Friday, 5 June 2015

Norfolk & Suffolk Cup goes north

Yesterday, Bury St Edmunds Chess Club hosted Broadland Club in the Final of the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup.

This was the Bury St Edmunds team before play started:

(left to right):
Steve Ruthen (Board 4), Mike Harris (1), John Peters (3), Ed Player (2), David Brown (6), Richard Lamont (5).

Broadland's team averaged 188, whilst Bury St Edmunds could only manage 180.   Broadland had a grading advantage on four of the six boards.

After two hours play all matches were level, although Ed, John and Richard seemed to have slight positional advantages.   Steve Ruthen was the first to finish, after he accepted a draw offer from Ken McEwan.   This was followed by a draw on Board 6, when Daniel Frean accepted David Brown's draw offer.

Meanwhile, on Board 1, Mike Harris was struggling with a bad bishop against Richard Polaczek's good knight.   Eventually Richard (graded 224) prevailed and for the first time Broadland took the lead.

Ed Player achieved a smooth win against Roy Hughes, despite getting into his usual time trouble.   He had to make moves 25 to 30 in 38 seconds, which he achieved with four seconds to spare!   John Peters missed a pin and had to take a draw against Gerald Moore.   So with the score at 2½ - 2½, it was all down to Richard Lamont, facing Terry Turner.   After an exchange of all four rooks, Richard's bishop was no match for Terry's passed pawn and Richard was forced to use his queen to prevent the pawn from promoting.   Richard bravely declined a draw with less than a minute remaining, but eventually agreed the draw with only seconds on his clock.

So, with four draws on the bottom four boards, it was Ed's excellent win on Board 2 that had to be eliminated in order to break the tie.

Congratulations to Broadland, whose name will appear on the cup for the first time.   Below is their winning team, together with non-playing captain Paul Badger, holding the trophy.   (left to right): Gerald Moore, Terry Turner, Ken McEwan, (Paul Badger), Roy Hughes, Richard Polaczek, Daniel Frean.

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