Inter-County Championship 2013–14

Results and reports from the county’s matches will appear here throughout the season.

Previous years


Final Suffolk – Nottinghamshire

Report from Drag Sudar

7-1. No, it’s not Germany v Brazil but the Notts Minor Counties Team’s excellent record this season. 7 wins and just one defeat, which unfortunately was in the final. Suffolk brought a very strong team averaging 182 to our 178, with 2 players of IM standard, while we were missing our best player, Alex Posazhennikov. Only 5 of our players out graded their opponent.

I knew it wasn’t going to be our day when Andy Walker, unbeaten in his previous 6 county matches this season, gifted his opponent a bishop. Robert Richmond dropped a pawn and was unable to hold on in a rooks and pawns endgame. Mike Barnes bravely gave it a go against a very strong opponent but eventually lost. Steve Burke drew but we found ourselves ½-3½ down and the gap never looked like narrowing.

Daniel Broughton, Andrew George and Steve Hunter drew but Pablo Cabero was outplayed by his strong opponent in an endgame to leave us 2-6 down. Andy George realising we were losing, tried a tactic from a slightly worse position but it didn’t work out, while Steve Hunter’s position, looking quite good earlier, petered out.

By then I was looking for some miracles from the remaining matches but, unlike in earlier rounds, we were unable to turn round any games. We had a good period when Tim Walker converted his piece for two pawns advantage, Pete Mercs’ good knight defeated his opponent’s bad bishop, and Jonah Willow successfully recovered from a pawn down to draw his endgame, but John Swain’s defeat (his first for the county since 2009!) left the score at 4½-7½ with us needing 4 wins.

Brian Thompson fought well to escape with a draw after dropping a bishop when comfortably in control of his game and Nick London took the scary route to win his game after playing well to gain a very good position. Glenn Halfpenny finally conceded defeat and Alex Combie played well to reach a drawn opposite coloured bishops ending.

If truth be told, at no point in the match did we ever look close to winning. Suffolk’s superior strength on the top 4 boards gave them a clear advantage and we were unable to pick up the necessary points from lower down.

Nevertheless this result should not overshadow an otherwise brilliant season in which we became Midland Champions and the team should be very proud of their achievements. 5 of our regular players remained unbeaten: Alex Posazhennikov, Peter Mercs, Andrew George, Brian Thompson and Jonah Willow, and 9 players suffered just one defeat. Alex Posazhennikov achieved an average grade of 225 from his 5 matches (and drew with a Grand Master!), Pete Mercs achieved 199 from his 7 matches Alex Combie 198 from 8 matches, Andrew George 192 from 7, Steve Hunter 189 from 8, Brian Thompson 186 from 7, Steve Burke 185 from 7 and Nick London 170 from 6 matches. Wow.

Finally, on behalf of the team I would like to thank Neil Graham for his tremendous work organising the matches and teams.

Suffolk - Nottinghamshire
12 July 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Merry, Alan 227 1-0 Barnes, Mike 201
2 Tan, Justin 229 1-0 Cabero, Pablo Padilla 196
3 Taylor, Adam 190 ½–½ Combie, Alexander 187
4 Munson, Shaun 204 1-0 Richmond, Robert 190
5 Moore, Graham 190 0-1 Mercs, Peter 202
6 Gregory, Steve 190 1-0 Halfpenny, Glenn 184
7 Ruthen, Steve 176 0-1 Walker, Tim 181
8 Cook, MIchael 181 1-0 Walker, Andy 166
9 Savage, Nick 174 ½–½ Burke, Steve 169
10 Sanders, Rob 171 ½–½ George, Andy 166
11 Peters, John 169 1-0 Swain, John 169
12 Peck, Silas 162 ½–½ Hunter, Steve 170
13 Burnett, Leon 158 ½–½ Broughton, Daniel 170
14 Clapham, Michael 159 ½–½ Thompson, Brian 165
15 Feavyour, John 151 ½–½ Willow, Jonah 141
16 Kirkham, Ed 138 0-1 London, Nick 160

SF Leicestershire – Nottinghamshire

Report from Neil Graham with additional notes by Drag Sudar

For the third time this season, Nottinghamshire met Leicestershire – this time in the semi-final of the Minor Counties Championship – a match that, of course, should have taken place in the Final if the ECF competition rules were sensible. With two defeats already, Leicestershire were this time seeking revenge and turned out their strongest possible team including grandmaster Mark Hebden. The rules prescribe that the average grade for the teams must be 180 or below; a team with an average grade of 180.01 would have to take a one game point penalty. Leicestershire’s team grade total was 2880 – an exact 180!

The match started on time at 1.00pm with five hours play ahead. After the first hour and a half it was clear Leicestershire had opened up an advantage on the lower boards where John Swain, Brian Thompson, Jonah Willow and Nick London were either a pawn down or positionally worse. Things didn’t look good as none of the games elsewhere seemed to be better for Notts.

Just before two and a half hours, the first result was posted with a draw for Andy Walker who maintained his unbeaten record for the county team and this was followed by a further half point from Mark Kenyon who had started brightly but slipped into an equal position. After three hours play the first decisive game of the day when Jonah Willow beat Sean Hewitt. The Leicestershire player was a pawn up with a seemingly clear win but somehow he contrived to misplay the position and found himself two pawns down with a losing position and a resignation followed soon afterwards. So Notts ahead 2-1 – a lead that increased throughout the afternoon.

Brian Thompson with his usual ingenuity had made things extremely difficult for James Miller and then suddenly unleased his queen to h1 checking the king on h2. King x queen was forced and now Brian captured a pawn on g3 with his knight forking the unfortunate monarch on h1 and the queen on e2. His pawn regained, Brian went on to win the ending. Brian’s win extended Notts score to 3-1 and this became 4-1 when Andy George’s opponent, under severe pressure on the king’s side, overstepped the time limit with half an hour still left on Andy’s clock.

At the first time control at 5.00pm several further games finished, first Glenn Halfpenny drew then Alex Combie who had been down for a considerable time lost, this was immediately balanced on the upper boards by a win from Mike Barnes and finally John Swain who had forced his opponent’s king into the centre in a queen and pawn ending was able to maintain a series of checks to draw. So nine games declared, Notts in the lead by 6-3.

With the time pressure gone did Notts have enough to take the match? Certainly things looked good on Boards 5 and 12 but the remaining games were in balance. Nick London had survived to the time control but he had been in trouble since the first hour and it was no surprise that Leicestershire reduced the deficit with a win on Board 16. How had Alex Posazhennikov survived against GM Hebden? Well, very well except for a severe time deficit. With just 14 seconds remaining on his clock Alex exchanged to his R & P versus Mark’s rook and the Leicestershire Board One magnanimously accepted the offered draw. I can think of several players who would have done the opposite. Mark is a true gentleman of chess.

With this result achieved, Robert’s R+2 versus R scored the anticipated full point and when Steve Hunter’s king and passed pawn marched into Sean Sheahan’s centre, the Leicester player decided to call it a day and the match score of 8½-4½ meant a Notts victory.

Subsequently Peter Mercs and Andy Morley who had the banged their way through a fraught time scramble which required a position reconstruction agreed a draw. In the last five minutes of the match Steve Burke who had been playing a rook and pawn ending a pawn down for a considerable time was able to demonstrate a draw and finally Pablo lost his unbeaten record after Martin Burrows was able to force home a pawn making the final result a Notts victory by 9½-6½.

Had the match been played on the set day of June 14th, Leicestershire would have been considerably weaker – as it was both teams were at their best and once again Notts came out the winners. The feedback I received from our team before the match was that it was the right decision to take on our local rivals on June 7th. It must have been so disappointing for Leicestershire to see Nottinghamshire once again triumph. That said we must place on record our thanks for the sporting demeanour of both their captain Graham Booley and their players over the three matches. Let us hope that our team can hold up the torch as the Midland’s strongest county side in the national final on July 12th.

