steve Crane||81||1–0||Amar Mann||95|
|8||Mark Lavine||78||1–0||Len Morrell||89|
|9||Christopher Bartram||64||0–1||Peter G. Smith||88|
|10||Ben Slater||57||½–½||Hamzah Ali||75|
|11||Colin Goodchild||80||1–0||Ebrahim Fredericks||80|
|12||Richie Downie||64||1–0||Dorothy Blampied||66|