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Scarborough Congress October 2017

Posted by fellman01 on October 28, 2017

This event was, as ever, very well attended, with 60 entries in the Open alone. Tynedale Chess Club’s one representative (one more than at the Northumberland Congress!) was Steve Larkin, who played n the Foundation event, for players graded 120 and under. Of the 86 entries in this section, he was ranked 16th.
His first round game on Friday night (October 20th) was a close match with Allan Buchan (99) from Edinburgh. It came down to a queen and 5 pawns on either side, when Steve, conscious of the 4 rounds still to come, offered a draw which Allan accepted.
Steve’s opponent on Saturday morning was Kevin Randle (95) of Aughton. This was another close match till Steve was able to press home a mating attack. In the afternoon he played David Lowcock (107) of Hartlepool and immediately came under a lot of kingside pressure. He managed to resist this for 3 hours, before a killer knight move he had not spotted led to forced mate or the loss of his queen, at which point Steve resigned.
His opponent on Sunday morning was Jeff Wilson (100) of Oldham, who should have won but who misplayed the ending, allowing Steve to go from a pawn down to a pawn up. The game ended as a forced draw, with the one remaining pawn on the h-file blocked by Jeff’s king on h8.That game lasted three and three quarter hours, and before long it was time for the final round, against Robert Artherton (102) of Skegness. Steve had most of the initiative, but could not make it tell. With the position dead level and fatigue kicking in, he offered a draw which Robert accepted immediately.
So 50% overall for Steve but, given that every one of his opponents was graded lower than he was, he should have done better. However, the old adage – “There’s no such thing as an easy game” – proved true yet again.

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