Leicestershire - Nottinghamshire
7 June 2014
Syston, Leicester
Board Grade Grade
1 Hebden, Mark 247 ½–½ Posazhennikov, Alex 199
2 Burrows, Martin 193 1-0 Padilla Cabero, Pablo 196
3 Byron, Alan 192 0-1 Barnes, Mike 201
4 Agnew, Alan 185 1-0 Combie, Alexander 187
5 Sharpe, Graham 178 0-1 Richmond, Robert 190
6 Morley, Andrew 177 ½–½ Mercs, Peter 202
7 Horspool, Philip 180 ½–½ Halfpenny, Glenn 184
8 Galligan, Brian 183 ½–½ Walker, Andy 166
9 Colburn, Paul 170 ½–½ Burke, Steve 169
10 Burgess, Ray 174 0-1 George, Andy 166
11 Potter, Karl 163 ½–½ Swain, John 169
12 Sheahan, Sean 166 0-1 Hunter, Steve 170
13 Miller, James 165 0-1 Thompson, Brian 165
14 Jimenez, Alfonso 175 ½–½ Kenyon, Mark 168
15 Hewitt, Sean 166 0-1 Willow, Jonah 141
16 Okhai, Shabir 166 1-0 London, Nick 160

QF Nottinghamshire – Manchester

Report from Steve Burke

On a beautiful (dare I say) Summer’s day in Staffordshire, we trounced our old rivals Greater Manchester 10-6 without ever really looking to be in danger. With a five point average grading edge, that slightly exceeded our “expected” result.

After a slightly delayed start as we got stuck in traffic on the A50, we started with four relatively early draws before Richard Truman and Steve Hunter converted their advantages to give us the upper hand.

After that there was a wait until John Swain’s opponent resigned an ending two pawns down. A few more draws accumulated, before I managed to clinch my game as we approached the first time control.

I think there were six games still in play, mainly from the top half, which Greater Manchester needed to win 5-1 to beat us on board count. But the positions on the boards suggested that wasn’t going to get close. Indeed it was more likely that our players might go undefeated.

There was one slight wobble when Jenny Le’s attack was repulsed and she slipped to defeat, but Andy George converted a two pawn deficit (at least one of which was sacrificed!) into a winning ending by constant pressure in his opponent. Not long after that Robert Richmond’s pair of unstoppable connected pawns marched through the centre to clinch our victory.

Unfortunately Glenn Halfpenny slipped to defeat as his king stepped too far away from the base of his pawn chain, leaving Pete Mercs and Alex Combie trying to increase our winning margin in what proved to be drawn endings.

So now it’s on to the Semi-Final where we will face... who else but Leicestershire - for the third time this season!

Nottinghamshire - Manchester
17 May 2014
Newcastle Bridge Club
Board Grade Grade
1 Barnes, Mike 201 ½–½ Reeve, Andy 196
2 Padilla Cabero, Pablo 196 ½–½ Smith, Alan 200
3 Combie, Alexander 187 ½–½ Lamb, Harry 184
4 Richmond, Robert 190 1-0 Tyton, Adam 172
5 Mercs, Peter 202 ½–½ Burton, Graham 171
6 Halfpenny, Glenn 184 0-1 Lee, Daniel 178
7 Truman, Richard 171 1-0 Toole, Dave 169
8 Walker, Andy 166 ½–½ Flores, Marciel 174
9 Burke, Steve 169 1-0 Laszlo, Antal 169
10 George, Andy 166 1-0 Altham, John 174
11 Swain, John 169 1-0 Lamb, H Michael 174
12 Hunter, Steve 170 1-0 Olbison, Philip 166
13 Thompson, Brian 165 ½–½ Trueman, Glenn 159
14 Willow, Jonah 141 ½–½ Kolodiy, Yaroslav 168
15 Sudar, Drag 164 ½–½ Lockett, Karl 155
16 Le, Nguyen 161 0-1 Lonsdale, Jon 160

Nottinghamshire – Leicestershire

Nottinghamshire became Midland Counties Chess Champions with a historic win on Saturday by 8½-7½ against Leicestershire. The competition has been in existence since 1898 but over 115 years this is the only the third victory by the local county. When Notts last won in 1976, Concorde was making its maiden scheduled flight and in 1930 when Notts achieved their first success, Donald Bradman was scoring 974 runs in an Ashes Test series.

The match held at Selston Parish Hall began when Ashfield District Councillors Gail Turner and Sam Wilson welcomed both teams to Selston and Gail made the opening move for Nottinghamshire’s top board Mike Barnes.

It took some three hours for the first results to be declared with draws from Andy George, John Swain and Brian Thompson. Leicestershire then scored the first two wins of the match with both Steve Burke and Mike Barnes losing after positional errors. The gap was narrowed when Steve Hunter scored the first Nottinghamshire win having defended correctly against a sacrificial attack and emerging a piece up with a winning position.

Very little separated the teams. Brian Hayward who was the exchange up was able to give back his rook for a knight to give a clearly won ending and Nick London’s advanced passed central pawns also ensured the full point. Meanwhile Leicestershire maintained their lead with wins on Boards 6 & 9 and a draw on Board 4. Andy Walker was well behind on the clock and his game was halved with less than three minutes remaining for the Notts player. Peter Mercs meanwhile had promoted and had a queen versus rook and pawn. However the Leicestershire player established a fortress where it was impossible for the king to assist the lone queen so this game too was drawn.

As the match entered the last twenty minutes, Notts still trailed by 7-6 with three games remaining.

Drag Sudar’s game of a knight v bishop ending was agreed drawn after correct play from the Notts player. Alexander Combie had been a piece up for a considerable time and his opponent eventually conceded in a totally lost position so the match was now tied at 7½-7½. With less than three minutes on his clock, Pablo Padilla Cabero delivered the win that gave Notts the match and the title; his opponent unable to stop a passed pawn without giving up material.

Nottinghamshire - Leicestershire
15 Mar 2014
Selston Parish Hall
Board Grade Grade
1 Barnes, Mike 201 0-1 Burrows, Martin 193
2 Padilla Cabero, Pablo 196 1-0 Byron, Alan 192
3 Combie, Alexander 187 1-0 Reimaa, Sven 186e
4 Richmond, Robert 190 ½–½ Agnew, Alan 185
5 Mercs, Peter 202 ½–½ Sharpe, Graham 178
6 Walker, Tim 181 0-1 Denton, John 179
7 Walker, Andy 166 ½–½ Galligan, Brian 183
8 Burke, Steve 169 0-1 Burgeses, Ray 174
9 Broughton, Daniel 170 0-1 Robinson, John 178
10 George, Andy 166 ½–½ Reynolds, Tom 169
11 Swain, John 169 ½–½ Mitchell, John 169
12 Hunter, Steve 170 1-0 Colburn, Paul 170
13 Thompson, Brian 165 ½–½ Jimenez, Alfonso 175
14 Sudar, Drag 164 ½–½ Sheahan, Sean 166
15 London, Nick 160 1-0 Potter, Karl 163
16 Hayward, Brian 167 1-0 Pattinson, John 155

Nottinghamshire – Staffordshire

Nottinghamshire were 8½-7½ winners over Staffordshire in a hard fought and closely contested Counties semi-final and now move on to face Leicestershire in the final.

Staffordshire brought a strong team with an average grade of 187 some nine points above the Nottinghamshire average. Whilst the upper boards were closely matched we were substantially outgraded over Boards 7-16.

