4NCL: 18-19 January 2003

Saturday 18 January

1 w Webb, Richard M. 2372 - Hynes, Anthony 2216
2 b Rossiter, Philip J. 2374 - Thomas, Nicholas 2256
3 w Simons, Martin J. 2262 0 - 1 Mason, Don 2256
4 b Corkett, Anthony R. 2313 1 - 0 Wu, Li 2166
5 w Yeo, Michael J. 2251 0 - 1 Pitcher, John 2130
6 b Upton, Ian J. 2224 - Hunt, Malcolm A. 1960
7 w Khoo, Teresa (F) 2108 1 - 0 Chevannes, Sabrina (F) 1972
8 b Pye, David E. 2080 0 - 1 Cooper, David M. 1880

This is the seventh season that Wessex have played in the 4NCL. I can remember only one occasion when we outrated our opponents by more (and I lost then too, although the team won). Our top two boards could make no impression. Amusingly, their board 2 offered a draw in a better position on the grounds that he was due to play Nigel Davies on the Sunday and didn't want to lose both games in the weekend. Come the Sunday, not only did he win, but their board 1 beat Keith Arkell and the team won 5-3, so maybe this wasn't quite such a bad result.

Martin had started his opening preparation the previous weekend by asking me about an unusual line in the French Tarrasch. Many man-hours later, including most of the car journey produced a slightly better position for White that was rather difficult to play and in which one mistake was likely to prove fatal......Tony endured some uncomfortable moments before his opponent gifted him the exchange. My opening produced a promising position, but having failed to break through on the king-side, I committed suicide by advancing the pawns in front of my king on the queen-side. Ian failed to inject any excitement into his position. Only Teresa seemed to have a comfortable game.

3 - 3 left David Pye still pressing to win a drawn K+P ending. His winning attempt even caused Richard to declare that his opponent had blundered, but reality was rather different.


  WESSEX 2   v BRISTOL 2  
1 w Rutter, Nicholas 2120 0 - 1 Rudd, Jack 2171
2 b Clark, Ian C. 2119 - Dilleigh, Stephen P. 2158
3 w Tunks, Dominic 2096 1 - 0 Curtis, John 2143
4 b Marsh, Roger 2069 - Easton, Alex 2123
5 w Gregory, Keith D 2032 - Ponter, Ian 2103
6 b Hopkins, Jamie R. 2032 - Chaplin, Peter 2060
7 w Pleasants, Allan J. 2000 1 - 0 Humphreys, Jerry 2066
8 b Norman, Dinah (F) 2021 0 - 1 Nicol, Ruth (F) 1700
        4 - 4    

The second team did rather better despite being outrated on the top seven boards.

Allan Pleasants reports: "This was always going to be a close match, and things started well with an early win for Dominic and my game looked very promising. Steady draws followed putting pressure on their boards 1 and 8 to convert small advantages. Unfortunately both opponents played well. A drawn match in the end was a fair result."

You can read what the opposition thought of this match here.

Finding a curry house near the hotel proved impossible, so 10 of us piled into 2 cars and headed to the Shifnal Balti four miles away. Discussions centered on why they had no drinks licence, but had no objection to raiding the local off-licence, and what to change the name of the 2nd team to once they got promotion and the 1st team got relegated.

Sunday 19 January

    ATHENAEUM 1   v WESSEX 1  
1 w Spreeuw, Jaap 2313 - Webb, Richard M. 2372
2 b van Voorthuijsen, Pieter W 2304 0 - 1 Rossiter, Philip J. 2374
3 w Quinn, John M. 2196 - Yeo, Michael J. 2251
4 b Stevenson, James A.B. 2124 0 - 1 Corkett, Anthony R. 2313
5 w Milligan, Helen (F) 2111 0 - 1 Simons, Martin J. 2262
6 b Gruettner, Ralf 2053 - Upton, Ian J. 2224
7 w Pederson, Carsten 1944 - Khoo, Teresa (F) 2108
8 b Munro, Donald * 1712 - Pye, David E. 2080

A rather better performance than on Saturday. We were helped by the late arrival of their boards 4 and 7 due to the closure of the M6. Indeed, both Tony and Teresa looked to be in most trouble and might not have survived if their opponents had had more time - Teresa's opponent could have won at least the exchange when he chose to repeat moves. Richard thought he was worse when he agreed a draw. Philip's opponent fell apart in Philip's time-trouble. Both Martin and Ian swapped an awful lot of pieces off, but in Martin's case he had enough threats left to win.

My game had become very complicated after I ditched a couple of pawns. I won the exchange back but it was very unclear who was better. Martin took a view that it was likely to be some time before I could give him a lift and went off for a sauna. On move 41, I decided to offer a draw as we had already won the match. Dave Pye's game dragged on a bit further but he too was soon allowed home.

This then left me with the tricky problem of extracting Martin. He emerged very hot and sweaty, leaving behind a disappointed young lady whom he described as "very chatty". He asserts that his subsequent illness was due to the black pudding at breakfast rather than anything caught in the sauna.


1 w Greet, Andrew N. 2272 - Rutter, Nicholas 2120
2 b Lutton, J. Ezra 2107 0 - 1 Clark, Ian C. 2119
3 w Lutton, E. Josiah 2042 1 - 0 Tunks, Dominic 2096
4 b Hawrami, Khidir * 2000 0 - 1 Marsh, Roger 2069
5 w Heaton, Robert 1856 0 - 1 Gregory, Keith D 2032
6 b Bland, David 1712 - Hopkins, Jamie R. 2032
7 w Hawrami, Dana * 1712 - Pleasants, Allan J. 2000
8 b Miller, Naomi K. (F) 1616 0 - 1 Norman, Dinah (F) 2021

Allan: "Quick wins for Roger and Dinah and a draw for Jamie. My game was going well - then it wasn't, and I gratefully accepted a draw in a lost position! Keith, who wasn't feeling well, won to give us at least a draw. A win by Ian, from an unclear position, secured the match points and Nick made it our best win yet by holding Andrew Greet to a draw.

These two results put us third in the league and in a promotion spot. Well done everyone."

Last modified: January 24, 2003

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