The County Under 160 team faced Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire at the Turner Hall in Newmarket today. Finding a team of 16 had proved very difficult, with no fewer than 36 potential players being contacted. The eventual team was considerably lower-graded than usual.
The morning match was against Cambridgeshire, who outgraded Suffolk on every board! But there were some excellent performances from some of our so-called ‘weaker’ players, with draws on the bottom four boards. With just one game (mine) remaining, Cambridgeshire led 8 – 7, but my opponent eventually gave up the struggle when three pawns down. This drawn match is Cambridgeshire’s only flaw this season, having won all the other three matches they have played (they beat Norfolk 9 – 7 in the afternoon). They head the league table with seven points. Herts have 5, Suffolk 3 and Norfolk 1 point.
In the afternoon, Hertfordshire also outgraded us, this time on boards 3 to 16. Unfortunately, Suffolk lost (again), having lost to them back in December. The score this time was a convincing 5½-10½.
Stephen Lewis (Board 4) won both games, whilst Alan Watkins (Board 1) and John Barratt (Board 13) scored 1½ points. Six other players scored one point.
John Lambert won an entertaining sacrificial game against Hertfordshire’s Michael Flatt, reproduced below: