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Bangor's Ulster Champion

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 15 Jan 2004
Bangor's Ulster Champion

Steve Scannell awarded Ulster Champion Title for 2004 by Ulster Chess Union

Ulster Senior Chess Championship

 

On the last weekend of 2003, Fortwilliam Golf Club hosted the Ulster Senior Championship, the premier chess tournament in Ulster. The tournament lasted four days over 7 rounds. Bangor Chess Club's Steve Scannell won the event to claim the Ulster Champion title for the fourth time. With this triumph, Steve has demonstrated again his stature as Ulster's best chess player.

Steve was undefeated in the tournament scoring 6 points from his 7 games. Runner-up, Michael Waters of Fisherwick, scored 5 points from his games. Third place was tied among 3 players each scoring 4.5 points; Gareth Annesley (RVH), Tom Clarke (Clifton House) and Mark Newman (Bangor). Mark was awarded the Grading prize for his excellent performance.

Steve leads Bangor's Groomsport team in the Ulster Chess League. Having won all his matches to-date, he has kept the team in contention at third spot in the league. Mark Newman captains Bangor's Carnegie team also in Division 1 but his team are fighting for survival at the bottom of the league.

Match Results

 

League matches for the season paused for the Christmas break with competition resuming last week.

Carnegie

 

Mark Newman's team suffered a heavy loss against Fisherwick A last week. Only lead board Eddie Whiteside was able to claim half a point for the team by forcing a draw from Michael Waters. An excellent result for Eddie but terrible for the team. Fisherwick have strengthened their team with the return of Kieran Greer on board 2 and look set to make a big impact in the second half of the season.

This week the team entertain North Belfast. North Belfast got off to a bad start in October but have since scored well. Carnegie will have their hands full on Thursday.

Groomsport

 

Richard Proctor's team opened the second half of the season at North Belfast last Thursday. While boards 1 and 5, Steve Scannell and Martin Rogers played up to their reputations, centre boards Damien Lavery, Albert McCarter and Richard Proctor were crushed by heavy-weight opposition. The team lost 3-2.

This week Groomsport travel to take on Clifton House, current league leaders.

Winston

 

Last Wednesday, Richard Morrow led a weakened team against a strong CIYMS side. Evan Bell and Richard Morrow forced draws to claim a combined point for the team. Gary Johnston, covering on board 2, fought tenaciously but was forced to concede. On bottom boards, Owen Wilson and Craig Kelly, both playing up, were outmatched. The team claim a single point for the match.

On Monday, the team travelled to Randalstown usually a well matched side. But the team is still weakened by illness and the result is uncertain.

Templar

 

Templar have had a busy start to the New Year playing 3 matches in 6 days. They will appreciate the rest week coming up.

Last Wednesday Templar played a rescheduled match at Fisherwick. With two absentees, newcomer Julian Hughes and Martin Rogers covered top boards but were unable to claim points. David Grzymek and Philip Todd continued their winning ways while Drew Ferguson lost on board 5. Fisherwick captain Alex Beckett claimed they fielded a weakened team but with the knock-on effect from their A team addition, this looks like the strongest B team of the season. Nonetheless, losing 2-3, Templar were disappointed not to have claimed at least a draw.

The next evening, Templar entertained Fortwilliam in Groomsport. Disastrously missing a player, Templar were immediately a game down. Martin Moorcroft forced a good draw on board 1. With the remaining 3 players moving up a board, David Grzymek and Philip Todd claimed excellent wins while Drew Ferguson was mated after squandering an advantage from the opening. With a short 4-man team, the match was drawn.

Finally, this Tuesday, the team visited RVH. Back after 12 years, Kevin Agnew stepped in to cover board 3 forcing an excellent tactical draw. Martin Moorcroft and David Grzymek on top boards were on good form both claiming wins while Drew Ferguson was forced to accept a draw on board 5. Philip Todd faced an obstinate Frank Carrothers who refused to accept a draw. After a protracted game with Philip starting to run out of time, Frank found an unexpected neat trap which left Philip defenceless. Overall, Templar won the match 3-2, just enough to keep them in second place in the league, a mere half point ahead of Bombardier.

Next Weeks Fixtures

Tuesday 20th: Winston travel to Hillsborough. Wednesday 21st: Carnegie visit Fisherwick. Thursday 22nd: Groomsport play North Belfast again, this time at home. Templar have a rest week.

STOP PRESS

Shock result in from Tuesday's match, Clifton House vs Bangor Groomsport.
Groomsport demolished 5 - nil! Groomsport lose on all boards - no more details.

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