Broadstairs  4½         Margate   2½ 

1 David Faldon (174) 1-0   Dennis Stokes-Carter (152 )
2 Bob Page (135) 0-1    Harry Sharples (150)
3 Paul Carfrae (133) 1-0    John Thorley (145)
4 John Couzens (116) ½ -½    Peter McGill (144)
5 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1    David Rogers (e125)
6 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Colin Gregory (122)
7 Bob Cronin (104) 1-0    Clive Le Baigue (118)

David Faldon writes:

This was a most unexpected win that gets our Millar Cup season off to the best of all possible starts! Our prospects looked bleak at 7.30pm when Margate turned up with a very strong team boosted by two promising young off-season signings from Woodnesborough: Dennis Stokes-Carter and David Rogers. Our prospects looked even bleaker by 8.30pm. Reg (board 5) had already resigned and Bob P (board 2) was a piece down. Around 9pm things took a turn for the worse. I lost a pawn for less than nothing (on board 1) and Paul (board 3) was under serious pressure. Our other three boards were doing OK but, given that their opponents were much higher graded, a 0-7 loss was a clear possibility. The next hour or so passed in a bit of a blur for me as I struggled hard not to lose without putting up a fight, but then Bob C (board 7) had won with black and there were signs of hope. Bob P (board 2) resigned a few minutes later to leave us 1-2 down, but then came a huge switch of fortune. My young opponent on board 1 suddenly spoilt what would have been a well-played victory for him with one awful move and the match was level. 2-2 then became 3-2 for us when Paul (board 3) turned the tables on his opponent too and then 3-2 became 4-2 when Andy (board 6) finished off with a clever attack in a tricky ending. We had won. As it no longer mattered to the result of the match, John’s game on board 4 was then agreed drawn, but, rather than being an anti-climax, this could well have been the best game of the match. John kept the pressure on his strong opponent all the way through and certainly deserved his draw. Hopefully we can all check out John’s game (as well as Paul’s and Andy’s and Bob C’s) on an upcoming “game of the week”. Such a spectacular match victory certainly deserves more than one game of the week.

                                           Broadstairs  2½         Margate  1½ 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½    John Clarke (104)
2 Bob Cronin (104) 1-0    Leon Garfield (100)
3 Michael Doyle (81) 1-0    Roy McAloney (83)
4 Michael Jenkinson (80) 0-1    James Maskell (74)

Reg Pidduck writes:

BOARD 4.   STEADY JAMES .  James Maskell was first to finish with a solid performance against our higher graded Michael Jenkinson. 1-0 down

BOARD 3. A CAPTAIN’S INNINGS. Our new Walker captain started with a win. Michael takes up the story. “Being unfamiliar with the Scandinavian Defence as I was, I still gained a rook for nothing but in doing so got my Queen trapped. Finally escaping, I won with a Bishop and Knight threatening mate. 1-1

BOARD 1. SECOND TIME IN A WEEK. John Clarke and I had also played each other on Monday in the Hargreaves Shield but I could not repeat my win this time as John kept me at bay from my better position. Down to a rook and three pawns each, the game was decided a draw. 1.5-1.5

BOARD 2. YET AGAIN BOB. Our Bob Cronin always seems to come up with the goods in our close matches. Going into the endgame, he was a Knight up but still had a determined Leon to contend with. He finally got a passed pawn and won the game and the match for Broadstairs. 2.5- 1.5

A first win for our new captain and I hope there are many more.

                                                Broadstairs  3         Margate  1 

1 Bob Page (135) 1-0    Colin Gregory (122)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 1-0    Clive Le Baigue (118)
3 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0    John Clarke (104)
4 Andy Flood (106) 0-1    Leon Garfield (100)

Bob Page writes:

This was our first win of the new campaign and a fairly comfortable one, too. Margate arrived fresh from a 4-0 victory over Folkestone but they were outgraded on every board in this match and it did not take long for the home team to get into their stride. First to finish was Paul on board 2. Keen to atone for his defeat last week, he took the game to Clive in typical Carfrae fashion and as pieces flew off the board, Black had no answer and resigned after 17 moves.  Reg was also soon on top against John and won a piece early on, converting it to a straightforward win soon after. The other two games took a little longer. On board 1 Colin unnecessarily gave away a central pawn and then another. He held on for 57 moves but the result was never really in doubt. 3-0 to Broadstairs and it looked like being a whitewash as Andy was two pawns ahead in the battle of the southpaws on board 4. One mistake was all it took, however: one minute his bishop was on the board and then it was gone! Andy fought on but the game was Leon’s and the match finally finished at about 10.30. So a win and a draw from the first two matches and suddenly the Bridge result last week does not seem too disappointing.

                                            Broadstairs  2         Bridge  2 

1 Bob Page (135) 1-0    Bill Tracey (125)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    Tim Spencer (121)
3 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1     Peter Blundell (120)
4 Andy Flood (106) 1-0     Graeme Boxall (99)

Andy Flood writes:

Following the closest possible finish last year, a strong Broadstairs Hargreaves team began their 2017/18 campaign against a strong and stable Bridge team. With Reg on board 3 substituting for John Couzens who was on holiday again, there were a few changes to the team order. Bob Page returned on board 1 after a couple of years’ sabbatical from Hargreaves Shield duties and Paul Carfrae also returned on board 2 with Andrew Flood on board 4. Bob got off to a flying start on 1, winning in no time at all, to the extent that he was able to sample the delights of the local ale house, watch the football, and still get back in plenty of time to see the other games finish. On board 4 Graeme Boxall had the slight edge early on with White but some solid counter play by Andy saw him beating Graeme by queening his extra pawn in a K + P endgame.

At 2–0 up all was looking good for Broadstairs to secure maximum points by getting something from one of the remaining boards but whilst draws were offered, none was accepted with Bridge determined to play on and get a result. After three hours Paul found that his opponent had trapped one of his pieces and with the exchange down Paul’s position quickly crumbled and the game was over by 10.30 so all was on the last game. The match was close but Reg’s position was slightly weaker than Peter Blundell’s (his higher graded opponent) and Reg had little time left on the clock for his remaining moves. With Peter playing strongly, it was close to 11.00 when the game ended with Reg losing on time in a lost position, and so the match ended 2 – 2. A solid enough start to the season with some well fought games of chess played.