Not quite enough in final Essex match this season

Essex Chess League  Division 2
Monday 20th May, Redbridge Social Centre
Report by Jef Page

                            ILFORD   3½ – 4½   LOUGHTON

166 TOM BARTON  0-1  R EAMES 206
168 NEVILLE TWITCHELL 0-1  KEVIN BOWMER  189
166 HASSAN MUGALU 0-1  BILL STIRLING  182
153 TONY KENT 1-0  DAVID FAULKNER  157
136 JASON KLIMACH   ½   GRAHAM KERSHAW  136
138 SYD KALINSKY   ½   LYN STIFFEL  136
132 JEF PAGE  1-0  BARRY JONES  117
e120 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN   ½   MICHAEL SMITH 86

A sad way to finish the season after our great wins over Wanstead and Upminster. But it was a match of two halves: Loughton’s team were very strong at the top winning the top 3 boards (we always seem to draw the strongest players against us) but we won the bottom half- but not by enough.

Syd got nothing out of the opening and with Queens quickly exchanged the endgame was always level whilst Jason held on as Kershaw went for an early attack. Venkatesh set out for a quick attack himself but he got a bit too clever but was still able to adroitly convert the position into an endgame he could hold. I by comparison always had the better of Jones’ French Defence. I never let him develop his queenside bits and eventually the pressure told as I pounced on a mistake which won me a Rook & the endgame.

Tom Barton dropped a pawn for which he never had enough compensation against Eames, Neville found Bowmer equally ruthless but Hassan, in a wild game against Bill Stirling where both players attacked open Kings, had the chance to go for a draw by repetition but missed it and Bill queened a pawn to win. Tony held his game together as Faulkner rushed his pawns home to victory, but he miscalculated and Tony queened his pawn first- a big steal.

We finished the season with 5 wins & 5 losses, 10 match points, but our 5 defaults was the worst in the division. However in the previous 2017-18 season we finished with only 2 wins, after penalties 1 match point, but 12 defaults- so some improvement this season. A few clubs still have matches to play but Brentwood look like they will win the division. Barking II are bottom and may be relegated.

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