Open Cumbria chess championships

This event was held on Feb 27th, 28th and March 1st at Eamont Bridge and two club members took part. In the Major (under 150) Peter Crichton was 9th highest graded of the 18 entries, while Steve Larkin was third highest graded of the 8 entries in the Minor (under 125).

Peter took a bye in round 1, then defeated Dave McMath (Penrith 147) in round 2 after Dave had earlier declined Peter’s offer of a draw! In round 3 he defeated M Gawne (Barrow 143) who went astray in the opening. So at the end of day 2 Peter shared the lead with one other. In round 4 he drew with G. Horne (Barrow 148) and shared the lead with 3 other players. In the final round all four players on 3 were in action against each other. Peter drew with F. Whalley (Barrow 145) to finish second equal with Whalley, a fine performance given that 8 players were ranked above him.

In the Minor, Steve faced P. Hanks (Ulverston 67) in round 1 and was looking forward to an early finish. In fact the game lasted 3 hours 20 minutes and went to 69 moves before Steve squeezed a win. Round 2 was another 3 hours 20 minutes affair, this time against Kurt Moreby (Gosforth 121) whom Steve eventually mated on move 44. In round 3 Steve played J. Grave (Penrith 104) and this was the last game of the round to finish, with Grave’s clock falling on move 63 when Steve had a winning position on the board. So at the end of day 2 Steve was on 3/3, one point clear of the field. Round 4 brought an unfortunate administrative slip when Steve was paired with a player who it turned out had requested a bye for that round. The only solution, given that all other players were already 30 minutes into a game, was to give Steve a full point bye, which meant that, with 4/4, he could not be caught, his nearest pursuers being on 2.5/4. In the final round he faced the ungraded Tom Bradfield of Haydon Bridge, returning to chess after a 30 year break. Tom played skilfully from the outset and it was soon clear that Steve was never going to get more than a draw, which he did. So he finished on 4.5/5, one point clear of Moreby and Grave.

And so ended a very successful weekend for the Tynedale duo.

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