Broadstairs  3     Woodnesborough A  1 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1    Mark Towlson (90)
2  Bob Cronin(104) 1-0    James Gill (24)
3  Gary Hilleard (e100) 1-0    Daniel Watkins (23)
4  Michael Doyle (81) 1-0    Jacob Henderson (20)

Reg Pidduck writes:

The real victors of this match were not Broadstairs but Ramsgate who as a result win the Walker Shield for 2018. Broadstairs needed to win 4-0 to pip Ramsgate or 3½-½ to tie on points and games won to force a play off. Ramsgate have Mark to thank for his steady and persistent play on Board 1 where twice it could have ended in repetitive moves for a draw. But Mark is not a draw player and each time carried on after finding another move without losing ground. Finally after 70 moves he found the correct ones to win. Well done, Mark, and I look forward to many more encounters with you. Because I was so wrapped up with my own game, I cannot report on the three games that we won but congratulations to Bob, Gary and Captain Michael on a great season and sorry I could not go out with a win for you. Once again, well done Ramsgate.

Editor’s note: In this typically generous report Reg’s disappointment is tangible but let’s not forget that without his marvellous win last week, even a 4-0 victory in this match would not have been enough.

                                               Broadstairs  2½         Bridge A 4½ 

1 Nick McBride  (173) 0-1    Vishnu Singh (205)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    Richard Eales (195)
3 Richard Clement (e130) 0-1    Alan Atkinson (173)
4 John Couzens (116) 1-0    Patrick Burns (156)
5 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½    Jeff Green (e150)
6 Bob Cronin ½-½    Ian Redmond (75)
7 Michael Doyle (81) ½-½    Ray Rennells (75)

Reg Pidduck writes:

This was a match of two halves – top three and bottom three – with star of the evening John Couzens in the middle on Board 4, winning in style against his much higher graded opponent. John’s swap-off left him a check to pick up an easy rook and Patrick resigned. I had already finished with a draw after 32 moves when Jeff had no choice than to keep repetitive moves on my queen to thwart my attempt of mating him. When Bob and Ian on Board 6 agreed a draw soon afterwards, Broadstairs were looking good at 2-1 as the other games looked close. Michael Doyle on Board 7 had gone a queen down to a rook but crafty play by him got him the exchange back and half hour later a draw was agreed. So at 2½-1½ to us we slowly watched Bridge take control. First to go was Richard on Board 3 after looking in good shape with a passed pawn. Alan was never going to let him advance it and after forcing Richard away was able to pick it up and slowly squeeze Richard away to pick off the remaining pawns. Although Richard Eales on Board 2 had used up more time, Paul was slowly running out of good choice moves and the inevitable happened to Paul after his long hard struggle. So now at 3½-2½ down we were looking at Nick facing 23 year old International Master Vishnu Singh (also by the way the 5th highest graded player for Trinidad and Tobago) to halve the match. Nick held on gamely to be last to finish and resigned after Vishnu’s pressure was too much. So a 4½-2½ loss but a very enjoyable evening – especially for Gullbuster John – and many thanks to the Bridge players.


                                                Broadstairs  4     Ramsgate  0 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0    Malcolm Snashall (107)
2 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Kenneth Keeler (91)
3 Bob Cronin (104) 1-0    Bob Wallace (85)
4 Gary Hilleard (e100) 1-0    Don Richards (65)

Bob Page writes:

This was a tremendous victory, one that puts Broadstairs in with a real chance of winning the Walker Shield. Two weeks ago the team needed to win each of its last three matches 4-0 to overtake Ramsgate. Two of those results have been achieved but there is still one final hurdle to cross next week against Woodnesborough A and, again, victory is not enough – it has to be 4-0. A mere glance at the respective grades fails to do justice to the tension in this match. With Captain Michael magnanimously standing down in favour of the jet-lagged but willing Andy, Broadstairs outgraded Ramsgate on three of the four boards. However, Ramsgate had won eight of their nine matches going into this game and all four of their players had win percentages of 70%+ with Malcolm on 88%! Bob was the first to win, quickly winning a piece against his opponent and his two rooks easily finished the game off. Gary also had a fairly straightforward game although Don refused to resign until he had almost nothing left. The real drama, however, was saved for the top two boards. Andy was a pawn down for a long time in an unpromising position and a win looked extremely unlikely. On Board 1 the situation was no better. Reg and Malcolm were locked in a knight v bishop ending that surely Malcolm could hold, knowing that was all he needed to do. But Reg has never played a better game. He ensured his pawns were safe from Malcolm’s bishop, split the opposing pawns, carefully manoeuvred his king up the board, winning one pawn then another until Malcolm decided enough was enough. At 3-0, however, we still needed Andy to win and when the rooks came off, leaving another knight v bishop ending, victory still seemed a tall order but as Andy joked later, ‘superior endgame technique’ told in the end. 4-0 – what a match! Now do it all again next week!

