The League rules state that 1st division teams must not exceed a total grade of 640 (as distinct from Under-640, as in DCCA’s Div. 2). For this match, on Wednesday 13th February 2013, both captains were quietly pleased to have assembled a team of maximum strength, only revealed when team lists were exchanged. No pressure, then.
Exmouth won the toss and took white on Bd. 1. Shaw on Bd. 3 built up his position slowly at first, but opened it up with a couple of pawn captures and mated on move 24. This inevitably put pressure on the other Exeter players, but no clear advantages were perceptable for some time on the other boards. The Amos-Hodge game proceeded to a roughly equal B vs N endgame, but Hodge’s knight was eventually pushed to the back rank, while the king invaded his pawns and he had to resign – all square.
The Paulden-Abbott game proceeded to an endgame, without a clear advantage to either side, and as White’s time ran to the last minute of extra time, a draw was agreed.
In the top game, Black allowed his pieces to become constricted on the queenside, which allowed White to probe for openings on the undefended king’s wing. There was just enough time for the h-pawn to run through for a 2nd queen, forcing Black to give up a rook for it.
|1||John Stephens||192||1||0||Dr. Dave Regis||179|
|2||Mark Abbott||167||½||½||Dr. Tim Paulden||177|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||166||1||0||Dr. Charlie Keen||155|
|4||Fred Hodge||115||0||1||Jeremy Amos||129|