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Historic First – Exmouth Lose to Seaton (27.10.2014.)

Exmouth started the day as County champions at all forms of the over-the-board game – Standard play, RapidPlay and Blitz. But chess has a way of bringing any individual or group getting delusions of grandeur down to earth with a bump. So it was with Exmouth when they finished the day by losing to Seaton for the first time in many encounters in Devon’s RapidPlay League – the Newman Cup.

Last year, Seaton improved their chances by bringing in Steve Martin, and this year added Dr. Jonathan Underwood, which tipped the balance altogether. Seaton won both rounds 2.5 – 1.5  and finished 5-3 winners. Chris Scott maintained his continuing improvement by winning his individual encounter against Martin, while Jones managed to stem early aggression from Adams and may have had very slight advantages in both games but with time running out offered draws, which  Adams was minded to accept. But Underwood was clearly fired up after winning 6 Blitz games eight days earlier and the combination of his endgame technique and speed of move proved too much for the Exmouth captain. Blake had a won position in Rd. 1 but ran very low on time and Dowse kindly offered a draw when he could have won on time.

Exmouth have started with a loss several times before in this competition, but managed to make up lost ground. In this case, this seems less likely than hitherto, and Seaton must be considered serious contenders for the title.

  RapidPlay League             27.10.2014  
  Seaton Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Jon Underwood 179 1 1   0 0 Mark Abbott 167
2 Steve Martin 172 ½ 0   ½ 1 Chris Scott 157
3 Martyn Adams 133 ½ ½   ½ ½ Bob Jones 147
4 Alan Dowse 111 ½ 1   ½ 0 Simon Blake   91
           
    595             562
        5   3      

 

Seaton players facing camera: Underwood, Martin (shaking hands), Adams (purple shirt) and Dowse.

 

Martin (l) vs Scott (nearest) & Underwood vs Abbott.

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