We only played our semi-final match two weeks ago and the day after Nick Wilson, our team captain, was organising the team. Unfortunately Mark Hassall couldn’t make it to the final. Knowing that Glastonbury put out a good/great team we weren’t that confident when we turned up at Glastonbury.
In the first round (quarter final) of the Cup we had to travel to yeovil and won 2-6 with 4 draws and 4 wins. Our semi-final match was against an unknown Norton/Radstock team. As Glastonbury is approx. halfway for both team we played at the Glastonbury venue and won 8-0.
Glastonbury on the other hand had a bye in the first round and narrowly won against Sedgmoor 4.5 - 3.5 to progress to the final.
This year’s final was the repeat of last years final. Last year Glastonbury won 4.5 – 3.5 and we were gutted. Not only narrowly miss the Cup win but also looking back through some games we could have won it (my game was won at some stage and Nick just blundered against Megan).
Like I said with Mark missing it was an even more uphill struggle for us. Before the match started Nick ask Terry and me who wants to play on board 1? Terry is unrated but beat me in the Taunton Championships and it looks like he will be higher rated than me next year. Both Terry and I told Nick we don’t mind but I also said that I was expecting playing Rhys with the black pieces.
Overall the teams were evenly matched. Rhys outgraded me by about 15 points but Nick outrated his opponent by about 15 points. Still looking at the score sheet Glastonbury has the slight edge in my opinion.
The first game to finish was Stan’s. With most of the 32 pieces still on the board both players chickened out and agreed a draw after about 1h of play.
Jeremy’s game finish next and he converted a nice attacking game into a full point. Dave Wood played too passively and Jeremy took full advantage.
Nick Wilson finished shortly after Jeremy. In most matches Nick somehow manages to get the white pieces and this match wasn’t any different. In his attacking style he took the bull by the horns and like a matador in a Spanish arena brought the bull down. In other word: Nick’s attacking abilities were too much for his opponent and Dicker couldn’t find a good defence for his King.
Then nothing happened for about 30-45 mins untill Robin brought home another half point. Outrated by about 12 points Robin played very aggressively with the black pieces and even had some material advantage at some point. In the end both players had a pawn passed which weren’t enough for both players to win the game and a draw was eventually agreed.
3-1 lead and 4 games still in progress, Martin was the next who got a full point. Both players were approx. the same rate. Martin with the black pieces played very aggressive as well. But unlike Robin’s opponent Martin’s couldn’t find the right defensive moves and found himself quickly on the back foot. With a few more accurate moves Martin force a win.
With only half a point needed it was Terry’s turn to finish. In a Ruy Lopez opening the position looked even when Terry decided to sacrifice some material for ‘some’ compensation. I am not sure if the sacrifice was sound (my gut feeling says: ‘NO’!!!) but his opponent could find the right moves to take advantage. Shortly after the time control Terry had 3 connected passed pawns and all threads covered. His young opponent had to resign when he was just about to lose a piece.
Seeing my team mates grinning and smiling like there would be no tomorrow I offered a draw and after a short thinking time Rhys accepted the draw offer.
Last game to finish was Dave Littlejohns vs. Nikita Ayvazyan. The boy is only 10 or 11 years but boy can he blitz. With only about 1 minute on the clock for about 18-20 moves he easily made the time control and the game was still in the balance. Shortly after the time control a draw was agreed.
6-2 was an unexpected high win. This result also ment that not a single player lost a game in the three cup rounds. Nick and Terry contributed 3/3, myself and Stan 2,5/3.
Please find below the individual results. My game against Rhys will be online in the next few days.