Essex Knockout Plate Final – a Trophy!

Thurrock v Ilford – Plate Final 21 September 2022
5 board match, time control G20+10
Jef Page, 22 September

The winning team with Plate and prize clock

Championes, Championes’.. the champagne was sprayed around, we’ve booked the open-topped bus… For winning the event Ilford holds the silver Plate for a year and a new additional chess clock.

The match was played at Thurrock who were due a home venue. I won the toss & Ilford were white on odd boards in round 1. Our agreed starting time was 7.45 and Thurrock’s captain Malcolm Crane generously agreed to wait till 8pm for Venkatesh to arrive.

For the 1st time in over 20 years Ilford appeared in a final: true, just a rapidplay Plate event for 1st round losers, but still a long overdue resurrection of our fortunes and the first time I’ve led a team to victory. We heavily outgraded Thurrock and for once our stronger members played to their standard as Tom, Neville and Rahul each won both games. The match was won in the 1st round as Ilford achieved a rare 5-nil clean sweep towards victory. Ilford went into an early lead in round 1 when Rahul came up with a sweet Bishop move that won him the exchange and I wriggled out of Van LItsenborgh’s tricky French Opening to demolish his qeenside and followed that up by forking his King & Queen.

Round 2 was a bit closer at 3-2. Neville won a nice Rook and pawn endgame but I lost a pawn in the opening and was always playing catch-up. Venkatesh got caught when his King was surrounded by Omoruyi’s Queen, R & Bishop.

We played just 3 matches: losing to Barking A 4-6, just getting past Wanstead B 5½-4½ and beat Thurrock 8-2. Best individual score was: Rahul 5/6; Tom 4½/6, Neville 3½/6, myself 2/4, Venkatesh 1½/2, Asif Ryan 1/2, Daniel Lowe 0/2.

Match score on the ECF LMS here.

On the ECL website there is a report and another photo of our winning team which was presented by the organiser Ian Hunnable, Essex League Controller. See here

Thank you to everyone who played and took part.

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