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April 2014
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Devon Squeeze Past Warwickshire

In spite of Devon’s miserable season in the West of England stages through the winter, they never the less qualified for the National Stages of the U-180 Section. This was because, before the season even starts, all counties must decide whether they wish to go forward into the National Stages, and if so, which of the several available sections they would opt for. Devon chose the Under-180 section as it suits the number and strength of Devon’s active players. As none of the other WECU teams had opted for this section, there was no barrier to Devon going forward.

So, without only a handful of their strongest players who were thus ineligible, they met a strong Warwickshire team at Frampton-on-Severn on Saturday. The teams were very evenly matched and it was clearly going to be a tight match – and so it proved.

It started with five draws, followed by a win for each team. Later, Warwickshire reached 7 – 5 up with 4 games still in progress. Toms and Thompson then won to level the scores and Kennedy drew after stout defence against a strong attack.

This left Brian Gosling vs Fahy as the last men standing, locked in a tense struggle and a fast finish. Both had chances and all 3 results were possible. At the critical point both players had a pawn on the 7th rank waiting to queen. Deep in time trouble and with an engrossed crowd around the board, Gosling missed the strongest winning continuation, but found instead an ingenious line that involved under-promoting his pawn to a knight which crucially gave check and bought a vital tempo to deal with the opposing pawn threat and emerge a piece up with a winning position.

As the tension was suddenly released, the crowd burst out into spontaneous applause – one of the highlights of Gosling’s chess career, so far.

Devon now go on to meet Yorkshire who swept aside their rather under-strength opponents, Cambridgeshire.

Details of both matches:-

Bd. Devon  Grd     Warwickshire Grd
1 Brian Hewson 176 ½ ½ Nick Roberts 176
2 Mark Abbott 177 ½ ½ Keith Escott 179
3 Alan Brusey 175 0 1 Alan Agnew 178
4 Robert Thompson 173 1 0 Simon Smith 175
5 Trefor Thynne 177 0 1 Dave Ireland 175
6 Dr. Jonathan Underwood 172 1 0 Robert Walker 171
7 Dr. Dave Regis 166 ½ ½ Mark Cundy 169
8 Andrew Kinder 166 1 0 Robert Wallman 165
9 Bill Ingham 164 0 1 Tom Robinson 159
10 Jon Duckham 165 ½ ½ Robert Reynolds 155
11 Paul Brooks 160 ½ ½ Mike Doran 153
12 Dr. David Toms 159 1 0 Ed Goodwin 157
13 Alex Billings 148 0 1 Roy Lawrence 156
14 Brian Gosling 156 1 0 John Fahy 151
15 Ivor Annetts 155 ½ ½ Gary Hope 151
16 Phil Kennedy 151 ½ ½ Andrew Moxley 154
         

 

Bd. Cambridgeshire Grd     Yorkshire Grd    
1 A. Stewart 169 ½ ½ M. Webb 178    
2 R. McCorry 175 0 1 A. Lang 175    
3 M. Misson 171 ½ ½ R. Jennings 178    
4 B. Duff 169 0 1 J. Hamm 176    
5 J. Daugman 167 0 1 I. Lewyk 177    
6 C. Davison 155 1 0 A. Slinger 172    
7 M. Szymanski 157 1 0 C. Davies 169    
8 P. Ribbands 151 0 1 P. Weller 163    
9 G. Alcock 150 0 1 A. Hards 164    
10 J. Beck 147 0 1 A. Bak 162    
11 M. Lim 149 0 1 I. W. Smith 165    
12 S. Foster 151 0 1 M. Edwards-Wright 162    
13 J. Dunn 147 ½ ½ H. Baxter 164    
14 S. Bazuk 134 0 1 J. Carpenter 164    
15 J. Cooke 130 0 1 D. Patrick 160    
16 C. Richmond 118 0 1 M. Bramson 159    
      12½        

 

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