This year’s club championship was a closely fought affair since 4 players went into the last round with scores of 3/4 and chances to win the event outright.
The game between Rob Halse and Ken Smith was eventually drawn after Ken’s Sicilian Defence produced an interesting middle-game which saw Rob win a pawn but Ken still had some counter-play in a complicated position. The advantage passed back and forth a number of times but the game eventually fizzled out into a draw which both players had earned but which, given the tournament situation, neither player really wanted!
This left the game Christian Westrap vs Adam Ursell as a tournament decider, with victory for either player resulting in outright victory in the tournament. Adam played the Budapest Gambit as black and the position became very complicated with Christian winning a second pawn but Adam launching a dangerous attack. The game was very tough and closely fought but, in the end, Christian consolidated his material advantage in a Bishop endgame and became club champion!
The handicap trophy was won by Derek Chaffey who scored the highest number of points relative to his grade. After the trophy was awarded, Derek described himself as ‘very lucky’, but of course there isn’t really any luck in tournament standings and the award was well deserved since Derek outperformed a number of players whose grading was much higher than his own.
Well done to Christian and Derek and to everyone else who played in what was an enjoyable and closely fought event!