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!