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Exmouth’s First Loss of the Season.

Tiverton vs Exmouth – Mamhead Cup Div. 2  – 16.03.2012.

Saturday Afternoon At The Tomato doesn’t have quite the same ring about it as the mid-70s classic jazz-fused song “Midnight At The Oasis”, but there was at least a tiny bit of Tiverton chess history involved as it was their first match at this experimental venue. “Tomato” is the striking title of a tapas bar, near the town centre in Tiverton, with a spacious room upstairs, which the owner lets free of charge, provided all the refreshments are purchased at the bar downstairs.

This was Exmouth’s 7th match of the season, and were so far undefeated, but any temptation to say they wanted to squash their opponents was firmly resisted. Just as well, too, because any squashing was done by the home team.

It all started so well, too, as John Stephens ended with a pretty finish in a pawn ending. At the other end, Simon Blake was the exchange up going into the endgame – a rook + 2 minor pieces vs 3 minor pieces. However, these included two knights, and these can become very slippery if given half a chance, and a knight check won a bishop, and it was downhill from thereon in. But at least the other two games looked solid enough, giving reasonable expectations  of yet another drawn match. Gosling agreed a draw, which left Shaw wondering whether to also settle for a draw or try and for a win in order to win the match. But it was one of those positions in which whoever tries to push for win, usually ends up losing, and this is what happened, giving Tiverton the match.

Bd. Tiverton Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 B. W. R. Hewson 174 0 1 J. K. F. Stephens 192
2 S. Bartlett 164 1 0 M. Shaw 166
3 I. S. Annetts 152 ½ ½ B. G. E. Gosling 164
4 J. Knowles 128 1 0 S. Blake   96
    618       618


The Exmouth line-up (Bd. 4 nearest)

 Dramatic Spanish decor throughout.

Tiverton line-up with bovine backdrop.

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