Saturday, 24 July 2010


Despite some strife in getting a side together to play this match, a full team was fielded on Thursday evening at Wigston.

Due to a quirk in the League's allocated grading Alan Goodwin's grade was 85 and hence he was on Board 3, above Ray.

Graham Booley won his first game against Neil Beasley playing White, and although I sitting next to him I couldn't tell what happened, although it was over fairly quickly. Playing Black on 2 I gave up an exchange to ease the pressure, and then made rather a stupid move (placing my Queen in front of a Rook) and so I lost. On Board 3 Alan was in serious attack mode, but by the time his flag dropped he was material down. On the bottom board Ray won on time, although his position was also better. For the reverse games Graham won again. I initially went a piece up, but then allowed a Knight check which forked my Queen, so I lost in pretty rapid order. Alan lost to his much higher graded opponent. Everything then hung on Ray's game - at this stage he was in a two Rooks & Pawn versus Rook, Bishop & Pawn endgame, with the same number of pawns. Somehow Ray's Rooks didn't get connected, and then one was pinned to Ray's King by the Bishop, and lost. In the end Ray's opponent ran out of time, but by this stage Ray only had a King, so the game was drawn.

Neil Beasley (123) - Graham Booley (136) 0-1, 0-1
Barrie Cooper (118) - Dave Ricketts (95) 1-0, 1-0
Charles Eastlake (117) - Alan Goodwin (85) 1-0, 1-0
Frank Hulford (114) - Ray Beach (77) 0-1, 0.5-0.5.

So we lost 4.5 - 3.5. Thanks to Graham & Alan for stepping in at short notice to ensure we got a side out, and congratulations to Ray on an outstanding performance against a higher graded opponent.

Realistically, given that we've lost two matches, it is reasonable to say that the Harrod Cup won't be coming to the Heathcote Arms this season.

On another issue, it seems a strange statistical quirk that seven of the eight players playing had surnames starting with the first eight letters of the alphabet. Is there a correlation between the initial letter of surnames and chess playing?

No comments: