Thanks to Ivor Annetts for sending me this match report. The title to this post links to the Tiverton Club site, which features photos from this match, as well as this and other match reports.
On Sunday 18th April, Tiverton entertained a Newton Abbot team in the eight board final of the Peter Rooke Cup. The teams were evenly matched with Newton's aggregate grade of 1094 being superior to that of Tiverton by a mere seven points.
Although at the end, games won were equal between the two sides, Newton won the the trophy on board count. (This is a tie splitting procedure in which greater weight is given to the results of the higher graded players.)
First to finish was John Knowles on board six who was White against fourteen year old schoolboy Jeff Leung. John opened with his usual English 1 c4 but soon found himself facing a ferocious attack. John's king was a little draughty and was soon overwhelmed by Jeff's queen and two knights.
Meanwhile on board 8, Alan Maynard played the Scotch against John Doidge and managed to create a passed d-pawn. After massive exchanges, and with only one rook each, Alan's pawn reached d7. John's king was on g8 and after playing 23 Rd8, Alan's 24 Rc8 won immediately.
Stephen Thorpe-Tracey, Black on board 7 against Roger Hocking, won a kingside pawn and then a second one. With both kings exposed the extra pressure with the two extra pawns proved decisive.
On board 3, John Morrison was having a torrid time against Charlie Howard's Morra Gambit. John played the opening badly, found many of his pieces remaining on the back rank when his opponent was well developed. At one stage it looked as though he was fighting back, but Chartlie's superior development proved to be too strong.
Keith Atkins on board four found himself facing the Rubinstein variation of the French Defence orchestrated by John Allen. Keith won Black's e-pawn and created pressure down that open file which was ultimately sufficient to win the game.
On board one, Simon Bartlett faced a Tropowski from 16 year old Robert Thompson. Robert took the f6 knight and the game was played with Black having doubled f-pawns. Later Robert obtained a two - one queenside pawn majority and after the pieces were exchanged, Robert managed to infiltrate his king into the queenside position and this proved decisive.
With games at 3-3, things looked good for Tiverton because both boards two and five looked like imminent victories for Tiverton.
On board two, Ivor Annetts (White) kept things tight and controlled from his c3 Sicilian opening. But with the match appparently lost for Newton, the instruction to his opponent, Andrew Kinder, from non playing captain Trefor Thynne was, "Go for the win!". This led to a knight sacrifice and strong pressure on the queenside and then a direct attack against the White king. Ivor found that he was left with less than four minutes to make eight moves. Simple and calm thought afterwards showed that there was a winning backward bishop move for Ivor, but false analysis under time pressure led him to make a king move which gave his opponent checkmate in 1! Oh dear....
The last ganme to finish was the board 5 tussle between Jon Duckham - who has had an excellent comeback season - and schoolboy Alex Billings. From a Queen's Gambit, Jon won the exchange and at the end sacrificed that for a won king and pawn ending.
So 4-4 it was. Murmers of ,"We wus robbed" were heard eminating from the direction of board two. But all credit to Newton Abbot for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Happy New Year!
4 months ago