YP Article 35 – 11th June 2016

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Yorkshire’s Open County team faced Kent in the quarter-finals of the ECF County Championships. Kent have been frequent adversaries in recent years with Yorkshire having the upper hand in both last year’s final and the 2014 semi-final. This year Yorkshire were substantially below full strength and this promised a tight encounter.

Yorkshire established an early lead thanks to wins by YCA President Jim Burnett and captain Mark Birkin, but the tide was quickly to turn in Kent’s favour. They secured a couple of wins in complex positions and Andrew Mayhew won a fine endgame on board 3 which left the match finely poised at 6-6 with four games to go and no obvious advantage for Yorkshire in the remaining games.

In such testing circumstances, the remaining players showed the mettle of champions. IM Richard Palliser’s win was huge after forcing a rapid breakthrough in a major piece ending which was evidently less docile than it appeared. Further wins by Kieran O’Driscoll and debutant Gavyn Cooper gave Yorkshire a 9.5-6.5 victory. They are playing their semi-final match against Surrey today.

The Winning Move

Grant – Ackley, Warwick 2014. How did White score a quick win for Yorkshire in the 2014 final? Last week: 21…Nc3! 22.bxc3 Qxc5 (White’s king is fatally exposed) 23.Rd4 Bxc4 24.Rxc4 Qxa3+ 25.Kd2 Qa2+ 26.Kd3 Rd8+ 27.Rd4 c5! won decisive material.

Grant – Ackley, Warwick 2014. How did White score a quick win for Yorkshire in the 2014 final?
Last week: 21…Nc3! 22.bxc3 Qxc5 (White’s king is fatally exposed) 23.Rd4 Bxc4 24.Rxc4 Qxa3+ 25.Kd2 Qa2+ 26.Kd3 Rd8+ 27.Rd4 c5! won decisive material.