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Chess Notes 27/11/2003

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 27 Nov 2003

 

Ulster Championships

Over the weekend, Ulster's Intermediate (1500-1900) and Junior (below 1500) players competed in the Ulster Championships held in the North Belfast club. Bangor's results in the Intermediate were Mark Newman 3.5, Damien Lavery 3.5, Ron Henderson 2.5,  David Grzymek 2.5 and Richard Proctor 2.5. Mark survived undefeated, though a couple of points behind the group winner John Cairns from Fisherwick. Philip Todd was the sole Bangor representative in the Junior section scoring a good 3.5 points including a draw against eventual winner Hannah Lowry-O'Reilly.

Ulster School's Championships

The weekend before, the Ulster School's Championships were held at RBAI. Almost 100 entrants played in the 5 age-sections for girls and boys. Bangor players Richard Morrow and David Symmington competed in the under-19 section. Richard gained a creditable third while David found the competition very stiff after moving up a section from his win last year in the under-16s. David Grzymek also met difficult opposition this year, claiming second in the under-14 category. For next year, all three will undoubtedly gain valuable experience from this season's league competition.

Carnegie at Civil Service

On Wednesday, Carnegie travelled to Civil Service to face an intimidating side claiming a 600 points rating advantage. Although the team scored well with a win and two draws, it was not enough to claim the match losing 3-2 overall.
On board 1, Eddie Whiteside opened well with a very strong position leaving his opposition under-developed. He lost advantage after an attacking advance was countered robustly, costing Eddie the game. With a tactical manoeuvre from the opposition, captain Mark
Newman faced their highest rated player. Mark thwarted whites opening advances, gaining a pawn majority into a Rook end-game and claimed the teams only win. James O'Fee opening with white suffered under an exceptionally strong counter attack to concede board 3. Alan McConnell defended solidly, entering a sharp end game with both sides simultaneously approaching promotion. A tactical draw was agreed by both players. Mark Seidman also played an excellent game against senior opposition to claim another good draw.
Captain Newman was impressed with his teams performance. "I don't think Groomsport, the Pretenders, will fair as well" he said after the match.

Groomsport vs RVH Hawks

Captain Richard Proctor was annoyed with himself, letting a match win slip from Groomsport's grasp. Two winnable games were lost on time transforming a convincing win into a disappointing draw. Both teams claimed two and a half points plus the draw bonus.
Stephen Scannell on board 1, was in control throughout with his Taimanov Sicilian defence. His strong queen-side play determined the outcome of the game before white had even time to bring his forces to bear on the kings-side. Board 2, Damien Lavery was squeezed by what became a King's Indian defence. Sacrificing his h-pawn for a central attack and a marginally better position, he was able to reclaim a draw. Ron Henderson succeeded in gaining an excellent position with a Queen and a few pawns advantage. But he was under severe time pressure; his flag fell with only 3 moves left to a forced win. Albert McCarter's Queen's Gambit was met by an Albin Counter Gambit. He managed to hold the captured pawn and even won a second. After a flurry of exchanges, Albert maintained his advantage for a straight-forward end-game win. In his usual aggressive style, Richard Proctor sacrificed to gain advantage. After missing a clear winning opportunity, he came under increasing pressure as white's Queen-side pawns marched toward promotion on the back rank. Richard finally succumbed as time ran out.

Templar and Winston derby

In their second match of the season, Templar faced club rivals Winston in a Bangor derby. Templar were in serious trouble after two quick losses. The outcome remained uncertain as the last two games went right to the wire. The final result was two wins and a draw for both teams, each claiming a bonus league point.
Templar's board 1, Martin Moorcroft surprised Evan Bell with an early c5 turning the game into a sharp Sicilian. Martin gained control of the centre with advanced outposts for his Knights. Evan was forced into a cramped defence which eventually crumbled before Martin's wonslaught.
Philip Todd also suffered under a Sicilian defence from Winston's Ken Browne who brought his Queen out early. Ken's Queen caught Philip in a disclosed check, capturing a piece and eventually winning the game for Winston.
Michael McKimm lost a pawn to Winston captain Richard Morrow early in a French Exchange opening, usually destined for a draw. Michael fought back well and had gained the upper-hand but time was running out for both players. With seconds to go, Richard got the draw he was looking for.
On board 4, David Grzymek, Templar and David Symmington, Winston fought a tense positional battle with neither side dominating. As the game entered the last 20 minutes, time pressure began to tell and David Grzymek edged ahead to claim victory.
Templar captain, Drew Ferguson was unable to capitalise on an early advantage and his under-developed pieces came under sustained pressure from good combinations by Gary Johnson. After sacrificing a Bishop, Gary caught Drew's Queen in a nasty pin. Starting to struggle, Drew blundered a Rook, and resigned to give Gary the win.

This Weeks Fixtures

Carnegie travelled to Belfast on Tuesday to take on RVH Hawks and hopefully benefited from Groomsport's experience last week. Groomsport themselves entertain Fisherwick who are looking very strong having picked up a new board 1 from the defunct QUB team. On Wednesday, Templar travelled to face a very strong CIYMS team with Martin Rogers stepping in to cover board 1. Winston have a free week.

Next Weeks Fixtures

Next Tuesday, Carnegie travel to meet new team Clifton House. On Wednesday, Winston will be in North Belfast taking on Fortwilliam. Templar entertain Bombardier; perhaps they can benefit from Winston's earlier match. Groomsport have a free week.
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