Broadstairs 4½ Margate 2½
|1 ||David Faldon (178) ||1-0 || Harry Sharples (149) |
|2 ||Arnaud Wisman (168) ||½-½ || Peter McGill (145) |
|3 ||Trefor Owens (165) ||1-0 || Colin Gregory (127) |
|4 ||Manoj Natarajan (149) ||0-1 || Keith Findley (125) |
|5 ||Richard Clement (145) ||0-1 || Clive Le Baigue (121) |
|6 ||Chris Stampe (141) ||1-0 || John Clarke (92) |
|7 ||Paul Carfrae (131) ||1-0 || Chris Wyer (19) |
David Faldon writes:
Normally our Millar Cup matches are pretty stress-free. We enjoy the match, file the result and move on to the next. This one was different. Bridge beat Folkestone earlier in the week and consequently we had the chance to win the Millar Cup ourselves ahead of both Bridge and Folkestone if only we could defeat Margate. Broadstairs have not won the Millar Cup since 1976 and I personally have never even seen the trophy. Does it exist? On paper, beating Margate looked reasonably easy because we outgraded them on all seven boards, but the match itself was anything but. The fun started, unusually, on board one. I saw the chance to sacrifice my queen for a whole bunch of smaller bits, but there was a good alternative – swap queens and win a nice safe pawn. I spent maybe half an hour on the calculations. The sacrifice looked great, but what if I got something wrong? A loss could be disastrous. In the end I chickened out and took the pawn. Meanwhile, all was calm. Chris and Paul were doing well and the other games looked level. Arnaud was first to finish. Lots of pieces were exchanged and a draw agreed. No problem.
Soon, however, the situation changed, and not for the better. Manoj and Richard were both in trouble and Trefor was down to a rook and a few pawns each. He had a big choice: either agree a draw or sacrifice a pawn to get his king into the action. He chose the sacrifice. It soon proved to be the correct decision. As Trefor was wrapping up his win, Paul finished his game off too and we were two points up. Great. Then Richard lost. Not so great. Then Manoj lost too – unluckily. He fought back well in a difficult ending and achieved a position that should normally be drawn, but in the process used up all his time. With no increment in the Millar Cup there was no escape. A shame, but now the match was level at two wins each. My opponent and I were both short of time too, so I couldn’t keep up with how Chris was doing. Things were becoming too interesting for comfort. In the end I managed to use my precious extra pawn as a decoy to set up a mate on the other side of the board and we were one up with one to play. Could Chris avoid a loss and seal our victory? With fingers crossed, I rushed over, just in time to see that Chris was a queen up and about to win. Panic over. We had won the match by four wins to two. Comfortable? Not! Anyway, now we will finally get to find out if the famous Millar Cup actually exists. Many thanks to the whole of the Broadstairs Millar Cup team (not just those who played in this match) for getting us to where we are, and many thanks to Margate for being such cheerful hosts and for providing tea and biscuits.
Editor’s note: As David said, the Millar Cup was last won by Broadstairs in 1976 and even then it was shared with Herne Bay. This year is only the fifth time the club has won the trophy outright, the others being 1956, 1965, 1966 and 1969. The other teams competing in 1969 were Birchington, Chatham House, Dane Court, Margate, Pfizer, Ramsgate and St Lawrence College. Thanks to Ian Hames for this information.
Broadstairs 4 Sheldwich P.S. 0
|1 ||Andy Flood (115) ||1-0 ||Felix Coker (111) |
|2 ||Reg Pidduck (99) ||1-0 ||Sean Duffy (71) |
|3 ||Bob Cronin (90) ||1-0 ||Zeno Burns (60) |
|4 ||Mike Doyle (87) ||1-0 ||Joshua Hayhoe (37) |
Mike Doyle writes:
It was an interesting match with the Sheldwich juniors giving it all before Broadstairs finally won 4 – 0. A much improved Sheldwich Primary School, with Felix Coker on Board 1 graded 111, got Andy Flood in a muddle in the middle game but he got out of it with a fork taking his queen and finished with a mate.
Our captain had a right tussle with Josh Hayhoe who belied his grade of 37. I was charging with an Evans Gambit and got Josh on the back foot with a bishop check forcing him to move his king. But Josh got to grips with an uncastled king and by trickery he took my bishop with his knight attacking my queen. Then the fireworks started but with a piece down I managed to get his knight and after a long drawn out end game I won with a rook and he resigned. Reg and Bob had an easy ride with both juniors resigning.
With a game to play, Broadstairs moved up to second in the league. We must beat Folkestone to remain second. Thanks to the juniors who played a thrilling match well above their grade.
