Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2010-11 Review : Somerset Divison 2 East

The first in a short series of posts looking back at the recently completed season.

The Somerset County Chess Association website now lists Frome as Division 2 East champions for 2010-11. Therefore Frome win the Charles Marsh trophy back from Trowbridge. In recent years these two teams have dominated the division and their 6 board matches are hotly contested.

2002-3Trowbridge B
2003-4Norton Radstock
2008-9FromeOn tie-break with Trowbridge

A full list of the trophy holders can be found here.

Somerset Division 2 East 2010-11

Norton Radstock20413½22½4

Note that although the SCCA site incorrectly shows Frome scoring 10 points, the true results (with individual player records) can be found here.

A key match this season was Trowbridge's home fixture against Frome. This turned out to be the only drawn result in the division.

Rothwell, Derek0-1Purry, Chris
Hibbitt, Arthur1-0Jepps, Gerry
Weston, David0-1Leonard, Mark
Woodward, Tim1-0Paine, Kevin
Davis, Adrian1-0Berryman, Geoff
Ransom, Anthony0-1Fisher, John

The outcome on board 1 was unexpected... Derek had started the season brightly;drawing the occasional game but only losing to Sven Zeidler (204). However his last five games of 2011 were all losses. Conversely, Frome's strongest player Chris Purry had an uncharacteristically poor start taking only 2 draws from his first 10 games. This was his only win in Division 2 all year.

On board 2 Arthur faced the combative Gerry Jepps who essayed a From's Gambit. Unforunately for Gerry he played the same sub-standard move that I had erroneously used against Arthur exactly one week previously! Gerry held out longer than I had managed, but the loss seemed almost inevitable.

On board 3 I found a nice tactic winning a piece and eventually swapped off enough material to force a win in the endgame. This gave me a 7th straight win against Dave Weston. The remaining boards were true to form, with team captain Kevin unable to match a Tim Woodward flushed with victory (and following 4 straight wins) at Blackpool Congress.

Team Bath N / Radstock Frome TrowbridgeHome Pts
Frome 4 - 2 3½ - 2½
4 - 26
Trowbridge3½ - 2½5½ - ½ 3 - 35
Bath4½ - 1½3½ -2½1½ - 4½4
Radstock4 - 21 - 54 - 24
Away Pts 0032

The table above illustrates how much of an advantage the home team enjoys, with 9 out of 12 fixtures lost by the visiting side. For example, Trowbridge were able to defeat Norton Radstock by 5 points at home. However what was arguably a stronger team away to a weakened Radstock side subsequently lost 4-2 in a remarkable reversal.

Player Results

Glastonbury player Roger Fenton has compiled a list of Somerset team results, with player breakdowns. I will highlight the top performers in Division 2 East below.


Frome performed very well on the lower boards as shown in the following table:

12-2-23Chris (+1=2-2) + Gerry Jepps (+1=0-0)
42-1-3Geoff/Kevin/John F
53-2-14John F/Geoff/Gerry U/Mike
65-0-15Gerry U/John F/John N/Mike/Rhys

Arguably the best showing came from boards 5 and 6 player and Club Secretary Gerry Udell with a 100% record and a 142 ECF performance. I expect to see a significant increase in Gerry's grade this year. Also impressive was the undefeated John Fisher who was not out of his depth even when promoted to board 4. I believe that these two players made the difference to the Frome squad. Match results can easily turn on the outcome of the bottom board. Yours truly was unbeaten with a 160 performance. Gerry Jepps was surprisingly defeated by Trowbridge members in both the Home and Away fixtures.


11-2-32Derek + David Weston (with 2 draws)
23-2-14Tim/Arthur/David W

Backbone of the Trowbridge team was undoubtedly Tim Woodward. Tim appeared in every match, covering boards 2 to 4 (playing behind the higher graded Derek and/or David Weston and also Arthur in the second half of the season). Tim produced 5 wins, including one against the formidable Gerry Jepps in a lost Away match.

Another notable player was Nigel Crucefix on board 5 or 6 who performed 30 points above his current ECF grade. His one loss was to the in-form John Fisher of Frome. Roy Ludlow also scored well on boards 4 and 5, doing the double on Bath's John Leon.


Bath's star player had to be Ron Gregory on board 1, with 3 wins and a 199 performance. Ron beat both Derek and Chris Purry.

Norton Radstock

Board 1 player Paul Humphreys put in a very solid 166 performance. Last year he scored W1-D2-L3 drawing with Chris Purry. This year he won 3 and lost 2, beating Chris and Derek in the process.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Frome Major Rd 3 : Weston vs Price