U180 NCCU Championship – Lancashire vs Yorkshire

Daniel Sullivan - Yorkshire's Captain

Daniel Sullivan – Yorkshire’s Captain

A depleted Yorkshire side travelled to Heywood to take on Lancashire, who were looking for revenge after two defeats last season. A clash with the 4NCL and a number of YCA matches and congresses in this part of the calendar meant that we were out graded on every board bar one. I didn’t see much of the match for the first couple of hours as I had quite a few problems to solve on the black side of a King’s Indian….lack of counterplay and an opponent who seemed to avoid every trick that I could think of to create some. However, I was relieved to make it to an endgame where my opponent had no realistic winning chances. I didn’t have any and accepted his draw offer.

By this stage Eric, on bottom board, had already lost. He was heavily outgraded and his opponent eventually broke through. Nic had lost as well. His opponent played an unusual knight move in the opening and continued moving quickly until Nic blundered. Things weren’t looking good on the other boards too as we were material down in many of them. Barry ended up in an endgame a pawn down with a knight against a strong bishop. He defended well and actually got a draw thanks to a stalemate idea against an opponent over 40 points higher than him. Next to him Tom was a pawn down early on and soon two pawns down. He was actually the last game to finish as he kept on defending and making life hard for his opponent. Gary had a wild attacking game. He sacrificed a piece but didn’t have quite enough fire power to break through.

Phil Watson and Martyn Hamer might be teammates for Calderdale, but they were in opposing County teams!

Phil Watson and Martyn Hamer might be teammates for Calderdale, but they were in opposing County teams!


Andrew drew. He had a passive position but his opponent wasn’t able to break through. Mike had a difficult position from the opening and found it hard to develop his pieces. He ended up a pawn down and then blundered material. Chris also seemed to be struggling a pawn down for a while, but later had the edge with a useful passed pawn before a draw was agreed. Finally, special mention to our two winners. Phil played a really nice game which featured a nice exchange sacrifice just before the time control. He picked up a fair few pawns and soon won the exchange back leaving him two pawns up in the endgame. Harry also played really well. In a queenless middlegame both kings were under fire with various discovered attacks. Harry didn’t have much time left but made it to an endgame with rook and bishop versus rook which he proceeded to win.

Final score 4 – 8. Not the result we wanted, but considering their grading advantage I think this was a good result for us and I hope we will be stronger in the knock out stages. Quarter finals day is 18th May….make a note in your diary please!

Report by Daniel Sullivan

Lancashire U180 8 – 4 Yorkshire U180
Paul Timson (179) ½ – ½ Daniel Sullivan (178)
Martyn Hamer (177) 0 – 1 Harry Li (178)
Roy Ellames (174) 0 – 1 Phil Watson (164)
Oleg Cukovs (174) ½ – ½ Chris Wright (168)
John Cooper (173) 1 – 0 Mike Bramson (166)
Robert K Taylor (172) 1 – 0 Randy Donohue (171)
John Lyth (170) ½ – ½ Andrew Hards (161)
Michael Parker (169) 1 – 0 Gary Corcoran (166)
Simon Woodcock (166) 1 – 0 Nic Mahoney (154)
Andrew Clarkson (163) 1 – 0 Tom Wills (138)
Richard Collins (162) ½ – ½ Barry Williams (120)
Paul Jackson (162) 1 – 0 Eric McKenna (106)


Features editor for the Yorkshire Chess website. I collate and write atricles about all the latest chess activities in Yorkshire and beyond. I've also been known to shove some pieces myself from time to time!

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