After a disappointing 5-1 loss to Newton Abbot in their previous Div. 1 match, Exmouth were hoping for better luck against an equally strong Tiverton side. They had their 4 regulars on the top boards, fresh from triumphs at the East Devon Congress the previous weekend, and were joined by 2 “newcomers” on Bds. 5 & 6, namely Tony Hart and Meyrick Shaw, both of whose absence from active play for can be measured in decades.
After 2 hours play there were some very worried faces on the Tiverton side, as the home side looked to be comfortable-to-better on 5 boards. However, converting any advantage to a full point proved impossible.
Tony Hart was running Ivor Annetts ragged for most of the game, but misjudged his defences, allowing his opponent back into the game and he succumbed to a strong kingside attack. Shaw fell for a sucker punch in the opening, allowing Bxf7+ to an uncastled king with a knight hovering to follow it up. The “gift” was declined and he got back to a pawn up going into a bishops of opposite colour endgame, which couldn’t be forced. Gosling overlooked what appeared to be a forced mate in 2 and allowed his opponent to get in a long series of checks and a draw was agreed, making 3 results that got away. Wensley was always comfortable against Hewson and it ended up with K+equal pawns with no advantage to either side. Stephens’ position was equal up to the point where he inadvertantly lost his bishop. His only compensation was for his queen to have total domination of the white squares and a long series of checks that again ended in a draw. At the outset, Hurst was determined to play quickly in the opening in order to avoid the risk of blundering pieces away in time trouble at the end – a plan that didn’t quite work the way he intended. Never the less, Edgell knew he was in danger at several points and had to be at his best. All in all, it was a case of ’so near and yet so far’ from a fabulous result.
|1||Kevin J. Hurst||186||0||1||Ben Edgell||194|
|2||John Stephens||173||½||½||Mike Richardt||180|
|3||Oliver Wensley||164||½||½||Brian Hewson||184|
|4||Brian Gosling||150||½||½||Simon Bartlett||165|
|5||Tony Hart||145e||0||1||Ivor Annetts||150|
|6||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Keith Atkins||145|