After the equipment eventually arrived play began about on time. Everywhere the Nottinghamshire players appeared to be matching their opponents and soon draws started appearing in the lower order. Unfortunately both Drag and Mark had the worst of their games and Staffordshire chalked up a couple of wins and after ten games were declared eight draws and these two victories gave the away side a 6-4 advantage.

As the time control approached, the match began to turn. With a thunderstorm outside, Pablo unleashed a series of tactical thunderbolts into Lee Grinsell’s position. Under huge pressure on the clock Lee’s position collapsed; 6-5 to Staffs. All the lower boards had finished with one exception as Brian Thompson with his usual ingenuity had contrived to turn a doubtful position into an endgame win so 6-6.

Although Staffordshire temporarily regained their lead when Robert resigned, Board Six looked totally lost for the visitors. Alexander was one then two and eventually four pawns to the good in a rook endgame. The Staffordshire resignation was inevitable and so 7-7 with Boards one and three playing. The match was definitely now in our favour.

Two draws would have secured the victory and eventually Alex who had played with precision against IM Lawrence Cooper secured the first of these. Peter was a pawn up in a double rook ending and he was able to engineer a rook exchange and then win the last white pawn. In an impossible position Darren Wheeler conceded both the game and the match.

Excellent victory for the team – now on to the Final!

Nottinghamshire - Staffordshire
25 Jan 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Posazhennikov. Alex 199E ½–½ Cooper, Lawrence 216
2 Barnes, Mike 201 ½–½ Wallace, Paul 202
3 Mercs, Peter 202 1-0 Wheeler, Darren 201
4 Padilla Cabero, Pablo 196 1-0 Grinsell, Lee 194
5 Richmond, Robert 190 0-1 Acey, Gerald 192
6 Combie, Alexander 187 1-0 Walker, Nicholas 190
7 Truman, Richard 171 ½–½ Anderton, David 189
8 Hunter, Steve 170 ½–½ Bennett, Pat 187
9 Broughton, Daniel 170 ½–½ Armstrong, Malcolm 184
10 Swain, John 169 ½–½ Davison, Colin 182
11 George, Andy 166 ½–½ Crombleholme, Alan 180
12 Walker, Andy 166 ½–½ Turner, John 179
13 Kenyon, Mark 168 0-1 Roberts, Nick 178
14 Thompson, Brian 165 1-0 Jamieson, Ian 176
15 Sudar, Drag 164 0-1 Edwards, Simon 172
16 Le, Nguyen 161 ½–½ Staniforth, John 168

Derbyshire – Nottinghamshire

Notts visited Rolls-Royce in Derby and came away with the points. The battle of the captains on board 9 was just getting interesting when John trapped his own knight in the middle of the board and resigned. Notts were generally on top in most games and gradually the wins and draws trickled in. Richard Edwards and Andy George picked up full points to put us 3 up (about the time news filtered through that Derby County had come back to win 5-1). The remaining games were hard fought with the top half generally playing the longest (and perhaps looking most likely to drop a point at times). News of wins for Forest and Notts County, and a replay for the Stags spurred us on and eventually Stephen Hunter and Alex Combie put us 5 up with 4 to play. The remaining players battled on and in the end Mike Barnes made it a round half dozen wins and no losses.

Derbyshire - Nottinghamshire
7 Dec 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Evans, Ray 193 ½–½ Posazhennikov, Alex 199E
2 Bould, Trevor  182 0-1 Barnes, Mike 201
3 Gilmore, Simon 178 ½–½ Mercs, Peter 202
4 Toothill, Andy 177 ½–½ Cabero, Pablo Padilla 196
5 Gamble, Ray 165 ½–½ Richmond, Robert 190
6 Cobham, Martin 164 0-1 Combie, Alexander 187
7 Allen, Ralph 163 ½–½ Truman, Richard 171
8 Jarvis, Derek 162 0-1 Hunter, Steve 170
9 Hoddy, John 162 0-1 Burke, Steve 169
10 Dalley, Kevin 160 ½–½ Hayward, Brian 167
11 Pickering, David 153 0-1 George, Andy 166
12 Alldread, Luke 151 ½–½ Harvey, Kevin 165
13 Hill, Maurice 142 ½–½ London, Nick 160
14 Hoddy, Dave 140 0-1 Edwards, Richard 145
15 Moore, Paul 136 ½–½ Davies, Norman 140
16 Harrison, Ron 122 ½–½ Walters, Keith 140

Leicestershire – Nottinghamshire

Leicestershire - Nottinghamshire
2 Nov 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Reimaa, Sven E186 1-0 Barnes, Mike 201
2 Agnew, Alan 185 ½–½ Mercs, Peter 202
3 Sharpe, Graham 178 0-1 Posazhennikov, Alex E199
4 Morley, Andy 177 0-1 Richmond, Robert 190
5 Horspool, Phil 180 1-0 Combie, Alexander 187
6 Galligan, Brian 183 ½–½ Swain, John 169
7 Burgess, Ray 174 ½–½ Burke, Steve 169
8 Robinson, John 178 ½–½ Hunter, Steve 170
9 JImenez, Alfonso 175 ½–½ George, Andy 166
10 Potter, Karl 163 0-1 Walker, Andrew 166
11 Sheahan, Sean 166 ½–½ Kenyon, Mark 168
12 Miller, Jim 165 ½–½ Thompson, Brian 165
13 Harlow, Phil 158 1-0 Sudar, Drag 164
14 Pattinson, John 158 ½–½ Le, Nguyen 161
15 Peters, Simon 157 0-1 London, Nick 160
16 Bingham, Jim 146 0-1 Flynn, Dave 157

Nottinghamshire – Lincolnshire

Nottinghamshire's entry to the Minor Counties Championship began inauspiciously after Pete Mercs's clutch cable snapped on the way to the match. I am indebted to John Swain for firstly going to Pete's assistance and finding that Britannia Rescue weren't living up to their name, stepping in to fill the vacant board. John then held Lincolnshire captain Nigel Birtwistle to a draw.

Lincolnshire were Midlands champions and national semi-finalists last year but in this opening match they never really looked like scoring the full two points. Although the top boards were evenly matched, Notts had a grading advantage in the lower order and took full advantage to score 6-2 over Boards 9-16.

The match opened with Alex Combie scoring the first win with his rampant rooks doubled on the 7th rank and this was quickly followed by David Levens winning a piece. At the half way stage Notts had already established a 6½-1½ advantage with Paul Cumbers the only Lincolnshire victor.

After this the away side did make some progress but with Notts winning 9-5, both Drag and Nick could afford to take draws to end the match with a 10-6 win.

Easily the most entertaining game occurred on Board 13 where Brian Thompson's queen had infiltrated the king side and like a giant hoover had sucked up every one of his opponent's pawns leaving him five pawns ahead. Unfortunately this rather rebounded as it left several open files available for White's rooks and queen. Eventually Brian was forced to hand back material to stave off an attack; however with rook & knight versus queen he was able to force a pawn home.

However I did learn one thing from the match; Custard Creams 1 Rich Tea 0 – so more of the former next home game!

