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County Chess

Below are reports on the Yorkshire under 160 county chess matches that I was fortunate enough to take part in. Further reports will follow if (he said with finger crossed firmly) we continue to progress in the national competition.


Yorkshire 10 - 2 Cumbria

A snowy morning drive up to the heights of Penrith awaited us as the Yorkshire u160’s team started up their County Championship campaign. Team captain Rupert Jones managed to gather together a strong line up with several of our players having climbing grades, suggesting that the team were individually, at least, in good form. Once, everyone had settled in at the homely-looking pub venue the team sheets were filled in. We clearly outgraded our opponents but as often happens this is not guaranteed to be reflected in the actual match. However, Yorkshire were quickly into their stride courtesy of Randy and Owen who both converted their games in short order to put us two-nil up. I was a pawn up on my opponent in an ending with queens and rooks still on the board. My opponent offered me a draw and having consulted the match scoresheet, I decided to accept. Perhaps I should have tried to for the win as it was soon becoming clear that my effort might well be the worst result for us! Erkan and young Harry Li gained wins over their respective opponents and then Rupert put in a captain’s performance followed by Harry’s overwhelming material advantage telling, not to mention Jonathan trading down into a winning endgame. By now we were 7.5 – 0.5 points ahead and the match already sewn up. Peter’s opponent then dropped a piece to gift him the win and Rob overcame his opponent eventually. Realisation dawned that I could be the only player to drop points for Yorkshire today! Luckily, my old pal Gaz Corcoran didn’t let me down and lost his game on top board. Sorry Gary! The day was concluded when the dead rubber on board two was agreed drawn. A cracking opening performance from the Yorkshire u160’s and it augers well for the matches ahead. With more players set to come into the reckoning for future matches, it could be a highly competitive matter just to make the team!

Cumbria 2 - 10 Yorkshire
James Woodburn (158) 1 - 0 Gary Corcoran (155)
George Horne (157) 0.5 - 0.5 Paul Johnson (159)
George Glover (148) 0 - 1 Jonathan Swallow (158)
Eggert Fruchtenicht (146) 0 - 1 Harry Baxter (158)
Lewis McAtear (146) 0.5 - 0.5 David Hirst (149)
Daniel O'Dowd (143) 0 - 1 Rupert Jones (158)
Andrew McAtear (141) 0 - 1 Peter Mason (148)
Anthony Kirby (141) 0 - 1 Harry Li (140)
David McMath (136) 0 - 1 Robert Dean (152)
Tristan Pearce (135) 0 - 1 Randy Donahue (143)
Martin Gawne (133) 0 - 1 Erkan Akbas (142)
Stephen Murdoch (126) 0 - 1 Owen Robson (146)



Lancashire 9 v Yorkshire 3

A relatively short trip across the border to meet the auld enemy. After our demolition job on Cumbria we were quietly confident of getting the better of our Lancashire rivals. In recent years we have very much had the upper hand over them. However, today was to be remembered as one where we got a rude awakening to our campaign of capturing the county championship trophy.
Having arrived at Heywood we were ushered into a spacious school hall where our open team were also preparing themselves to do battle against their Lancashire opponents. It was an agreed 13-man team and the teamsheets were filled in and the clocks started. Most of the positions were pretty quiet and the earliest finishes were our two juniors: Harry and Miles who both agreed draws on their respective boards. Usually it is the juniors who are pushing hard for the wins, so perhaps the signs were already there. From then on for the next hour position after position for the Yorkshire team seemingly collapsed. Jonathan took ill during his game and had to resign. Then Paul Johnson fell into a mate despite being material up. This was followed by Harry Baxter being outplayed on top board. On the remaining boards we were still looking promising. I was pretty level against my opponent, Gary sat next to me, was gradually making his extra piece count, Peter was a pawn up and Randy had some interesting tactics at his disposal. But, sadly, things simply got worse. Randy’s position fell apart, Peter was bulldozed and Erdem lost his game. We were 6-0 down! And the match was lost. No consolations were on offer either! Short of time, I agreed a draw with my opponent, along to quickly establish a win for me in the post-analysis. Gary messed up his winning position and Peter Mason could not convert his material advantage. The match trickled to a 9-3 score line in favour of Lancashire.
This was a sharp and timely wake-up call to the Yorkshire u160 sides aspirations this year. Fortunately, we still qualify for the next round, and a quarter-final tie against Kent awaits us. Form and luck will have to be much more on our side if we are to progress further in the competition.

Lancashire 9 - 3 Yorkshire
David Boyd 1 - 0 Harry Baxter
Philip Seery 1 - 0 Paul Johnson
Stephen Fanning 1 - 0 Jonathan Swallow
Roger Chapman 0.5 - 0.5 Gary Corcoran
William O'Rourke 0.5 - 0.5 David Hirst
John Beckett 0.5 - 0.5 Peter Mason
Paul Bridge 0.5 - 0.5 Harry Li
Carl Tillotson 0.5 - 0.5 Miles Edwards-Wright
Matthew Fanning 1 - 0 Peter Cloudsdale
Rob Tokeley 1 - 0 Randy Donahue
Brendan Brown 0.5 - 0.5 Robert Dean
Stephen Murray 1 - 0 Erkan Akbas
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LCA Fixtures
Need to plan your Leeds chess league year ahead? This seasons fixtures list for Rose Forgrove 1, 2 and 3 teams can be found here
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Need to plan your Leeds chess league year ahead? This seasons fixtures list for Rose Forgrove 4 and 5 teams can be found here
YCA Fixtures
Need to plan your Yorkshire chess year ahead? This seasons fixtures list for Rose Forgrove A and B teams can be found here