Open County QF: Yorkshire vs Kent

Open County Championships 2015-16 Quarter Final

Yorkshire have reached the finals of this year’s County Championships which takes place on 2nd July. The semi-final report will be featured shortly

Yorks vs Kent

Yorkshire headed south in search of more cup glory with a team that was substantially below full strength, but pretty serviceable nevertheless. Having defeated Kent in last year’s final and the semi-final in 2014 we expected them to be up for it. Indeed they looked particularly strong at the top, with the tiniest hint of softness in the underbelly. Overall the teams were well-matched for a tight encounter, and so it proved.

Winston and Phil downed tools relatively early, but short draws were very much at a premium. Elsewhere Richard Cowan seemed to be doing okay on his return to the team, but when I looked again it was over and we were one down. Fortunately Yorkshire President Jim Burnett soon squared the match after comfortably repelling White’s speculative piece sacrifice.

Daniel also seemed to be doing rather well for a while, but eventually shared the spoils, as too Martin in a game of which I saw virtually nothing. My own opponent played quickly and inaccurately in the opening. It felt as though it could have been over within 20 moves but I spent too much time making the wrong choices and ended up in some difficulty short of time in a tricky position. Sadly for him, things went badly wrong and Yorkshire had established a narrow lead.

Richard Palliser scored yet another victory for Yorkshire

Richard Palliser scored yet another victory for Yorkshire

Elsewhere, things seemed to be largely under control, until my return from a short walk revealed progress which was somewhat less than mixed. Adam had converted smoothly and Andrew held Neil McDonald without obvious stress, but David had drawn from what seemed a promising situation, Jon had lost a complex game and Matthias got squeezed in a difficult ending. 6-6 with four to play, a substantial edge for Kent on board count, and no obvious advantages for Yorkshire in the remaining games.

In such testing circumstances, the remaining players showed the mettle of champions. Richard Palliser’s win was huge after forcing a rapid breakthrough in a major piece ending which was evidently less docile than it appeared. Once Peter had persuaded the Kent captain that two bishops and an active position were more than enough compensation for a scruffy pawn, the match situation was suddenly transformed – the nervous onlookers convinced themselves that a draw in either of the remaining games would suit our purpose. This would have been more straightforward had one of the scenarios not involved an equal board count as well as a tied match score.

In the circumstances, not all of the crowd were immediately convinced of the wisdom of Gavyn’s queen exchange for R, B and P, but the newcomer was able to deliver the winning point on debut when his adversary quickly crumbled. Kieran was allowed to add some gloss to the victory after another Kentishman went steadily downhill in the ending.

Next up Surrey on June 11th, a repeat of last year’s winning semi-final, but also our betters in their run to the 2013 championship. It promises to be another robust encounter…

Report by Mark Birkin

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4 Responses to “Open County QF: Yorkshire vs Kent”

  1. James Carpenter

    Jun 26. 2016

    Well done to the team on their great victory over Surrey in the semis. And on this one I suppose :).

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jun 27. 2016

      Interesting time lag on this yes :) The final is on Saturday.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Matthew Webb

    Jun 27. 2016

    I do wonder what the team will be for the final :-p

    I am sure it promises to be a very exciting match.

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jul 02. 2016

      Very strong it seems!

      Might have been more exciting if you hadn’t run Eames over quite so dramatically :)

      Reply to this comment

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