Former member of the Exmouth Chess Club and Devon President, Dr. Roger Neat lost his wife to cancer last year, and was determined to commemorate her support for his, and his sons, chess efforts, with a special tournament. To give it its full title, The Mary Elizabeth Neat Memorial Seniors Invitation RapidPlay Tournament, Roger had decided it should be an 8-man American, with 20 minutes per player per game, with the invitees being players he had known in his Exmouth days.
To give it some edge, he was offering prizes of £100, £50 & £25 for the first 3 places, and was funding a splendid lunch.
The Manor Hotel on Exmouth’s sea-front Beacon, was booked, and the 8 players duly assembled, together with local Arbiter John Ariss.
After 3 rounds, only Brian Gosling had a maximum score, and everyone retired to the bar for drinks and a splendid repast, while considering the chances for the afternoon; e.g. could Brian be stopped? After lunch he continued in much the same vein, reaching 5/5, but then the wheels came off, trying the Polish Opening against a Polish veteran, Bob Jones. Going in to the final round, Gosling had Black against Neat, who was also having a good tournament, while Jones had White against Hodge. If Neat could hold Gosling and Jones could beat Hodge, the individual encounter between Gosling and Jones would determine the winner.
The first bit went according to plan, as Neat agreed a draw, but the second bit went sadly awry, as Jones not only failed to win, but came within a whisker of losing. So Brian Gosling got the £100 1st prize, while Neat and Jones, the only undefeated players, shared 2nd & 3rd.
All agreed it had been a splendid day, blessed by cloudless skies and a most agreeable venue.
|1||I. S. Annetts||143*||X||1||0||1||½||½||0||1||4||4th|
|3||B. G. Gosling||154||1||1||X||1||0||½||1||1||5½||1st|
|4||F. R. Hodge||123*||0||0||0||X||½||½||1||0||2||7th|
|5||R. H. Jones||149*||½||1||1||½||X||½||½||1||5||2nd=|
|8||N. F. Tidy||105*||0||1||0||1||0||0||1||X||3||5th|
|Bd||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7|
Winners in bold