Exeter 2-6 Tiverton, Peter Rooke Final
1 Simon WATERS (165) [B] - Mike Richardt (184) [W]
2 Andy FRANGLETON (151) [W] - Brian HEWSON (174) [B]
3 Sean POPE (144) 1/2-1/2 Ivor ANNETTS (162)
4 Piet DOBBER (138) 0-1 Keith ATKINS (157)
5 Jonathan WALEY (135) 0-1 Jon DUCKHAM (152)
6 Will MARJORAM (132) 0-1 Stephen THORPE-TRACEY (104)
7 Eddy PALMER (131) 1/2-1/2 Joe FLANAGAN (99)
8 Reece WHITTINGTON (124) 0-1 Gregor FOTHERINGHAM (70E)
Exeter 2-6 Tiverton
Tiverton established an early lead in the middle order, and some
safety-first draws were agreed on the top boards when it was clear that
the Exeter tail was in no position to wag. Stephen Thorpe-Tracey's
h-pawn then reached the goal line to give Tiverton the Peter Rooke Cup.
A more unbalanced fixture I have yet to see - the overall grade totals
were near enough, but the closest-matched pair were 16 points apart,
and the furthest over 50 points.
Jon Duckham squared up to Jonathan Waley's French Winawer with his usual
pugnacity and quickly won a Rook. (0-1)
Sean's Caro-Kann soon achieved an IQP endgame, but Ivor's extra activity
converted the isolani into a passer. Yet there was something about the
position that White didn't like, and a draw was agreed (0.5-1.5).
An open Sicilian battle developed on board 4 but an early e5 break led
to some exchanges, leaving White with advanced and weak pawns. Keith
duly snapped one up and Piet didn't contest the matter for much longer
Exeter looked to the lower order for some hope, but it was clear that
Tiverton were ahead on all three of those boards.
Andy Frangleton approached his opponent's Caro Kann with an early c5,
which was met with the recommended ...e5. Brian ended up with the wrong
minor piece and faced some prospects of a sustained initiative against
him, but a possible mis-step discouraged White enough to take a draw,
given the rather small chance of turning the match around by then. (1-3)
On top board, Simon's King's Indian Defence met a forthright Four Pawns
Attack. He seemed to be angling for Spassky's blockading plan of
...Bxc3 and ...f5, but in the event only the latter move was seen.
White's space advantage looked potent but there was no obvious way
through and again the match situation favoured the draw (1.5-3.5).
Will adopted a space-gaining strategy against the King's
Indian, and a conventional blocked position arose with Black's pawns all on
dark squares. White took a crowbar to the g-file but found Black's
huddled pieces sturdy in defence, and only after creating this highway to
his own King's sanctuary did Will try to open up the Queen's-side. Black
rightly invaded on the open file and won the h-pawn, which proved decisive for
the game and the match (1.5-4.5).
Reece seemed happy to let his c-pawn go in the interests of central
domination, but Black achieved a fluent development, a passed pawn and
great activity, thus, as Dzindzi once said, securing both the pawn and
the compensation. Black's extra Queen's-side pawn was ushered down the
board by a scrum of pieces and White was forced to shed a lot of
Eddy Palmer had crept cautiously out of the blocks with a Benoni-style
system, and found himself in the famous Maroczy Bind. White muscled in
on the Queen's-side but an over-cautious couple of moves let Black off
the hook. Somewhere a Black pawn dropped off heading into a B v N
endgame, yet White couldn't find a way to win (2-6).
Congratulations to Tiverton who were gracious as hosts and victors.