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Simon Trophy 2011 Decided

posted 1 Sep 2011, 11:12 by knight moves   [ updated 1 Sep 2011, 11:56 ]
In my most recent Simon Trophy post, I reported that the final would be contested between Malcolm Armstrong and Lee Grinsell, and with both players reaching the final with unbeaten records, then something had to give...
As Malcolm and Lee lined up to contest the final on 15th July, I must confess that Malcolm's comment some time ago of "Lee and I always draw" was becoming a bit of a worrry.  Hopefully Rule #10 would not need to be called upon... 
In a hard fought match, Malcolm was slightly better for most of the game with a nice space advantage but he was unable to find a breakthrough and, on trying to force things, allowed Lee back into the game.  In the final position, Lee was probably slightly better but having only 6 minutes to Malcolm's 12, a draw was agreed.
The replay was played on Friday 26 August with colours reversed, and unsurprisingly was another hard fought match.  Malcolm was comfortable throughout the game, being confident of being able to hold a rook ending, but Lee kept pushing and dragged a mistake out of Malcolm.
In Malcolm's favour was the fact that he had managed to maintain his 5 minute handicap advantage throughout most of the game, so by the time things got serious Lee was down to his last minute, while Malcolm had about two minutes left.  In the end Lee went two pawns up and had a clear win, but with only 5 seconds remaining vs 45 seconds, he had no alternative but to offer the draw and accept his 'Rule #10' fate.
And so, congratulations go out to Malcolm Armstrong, who is the 2011 Simon Trophy winner.
Many thanks to all who participated this year, but of course special recognition must be given to Lee, who despite being placed 2nd (according to the rules) remained unbeaten throughout the competition, and gave Malcolm a real run for his money, twice!