The finals of the 2006/7 English Chess Federation County Championships took place last weekend, with two Surrey teams competing in the Open and Under 175 sections. Traffic jams on the M40 rather affected the Surrey turnout - with one car arriving around tea-time, another breaking down so badly its occupants were left stranded in Warwick overnight - the net result being two defaults for each team. Still, battle hard the depleted teams did - with the Open team going down 10-6 to Lancashire, and the U175s pipped narrowly 8½-7½ by Middlesex.
Three Streatham and Brixton Chess Club players took part on the day. Robin Haldane scored a win for Surrey on Board 2 of the U175 team, whilst Antony Hall was representing Hertfordshire on Board 1 in the U150 Final - where he was on the better side of a draw, but saw his team lose by 8½-7½ to Lancashire. Steve Ledger meanwhile was on the winning team as Bedfordshire beat Norfolk by 8½-7½ in the Minor Counties competition. You can find the rest of the results in the ECF Report.
In brighter news for Surrey and Streathamites, the Middlesex Individual Summer Tournament 2007 (MIST) finished on Tuesday night. I finished joint second alongside Peter Ackley on 4½/6, whilst the tournament was won outright by Robin Haldane on 5/6. Here are our contrasting games from round 4 of the competition. Each feature a pawn sacrifice - but in a very different chess style...
The second game is one of the most exciting I've ever played through.
That's the trouble with that kind of positional win. They're compelling and absorbing when you're playing them yourself, but don't work as a spectacle!
For the record, I just noticed I spelt my opponent's name wrong. He in fact was Bill Osborne.
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