The current ECF county champions Lancashire were up against old rivals Yorkshire as part of the NCCU qualifiers for the national stages. The match took place at the wonderful Bridge Club in Bury on Sunday 4th March.
Report from John Lyth – team captain.
A clear win for Lancashire in the end, coming from behind after a very bad start.
The match began with a lightening draw by Paul Timson, drawn after just ten minutes’ play in an Exchange Slav Defence. My own game was the first decisive result, in which I was completely out of sorts and played very badly from start to finish. A quick loss thus ensued. Then Martyn Haymer lost fairly quickly too, so we found ourselves two points behind. Thereafter, though, we suffered no further losses and four of the games were won in our favour. Three games particularly caught my attention.
Firstly, Malcolm Peacock gave up the exchange but won two King-side pawns in return. Both King positions looked insecure and Malcolm’s minor pieces at first seemed a little uncoordinated but eventually his two bishops and extra King-side pawns carried the day.
On board two, Paul Macklin played a fine game as Black. His opponent seemed to be aiming for a Samisch King’s Indian but Paul very effectively switched to an Old-Indian set-up, with his bishop on e7 rather than g7. From a seemingly quiet position, Paul quickly opened up of the Queen-side and then the centre and then launched a lightening attack before his opponent had fully completed his development. Despite an exchange of Queens, Paul’s opponent’s King was in some danger and at the end he had to resign facing unavoidable material loss while being under attack from all directions.
Finally, on board one it was a pleasure to welcome back Jeff Horner to represent the County. Jeff played yet another of his trademark games reminiscent of Karpov, grinding out a win from a very modest advantage. Here, Jeff had the very slightly better pawn structure, despite being almost symmetrical, and he had the two bishops. It looked like his opponent could hold but eventually Jeff reached a good bishop v bad bishop ending and his opponent had to lose a pawn because of -Zugswang. A win, then, in which Jeff had less than five minutes remaining wrapped up a 7-5 match win for Lancashire.
NCCU Open - Lancashire v Yorkshire
|1||Horner, Jeff||233||1||0||Lang, Adam R||209|
|2||Macklin, Paul||222||1||0||Hackner, Oskar A||202|
|3||Morrison, Graham||215||0.5||0.5||Walton, Alan J||202|
|4||Mitchell, Martin||213||0.5||0.5||Shaw, Peter||199|
|5||Lund, D Brett||212||0.5||0.5||Gayson, Peter M||198|
|6||Jayawarna, Nugith||196||1||0||Watson, Phil R||197|
|7||Peacock, Malcolm R||189||1||0||Adams, David M||196|
|8||Jowett, Peter E||188||0.5||0.5||Burnett, Jim||191|
|9||Hamer, Martyn||182||0||1||Ackley, Peter JE||189|
|10||Mulleady, Peter J||182||0.5||0.5||Starley, Robert||188|
|11||Timson, Paul||177||0.5||0.5||Arnott, Jonathan W||183|
|12||Lyth, John D||160||0||1||Bak, Christopher||173|