On 22nd February the Harvey Cup team hosted Beckenham and won 4.5-1.5
The team got off to a good start when Gary Sharpe picked up an exchange advantage in an English opening and quickly turned it into a win. Rob Pezet’s game turned into a French Exchange variation and he found a neat rook and knight combination to mate his opponent. Chris Cheeseman had a comfortable win on Board 5 emerging from the opening with a 2 pawn advantage and soon completed the win leaving Sidcup 3-0 up. Ian McAllan on Board 1 played white against a Caro-Kann Defence and although the end game arrived with equal material, Ian’s pawns had a superior formation and he forced home the advantage. Don Chapman played against a much stronger-rated opponent and never recovered from losing a piece early in a Sicilian Dragon Defence. Lee Brockwell tried a Reti opening and the game ended up drawn leaving Sidcup with a 4.5-1.5 win.
With the end of the season now in sight, a draw in our last game against unbeaten Petts Wood would guarantee qualification to the knock out stages.
On Wednesday 15th February the Intro Cup team consolidated its position at the top of the league by defeating Gravesend 3-1. Gravesend were the only team to have beaten us this season.
David Dallakyan accepted a draw offer in a heavy piece ending and Chris Cheeseman also agreed a draw. Janis Elton had more than enough compensation for a lost pawn and mated her opponent. Lee Brockwell’s opponent sacrificed a rook for a strong attack, but Lee defended well to win.
The team has won all three of its matches in 2017.
Sidcup’s 1st team continued their strong run with a 4th straight win in the Stevenson league against Gravesend away.
Wins from Ian McAllan, Tony Packham, Rob Pezet, and David Helps resulted in a 4 – 2 score line to Sidcup.
This leaves us in equal 2nd place, with 2 games to play.
Up next we host the leaders Sevenoaks, and then we finish with Lewisham, the team we are tied with.
So an exciting finish beckons and playing the competing teams leaves our progress entirely in our own hands.
When entering a team in the Stevenson Kent league we always knew it would be a tall order. As even with our strongest available side we would be giving 10 grading points. So, when we were unable to field full strength teams it was no surprise we lost our first 2 games. However, they were narrow losses, which was encouraging.
Since then we have been fortunate to gain Greg Edwards to strengthen the team on board 1, in addition to everybody being available since then.
As a result, we had a good win against Lewisham in our next game. Then faced Dartford at home.
This was a very tight affair in which after 5 draws, this left Tony Packham with the fate of the team in his hands. Fortunately, Tony managed to find a way to win and provide our second victory.
Finally, last Wednesday we hosted Gravesend. After an early draw on board 1 for Greg, we went 1 down after David Helps lost on board 6. This was followed by another loss when Rob Pezet lost on board 4 in a very sharp French defence game, which had everyone guessing who was winning for long periods. This left us 2 down with 3 still playing. However, this was soon put to rights when Gary Sharp won an endgame which looked tricky to win, and Ian McAllan converted a winning position with time tight for both players. So once again we were all level and Tony Packham was left contesting the final game. As usual he didn’t disappoint winning an end game in which material was even, but his active pieces eventually managed to dominate after he showed just the right level of patient play.
This has given us 3 wins in a row and a current standing of Won 3 lost 2.
Next game is Gravesend away.
Lee Brockwell Match Captain