On Sunday, the Suffolk Under 160 and Under 100 teams played at the Turner Hall in Newmarket. The results were mixed!
The Under 160s, outgraded by an average of nine points per board, performed miracles in the morning against Cambridgeshire, pulling back an 8 – 6 deficit to draw the match. But all the hard work was thrown away in the afternoon, when the same team crashed 3½-12½ to Hertfordshire. Suffolk were still outgraded, but by only five points this time. Suffolk’s star was the reliable Ed Kirkham, who was the only player of the 16 to win both games. The two top boards, John Feavyour and Andrew Shephard, scored 1½ points.
So with just one point out of a possible eight match points, Suffolk’s chances of qualifying for the next round are almost nil (although mathematically possible). Unfortunately, many strong players were unavailable and seven members of the Suffolk team were graded below 140.
At the same time, the Suffolk Under 100s, captained by Felixstowe’s Dave Robertson, were competing against Norfolk. The nine-board team played the same opponents twice, as White and Black.
With the White pieces in the morning, they fell to a 2½-6½ defeat, but playing Black in the afternoon, managed to draw 4½-4½.
The only player to win both games was Stowmarket’s Daniel Yarnton (82). Captain Dave (pictured front left) scored 1½ points.
The final matches for both teams take place on Sunday 16 March.