Highcliffe are the Knockout Cup Winners!
Highcliffe are the new B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup winners after a 4 – 2 win over Weymouth. The final was staged at Merley Sports Club on 20th October after Weymouth, the home team, graciously agreed to hold the final on a neutral venue to help with travelling distance for the Highcliffe team.
The handicap system meant that a 2.5 – 3.5 loss would be enough for Highcliffe to triumph and, eventually, we exceeded this by 1.5 points in a fine team performance.
Weymouth got off to the perfect start with a quick win on board 2 when Bruce went uncharacteristically wrong early in the opening. Highcliffe then levelled the score when Dan Ursell scored an excellent win on board 6 against a much higher rated opponent. To be fair to his opponent, Dan is very under-rated at the moment with a start-up rating of 1008!
For the next half hour or so the match hung in the balance – Adam was a piece down for some compensation on board 3, Rob was under pressure but battling hard on board 4 and boards 1 and 5 looked about even.
The match then swung decisively in our favour when Rob’s opponent, perhaps misunderstanding the time control, failed to make a move in the required time and had to forfeit the game. Rob had already dealt with the pressure but a win must have come as a surprise, nevertheless. A real shame for Weymouth as this left us just 0.5 points short of our target. An agreed draw in a level endgame on board 1 and a blunder from Richard’s opponent on board 5 meant that we were comfortably over the line. on board 3 Adam had taken full advantage of his compensation and certainly was not worse when the draw was agreed to make the final score 4 – 2 to Highcliffe!
Club Swiss Under Way!
The 2021/2 Club Swiss Championship has begun with the draw being made for the first 2 rounds. Former champion Richard Ursell has made a strong start by winning both his games, including the following ding-dong battle with Andy Manson. Notes by Christian Westrap.
Highcliffe beat Wimborne in Cup Semi-Final as OTB Chess Returns!
Over the board chess returned to Greystones last Monday as Highcliffe beat Wimborne 4.5 – 1.5 in the semi-final of the Knockout Cup. The match began evenly with draws on board 4 & 6 before Highcliffe struck with wins on boards 3 and 5 from Adam and Richard Ursell. A draw was agreed on board 1 to seal the match for Highcliffe before Bruce Jenks finished the match and give Highcliffe a convincing victory. The match result is given below.
Board 1: Christian Westrap (B) 0.5 – 0.5 Ian Clark
Board 2: Bruce Jenks 1.0 – 0.0 Steve Culleton
Board 3: Adam Ursell 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Wilcock
Board 4: Robert Halse 0.5 – 0.5 Graham Hillman
Board 5: Richard Ursell 1.0 – 0.0 John Bowley
Board 6: Dan Ursell 0.5 – 0.5 Alan Tyler
Highcliffe progress to the final where they face Weymouth. The match will take place on 20th October at Merley Sports Club.
Club AGM Takes Place Ahead of the New Season.
September 13th saw the club’s AGM. The meeting was poorly attended amid concerns over COVID and playing conditions for the new season. We agreed that Highcliffe will enter 3 teams into the Bournemouth League this season but no teams into the Bacchus League. Trophies were awarded for the season that was finished before the break. The club Swiss and best game prize were both awarded to Christian Westrap – pictured below.
The best game prize was awarded for the following game, played in the Bournemouth league. White plays the opening well to neutralise black’s queenside pressure and then breaks through in the centre. A king side attack then concludes the game.