Nottinghamshire - Lincolnshire
19 Oct 2013
Bramcote, Nottingham
Board Grade Grade
1 Barnes, Mike 201 ½–½ Mangione, Claudio 203
2 Swain, John 169 ½–½ Birtwistle, Nigel 196
3 Posazhennikov, Alex 199 1-0 Stead, Nick 192
4 Padilla Cabero, Pablo 196 1-0 Milson, Samuel 190
5 Richmond, Robert 190 0-1 Cumbers, Paul 189
6 Combie, Alex 187 1-0 McCarthy, Kevin 170
7 Truman, Richard 171 0-1 Palmer, Keith 169
8 Hunter, Steve 170 0-1 Hebert, Andrew 160
9 Broughton, Daniel 170 ½–½ David, Ivan 159
10 Burke, Steve 169 1-0 Allott, Steve 159
11 Walker, Andrew 166 1-0 Ladds, Graham 158
12 Kenyon, Mark 167 ½–½ McDonald, Ian 157
13 Thompson, Brian 165 1-0 MacDonald, Stuart 151
14 Sudar, Drag 164 ½–½ Georgiou, Denis 149
15 London, Nick 160 ½–½ Holt, Chris 148
16 Levens, David 158 1-0 Mason, Ben 140

Under 160

Nottinghamshire U160 – Greater Manchester U160

The Under 160 team has been the County’s most competitive and consistent team in recent seasons. This year the team became the only team not to progress from the Midlands group, eliminated by this match defeat.

We approached the game with confidence and the belief that our strength in depth would tell with experienced in form players on Boards 10-16.

We notched 2 early wins in the top half with wins by Will Place and Geoff Gibson. Our opponents hit back with losses by Dick Edwards and myself. From a position of advantage I blundered and fell to a 3 move mate.

For the next hour the match seemed very finely balanced. Draws came in from Keith Roper and Keith Aiton. John Tassi, Marcel Taylor and David Levens were pressing their opponents strongly. Most games seemed tight. Tim Poole was in a typically wild game. His King was open and he was behind in development.

Gradually the match was prised away from us. Mick Connor scored an impressive win against Tim Lane, usually one of our bankers. John Tassi secured his third win in three this year to counter this. Momentarily we were lifted by Tim Poole‘s win. Tim had weathered his opponent’s onslaught, who in serious time trouble threw more wood on to the fire. When the flames cleared he saw he was 2 rooks down and his attack was gone.

In the final hour the game swung decisively away from us. Hamzah’s position became overstretched and his opponent was breaking through when Hamzah lost on time.

Richard’s and Harry’s games followed similar lines. Each had looked o.k before slipping into a Rook ending, in which their opponents had a decisive passed pawn. In a losing team cause, David pressed hard for a long while but the opposite bishops enabled his opponent to hold out for the draw. John Collins fought long and hard to defend a similar opposite Bishops ending, with the difficulty in his case of Rooks also being on the board, and he fell to a Rook tactic. Neil Graham landed his draw. The last moves were left to Marcel. He’d been pressing patiently, with better piece activity and a passed pawn. He went for the kill, pushed it, inaccurately and at a fatal cost to his postion. This seemed an appropriate epitaph to this year’s campaign.

The score-card tells the story. The top 8 boards did well, sharing the spoils. The bottom half were routed with losses on 8-10 and 12-14. Manchester played very strongly. Congratulations and Good Luck to them in the national stages. When was the last time that 8 players in the U160 team lost? I hope I didn’t contribute to that one too.

Nottinghamshire - Greater Manchester
22 Feb 2014
Newcastle Bridge Club
Board Grade Grade
1 Poole, Tim 156 1-0 Trueman, Glen 159
2 Place, Will 155 1-0 Raichev, Rostislav UG
3 Levens, David 158 ½–½ Beresford, Alan 152
4 Croasdale, Harry 146 0-1 Jardine, Chris 155
5 Lane, Tim 159 0-1 Connor, Mick 146
6 Aiton, Keith 154 ½–½ Whalley, Mark 149
7 Gibson, Geoff 157 1-0 Livesey, Nigel 147
8 Myers, Richard 154 0-1 Ward, Stephen 143
9 Ali, Hamzah 153 0-1 Moan, Francis 146
10 Collins, John 144 0-1 Pardoe, David 154
11 Roper, Keith 157 ½–½ Norris, Mick 150
12 Edwards, Richard 143 0-1 Hilton, Tim 151
13 Taylor, Marcel 152 0-1 Green, Fiona 137
14 Morgan, Phil 147 0-1 Phythian, Graham 138
15 Graham, Neil 150 ½–½ Connelly, David 143
16 Tassi, John 142 1-0 Green, Tom 119

Nottinghamshire U160 – Warwickshire U160

We've all heard about chess boxing but our match against Warwickshire included the new sport of chess diving. Unfortunately it was octogenarian Stan Cranmer who took a dive off the raised stage onto the floor. At the time it looked very serious and I anticipated a visit to the hospital; however everyone will be pleased to know that apart from some cuts and bruises Stan is okay. Stan was substituted and I am indebted to Steve Foster for standing in and also to Tony Croasdale for taking Stan back home.

There were a couple of early draws on the top two boards and some wins for Notts in the lower order from the two Johns and Mark and after nine games were declared Notts had established a 5½-3½ lead. However Warwickshire then equalised with wins on Boards 4 & 6 after some tactical oversights by the local players. A win by Tim Poole followed by an excellent victory from Jonah Willow who exchanged queens to force a won ending returned the initiative to Notts plus a draw from Dave Flynn moved us up to eight points.

The match winning half came from Steve Foster with a series of queen checks that forced a draw. A quick return now to the chess boxing theme – I blundered a pawn just before the time control and after that my position varied from "lost" to "absolutely lost". For the next twenty moves I ducked, dived and was on the ropes but somehow my opponent failed to deliver the knock-out blow. With less than two minutes on his clock and the breakthrough still not achieved; he accepted a draw. He had been told that he needed a win to save the match and no-one had advised him it was all over. By this time most people had already gone home.

Could I thank everyone for attending and to Simon who assisted with the refreshments. When we play Manchester in February, the position will be clear as this is the last match in the zone.

Nottinghamshire - Warwickshire
14 Dec 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Levens, David  158 ½–½ Reynolds, Robert 151
2 Gibson, Geoff 157 ½–½ Sadler, Anthony 155
3 Flynn, David 157 ½–½ Cundy, Mark 155
4 Roper, Keith 157 0-1 Bull, Phil 154
5 Poole, Tim 156 1-0 Ralph, Sean 151
6 Myers, Richard 154 0-1 Byrne, Nigel 153
7 Taylor, Bob 153 0-1 Fahy, John 151
8 Ali, Hamzah 153 1-0 Rawson, Louis 143
9 Taylor, Marcel 152 0-1 Tallis, Mark 141
10 Croasdale, Harry 146 ½–½ Harrington, Mick 140
11 Willow, Jonah 141 1-0 Jimenez, Frank 139
12 Graham, Neil 150 ½–½ Burnet, Alan 132
13 Collins, John 144 1-0 Asbury, John 130
14 Foster, Steve 130 ½–½ OIliver, Peter 129
15 Radford, Mark 144 1-0 Green, John 123
16 Tassi, John 143 1-0 Gilbert, Kim 127

Nottinghamshire U160 – Leicestershire U160

Report from Phil Morgan

The team got off to a nervous start in its defence of its MCCU title at Underwood on 9th November. We notched first blood with a quick win by Geoff Gibson but the match then became very tight with never more than a point in the game. The other winners for Notts were Will Place, Harry Croasdale, John Tassi and Jonah Willow making his debut at this level.

We had the lead at 8-7 and Keith Roper had the pressure of the last game. He played valiantly in defeat. His opponent played very well and Leicestershire deserved their draw.

Every half point earned was precious. The most unlikely was from Terry Nabbs who played a nice combination and then forgot to recapture a piece at the end of it. Somehow he salvaged a draw from the wreck of his game.

The new venue was a success with "a proper pub" down the road for JT. The stand-in captain lost the toss, played probably the worst game of the day and also forgot to collect the tea money. Come back Neil, Your County Needs You.! Fresh players are likely to appear in the next game - I‘ll be banished to the bench.

