On Monday 27th September we saw the welcome return to competitive ‘over the board’ chess in the local area for the first time in over 18 months with the semi-final of the delayed 2020 B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup semi-final match between Highcliffe and Wimborne which was played at Greystones. This is probably the longest postponement in local chess history!
It was great to see so many smiling faces and plenty of friendly banter which has been missed by so many of us during the intervening period. However, once the clocks were started at 7.30pm prompt (remember those days!) it was down to the serious stuff and the fierce team battle commenced!
The handicap rules for this cup competition means that a team with a lower average strength (in rating terms) can sometimes afford to lose yet still win the match! However, in this match, both teams were evenly matched as their average ratings were almost identical. This was mainly thanks to Highcliffe’s lowly and probably under rated bottom board! This meant there was no rating handicap and it was down to one team to win the match. If tied, the ‘dreaded’ tie breaker (equivalent to the penalty shootout!) would then kick in.
It was a tentative start with draws on boards 4 and 6, but then Highcliffe shifted up a gear to win the match comfortably 4.5 – 1.5 with good wins from Adam Ursell, team captain, Richard Ursell and then Bruce Jenks.
Match Scoresheet which has been updated to reflect the ECF’s new rating system!
A full match report provided by the winning captain, Richard Ursell, can be found on LMS here …
Here is the top board encounter which was the penultimate match to finish with informative analysis and excellent notes by Christian Westrap.
Well done to both teams for providing a successful return to OTB chess and an enjoyable friendly evening of chess which was the main priority after such a long break. We look forward to many more other competitive matches this season including Highcliffe’s match versus Weymouth in the Cup Final!
Martin Simons – B&DCL Team Handicap Knockout Cup Controller – 29th September 2021