Broadstairs 3½ Bridge 3½
|1 ||David Faldon (178) ||½-½ || Richard Eales (192) |
|2 ||Arnaud Wisman (168) ||1-0 || Patrick Burns (161) |
|3 ||Trefor Owens (165) ||0-1 || Alan Atkinson (158) |
|4 ||Richard Clement (145) ||½-½ || Jeff Green (149) |
|5 ||Chris Stampe (141) ||½-½ || Peter Blundell (115) |
|6 ||Dominic Blundell (136) ||0-1 || Gary Hilleard (107) |
|7 ||Paul Carfrae (131) ||1-0 || Graeme Boxall (86) |
Bob Page writes:
It may be Super Tuesday in America but it was Super Monday in Broadstairs yesterday as we played host to two league matches simultaneously for the the second time this season. Our Walker Shield victory over Sheldwich P.S. is reported elsewhere but the big match was undoubtedly the return Millar Cup fixture with Bridge and what a match this was! Drawn matches are not that common in the Millar Cup and the fact that we have drawn our last two home fixtures shows how tight the competition is this year. Team selection was struck a blow the day before the match when Manoj declared himself unavailable. Nevertheless, Paul stood in on Board 7 and for once we outgraded Bridge on five of the seven boards.
This was a cagey affair. For the first hour or so there seemed to be no advantage to either side but Dominic was soon in trouble on Board 6, losing first a pawn and then a piece. He attempted to fight back gamely but there was only going to be one winner. Chris won two pawns on Board 5 but the next time I looked he had lost a piece and a draw was soon agreed. The other games seemed level and it was no surprise when David and Richard both agreed draws in quick succession. Finally, Dominic conceded and Bridge were ahead 2½-1½. This is where the match became quite exciting. On Board 3 Trefor had built up a convincing attack with queen and rook but then lost a key pawn. After a few exchanges he offered Alan a draw which was declined. Trefor fought hard in a rook and pawn ending but Alan held his position and once the rooks were forced off, Trefor resigned. Bridge now only needed a draw from the last two games to win the match while Broadstairs, of course, had to win both games just to draw.
The game on Board 2 had looked level for a long time. Few pieces had been exchanged and with Patrick’s knights firmly embedded in the centre of the board, Arnaud was struggling to make a breakthrough. He had already declined a draw offer before Trefor resigned and now it was clear he had to win. Somehow – and your correspondent, busy watching the game on Board 7, missed this – Arnaud won a piece for a pawn, both knights were off the board and Patrick resigned. So attention now focused on the final game between Paul and Graeme.
Paul had been a pawn down for some time and tried a sharp tactic that only served to lose him the exchange. Gradually, however, he picked off the pawns with the result that he had a knight and two pawns for the rook but Graeme had a strong a-pawn that marched up the board and which Paul could not stop. With Graeme’s time running out, he managed to queen the pawn and Paul was left with queen, rook and knight against two queens and a rook! By this time it was almost 11.00, Graeme had less than a minute left and Paul was forced to check with his queen alone as his knight had gone awol and his rook was pinned by the new queen. But Graeme could not escape the checks and it seemed a draw by repetition might be the likely result and then just when it seemed Paul had run out of ideas, Graeme walked into a mating net where his only escape square after yet another queen check was covered by a lone Black pawn: checkmate!
Phew! What a match! Bridge deserve great credit being outgraded in most of the boards and the home team can count themselves fortunate but a draw is a draw. Well played, Broadstairs!
Broadstairs 2 Ramsgate 2
|1 ||Andy Flood (115) ||½-½ ||Tony Buck (109) |
|2 ||Reg Pidduck (99) ||1-0 ||Bob Wallace (10o) |
|3 ||Bob Cronin (90) ||½-½ ||Malcolm Snashall (98) |
|4 ||Mike Doyle (87) ||0-1 ||Ken Keeler (91) |
Mike Doyle writes:
Broadstairs gave up the ghost of winning the Walker Shield when we drew with Ramsgate. Our captain, needing to win to stay in the hunt, lost to his bête noire, Ken Keeler. Bridge, with only one match to play, having scored eight wins from nine matches, are set to win the shield. Their only a loss was to Broadstairs on their turf. In this match we were outgunned with three of their players having ratings above us. Only Andy’s grade on the top board was higher.
I was the first to go when I blundered a bishop. At this stage I was set for a win as my opponent’s king was wide open to attack, charging his pawns with no defence. I blundered when a knight took a bishop and forked my rook. I resigned. On board three was Bob Cronin and he too had a win with a rook and queen attacking on ‘h’ file but a reliable Malcolm Snashall saw he had a way out and it ended with a draw. On board two was Reg who saved the day when he won with a piece up against Bob Wallace. The match was even at this stage with our hopes on Andy on board one against a tricky opponent, Tony Buck. It was fierce in the middle game with White attacking with a queen and bishop but Andy fought back and it ended with a draw with only a rook and three pawns on either side.
It was sad that Broadstairs drew as we won at Ramsgate in the first leg. Full credit to Ramsgate, though, and my nemesis Ken winning against me, a disappointing loss for the captain.
This is the crucial game from the drawn Steele Cup match with Margate where a win for Paul would have put Broadstairs 2-0 ahead with two games to play. However, a draw was agreed and the final position led to lengthy debate upstairs. Should White, who offered the draw, have continued? Was there a win? Was the draw a fair result? The consensus among the players of modest ability on show eventually was that there was a win. Disappointingly, Stockfish thinks otherwise and so the final position, tantalising though it may seem, may slightly favour Black! However, it’s an interesting game – not exactly error-free but who has not had what was thought a gem cruelly exposed as a fake by the all-seeing eye of a computer – and see what you make of the final position without the aid of any technological wizardry.
White: Paul Carfrae (131) Black: Keith Findley (125)