Exmouth’s first Devon League match of the season was in Division 2 (Mamhead Cup) when they entertained Tiverton in what promised to be a close match. Tiverton’s team total grade was at the maximum permitted, while Exmouth was not far behind.
Approaching the 1st time control, Duckham and Gosling agreed a draw after a tense game. Minutes later, Jones had to concede defeat to give the visitors a clear edge. Jones had played conventionally against a Sicilian Defence and was always mindful that he should try and prevent Black getting in d5, which is always Black’s aim. However, in spite of White having set up a sort of Maroczy Bind position with pawns on c4 & e4 in order to deter this very eventuality, Atkins succeeded and brought pressure to bear through the open centre. His killing move came right on the time control at move 40.
The other two games both went to the last minute of extra time, Murray defending an endgame with R vs R+2. This he managed to do with great skill for many moves until time almost ran out. It was felt afterwards that the ending of K+R vs K+ R + f & g pawns could be a theoretical draw with best defensive play, but actually finding those moves when the clock’s ticking is another matter. The Board 1 game ran to the final seconds, and Hurst was unable to exploit several very small advantages that he felt he had earlier in the game, and Hewson played out the final minute very coolly.
|Mamhead Cup||Div. 2|
|1||Kevin J. Hurst||186||½||½||Brian W. R.Hewson||178|
|2||J. Steve Murray||151||½||½||Simon Bartlett||162|
|3||Brian G. E. Gosling||150||½||½||Jon Duckham||153|
|4||Robert H. Jones||130||0||1||Keith P. Atkins||146|