Nottinghamshire - Leicestershire
9 Nov 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Lane, Tim 159 ½–½ Salisbury, Mike 159
2 Gibson, Geoff 157 1-0 Harlow, Phil 158
3 Solomonides, Hari 159 0-1 Reeves, Andrew 158
4 Roper, Keith 157 0-1 Harrison, Peter 156
5 Poole, Tim 156 0-1 Vann, Richard 156
6 Place, Will 155 1-0 Pattinson, John 155
7 Myers, Richard 154 ½–½ Adcock, Gregory 152
8 Taylor, Bob 153 ½–½ Wylie, Steve 151
9 Ali, Hamzah 153 ½–½ Bingham, James 146
10 Nabbs, Terry 152 ½–½ Hoch, Toby 144
11 Morgan, Phil 147 0-1 Cowley, Mike 141
12 Croasdale, Harry 146 1-0 Manger, John 140
13 Collins, John 144 0-1 Glover, John 139
14 Huthwaite, John 143 ½–½ Busby, Michael 137
15 Tassi, John 142 1-0 Reynolds, David 136
16 Willow, Jonah 141 1-0 Hamby, Steve 127

Under 140

U140 Hampshire U140 – Nottinghamshire

Hampshire - Nottinghamshire
12 July 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Chilton, James 136 1-0 Atiomo, William 138
2 Davenport, Robert 135 1-0 Ince, Darran 138
3 Ashmore, Roy 132 ½–½ Kenyon, Alan 132
4 Ashraf, Syed 132 ½–½ Thomson, James 137
5 Chapman, Timothy 135 0-1 Willoughby, Robert 127
6 Cleave, Bob 138 ½–½ Foster, Steve 130
7 Symons, John 129 1-0 Gibson, Graham 135
8 Steele, Kevin 129 1-0 Murfet, George 138
9 Smithers, Christopher 129 0-1 Gorecka-Marshall, Peter 134
10 Bonsey, Frank 129 ½–½ Robinson, Alan 132
11 Smith, Christopher 129 1-0 Willow, Hambel 112
12 Watts, John 134 0-1 Nailard, Mike 125
13 Gething, Philip 124 ½–½ Neil, Graham 130
14 Wiseman, John 122 1-0 Lavelle, Terry 133
15 Murphy, Samuel 107 0-1 Budd, Chris 129
16 Barnett, James 124 ½–½ Harper, Mick 126

Nottinghamshire U140 – Kent U140

Report from Mike Nailard (acting Captain)

The match was played at the Open University in Milton Keynes. I won the toss so Notts had white on the odd boards. The match started more or less on time just after 13:00. The first hour was very noisy due to a workman renewing a tarmac path right outside the playing hall. Just before 16:00 I agreed a draw in my game. The only other game finished was the Kent captain who had agreed a draw with Rob Willoughby. After a cup of coffee and something to eat I did a quick recce and thought that we had a slight edge of some description in six games and a disadvantage in three. Rob thought the same!

I had look at the grades and although Kent outgraded us by 2 on current form we had similar advantage on the season start grades – it would be close. Anyhow in the next 30 minutes Mick Harper and Graham Gibson won, James Thomson and Darren Ince drew and Alan Kenyon lost to put us 4-3 up; a position that we managed to maintain, although it was very close, all the way to the finishing line.

By 16:30 it had edged up to 5-4 with Alan Robinson winning and George Murfet losing. Terry Lavelle drew his game and Steve Foster improved his position by winning an exchange. David Woodhouse eventually won to take the score to 6½ – 4½ in our favour and Peter Gorecka-Marshall and Steve Foster agreed draws to edge us to 7½ – 5½. One point from the last three game was needed and it looked like two draws and a loss. Barry Redburn in an opposite coloured bishop ending spotted a temporary pawn sacrifice that enabled a runaway pawn however his opponent gracefully resigned and we won the match. The expected draw and loss materialised from Graham Neil and Will Atiomo to complete a 9-7 victory. Well done team!

Nottinghamshire - Kent
14 June 2014
Open University, Milton Keynes
Board Grade Grade
1 Atiomo, William 138 0-1 Marshall, Chris 139
2 Ince, Darran 138 ½–½ Heard, Andy 138
3 Kenyon, Alan 132 0-1 Sharp, Gary 136
4 Thomson, James 137 ½–½ Thomas, Peter 137
5 Willoughby, Robert 127 ½–½ Thompson, Rob 125
6 Foster, Steve 130 ½–½ Bernard, Chris 134
7 Gibson, Graham 135 1-0 Gilbert, David 121
8 Murfet, George 138 0-1 Orr, David 127
9 Gorecka-Marshall, Peter 134 ½–½ Mourant, Malcolm 127
10 Robinson, Alan 132 1-0 Shahoud, Michael 128
11 Nailard, Mike 125 ½–½ Jones, Michael 127
12 Neil, Graham 130 ½–½ Sherriff, Alan 127
13 Lavelle, Terry 133 ½–½ Tassell, Hugh 125
14 Woodhouse, David 119 1-0 Bond, Stephen 123
15 Redburn, Barry 124 1-0 Blundell, Peter 121
16 Harper, Mick 126 1-0 Gillard, Andrew 115

Nottinghamshire U140 – Hertfordshire U140

Report from Mike Nailard

As Hertfordshire did not want to play on the 17th May Nottinghamshire gained the advantage of a home match. We played in Selston just north of Nottingham so that the opposition would not have to travel far from the motorway. Still far enough to give them a taste of the industrial heartland.

I won the toss and they defaulted the bottom board. So far so good especially as Neil (Graham) went off to make the teas and coffees.

I started my game which started off as a benign Queens Pawn opening, but on move 11 g4 felt very aggressive and my opponent had taken less than ten minutes against my 30 minutes. Time to get a cup tea. Having re-re-assessed to position I needed to get my bishop from e7 to g7 to parry the forthcoming storm. After another five moves I achieved this but the cost was a half open f file controlled by his rook. Fortunately he was over aggressive and after pushing his pawns too far I played Nf5 and a few moves later I got a draw.

Now I could concentrate on producing this match report. Within a few minutes James got a draw so we kept our point advantage. In flurry of results about half an hour later Steve, Barry and Darren got draws and Chris won his game by mating his opponent on g5! Two points to the good I was watching Peter Brace with a queen against two rooks (and plenty of pawns & minor pieces) get a draw. After three hours play Rob lost his game after a valiant effort to maintain drawing chances. Peter GM, Alan Robinson drawing and Terry winning we were edging towards the finishing line 7-5 ahead.

The long distance games came in slowly. Alan’s loss was after another sterling effort but his opponent had denuded Alan’s pawn protection so the extra piece did not count. Mike Harper agreed a draw so we all were watching Rob Willoughby’s game. In pushing through a pawn he got two minor pieces up, however Rob was forced to give one back to stop his opponents pawn from queening. Eventually the Hertfordshire captain resigned and the match was won by Nottinghamshire. Graham Gibson’s game was the last to finish.

