Thursday, 15 June 2017

European Schools Championships

Siblings Adam and Amy John from Bury St Edmunds are currently representing England in the European Schools Championships, taking place in Budva, Montenegro.

Today is a rest day, but after five rounds (out of nine), Adam is well-placed (and unbeaten) on 3½ points.   Tomorrow he faces the second seed which will be a tough test.   Sister Amy (pictured below) is on 2 points.

The results of all twelve England juniors can be followed here.

The website for the event can be seen here.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Suffolk through to Minor Counties Final

On Saturday, Suffolk's First Team faced Leicestershire in the Semi-Final of the Minor Counties competition (where the average grade of the team must not exceed 180).   The result was 9 -7 in favour of Suffolk, who will now face Lincolnshire in the Final, due to be played on 1 July.   Lincolnshire beat Norfolk on board count after drawing 8 - 8, so the possible final between Suffolk and Norfolk has been avoided.

The Suffolk team included two juniors - Alex Sheerin and Jaden Jermy, who both won.   In fact, Suffolk were unbeaten on the bottom seven boards, despite being outgraded on every one of those boards.   Jaden's win on board 16 was crucial; had he lost, the team would have lost the match on board count.

Other Suffolk winners were Alan Merry (Board 1), Ian Wallis (4), Ted Matthewson (10), Steve Ruthen (12) and Phil Hutchings (13).

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

EACU Congress

The annual EACU Congress took place at the weekend at the Turner Hall in Newmarket.   Entries were up from last year - 83 compared to 72 in 2016.

The Open section was predictably won by top seed IM Alan Merry, who scored 4½/5.   He drew with FM Terry Chapman in Round 4 and needed to win his final game to ensure the title.   This he achieved, with a win against Ipswich's Graham Moore.

There were five players on 3½ points sharing first place in the u170 section.   These included Tim Lunn (Ipswich) and Phil Hutchings (Manningtree).   Also sharing first place was 11-year old Julia Volovich, from Cambridge.

The Under 130 section was won on 4½ points by 12-year old Jaden Jermy, of the Bury St Edmunds and Bury Knights clubs.   He quickly drew his final game against the section's top seed to guarantee the title.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Norfolk and Suffolk Cup Final

IAN WALLIS has kindly provided the following report on the Final of the Norfolk and Suffolk Cup, when Suffolk winners Ipswich faced Norfolk's Broadland Chess Club, on 28 May, in Ipswich.

"It was a very close match, despite Broadland turning up with a stronger than expected team.   Grading-wise the teams were evenly matched, however I thought with the given board orders Broadland were favourites.   Ipswich won the toss and had White on odds.

Mine was the first game to finish.   I played an inferior line in the opening and gave my opponent an advantage which he duly converted.   Nick was next, taking a draw in a balanced position but one that could have gone wrong if playing too hard to win.

Shaun obtained a winning position with a neat combination that forced a win of the queen for two minor pieces.   The result was never in doubt although his opponent stubbornly played on to the end, no doubt not wanting to resign for the sake of the team.   I'm sure he would have resigned earlier in an individual game.

This left the match evenly poised 1½ - 1½ with three games to go.

Silas on top board was being outplayed despite putting up valiant resistance.   Steve was gradually improving his position and had a slight edge but with plenty for both sides to play for.   Graham's game was still unclear.

Steve finally obtained a better position and went on to checkmate.   We were ahead for the first time.

Silas resistance ran out and he resigned.   So. with the match all square again the result hinged on the final game.   A win, or a draw, would give victory to Ipswich as the first tie-break rule for this competition is, rather unusually, board elimination rather than board count.   Had it been board count a draw would have favoured Broadland.

Both players were down to a couple of minutes.   Graham had sacrificed his last minor piece for some pawns and was playing R + 4/5 against R + N + P.   And then catastrophe; with at least a draw in sight he stumbled into a mate in the middle of the board.   Thus Broadland won the match 3½-2½."

Silas Peck1860 - 1Richard Polaczek216
Graham Moore1930 - 1Ken McEwan199
Shaun Munson1931 - 0Roy Hughes190
Nick Savage186½ - ½Gerald Moore185
Steve Gregory1861 - 0Daniel Frean175
Ian Wallis1880 - 1Ieysaa bin-Suhayl176