Brown Jack 2 – 3 Wanstead, 29 March 2003


Wanstead had reached the quarter-final of the National Club Major by defeating Metropolitan B (who conceded home advantage) and Tunbridge Wells.  The players were faced with a rather longer journey for the match with Brown Jack B, who are based in the village of Wroughton in Wiltshire, a few miles from Swindon. 

Although Brown Jack is not a well-known name in Essex circles, the club is a thriving one in its local area, and had fielded two viable teams in the Major: the “B” is slightly misleading as both the Brown Jack teams were close to the U160 average grade limit.  The B team  had won its first two matches in the competition on board count, and on the basis of inside information from David Smith’s son Andrew who played for Cosham in the second of these, was known to be likely to feature two very strong top boards in Tim Headlong and Richard Haydon.  Wanstead’s general intention was to use Li Wu and Larry Marden to neutralise the threat at the top, and then aim to pick up sufficient points lower down to shade the match.

The loss of the toss was offset by Ian Hunnable’s relatively quick draw on board 3, where his opponent had innovated on move 2 of a French defence with 2.e5.  Mark Murrell’s Sicilian defence seemed to be under considerable pressure from the young Brown Jack board 5, but Mark survived into an ending where he had sufficient activity to recover lost material and force a draw.  At this stage it seemed possible that all five games might end in draws, necessitating an instant rapidplay rematch.  However, this danger was removed by the positive result in Paul Barclay’s game.  Paul had not seemed to get much out of the opening or early middlegame, but his opponent gave up a piece, either as a miscalculation or in the hope of obtaining kingside attacking chances, just as she was heading for severe time trouble.

Li Wu has been a real asset on top board for Wanstead this season, and he played a good game to hold Tim Headlong in a well-studied line of the King’s Indian, turning down a draw offer while Larry Marden’s game was unclear, before agreeing to split the point.  There were mistakes by both sides on board 2, but Larry was eventually able to force a perpetual check to send Wanstead through to the semi-final. 

Board Colour Home team Grade Score Away team Grade Score
1 W Tim Headlong 191 ½ Li Wu 187 ½
2 B Richard Haydon 187 ½ Larry Marden 173 ½
3 W David Tomboline 150 ½ Ian Hunnable 156 ½
4 B Fenella Headlong 134 0 Paul Barclay 147 1
5 W Daniel Hall 130 ½ Mark Murrell 120 ½
  TOTAL – Home 2 TOTAL – Away 3

Paul Barclay v Fenella Headlong

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Nbd2 0-0 10.a3 Ba5 11.0-0 Bg4 12.Be2 f6 13.h3 Be6 14.Bd3 Ng5 15.Nxg5 fxg5 16.Qh5 Bf5 17.Bxf5 Rxf5 18.Nb3 Bb6 19.Be3 g6 20.Qe2 Qe7 21.Rad1 Rd8 22.Rc1 a6 23.Rfd1 Nxe5 24.dxe5 Rxe5 25.Nd4 Re4 26.Qd3 Bxd4 27.Bxd4 c6 28.b4 Re8 29.Be3 g4 30.hxg4 Rxg4 31.g3 h5 32.Bc5 Qh4 33.Kg2 Qg5 34.Re1 Ree4 35.Rcd1 h4 36.Rxe4 Rxe4 37.Qf3 hxg3 38.Qf8+ Kh7 39.Rh1+ Rh4 (time) 1-0

Click here for the 2002/3 National Club page.

About johnu175
I am John Philpott, a keen chess player, belonging to Wanstead & Woodford and Insurance Chess Clubs, and a former long-standing match captain of the Essex U175/U180 team and the Wanstead National Club team. I also hold many administrative posts, including ECF Company Secretary and Financial Controller, although I am looking to wind these down following my retirement to Mersea Island.

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