This was the key match in this year’s Newman Cup, Devon’s RapidPlay League. As last year, it was a 3-way tie between Tiverton, Exmouth and Seaton, with home and away matches. Earlier in the season, Exmouth, the current holders, drew 2-2 away to Tiverton, and needed a result in this home leg, to stand any chance of retaining the cup.
The visitors were a little shy of the maximum permitted team grade total of 599, Exmouth gambling on playing a low-graded player on Bd. 4 in order to fit in their best 3 players. In this respect, Grist’s two losses were the key to the eventual win.
Stephens, playing Black in Rd. 1. got his last pieces trapped behind his own pawns, and lost, but he hit back in the next game, forcing a mate in the corner. Shaw always seemed to have a solid position in both games, tempering the creation of threats with a solid defence. Wensley, also, was never seriously threatened by Aldwin, but was always behind on the clock and needed to be careful to keep time in hand.
The 5-3 win gives Exmouth a good chance of retaining the trophy, though they still have to play Seaton twice.
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||184||0||1||1||0||B. W. R. Hewson||174|
|2||M. Shaw||164||1||1||0||0||I. S. Annetts||151|
|3||O. E. Wensley||136||1||1||0||0||B. Aldwin||122|
|4||I. G. Grist||96||0||0||1||1||J. Knowles||113|
Alison is not interested in the match but is reading a chess book.