After round 4, I was on 4 points, but could still be caught by Granville Hill and Les Corlett - both on 3 points. For round 5, I was drawn with the white pieces against Granville. In order to retain the Minor title I would have to at least draw. If I lost, I would have had to playoff against Granville; and if I lost and Les won, there would have been a playoff between Granville, Les and myself.
I had played Granville twice before. I had been white both times and Granville had played the Sicilian both times, so I had spent the last week preparing for a Sicilian. This turned out to be a waste of time since, on the night, he met e4 with the Scandinavian Defence.
Things started badly. I made poor opening moves, moved my queen twice and allowed my king to get stuck in the middle of the board with a centralised rook and queen bearing down on it. Granville had an active position and things were not looking at all good for me.
On the next board, Les demolished Charles Eastlake in seven moves.
Fortunately for me, Granville blundered on move 16. He had meant to retake my bishop with his rook, but picked up his knight in error. This left me a piece up and I was able to hang on.
Also in the Minor, Ray won against Harry Kershaw; and Gordon's opponent did not appear.
John lost to Jim Bingham in the Challengers and this sealed the section for Jim.
Heathcote play in the 5th round of the Harrod at Ashby on the 14th.