Exeter 3½-4½ Newton Abbot Peter Rooke Cup 9th January 2016

1 Tim PAULDEN (185) (B) 0-1 John FRASER (176) (W)
2 Giles BODY (163) (W) ½-½ Paul BROOKS (158) (B)
3 Andy FRANGLETON (147) ½-½ Andrew KINDER (151)
4 Sean POPE (142) 0-1 Vignesh RAMESH (141)
5 Reece WHITTINGTON (131) 0-1 Wilf TAYLOR (131)
6 William MARJORAM (115) 1-0 Jacquie BARBER-LAFON (122)
7 Richard PLAYER (115) ½-½ Joshua BLACKMORE (100)
8 Richard SCHOLES (111) 1-0 Michael HUSSEY (99)
TOTAL Exeter 3½-4½ Newton Abbot

Exeter visited Newton Abbot on Saturday and came away with some pride
but with second place.

It all looked to be going wrong for Exeter from the start when Richard
Scholes quickly dropped a piece to a simple pin and Wilf Taylor stormed
down the middle to embarrass Black's uncastled King. But Richard kept a
straight face and ably exploited every chance he was given to turn the game
around, leaving the score level.

Board 2 was a sedate affair in the French Exchange, soon drawn.

Teenager Joshua Blackmore played a mature positional game from an
English Opening, and Richard Player had to dig deep to hold on and
finally draw after White missed a few opportunities to test the defence
more sternly. So the team totals remained equal.

A breakthrough finally happened when Sean found himself short of ideas
in a Reversed Sicilian, and after his backward e-pawn fell to pressure
down the e-file, his youthful opponent made no mistake in the resulting

Will declined a draw when defending an endgame against a host of passed
King's-side pawns with just a Bishop, a decision that horrified the spectators
but turned out well in the end when Black pushed the pawns a little too far
and fast to be defended.

The top board saw a heavyweight discussion of the Hippopotamus system.
A small tactical detail saw White's enterprising double-piece sacrifice
rewarded with the capture of one
piece and three connected passed pawns in compensation for the other,
resulting in a crushing bind. A second white Queen appeared on the board
and at one point it looked as though a third might arrive, but even if
Black avoided that fate the result never looked in much doubt, giving
the home side a 4-3 lead.

Andy Frangleton worked hard with the Black pieces to squeeze some
positive chances out of an unpromising position, and the board became
suffused with tactical possibilities, enough to push both players into
time trouble. A final flurry of tactics and exchanges settled down
after the time control with Black a healthy couple of pawns ahead in a
Rook endgame, and it looked as if the scores might once again be tied.
But White came up with an outrageous stalemate defence to give Newton
Abbot a clear win on points.

Many thanks to Newton Abbot for their hospitality and magnanimity, and
best of luck to them in the next round.