Exmouth have found it difficult to win anything this season, but they managed to break their duck on Saturday, though they needed several strokes of luck to go their way in order to achieve it.
Firstly, both teams had two of their top players unavailable, but with Tiverton fielding another team at the same time they found it difficult to replace like with like. Exmouth fared slightly better when Jonathan Underwood was able to do some last minute juggling with his family commitments and was able to turn out for the sea-siders. This made all the difference to the outcome, though all four games were well-contested throughout – there’s no such thing as an easy game in the Devon leagues.
The Annetts – Underwood game raced to a draw after an exchange of several pieces in a Sicilian where the resulting pawn formation made it clear neither side would be able to force the issue.
Having won the toss (another stroke of good fortune) Hewson on Bd. 1 was able to play his favoured English Opening and after making 6 captures in 7 moves (21 – 27) winning 2 pawns in the process, forced Bartlett to resign.
On Bd. 4, Jones played a Sicilian, won a pawn in the opening and later the exchange, and thereafter managed to keep things simple, eventually reaching a won endgame of R vs B and a scattering of pawns on each wing.
On Bd. 3, Phil Kennedy was kept stretched for most of the game, until after a big exchange of material his Queen and bishop suddenly bore down on the Black King stuck in its fianchettoed corner and mate was inevitable.
|1||W||B. W. R. Hewson||176||1||0||S. Bartlett||162|
|2||B||Dr. J. Underwood||172||½||½||I. S. Annetts||155|
|3||W||P. J. Kennedy||151||1||0||J. Knowles||133|
|4||B||R. H. Jones||138||1||0||S. Thorpe-Tracey||114|