Nottinghamshire - Hertfordshire
10 May 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Ince, Darran 138 ½–½ Ruddick, Gary 133
2 Kenyon, Alan 132 0-1 Price, Michael 133
3 Thomson, James 137 ½–½ Gore, Alan D 135
4 Willoughby, Robert 127 1-0 Dicks, Stephen 133
5 Foster, Steve 130 ½–½ Douse, Terry 133
6 Gibson, Graham 135 ½–½ Wali, Mir 134
7 Bonnello, Chris 124 1-0 Magee, Edward 129
8 Brace, Peter 128 ½–½ McMahon, Austin 121
9 Gorecka-Marshall, Peter 134 ½–½ Mountford, Corinne 118
10 Ensor, Rob 135 0-1 Laskier, Paul 126
11 Robinson, Alan 132 ½–½ O'Sullivan, Terry J 126
12 Nailard, Mike 125 ½–½ Butcher, Ray 120
13 Lavelle, Terry 133 1-0 Leake, John 120
14 Redburn, Barry 124 ½–½ Kearns, Roger 115
15 Harper, Mick 126 ½–½ Sampson, Tim 113
16 Neil, Graham 130 1-0 Default  

Staffordshire U140 – Nottinghamshire U140

Report from Mike Nailard

The match was played at Newcastle under Lyme. Notts won the toss so got white on the odd boards. All the games got started by 13:45 and by the time I walked round at 14:30 I noticed that Ross had won a piece and his game after very few moves. Notts were in front. By 15:30 when I next looked having just resigned my game, Peter, James and Darran had agreed draws. 2½ points each and too close too call on the other games. After a cup tea and just after 16:00 Terry mated his opponent and the National u140 Champion (Rob Willoughby) won his game to ensure a comfortable lead that was maintained to the end. A flurry of results around 16:30 - Rob Ensors draw, Alan Robinson winning on time (in a won position I hasten to add), Graham Gibson's loss, Alan Kenyon's win and Saaras's draw took us up to 7½ - 4½. With Mick Harper's game slipping away we had to wait until after 17:00 for the last three games to finish. William won a real up and down battle mating his opponent in a time scamble on a clock that must have lost 30 minutes in the 4½ hours. This was mentioned to the Staffs captain. Graham Neil finally won his Knight v Bishop (with an extra pawn) ending after a long and tedious game. Barry was last to finish after establishing a passed outside pawn his opponent resigned to allow us all to go home.

Staffordshire - Nottinghamshire
11 Jan 2014
Newacastle Bridge Club
Board Grade Grade
1 Staley, Phil 138 0-1 Atiomo, William 138
2 Day, John 133 ½–½ Thomson, James 137
3 Barnett, Douglas 131 0-1 Murphy, Ross 136
4 Leadbetter, Andrew 129 ½–½ Ince, Darran 138
5 Fenby, John 127 ½–½ Ensor, Rob 135
6 Cartlidge, Jacob 126 1-0 Gibson, Graham 135
7 Emmerton, Stephen 126 ½–½ Gorecka-Marshall, Peter 134
8 Scattergood, George 124 0-1 Robinson, Alan 132
9 Blackburn, Sandra 123 0-1 Lavelle, Terry 133
10 Healings, Jack 122 ½–½ Mehan, Saaras 133
11 Meakin, Anthony 121 0-1 Kenyon, Alan 132
12 Jarocki, Mike 118 0-1 Neil, Graham 130
13 Johnson, David 115 0-1 Willoughby, Robert 127
14 Molineux, David 114 1-0 Harper, Mick 126
15 Wright, Nicholas 111 1-0 Nailard, Mike 125
16 Page, Michael 105 0-1 Redburn, Barry 124

Shropshire U140 – Nottinghamshire U140

Report from Mike Nailard

Shropshire won the toss so had white on the odd boards. Darran Ince was first to finish with a draw after about an hour. By the midpoint I had agreed a draw, Mick Harper had mated his opponent in the middle of the board and Steve Foster's draw ensured an early lead for Notts. I had a good look around and noticed Alan Robinson had a handsome attack and plenty of time! Two losses on boards 1 and 3 put Shropshire into the lead. James Thompson got a well earned draw. A little while later Alan's attack broke through, his opponent resigned so back to 4-4. In a flurry of results their captain won, Mike Naylor won and draws from Terry Lavelle and Rob Willoughby took it to 6-6. We then had tense half an hour following the last four matches. Peter Gorecka-Marshall put Notts in front 7-6. Graham Gibson offered a draw as soon as Nigel Wright won his game so Notts had won the match. Bring up the rear after 17:00 Chris and his opponent agreed a draw with litttle time on the clocks It was opposite coloured bishops anyhow!!

Shropshire - Nottinghamshire
30 Nov 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Crean, Peter 139 1-0 Atiomo, William 138
2 Gillespie, Richard 139 ½–½ Thomson, James 137
3 White, Gary M 136 1-0 Murphy, Ross 136
4 Paul, Christopher 130 ½–½ Ince, Darran 138
5 Szwajkun, Richard 130 ½–½ Gibson, Graham 135
6 Viszokai, George 127 0-1 Naylor, Mike E135
7 Crean, Vincent 125 0-1 Gorecka-Marshall, Peter 134
8 Sampson, Neil 121 ½–½ Lavelle, Terry 133
9 Davies, Ian G 120 0-1 Robinson, Alan 132
10 Westhead, John A 120 ½–½ Foster, Steve 130
11 Mace, Colin G 117 ½–½ Willoughby, Robert 127
12 Broderick, Paul G 112 0-1 Harper, Mike 126
13 Jones, Andrew 112 ½–½ Nailard, Mike 125
14 Lewis, Andrew 111 ½–½ Bonnello, Chris 124
15 Brown, Roger R 109 1-0 Dunne, Dave E116
16 Szwajkun, Steve 93 0-1 Wright, Nigel 115

Under 120

Final Hertfordshire U120 – Nottinghamshire U120

Report from Neil Graham

The Under 120 team proved to be the only Nottinghamshire victory on Counties Final Day – a welcoming result after our other two sides were beaten.

Hertfordshire arrived as SCCU champions with 7 wins and a draw to their credit and looked to outgrade us but in reality the teams seemed closely matched. So close that whilst the results were coming in regularly in the other matches it was almost three hours before the first result was recorded.

Notts scored the opening point when Nigel Wright who had played through an extremely complex middlegame emerged pawns ahead in an easy-to-win king and pawn endgame. Herts levelled on Board 8 where the ending was clearly won for them and we regained the lead through Bob Garnett again in a king and pawn ending. However the next three boards to declare 6, 11 and 12 were all Hertfordshire victories and they were now 4-2 in the lead.

Nevertheless the upper boards all looked in our favour and whilst things were going wrong elsewhere, there was a chance for Notts. At around the four hour mark there was a dramatic three board swing back us. Our top boards of Dave Dunne and Paul Rees had both established advantages that were converted into wins and Lukasz Kacprzak once again confounded an opponent when a rook down. Earlier this season he’d drawn with perpetual check and this time some open files allowed a mate against an exposed king.

With a 5-4 lead and wins on Boards 1-3 there was no hope of a Herts comeback as Andy Thompson was set to win on Board 4 after winning material and converting to a won endgame. The position on Board 7 had been sterile for a couple of hours and at the same time as Andy’s opponent resigned the Hertfordshire player finally agreed the draw against Len Morrell; Notts 6½ Herts 4½. The last game to finish was on Board Five where after almost five hours play Simon Scott went slightly wrong and allowed his opponent to scramble a rather fortuitous draw.

The team stopped behind and were presented with individual trophies and the U120 Cup.