                                            Broadstairs  3         Bridge   1                                        

1 Bob Page (135) 1-0  Chris Stampe (127)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 1-0  Tim Spencer (121)
3 Richard Clement (e130) ½-½  Peter Blundell (120)
4 John Couzens (116) ½-½  Ian Redmond (75)

Bob Page writes:

Broadstairs comfortably beat Bridge in the final Hargreaves match of the season to win the Shield for the second time in three years and the third in the last five. Putting out our strongest side, we were quietly confident beforehand and Paul got us off to a great start by gaining revenge for his defeat by the same opponent in September. Winning a piece early on, he carefully manoevred his queen and knights to trap the king and force resignation. In Andy’s absence, Captain Bob was next on the scoreboard. Chris played in his usual aggressive style but left gaps, lost a piece and the end was surprisingly swift. Richard’s game was always close and when he was offered a draw by his opponent, having checked that we only needed half a point to win the match, he accepted. The match concluded in a slightly farcical manner. John had been behind for most of his game, first a pawn down then two and eventually three. With the match won, he decided he had had enough and he offered his hand in resignation which was clearly misinterpreted by Ian who sportingly announced: ‘Yes, I’ll accept a draw’! In the past we have featured Game of the Week, Blunder of the Week, Swindle of the Week and we now have Draw of the Week although this one will not be published.  Well played, everyone!

                                             Broadstairs  3½         Folkestone 3½ 

1 Nick McBride  (173) ½-½    Jim Bayford (178)
2 Bob Page (135) 0-1    Martin Cutmore (173)
3 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    David Shire (168)
4 Richard Clement (e130) 0-1    Kevin Smythe (163)
5 John Couzens (116) 1-0    John Atherton (163)
6 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0    David Erwee (96)
7 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Robert Twigg (76)

David Faldon writes:

What a fantastic match! It had everything: controversy, brilliant play, blunders and a last minute equaliser. What more could you ask of an evening’s entertainment? The controversy came at the beginning when the Broadstairs captain substituted himself out on board one when Nick became available, but what else could he do when he’d already asked six others to play? Anyway, the board one substitute proved well up to the task, sacrificing his queen right in the opening for two knights and a bishop. Nick wasn’t the first to finish, though. Andy took that honour, winning with black in just eleven moves on board 7 when his opponent mislaid his queen for just the one knight. Despite this early 1-0 lead for Broadstairs, Folkestone were well on top after an hour and I decided that anything other than a 1-6 defeat would be positive. The next three games to finish went as predicted, leaving Folkestone 3-1 up. Bob, Paul and Richard on boards 2, 3 and 4 all went down to much higher-rated opponents, though not without a struggle, especially so in Paul’s case when he fought back strongly after dropping a rook for not a lot. The board one game was next to finish when the players agreed a draw, presumably exhausted by the complications. Hopefully, this game will appear on the website soon, so you can all enjoy it. That result left Broadstairs needing to win the last two games. The battle of the two Johns on board 5 was a story of long heroic defence from John C for Broadstairs, suddenly turned to triumph with a surprising knight sacrifice. Well played! One to go. The board 6 game was tremendous and strange, with both players mixing brilliant ideas with missed opportunities but both certainly played well above their rather modest grades. In truth it was a bit of a shame that one player had to lose, but Reg’s win was most welcome for Broadstairs, equalising the score at 3½ to 3½. Exhausting to watch but great fun!