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March 2017
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Exmouth – the Comeback Kings in the Newman Cup.

The Exmouth team travelled to Seaton knowing they had already secured the Newman Cup for the RapidPlay League with this match to spare; the only question was whether this would lull them into a sense of  anti-climax leading to a meaningless  loss – or inspire them to a final flourish, winning like true champions.

With the first round almost over, it certainly looked like the former case, as Exmouth trailed 3-0 and Belt left with a double-edged game to complete. He managed to force the win, leaving Seaton, during the break, contemplating gaining their first-ever win in a DCCA tournament.

However, in Rd. 2, Stone blundered again in the opening; instead of 2 pawns as in game 1, it was a whole piece, and Jones was determined not to blunder the game back a second time and ran out a winner. Shaw also made amends, winning a piece in the endgame, leaving him with R+N vs R plus pawns each. Against Wensley, Steve Dean ran short of time and blundered his last piece, leaving him a rook down. Belt and Dowse were again involved in a double-edged game in which Belt sacrificed a piece in order to break open the enemy king’s position, eventually getting a pawn to the 7th rank, which won the game. A 4-0 win in Rd. 2 gave them the match 3-5. Seaton were understandably disappointed to lose the match after such a promising start, but it was only Belt’s double win that was the difference and both of those games were very finely-balanced. Exmouth had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was a close-run thing.

Bd Seaton Grd Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Dean 157 1 – 0 0 – 1 Oliver Wensley 164
2 Martyn Adams 153 1 – 0 0 – 1 Meyrick Shaw 150e
3 Seb Stone 147 1 – 0 0 – 1 Robert Jones 147
4 Alan Dowse 135 0 – 1 0 – 1 Malcolm Belt 120
    592 3 – 1 0 – 4   581
      3 5    

 

The Town Hall home of the Seaton Club.

 

Wensley vs Dean on Bd. 1 as Martyn Adams looks on.

 

Malcolm Belt, the only double-winner, vs Alan Dowse.

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