In recent years, Devon’s 2nd Division, the Mamhead Cup, has often involved only 2 teams, Exmouth and Teignmouth, playing matches home and away, and very close they have always been.
This year there were 5 entries, yet still in the final round the league winner depended on the result of the Exmouth vs Teignmouth match – whoever won this match won the Cup. However, a drawn match would favour Exmouth as they had a lead of 1 point over their nearest rivals.
As the 4 games got under way, the tension was palpable, and ultimately time-trouble, the result of great caution, was a major factor in the outcome of three games. After an hour’s play, things looked very bleak for the home team, (Exmouth) as David Toms blundered on move 19 and lost horribly, while Jones was staring down the barrel of a gun as Halmkin had the option of forcing material win, with a very strong attack to follow. However, Halmkin missed the winning line and within 3 moves was on the back foot, from which he never recovered, running very short of time in the process. The same happened with Gosling on Bd. 3 who blundered the exchange after he had had a strong position throughout. Down to a bishop vs rook, he pressed on regardless in desperate time trouble, when his opponent, in turn, blundered away his rook for just a pawn, and they entered extra time. On Bd. 1, Hewson had set positional problems that his opponent needed much time to solve, and eventually he won on time. The 2 points gained thus guaranteed the league title for Exmouth, but to add a little extra icing on the party cake, Gosling and Gorodi agreed a draw, the two blunders having cancelled each other out. Gorodi had extra pawns but the Black’s king and bishop could cope with them.
The 2.5 points were secured within about 10 minutes of each other.
|MAMHEAD CUP||Date: 16.04.11|
|1||B. W. R. Hewson||176||1||0||A. W. Brusey||175|
|2||Dr. D. A. Toms||159||0||1||W. Ingham||164|
|3||B. G. E. Gosling||156||½||½||J. G. Gorodi||150|
|4||R. H. Jones||138||1||0||P. E. Halmkin||148|
|Div. 2 (639 max)||629||2½||1½||637|
The League positions with one match still to play.