Exmouth were the hosts in their first match of the new season when they entertained Tiverton on Wednesday evening. The visitors’ secret weapon was the unexpected appearance of Devon’s match captain, Brian Hewson, who usually does not like to play mid-week evening matches after a long day’s stressful work, but as he is now within weeks of retirement, he’s clearly easing up in that respect.
Exmouth’s newcomer was Obie Ebanks, whose first-ever match this was. Overall, the teams were very evenly matched and very close to the maximum permitted grade limit.
In the first of two rounds at 30 mins. per player, Hewson lost a pawn and Stephens successfully ensured he paid the price. The second game was drawn. On Bd. 2 Morrison showed how quickly and originally he can play, and won with two strong attacks. On Bd. 3 Jones blundered a pawn away in the opening and played much of the game on the back foot, trying to blockade pawns from advancing. With only rooks on, he managed to break open the centre to give his own rooks some counter-play and the game was drawn. In the 2nd, he played his favourite reply to a c3 Sicilian, almost got his queen trapped in the centre of the board early on, but its presence there eventually paid dividends as he won material to a point where his black queen finally got a twin sister.
Ebanks admitted to being a bit overawed in the 1st game, but rallied and won the second, thus levelling the match score at 4-all.
|Newman Cup||RapidPlay (U-600)|
|Exmouth||Rd1. Rd2||Rd.1 Rd.2||Tiverton|
|1||J. K. Stephens||176||1 ½||0 ½||B. W. R. Hewson||178|
|2||O. E. Wensley||164||0 0||1 1||J. Morrison||165|
|3||R. H. Jones||147||½ 1||½ 0||I. S. Annetts||153|
|4||O. Ebanks||110e||0 1||1 0||E. A. Maynard||103|
|Totals||597||1½ 2½||2½ 1½||599|