Tynedale Tans 4-1 Durham City
Andy Lawson 1-0 Thomas Eggleston
Dave Weldon ½-½ Ken Neat
David Wrigley 1-0 George Gazis
Peter Crichton ½-½ Paul Robson
Derek Blair 1-0 Richard Putnam
The Tans start with a bang, beating the reigning Champions!
The Reivers’ first match of the season was played at home on Tuesday October 7th, against Tynemouth D. The line-up was
1. Derek Blair (135) v Richard Oxnard (138)
2. Phil Taylor (115) v Dennis White (125)
3. Steve Larkin (107) v Dennis Beagarie (121)
4. Dave Foster jr (84) v Bob Batten (113)
5. Peter Booker (77) v Peter Combellack (86)
First to finish was Dave, who writes of his game: “I played the Polish orang-utan, which Bob was unfamiliar with. My game went OK until I left a weak pawn on the c file , which cost me the game. He heavily attacked my queenside with his queen and bishop and it was over in an instant – I resigned” (on move 15). 0-1
Next came Phil, who writes: “My usual QP opening led to a very locked up position with rooks and opposite coloured bishops and pawns providing an almost impenetrable barrier on both sides. The lack of knights didn’t help the position and, although there was the best part of 45 minutes on each of our clocks, I offered the draw and Dennis accepted. I think we were both happy to get the draw in our first game of the new season. My king was less protected than I liked and I had 3 sets of doubled pawns, so I’m not sure I could have pulled off a victory.” 0.5-1.5
On board 5 Peter B. had what looked like a close tussle, from which he eventually emerged victorious – nice to see him beating a higher graded player – and we were back on level terms. 1.5-1.5
Steve went rook for knight down after an oversight on move 16 and thereafter was on the back foot. However a bishop and a particularly active knight kept him in the game and Dennis offered the draw when he had just three and a half minutes on his clock to Steve’s nine and a half. Steve accepted the offer – there was no way he was going to win over the board – though events on board 1 gave him pause for thought afterwards. 2-2
For the second time in 8 days Derek lost on time to Richard, though on this occasion Derek had overwhelming superiority on the board when his time ran out. Given that Richard had no possibility of winning over the board and that he himself had less than 2 minutes left, one might have thought that an offer of a draw was in order, but no such offer was made and so Tynemouth won the match 3-2. Hmm!
This result raises an issue which the Reivers may like to address before they play any further league games, namely where a win on the clock is achievable, should we play on for that regardless of the position on the board?
This match was played at Tynemouth (our fourth consecutive away match in this competition!) on Tuesday September 30th. The line-up was as follows:
1. Richard Oxnard (135) v Derek Blair (141)
2. Phil Jackson (124) v Jeremy Handley (137)
3. Dennis White (120) v Steve Larkin (125)
4. Bob Batten (115) v Phil Taylor (125)
With Tynemouth a Minor side and Tynedale an intermediate one, Tynemouth enjoyed a 1.5 handicap advantage, so Tynedale would have to win 3-1 over the board to take the match. Anything less would mean defeat.
The first game to finish was board 4, which was the most curious game of the evening. Bob arrived 10 minutes late and proceeded to set about Phil in serious fashion, building a very strong kingside attack and going four pawns up in the process! However he failed to find the critical move which would have sunk Phil and the game turned into an endgame with Bob’s bishop, rook and 8 pawns against Phil’s bishop, rook and 4 pawns. At which point Phil won on time! Contributing to this state of affairs was the fact that Bob’s clock had been set to a different time from Phil’s, though there was no denying that he had used up his time. So Tynedale went ahead 0-1.
Next up was board 2, where Jeremy was two pawns to a bishop down. However, he had two passed pawns on the queenside and Phil’s pieces were unable to stop their progress. One of the pawns duly queened and point number 2 was in the bag! 0-2
On board 3, Steve made very heavy weather of dealing with Dennis’s French Defence and eventually emerged 2 pawns down. However, he managed to claw his way back to equality and with both players having less than 5 minutes on their clocks and the position dead level, Dennis accepted Steve’s offer of a draw. 0.5-2.5
Which left the outcome of the match hanging on the top board, where Derek had played a queen’s pawn opening, opted not to castle and spent a lot of time moving his king around. Towards the end of the game, with a lot still to play for, he got into difficulty time-wise and was losing material when his clock finally fell. 1.5-2.5
So Tynedale, needing 3 points to win the match, failed by the narrowest of margins … or did they? A phonecall from Dennis White the following morning revealed that he had made a mistake and the Tynemouth side were not a minor team after all but an intermediate team. Since Tynedale were also an intermediate team, it meant that the result of the match had to be decided purely over the board. In consequence Tynedale, from being the losers by the narrowest of margins (3-2.5), became the winners by the narrowest of margins (1.5-2.5) and, for the first time since the writer of this article has been involved with the club, won a Northumberland title – the 2014 Summer KO Plate winners! Hooray!