Hertfordshire U120 - Nottinghamshire U120
12 July 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Kearns, Roger 119 0-1 Wright, Nigel 115
2 Claret, Ray 119 0-1 Rees, Paul 117
3 Mountford, Corinne 118 0-1 Dunne, Dave 116e
4 Woodhouse, Keith UG 0-1 Thompson, Andrew 105
5 Zsibrita, Steve 117 ½–½ Scott, Simon 100
6 Devan, Matthew 113 1-0 Swanwick, Michael 110
7 Elder, Kidge 119 ½–½ Morrell, Len J 117
8 Pearson, Richard UG 1-0 Gretton, Margaret 102
9 Peate, John 112 0-1 Kacprzak, Lukasz 114
10 Hayward, Peter 109 0-1 Garnett, Robert 112
11 Sampson, Tim 113 1-0 Dawson, Richard 103
12 Hicks, Simon 109 1-0 Luland, Steve 103

SF Staffordshire U120 – Nottinghamshire U120

Staffordshire U120 - Nottinghamshire U120
14 June 2014
Newcastle Bridge Club
Board Grade Grade
1 Wilcox, Joseph 119 0-1 Willow, Hambel 112
2 Nesbitt, Denis 117 1-0 Wright, Nigel 115
3 Jarocki, Michael 118 0-1 Rees, Paul 117
4 Molineux, Dave 114 ½–½ Dunne, Dave 116e
5 Hall, Arthur 116 0-1 Thompson, Andrew 105
6 Brodie, Bob 111 0-1 Scott, Simon 100
7 Jones, Simon 104 1-0 Flint, Andy 112
8 Wright, Nic 111 ½–½ Morrell, Len 117
9 Johnson, David 115 ½–½ Gretton, Margaret 102
10 Torbica, Danny 111 0-1 Kacprzak, Lukasz 114
11 Hawthorne, Julian 88 1-0 Dawson, Ric 103
12 Buckley, David 101 0-1 Luland, Steve 101

QF Lancashire U120 – Nottinghamshire U120

Lancashire U120 - Nottinghamshire U120
17 May 2014
Newcastle Bridge Club
Board Grade Grade
1 Glover, Gordon 114 ½–½ Willow, Hambel  112
2 Flaherty, Steve 119 ½–½ Wright, Nigel 115
3 Friar, Colin 117 0-1 Rees, Paul 117
4 Mitchell, Ian 117 1-0 Bennett, Adam 116
5 Horne, Michael 117 0-1 Dunne, Dave 116e
6 Randall, Grant 111 0-1 Thompson, Andrew 105
7 Jinks, Tony 111 ½–½ Scott, Simon 100
8 Shaughnessy, Phil 104 ½–½ Flint, Andy 112
9 Parkin, Brian 115 ½–½ Garnett, Bob 112
10 Thorp, Dave 116 ½–½ Kacprzak, Lukasz 114
11 Dean, Bernard 112 ½–½ Dawson, Ric 103
12 Cooper, Mark 89 0-1 Luland, Steve 101

Nottinghamshire U120 – Warwickshire U120

Nottinghamshire U120 - Warwickshire U120
8 Feb 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Bosworth, Gary 119 1-0 Horsley, Dennis M 117
2 Wright, Nigel 115 ½–½ Ball, Roger 113
3 Rees, Paul 118 ½–½ Hughes, Peter J 108
4 Ahluwalia, Sahrin 118 0-1 Bettam, Roy 110
5 Dunne, Dave 116e ½–½ Gee, Graham 109
6 Thompson, Andrew 105 ½–½ Hodges, John 110
7 Scott, Simon 100 1-0 Hotchkiss, Steve 108
8 Flint, Andy 112 ½–½ Pakenham, John 105
9 Gretton, Margaret 102 ½–½ Camelio, Adam 102
10 Kaprzak, Lukasz 114 1-0 Quail, Harvey 103
11 Dawson, Ric 103 ½–½ Gamer, Bramwell M 97
12 Luland, Steve 101 ½–½ Woodward, Pauline 106

Nottinghamshire U120 – Staffordshire U120

Notts faced National Champions Staffordshire in the Under 120 section. The first move was to the Community Hall after the match was initially set up incorrectly in the Main Hall – unfortunately this was one of the better moves made by the local county as Staffordshire established a strong lead. Although Board Three was agreed drawn in a level position and the Staffordshire substitute was quickly outclassed to give an initial 1½-½ advantage to the home side, virtually every other position was in the visitor's favour. The top boards were either one of two pawns in arrears and these were converted into a series of wins to give Staffordshire a 6-2 advantage with eight boards declared; team captain Mike Swanwick making the only addition to the Nottinghamshire score. The lower boards looked more hopeful for Notts but only contributed draws after some stout resistance from Staffordshire with Margaret Gretton the only winner for us. The final game to finish was on Board One where after a tough struggle a draw was agreed to make the score 7½-4½ to the defending champions.

Nottinghamshire U120 - Staffordshire U120
7 Dec 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Rees, Paul 117 ½–½ Jarocki, Mike 118
2 Morrell, Len 117 0-1 Nesbitt, Denis 117
3 Dunne, Dave 116e ½–½ Hall, Arthur 116
4 Kaprzak, Lukasz 114 1-0 Sargeant, Abby (substitute) 14
5 Garnett, Bob 112 0-1 Brodie, Bob 112
6 Flint, Andy 112 0-1 Wright, Nicholas 111
7 Swanwick, Mike 110 ½–½ Wilkinson, Richard 111
8 Garside, Graham 108 0-1 Evans, Peter 109
9 Luland, Steve 103 ½–½ Page, Michael 105
10 Dawson, Ric 103 ½–½ Jones, Simon 104
11 Gretton, Margaret 102 1-0 Buckley, David 101
12 Fraser. Chris 100 0-1 Hull, Stuart 87

Worcestershire U120 – Nottinghamshire U120

Notts comprehensively beat Worcestershire 8½-3½ in the second Under 120 match of the season played at the intermediate venue of Water Orton.

Although the top boards were closely contested, the lower order score was decisively in Notts favour. Worcester quickly opened the scoring after a top board error but after eight results had been declared Notts had already established a match-winning 6½-1½ advantage. After their initial bright start, Worcestershire succumbed with a series of blunders and tactical errors that lost the match. The bottom three boards Ric Dawson, Akhilesh Huria and Steve Swanwick all played well to take the full point.

Although Worcs at last scored a further win on Board Two, there was still time for Lukasz Kacprzak to find a perpetual check against the home captain although a rook down. The final game to finish on Board Nine was still going on when I left and was eventually drawn.

Thanks to Worcestershire for making all the match arrangements and providing refreshments.

Worcestershire U120 - Nottinghamshire U120
9 Nov 2013
Water Orton
Board Grade Grade
1 Seeley, Peter 116 1-0 Ahluwalia, Sahrin 118
2 Clack, Michele 116 1-0 Morrell, Len 117
3 Day, Kevin 115 0-1 Wright, Nigel 115
4 Collett, Richard 115 ½–½ Kacprzak, Lukasz 114
5 Stanton, Giles 114 0-1 Flint, Andy 112
6 Wood, Penny 110 ½–½ Garnett, Bob 112
7 Clark, Maureen 109 0-1 Garside, Graham 108
8 Bott, Doug 108 0-1 Thompson, Andrew 105
9 Smith, David 100 ½–½ Luland, Steve 103
10 Taylor, Tony 93 0-1 Dawson, Ric 103
11 Evans, Joyce 75 0-1 Huria, Akhilesh 100
12 Vernon, Colin 70 0-1 Swanwick, Stephen 90

Lincolnshire U120 – Nottinghamshire U120

Report from Mike Swanwick

After finally finding the location we thought we were all going to be put to work on factory overtime, however the location was a very comfortable and spacious boardroom, with all sets ready and set up to go for a great afternoon's chess.

Lincs fielded a stronger team than in previous years, as did Notts thanks to the organisational skills of Neil Graham, with Notts slightly out grading their hosts by 4 points on average.

Welcomes were given, pairings called out, rules run over, hands shaken and best of luck wished before clocks were started and the match was on.

I didn't manage to get a good look round many of the matches in the early stages, being engrossed in my own match and having to concentrate extra hard due to some over indulgence the previous evening, although I did manage to see Andrew Thompson on board 6 put his opponent under pressure and open up an early advantage with the black pieces.

