On Wednesday 16th April the Harvey Cup team played Weald of Kent in the semi-final of the Harvey Cup and lost 2.5 – 3.5.
The match started well with Don Chapman winning quickly on material and Ian McAllan mating his opponent early on. Things looked good as we were better in a couple of the other games, but then Chris Cheeseman failed to take his good play to its logical conclusion and dropped a piece which left him no chance. Gary Sharp, who was always worse, lost a rook in time-trouble. If Dave Helps lost we would lose the match, and he had a lost position at the time-control. Meanwhile David Gilbert’s game had fluctuated dramatically. He had had a technically winning position when he blundered a rook, which his opponent failed to win, after which David still had the better of a draw but in trying to win reached a lost position which he drew in time-trouble. This meant that Dave Helps needed to draw the last game to finish to win the on tie-break. After the time control Dave fought back to reach a drawn “opposite bishops” ending, but had left himself four minutes to play it to his opponent’s seven minutes, so he was always likely to lose on time and in fact he lost by blundering in the time-trouble.
Thanks to Alan Hanreck for being the Arbiter for the match.
Dave Helps had a tough season on boards 1 and 2 and showed great resilience. We look forward to the simultaneous exhibition to be given by grandmaster Chris Ward on Wednesday 14th May, which he is arranging.