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Carnegie Victorious

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 19 Feb 2004

At long last, Carnegie justify their claim as Bangor's premier team. After the previous weeks resounding victory over pretenders Groomsport, a complete whitewash of RVH last Thursday gives the team another win, this time claiming a maximum 7 points. Only 3 matches left in the season, Carnegie look secure in Division 1 with a good opportunity for advancing further perhaps to 4th place.

Admittedly, RVH offered a much weaker team compared to earlier in the season, this time they conceded rating difference on every board. Still, Carnegie did not shy away from the opportunity to punish RVH mercilessly. Indeed, Carnegie's resilience is impressive, enduring overwhelming odds throughout the season; yet retaining their self-belief, ready to grab the slightest opportunity when it presents itself. Congratulations to Eddie Whiteside, Mark Newman, James O'Fee, Alan Mcconnell and Mark Seidman for an excellent result.

Groomsport Flounder

Groomsport travelled to Fisherwick last week and were surprised to meet a short team, missing Michael Waters on board 1. Unfortunately Groomsport were severely weakened themselves with 2 absences and could not take advantage of the situation. Top board Steve Scannell, back on form, had a comfortable win but the rest of the team, Damien Lavery, Richard Proctor, Martin Rogers and Philip Todd struggled in vain against the depth of Fisherwick. With only 1 point from the match, Groomsport drop to bottom of the league, tied only with RVH who have a game in hand.

Templar vs CIYMS

Last Thursday Templar set out to try and upset CIYMS' challenge for the league and keep themselves in contention. But the match got off to a bad start; games were shortened by 30 minutes because of opening delays and CIYMS changed their playing order moving Calum Leitch to board 1. A major upset for Templar who had prepared for CIYMS usual line-up; and League rules prevented Templar from responding.

Drew Ferguson on board 5 went down first, over-estimating his ability against Alan Burns aggressive style. From a very poor defensive position, Drew's attempt at counter-play gave up a Bishop, he resigned soon afterwards.

Templar boards 3 and 4 followed match orders. Philip Todd on 3, secured a good draw against John Strawbridge in a very nervous position. Kevin Agnew accepted a draw too from Norman Judge, but Kevin's disappointment in the past few matches had affected his play. Afterwards he regretted the result, "I had the win" he exclaimed in frustration with himself.

On board 2, David Grzymek faced Bill Ferguson. David had expected to play Calum; with two wins in recent matches and the advantage of White, David was determined for another victory. But his preparation had been in vain. Deflated and without the psychological advantage, as the game entered a complex middle-game, David lost concentration and a string of weak moves gave Bill the opportunity to claim the win.

The final game on board 1 almost ran out both clocks. Martin Moorcroft lost a pawn early in the game but as pieces came off he was able to capture back despite Calum Leitch's authoritive Knight in a commanding position. In the last 5 minutes Martin's pawn placement began to realise some advantage gaining the initiative. Calum responded vigorously and in the dying seconds Martin accepted his offer of a draw.

Templar lose 1.5 to 3.5 giving CIYMS the bonus points and probably a clear run for the rest of the season. Templar seem rooted to fourth spot now behind Bombardier, and will finish the season fighting off challenges from Randalstown and Fortwilliam.

Fixtures

This week: Templar travelled to Bombardier on Monday, Groomsport travelled to RVH on Tuesday hoping to repeat Carnegie's performance, Carnegie have a good opportunity against Civil Service on Thursday and Winston, after a rest last week, also entertain Fortwilliam on club night.

Next week: for their final away match of the season, Winston visit RVH; Groomsport look for a repeat win against Civil Service on Thursday's club night with Templar entertaining Fisherwick at the same time. Carnegie have a free week.

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