After six rounds Steve Gregory and I were tied for first place, so a play-off was needed to decide the championship. Historically this used to be a six game match played over the summer, however as the Ipswich club no longer meets during this time, it was reduced to a single game. In the event of a draw it was agreed that there would be another night set aside for rapid games with reducing time controls until a winner emerged. Fortunately that was not necessary as I won a very fluctuating final game against Steve.
None of my games are worthy of publication in full so here is a selection of some critical positions from some of them:
Round 1 - White v Les Jones
Round 3 - White v Martin Fogg
26. Re3 (now Black can escape with 26... Rb6 27. Rxe6 Bxe6 with three pieces for the Queen). Fortunately 26... Kf7 was played and after 27. Rxe6 Bxe6 28. Qe5 1 - 0 three moves later. Back to the diagram: 26. Rxd7! was the correct continuation (26... Qxe2 27. f7#).
Round 5 - White v Alex Sheerin
Round 6 - Black v Michael Cook
However knowing Michael's preference for knights I was expecting the game continuation 13. Ba6? Bxa6 14. Qxa6 Nc5 15. Qe2 Nd3+ 16. Kf1 Nxb2 and despite Mike putting up a valiant defence I won after 60 moves.
Playoff - White v Stephen Gregory
35. Rb1 was probably best taking the line of most resistance, however Steve had only seconds for his next move and feeling Black was better I decided to mix it with 36. d5?! cxd5 was the automatic reply (36... Qb3! is probably winning) 37. c6 was the idea. ... Qb3 (keeping the advantage but no longer winning) 38. Qc3? (throwing the game away) 38... Ra2+ 39. Kf1 Qa4? (returning the compliment - Rf2+ 40. Ke1 Qa2 is simply winning) 40. Qc5 (now White is much better) ... Kf7 (... Rf2+ was an improvement, although 41. Ke1 Kf7 42. c7 Qa6 43. Qxf2! should decide) 41. Qb6? (41. c7 wins as ... Rf2+ can be met by Qxf2!) ... Qa8? (the final error ... Rf2+ 42. Qxf2 Nxf2 43. c7 Nd3 44. c8=Q Nxc1 45. Qxc1 was more challenging.) 42. Qb7+ the rest was straightforward ...Ke8 43. Qd7+ Kf8 44. Ng6 Kg8 45. Qxe6+ Kg7 46. Qf6+ Kh7 47. Qf7#.