Exmouth played their first match in Devon’s 2nd Division, the Mamhead Cup, against Newton Abbot. The team was just 3 grading points below the permitted maximum of 639 and outgrading their opponents by 12 points, and entertained hopes of getting a result, for the 1st time this season.
On the top 2 boards, John Stephens and Brian Hewson, seemed to have their games under control throughout, and barring mistakes looked destined to win, which left the captain looking for a halfpoint from Bds 3 & 4. However, Gosling, on 3, looked to be on the back foot, the more so as the game went on, with pawns dropping left and right. Meanwhile, Oliver Wensley, playing in only his 3rd ever match as an adult, was giving his experienced opponent much to think about, until, in a finely balanced endgame, his opponent, with 2 minutes left on his clock and c. 10 moves to make, offered a draw. Scenting a win, he declined, but the time control was reached and things gradually turned around until he was forced to resign, leaving the match drawn 2- 2.
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||181||1||0||A.Kinder||166|
|2||B. W. R. Hewson||176||1||0||P. Brooks||160|
|3||B. G. E. Gosling||156||0||1||C. V. Howard||158|
|4||O. E. Gosling||120e||0||1||J. E. Allen||140|
In the following position from Bd. 1, White has played the Morra Gambit and Black has grabbed all the pawns on offer. From the resulting position below, White is well-developed while Black seems to be somewhat cramped on the back rank. However, Black is comfortable with his queen on b8 and he does, after all, have two extra pawns and the bishop pair. His next 2 moves are to castle and then play f5, mobilising the extra central pawns, which ultimately prove decisive.
In the position below from Bd. 2, having broken through on the kingside after a game which featured much shuffling by all 16 pawns, White is about to play the winning move 37.Be6 threatening immediate mate on g8, denying the b-pawn any chance of reaching its 8th rank.
In the next position, Black had less than 2 minutes to reach the time control on move 40 and offered a draw. White declined, sensing a win, but the 2 unopposed pawns soon broke forward; the time control was safely reached and pawns were impossible to stop. Black win.