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Success at County Cup Finals

posted 20 May 2011, 08:29 by knight moves   [ updated 22 May 2011, 04:16 ]

Jackson Trophy (U141)

Stafford line up against Rushall, with David Barker (right) deep in thought.

The County Cup finals were played at Stafford Chess Club on Wednesday 18th May, and Stafford were hopeful of adding to their collection of silverware for the season as they played in the final of the Jackson Trophy (U141).  The Jackson Trophy is close to the hearts of Stafford's longer serving members, as the trophy was presented in memory of Peter Jackson, a stalwart of the club.  

Stafford's hopes of a place in the final had previously been dashed by a loss to Bridgetown in the semi-finals, but had eventually been awarded the win as a result of their opponents fielding an ineligible player.  So, counting themselves fortunate to be there in any more capacity than just interested spectators, Stafford lined up with as strong a team of eligible players as they could muster, but were still outgraded on the top 4 out of 5 boards.
The first game of the night to be decided was a quick one indeed, and seen Andrew Leadbetter first past the post on board 3 for Stafford having 'orchestrated' (those present will appreciate the pun) an impressive 11 move checkmate from his much favoured Kings Gambit opening.  Andrew had developed his position quickly, and the exchange of the black squared bishops gave him a queen well placed on f4.  His opponent had presumably been too worried about losing his other bishop on g4 and overlooked the crucial mating move.  "Oh Dear!" came the exclamation.

Andrew had been a late substitute in the match.  After having organised, and assisted in setting the event up, team captain Peter Evans decided it was right that he should play, and judging by his result, we're all glad he did.
You can view (and play through) Andrew's full game here. (opens in seperate window).
Leadbetter - Cooksey Final position

David Barker deployed an unusual 'Marcozy Bind' opening with the white pieces on board 5.  The game developed quickly with first the major pieces being swapped, followed shortly afterwards by several minor pieces.  Black appeared to have gained an advantage in the endgame, but David defended accurately and a draw was agreed.

Ken Wosniak gained Stafford's second win on board 2.  Winning an early pawn, he defended his advantage stoutly and accurately and the game began to swing more in his favour.  Passed pawns on the queenside supported by a superior king position were enough for the advantage to be converted into a win, and the match was now Stafford's as we had 2.5 points from the available 5, with wins from boards 2 & 3 and all the methods of deciding drawn matches in our favour (i.e. board count). 
Denis Nesbitt transposed into an advanced French from his favoured Caro-Kann defence on board 4, and after an early swap of queens a tight struggle developed on the c-file.  Denis was forced to take quite a long time to bring his king's rook into play, but once he was able to do so, he was able to nullify the pressure on the c-file and create his own attacking chances.  However, defence prevailed and a draw was agreed.

Ken McNulty, playing white on board 1, missed the opportunity to secure a win in the position shown:
Black has just played the rook from c8 to c2, and Ken completely overlooked the quite obvious gxh5, playing instead to win an exchange and remove the queens from the board with 29.Qe8+ Kg7 30.Be5+ Rxe5 31.Qxe5+ Qxe5 32.Rxe5.

A glaring oversight which can only be attributed to the constant pressure Ken had been under throughout the game, and the lack of time he had carried over into the latter stages of the game (as usual!).
Fortunately, the exchange was enough to secure some decent play, but as the endgame turned out, with rook and pawn Vs bishop and 5 pawns, if was far from comfortable for Ken until the draw was finally agreed in the face of two high flags. 
McNulty - Styles - after 28...Rc2
So a successful evening for Stafford, winning the Peter Jackson Trophy without the loss of a game, and a final score of 3.5 - 1.5 against a strong Rushall team.  Thanks go out to all those who helped to organise, set up, put away and generally support the event.
Oh yes, there were 3 other matches too...

(Full results of which will doubtless be available on other sites)


Hickman Trophy (Open)

Cheddleton line up against Lichfield in the Hickman Trophy.
Cheddleton won the match despite missing one of their strongest players.  Testament to the 'strength and depth' of their club membership.


Gothard Trophy (U161)

Cheddleton's second team in the finals, facing Warley Quinborne in the Gothard Trophy.

Cheddleton couldn't quite manage 2 pieces of silverware in one night, and Warley Quinborne ran out the winners.


Withnall Trophy (U121)

Rushall and Fenton lock horns in the battle for the Withnall Trophy.

Final score 3.5-1.5 to Rushall with wins for Keith Butler and Syd Allen.

Withnall Trophy (U121)

Rushall and Fenton contest the Withnall Trophy while Andrew Davies and Peter Evans keep a watchful eye on their respective 'matches of interest'.



Somebody wake those 2 up!!!

A sneaky move while your opponents asleep?  Now that's just not cricket!

Only joking.  km

A spectators sport?

It's not often we have such a crowd at Stafford Chess Club.  It was also nice to see some players coming along just to spectate.

You'd think one of them could have brought an oil can for the squeaky door!