Nigel Carpino (B) (1777) 0 v. Jonathan Nelson (7062) 1
Andy Lee (1430) 0 v. Chris Shephard (1603) 1
Peter Hulse (3019) ½ v. Andrew Hards (2268) ½
Dave Toft (3049) 0 v. Geoff Frost (1297) 1
Jon Sparkes (7388)½ v. Arjun Babu (3714) ½
Steve Moon (1489) ½ v. Henry Withington (3414) ½
Bill Ward (2738) 0 v. Steve Withington (3293) 1
Brendan Ashmore (3963) 0 v. Peter Morton (4323) 1

As usual numbers don’t tell the entire story:

I calculate that we were out-graded by a total of 187 points. I and Bill had two of the easiest games. We were out-graded by only 14 and 11 respectively. Andy and Nigel, on the other hand, were coping with gaps of 36 and 49.

Around 9 o’clock it looked as though it wasn’t going to matter: all Woodseats positions were tenable, if not favourable. Board 3 had ended in a draw after I tried a flashy knight offer which was immediately returned. Turns out it was totally unsound!

Everybody else seemed to be playing much more soundly. I think I used up our slice of luck because matters turned against us in the second hour.

Nigel defended long and hard but he just got ground down by Jonathan’s constant probing. Chris Shephard kept nicking Andy’s pawns. There must be a rule against that. Dave, I think, played the best of all of us, until he got short of time and made a finger slip upon which his opponent duly pounced. All results were possible in Jon’s game throughout but he defended a difficult endgame when the clocks were running down. Steve didn’t have enough time to play for a win but it had been a tricky game. Bill had a very good and dominant knight on e4 but I think both he and the knight got tired during the latter part of the evening. More cups of tea required, I think, with five sugars!

The B team captain played his favourite Morra Gambit against the Sicilian. There were possible sacrificial chances but gradually the game swung round in Black’s favour.

Well, nobody ever said that chess was an easy game!

Peter Hulse