Thurrock 1 v Ilford 1, 18 April 2023.
Essex D2, 6 board match, G80 + 10. Toss won by Thurrock – White on odd boards.
Jef Page, captain / neville Twitchell
Jef: Unfortunately as Neville’s report below retells, our unbeaten division 2 Essex League run which I’d hoped we’d keep going till the end of the season, came to a dismal end when I caught Covid and had to isolate this week and Rahul Ghose, who should have been on board 1 for us, failed to make it.
Neville: All good things must come to an end and so has our winning run in the Essex League. We had defaulted the bottom board and then with Rahul failing to turn up we were 2-0 down. Then Muhammed lost in short order. He was a rook down when I last saw his position, after his center counter defence was met in an odd way with 1.e4 d5 2. Nf3?! dxe4 3 Ng5. So 3-0 down.
Then Daniel lost not long after that, though he seemed to have a defensible position in a queens gambit, slav defence, so it was 4-0 down.
But then Tony saved our honour by finding a sparkling combination to polish off his opponent in a Stonewall Dutch where he had looked to be under a lot of pressure for most of the game, but neatly tuned the tables.
Anthony Kent: In the diagram position white shocked me playing 20. Qd2 – c3 threatening check mate which I had missed! Black needs to sacrifice a knight or Bishop to block that mate. The computer tells me that 20….Be5!! is a brilliancy as if 21.fxB, 21….Nb4 wins as white’s queen is running out of squares. The computer also says Nd4!! is winning as if 21. exN, Bxf and white’s queen is again running out of squares.
I played 20…Ne5 to block mate. Play went. 21. Bd1?? b4 22. Qxc Bb8 (..missed Nd3ch winning instantly). 23. Qxb?? Nd3ch forking king and queen. Game over.
So 4-1, with only my game left. I plugged away in a Ruy Lopez long after everyone else had left but succumbed in the ending after I lost a crucial queenside pawn. So the end of my unbeaten run in the Essex League as well.
1. Andrew Offord 1-0 Default (Rahul Ghose)
2. Jim Arbuckle (B) 1-0 Neville Twitchell
3. Rudi Litsenburgh 0-1 Tony Kent
4. Banky Akinyosoie (B) 1-0 Daniel Lowe
5. Sandu Silviu 1-0 Muhammed Faseem
6. Malcolm Crane (B) 1-0 Default