The rivalry between these neighbouring clubs is rarely greater than in the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s premier inter-club tournament, and after their reverse at the hands of Teignmouth the previous Saturday in a Div. 2 match, Exmouth approached this particular encounter knowing anything was possible. Both teams were well below full strength and a major factor in the eventual outcome was clearly going to be the depth of the reserve pool. In this respect, it seems Exmouth were slightly better off.
Exmouth won the toss and chose to have White on Bds. 1, 3 & 5. The Wensley-Marjoram game on Bd. 3 set off at a rate of knots with White trying a Scotch Gambit, which Black bought in to. This allowed a short-term bishop sacrifice on f7 and Black’s game, which featured a king stuck in the centre, quickly fell apart thereafter. 0-1
The Scott-Amos game featured a much steadier opening, though Black found himself a pawn up but his pieces somewhat pegged back behind his pawn shield. In giving up a pawn to free up his position, he also opened it up to his opponent’s benefit. Soon after, he blundered R & B and resigned immediately.0-2.
Bd. 6 featured a game between 13 yr old Taylor Finch and the vastly experienced Scot, Steve Murray. In a c3 Sicilian, Taylor pressed early on and was soon 2 passed pawns up, but in so doing, had helped Black by opening long lines for his rooks and bishops, while his own Kingside pieces remained untouched. The game turned on how long Black could frustrate his opponent’s development by creating threats. In this respect it was Black who succeeded, whose rook pair cut swathes across the board in the endgame. 0-3.
On Bd. 4 Brian Gosling had given up his queen for 3 pieces, but in a complex position could make no telling inroads into White’s defences, and he offered a draw. Palmer correctly consulted his captain as to whether he should accept. He returned to the board, shook hands and the match was won. ½-3½
Meanwhile, the games on the top 2 boards continued. On 2, a Black knight forked Q & R and Underwood resigned. 1½-3½.
On top board, Boyne played the French Winawer, which led to an increasingly complex postion that, nevertheless, remained in the book until move 20 when Black missed a trick. He later sacrificed a knight in order to get in a back rank attack, but that fizzled out with Black a rook and bishop down. White had held out and Black resigned as he could not assemble any more attacks and White could unscramble his heavy pieces. 1½-4½
|1||A. B. Boyne||197||0||1||J. K. Stephens||186|
|2||Dr. D. Regis||176||1||0||Dr. J. Underwood||171|
|3||A. Marjoram||146||0||1||O. E. Wensley||157|
|4||E. Palmer||133||½||½||B. G. Gosling||152|
|5||J. Amos||129||0||1||C. J. Scott||145|
|6||T. Finch||87||0||1||S. Murray||141|
So it was the visitors’ greater strength and experience on the lower 3 boards that made the difference. Nevertheless, the score did not necessarily reflect the closeness of several of the games.