Wanstead 2½ – 2½ Lichfield, 1 June 2003


After the Milton Keynes initially proposed by Lichfield proved to be unavailable, this National Club Major semi-final was played in Aylesbury, alongside the Aylesbury v The Holt Major Plate semi-final.  I was away on holiday, anxiously awaiting news of the outcome from Ian Hunnable, on whose comments this report is largely based.

Li Wu made admirable use of the Black pieces, penetrating with his rooks to the 7th and 8th ranks, and severely inconveniencing his opponent who had not yet managed to develop his queen bishop or move his d pawn.  This win on board 1 gave Wanstead’s board count prospects a real boost and more than made up for the loss on board 5, where Graham Brown had gone astray early and lost a piece in a bout of tactics from which he could not recover.  Larry Marden had a messy game (his description) and although he reached the ending a pawn up, could not make it count.  Paul Barclay essayed the 2 d3 variation against the Caro Kann, as played (at least once) by Fischer, but struggled to remember the analysis and was soon getting the worse of the position.  He stuck at it though and eventually Black went astray, allowing Paul two extra pawns in a R & P ending which Paul duly converted; this point effectively won the match and rendered Ian Hunnable’s loss in the last game to finish academic.

So Wanstead have reached the final of this competition for the second time in three years, and now face Basingstoke Juniors, hoping to improve on their board count defeat at the hands of Aylesbury in the 2001 final.

Board Colour Home team Grade Score Away team Grade Score
1 B Li Wu 187 1 Ralph Allen 179 0
2 W Larry Marden 173 ½ Carl Hibbard 168 ½
3 B Ian Hunnable 156 0 Peter Collins 167 1
4 W Paul Barclay 147 1 Andy Grant 130 0
5 B Graham Brown 136 0 Sandy Wilson 128 1
  TOTAL – Home TOTAL – Away

Click here for the 1992/3 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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