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David Grzymek for Ulster

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 12 Feb 2004

Bangor's David Grzymek will join Richard Morrow to represent Ulster in the junior inter-provincials to be held in Limerick over St. Valentines Day week-end. David will play in the under-14 team while Richard appears for the under-19 team. David has been playing extremely well in both league matches and local tournaments, this weekend joining Bangor's senior challenge in the Team Knock-out Cup. Despite his team's lack of results, Richard has also been playing very well on top boards, scoring consistently against senior opposition.

Winston - Templar Derby

Last Thursday, Templar had a re-match against Winston. The earlier match had been a draw so both teams were determined for a win with individual players out to revenge previous defeats. As usual Templar tried to gain advantage by adjusting their normal playing order.

Martin Moorcroft opened on board 1 for Templar against Evan Bell. Last match, Evan had been out-classed and was keen to reclaim a win. Evan rebutted Martin's usual English well and the game remained balanced for 90 minutes. Then Martin spotted a chance to gain a pawn advantage. But it was a double-edged sword allowing Evan to counter with an aggressive attack. Martin was forced to retreat. By now the minor pieces were gone, and only a few pawns left; Martin had pulled his heavy pieces into a tight unit about his King. From here he launched a sledgehammer attack with Rooks and Queen down the h-file; Evan was powerless to resist the onslaught.

Ken Browne opened for Winston against David Grzymek on board 2. The game seemed remarkably even for the majority of the game though Ken admitted later, he was forced to lift his game in response to David's sharp play. Indeed, David had been quietly spinning a spiders-web to catch Ken. After 2 and half hours, David sprung the trap with a stunning pincer move forcing Ken's King into the open. Ken could not protect his King and either mate would follow or his Queen would fall.

Kevin Agnew opened to Winston board 3 captain, Richard Morrow. Kevin has been struggling to capitalise on his positions of late, losing his usual sharpness to persistent flu. Richard played his usual careful game and when the slightest chink showed in Kevin's position, pounced immediately. Kevin managed to retain material balance but sacrificed positional advantage to Richard. The game reduced to stonewalled pawns and two pairs of Knights dancing round each other; a tactical nightmare. Kevin got caught awkwardly and dropped a piece for no return and resigned soon after.

Board 4, David Symmington played White against Templar's Philip Todd. With a flurry of activity from the off David managed to develop his pieces well. In response, Philip constructed an impenetrable defensive wall around his King. With the centre pawns gone Philip's central organisation promised good counter play and David offered a draw. After some consideration Philip waited till David confirmed a blunder would not be forthcoming and the draw was accepted. A tense positional game; David was perhaps a bit too quick in seeking the draw and may have had stronger potential.

Templar were 2.5 up to Winston's 1.5. Board 5, Templar's Drew Ferguson opened against Gary Johnson. Gary had claimed the win in their last match so there was a lot at stake for Templar's captain. Disaster struck early with an aggressive assault from Gary intimidating Drew to force an early Queen trade to try an relieve pressure on his King. Careful tactical manoeuvres followed with Gary co-ordinating his active pieces well while Drew had difficulty in getting his pieces into play. Eventually Knight - Bishop exchanges enabled Drew to bring all his pieces into play. With a quiet Rook move down the a-file and subsequent sacrifice, Drew was able to force a mate on the back rank.

League Standings

This excellent 3.5 - 1.5 victory and 2 bonus points for Templar brings the team back into contention at the top of the league, only a couple of points behind Bombardier. Last Wednesday Bombardier went down heavily to CIYMS who have now leapt above both Bombardier and Templar. This weeks match in Bangor against CIYMS could well decide the number two league spot for the season. If CIYMS claim a win, they will stretch their lead with a substantial margin. On the other-hand, Templar could cause a major upset and bring all 3 teams to within a couple of points of each other. But CIYMS have a game in hand and this may be their best route to league honours.

All other Bangor teams seem rooted to the bottom of their leagues with little prospect of rising higher. A very disappointing situation but a reflection of the exceptional standards demanded from all players; league competition this year, perhaps more than usual as Bangor field 2 senior teams, required both depth and consistency. All teams have struggled to field their best selection from club membership each and every week.

Fixtures

This week, senior teams are back in action. Groomsport travel to Fisherwick for a difficult match against up-and-coming league challengers. Determined to claim their first full league bonus, Carnegie entertain RVH. Templar meet CIYMS while Winston have a free week.

Next week Groomsport attempt to claim some points at RVH, and Carnegie on the attack against Civil Service. Templar travel to their other rival, Bombardier while Winston entertain Fortwilliam.

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