I had also managed to work a small advantage with my opponent putting himself into a cramped position after a queens pawn opening with white, and I managed to convert this small advantage into a full piece after some tactical exchanges in the centre. However, after some loose play and a subsequent horrific blunder I gave the piece back, but managed to convert a better position overall to take the win, and have a look around the room at the other remaining games.

Andrew Thompson had also converted his advantage to a win, and Dorothy Blampied seemed to have all her pieces on the board against her opponent's solitary king, which resulted in a win. Ric Dawson had a strong attack with a knight causing his opponent all sorts of problems, however after some further play his opponent managed to turn the tide and ended up with a win.

The final game I managed to catch saw Gary Bosworth on top board agree a draw with knights and pawns on the board (I think!) and with a small advantage, by which time the match had already been secured for Nottinghamshire.

Many thanks to all who played, to Lincolnshire for their superb hosting, and to Neil Graham for organising the Notts team.

Lincolnshire U120 - Nottinghamshire U120
5 Oct 2013
North Hykeham, Lincoln
Board Grade Grade
1 Dew, Mike 118 ½–½ Bosworth, Gary 119
2 Scott, Gary 117 ½–½ Morrell, Len 117
3 Cumbers, Chris 110 ½–½ Flint, Andy 112
4 Orr, William 105 1-0 Garnett, Bob 112
5 Vasey, Max 102 0-1 Swanwick, Mike 110
6 Hamson, Joseph 100 0-1 Thompson, Andy 105
7 Gutcher, Philip 98 1-0 Dawson, Ric 103
8 Fischer, Paul 97 0-1 Morley, Stephen 95
9 Chaplin, Paul 96 0-1 Attwood, Charlotte 94
10 Scott, David 90 1-0 Swanwick, Steve 90
11 Godfrey, Haydn 80 0-1 Abrahart, Bob 88
12 Wilson, James 75 0-1 Blampied, Dorothy 87

Under 100

QF Kent U100 – Nottinghamshire U100

Report from Neil Graham

With a fortnight to go I had arranged 10 players for the 12 board match against Kent and didn’t envisage a problem finding two more players. Not to be however when three players dropped out in the fortnight before the game leaving me with just seven players and a week to go. Over 20 players declared themselves unavailable and on the Thursday before the match our opponents advised that they had 11 players so we decided to play one board short. Even so I had to travel to Milton Keynes with our weakened team as we needed transport.

The match started well for Notts with Bob Abrahart scoring an initial win after his opponent ignored a strong attack with an unproductive counter thrust. Although Malcolm Hargreaves lost soon after, Notts retook the lead when James Watts who had been material up for a considerable time was able to score the full point. This 2-1 lead turned out to be a high point as the next five games to finish added just a further draw courtesy of some solid play from Luke Rees. I am indebted to bottom boards Mick James and Rose Emery who acquitted themselves well after being drafted into the county team late on. Mick was equal for a considerable time but after losing a piece his position quickly declined whilst Rose played 63 moves and had some drawing chances but her bishop was unable to hold back a tide of advancing pawns. So two losses on these boards coupled with Charlotte and Alberto also losing gave Kent a 5½-2½ advantage.

Nevertheless three wins on the remaining boards could have saved the match for us. As soon as I’d advised our players of this, Ken Heath who was under pressure also pawns up, gave away a piece and soon resigned so Kent had won the match. Stephen Morley’s king and pawn endgame might have netted a further point but eventually all that remained was his blockaded rook’s pawn so a draw and Will Atiomo gave the result an air of respectability as his opponent somehow managed to walk into a self mate to make the final score 7-4 in favour of the southern champions.

Can I take this opportunity to thank all the players who have supported the Under 100 team this year.

Kent U100 - Nottinghamshire U100
17 May 2014
Milton Keynes
Board Grade Grade
1 Green, Emily 93 1-0 Rodriguez, Alberto 80
2 Cheeseman, Chris 99 0-1 Atiomo, Will 94
3 Evans, Alan 99 ½–½ Morley, Stephen 95
4 Cronin, Bob 97 1-0 Hargreaves, Malcolm 98
5 Houching, Peter 96 0-1 Abrahart, Bob 88
6 Horner, Mark 91 1-0 Attwood, Charlotte 94
7 Hampton, Barry 88 ½–½ Rees, Luke 72
8 Langford, David 83 0-1 Watts, James 69
9 Aubin-Parvu, Henri 83 1-0 Heath, Ken 73
10 Lis, Bernard 84 1-0 James, Michael 31
11 Morton, Thomas 72 1-0 Emery, Rose 20

Nottinghamshire U100 – Warwickshire U100

Nottinghamshire U100 - Warwickshire U100
18 Jan 2014
Board Grade Grade
1 Hargreaves, Malcolm  98 ½–½ Garner, Bramwell 97
2 Morley, Stephen 95 0-1 Sinclair, Chris 95e
3 Attwood, Charlotte 94 ½–½ Buxton, Richard 93
4 Swanwick, Stephen 90 0-1 Comelio, Adam 90
5 Abrahart, Bob 88 0-1 Stiff, Peter 87
6 Seagrave, Mike 88 ½–½ Visgandis, Bernard 86
7 Blampied, Dorothy 87 ½–½ Kelly, Paul 86
8 Badhe, Neel 72 ½–½ Shah, Darpit 85e
9 Heath, Ken 73 ½–½ Clulee, John 81
10 Rees, Luke 72 1-0 Marshall, Alan 80e
11 Watts, James 69 1-0 Leggett, Peter 70
12 Litherland, Jack 64 ½–½ Green, Des 44

Nottinghamshire U100 – Staffordshire U100

Nottinghamshire U100 - Staffordshire U100
16 Nov 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Hargreaves, Malcolm  98 1-0 West, Robert 93
2 Atiomo, Will 94 0-1 Hawthorne, Julian 88
3 Morley, Stephen 95 1-0 Price, Gwyn 81
4 Attwood, Charlotte 94 1-0 Cooling, Anthony 76
5 Swanwick, Steve 90 1-0 Perry, Robert 71
6 Seagrave, Mike 88 1-0 Scotchford, Emma 31
7 Blampied, Dorothy 87 1-0 Woolliscroft, Arran 35
8 Rodriguez, Alberto 80 1-0 Sherratt, Libby 8
9 Watts, James 69 1-0 Goodman, Dan UG
10 Wright, Joe 70e 1-0 Woolliscroft, Lewis 37
11 Litherland, Jack 64 1-0 Snape, Oliver UG
12 Graham, Jonathan UG 1-0 Snape, Jack UG

Leicestershire U100 – Nottinghamshire U100

Leicestershire U100 - Nottinghamshire U100
19 Oct 2013
Board Grade Grade
1 Chen, Qiyuan 95 0-1 Hargreaves, Malcolm 98
2 Hill, Daniel E90 0-1 Morley, Stephen 95
3 Findley, Ed E85 0-1 Attwood, Charlotte 94
4 Brown, Tom E75 0-1 Winn, Martyn 92
5 Raine, Ben E72 0-1 Thakar Abhishek 91
6 Yang, Shangging E64 0-1 Swanwick, Stephen 90
7 Kotecha, Shyen E48 0-1 Grenham, Sean E90
8 Fratczak, Edyta E18 0-1 Abrahart, Bob 88
9 Lo, Matthew E45 0-1 Blampied, Dorothy 87
10 Mottram-Epson, Peter E50 0-1 Badhe, Neel 72
11 Fratczak, Weronica E38 0-1 Heath, Ken 73
12 Mottram-Epson, Alastair E34 0-1 Watts, James 60