Wanstead 2 – 3 Athenaeum, 5 January 2013

National Club Major report

SUNP0024sHaving lost to a strong Athenaeum side in Round 2 of last year’s competition the Wanstead team had no illusions that they would face anything other than a stern test at Wanstead House on Saturday. Hopes were raised when the opposition appeared without their customary 200+ player on Board 1, and Wanstead actually had a small grading advantage on every board (except the lowest) with an average grade of 174.6 against Athenaeum’s 171.4.

From the start however, Athenaeum made all the running as they quickly established a potentially winning lead of 2-0. Disaster struck early when a below par Mark “Sneezy” Murrell lost quickly with the white pieces against the opposing Match Captain. Ian Hunnable seemed in trouble early on with his usually reliable French Defence and was forced to concede when his opponent’s rooks took control of the board.

The rest of the Wanstead team did their best to retrieve the situation with some fighting chess, but as happened last year the only winner was Larry Marden who won an excellent game via a well played king and pawn ending. Ian Reynolds managed to win a pawn, but his doubled pawns and the presence of opposite coloured bishops prevented him from registering the full point. David Spearman also seemed to have a promising position when he established what looked like a powerful outside passed pawn, but the black king managed to reach the pawn  just in time to prevent further progress, and the draw was agreed with David’s opponent down to his last few seconds.

All in all a somewhat disappointing result against a team which certainly made the most of it’s chances.  We now await details of the draw for the Plate Competition and news of our next opponents.

WANSTEAD   ATHENAEUM    
Board Colour Home team Grade Score Away team Grade Score
1 W David Spearman 187 ½ Daniel Farkas 181 ½
2 B Ian Hunnable 184 0 Geoff Hermes 175 1
3 W Larry Marden 182 1 Ti Chen 180 0
4 B D Ian Reynolds 177 ½ Jonathan Kay 166 ½
5 W Mark Murrell 143 0 Charles McAleenan 155 1
TOTAL – Home 2 TOTAL – Away 3

David Smith
6th January 2013

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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