The Open Section started with joint leaders on 5/6, Matthew Turner and Steve Berry. In ideal circumstances they would have to play each other at this stage, but they had already met, so altrenatives had to be found, and to some extent this favoured Berry. He was White and was paired against Stephenson, graded 168 and on 3.5, whereas Turner had Black facing Mackle, graded 194 on 4 pts.
In the event, Mackle stormed out of the blocks and was pressuring Turner from the opening moves, eventually forcing resignation on move 35 after a cracking game, that drew a ring of spectators for much of the later stages. Berry, meanwhile, had little trouble in getting the full point from his opponent and was clear winner, taking the winner’s cheque.
He was ineligible for the title of WECU Champion and the Union’s British Championship Qualifying Place, as eligibility is based on (a) Birth in the 7 constituent counties, (b) residence in same and (c) attendance at a school or other educational establishment in the area. As Mackle had caught up Turner, both on 5 points, it was decided they should share the trophy for the year. Mackle had it first and would pass it on. This left the question of the QP, as Turner was pre-qualified by virtue of his GM title, and Mackle declined the offer as he was unable to get the time off to play for two weeks in Sheffield. Rudd was next in line but was already qualified, so the offer was made to Patryk Krzyzanowski, a Pole who has lived in Yeovil for at least 3 years. He was unfamiliar with what was being asked of him and was initially unsure as to how he would respond, but is happily a clubmate of the event Secretary, Andrew Footner and would keep in touch with him on the matter. He is the likely Qualifier.
Megan Owens, meanwhile, was declared the West of England Ladies Champion, by virtue of being the highest scoring lady in the highest section where lady players are involved. See pictures below.
A full list of prizewinners may be found at the end of this report.
|WECU Open||Round 7|
|1||Mackle, D.||4||1||0||Turner, M. J.||5|
|2||Berry, S. J.||5||1||0||Stephenson, D. W.||3½|
|4||Smith, A. P.||3½||1||0||Bolt, G.||3|
|5||McMichael, R. J.||3||1||0||Abbott M. V.||3|
|6||Littlejohns, D. P.||3||½||½||Cumming, R.||3|
|7||Bartlett, S.||2½||½||½||Bass, J. W.||3|
|8||Brusey, A. W.||1||½||½||Dilleigh, S. P.||2½|
|9||Hamilton, S. L.||1½||½||½||Owens, M. R.||2|
Meanwhile, in the Major, some of the tension was removed as Thompson had already got 1st prize in the bag the previous evening. Brian Gosling was drawn to play his clubmate, Oliver Wensley, for 2nd place, and the more experienced Gosling won that one, tieing with A. Clarke. John Gorodi of Teignnmouth won the 1st grading prize while Martin Worral of Taunton got the lower one. One feature of this section was the closeness of it all, with the two bottom grades (Wensley & Worrall) were involved in the top 3 games in the final round, and their were no really low scores.
Andrew Wright led the Minor overnight, and there was some interest as to whether his swashbuckling style, which had got him to 5.5/6, would hold out for one more game. It soon became clear that it would, as he threatened to sweep away the in-form Paul Errington. In a very strong position, Wright offered a draw in order to clinch 1st prize and Errington had little choice but to accept, as post-game analysis showed that Wright would have won within a few moves. Dinah Norman and Malcolm Roberts both won to put them half a point behind in 2nd place.
|2nd =||Matthew Turner||233||Glasonbury||5|
|Dominic Mackle||194||Newton Abbot||5|
|Grading (188-170)||Patryk Krzyzanowski||177||Yeovil||4|
|WECU Champions||M. Turner & D. Mackle|
|British QP||P. Krzyzanowski|
|MAJOR (U-175)||1st||Robert Thompson||173||Newton Abbot||6½|
|2nd =||Adam Clarke||164||Torquay||5|
|Grading (156-149)||John Gorodi||150||Teignmouth||4|
|Grading (U-149||Martin Worrall||138||Taunton||4|
|MINOR (U-140)||1st||Andrew Wright||128||Plymouth||5½|
|2nd =||Dinah Norman||139||Berkshire||5|
|Malcolm Roberts||138||Holmes Chapel||5|
|Grading (130 – 115)||Roger Waters||124||Taunton||4½|