On Wednesday 29th April, our 3rd team playing in the Fuller Cup had a semi final match at home against a strong Snodland side who came runners up in their section of the Fuller Cup.
After a very hard fought match, Sidcup won the match 3 games to 1.
Snodland had a very strong side with the team grading just below the limit of 440 at 439 so they were stronger on 3 of the 4 boards. The evening started with Keith losing the toss and Rob Thompson (no relation) the Snodland Captain playing on board 1 electing to play white on boards 1 & 3.
The first to finish was Keith Thompson (93) playing white against his namesake Matt Thompson (60) (again, no relation) forcing black to resign on move 42 when Keith had mating attack which Matt could not escape.
The next match to finish was Sarah (93) playing against Hugh Broadbent (her father) (117). The game was very hard fought and Sarah had her chances but finally Sarah’s father finally managed to win the day. At one stage during the match, Hugh asked his team mates if a draw was going to be good enough but their matches were still going on and they could not say.
Hugh had the first good chance on move 36 when Sarah played an incorrect queen move and gave Hugh good chances to win from the position. Then 3 moves later she grabbed a pawn that could not be taken and the position was even again. I think here it could have been an easy draw for both players if they kept checking their respective kings but Hugh (I think) went for the win. He moved his king up to assist his queen and made a mistake on move 39 so chances were equal again. On move 43, Sarah had a slight advantage and a further mistake 2 moves later by her father gave Sarah a winning advantage. On move 47, she missed her chance to move her e pawn to a square nearer promotion and the position was equal again. Then, on move 48, she gave her father the winning advantage which he took and Sarah resigned a move later.
While Sarah was in her struggles, Bob and Lee were having there own gigantic problems.
Lee (117) playing white against David Lettington (129) missed a chance to take an advantage on move 27. David tempted Lee to take his knight playing Nxd5 but Lee could not take this as then the sequence would be Rxd5 Rxd5 pxd5 Rxc2. Lee saw this a played Bxh7 but a pawn move to f4 attacking his rook would have given David something to think about and given Lee an advantage. After this, the position for the next 10 moves was very equal and David was the one to crack making an incorrect king move on move 37. Lee took advantage and went on to promote his d pawn to a queen whereupon David resigned.
Bob (125) playing black on board 1 against Rob Thompson (137), was the last to finish after playing over 100 moves in an epic battle. Rob had a slight advantage and because it is sometimes a struggle for black to reach equal terms, Bob had to play 39 moves before white gave him any chances whatsoever. Then white played the incorrect Qe3 and gave Bob the advantage but at move 40 missed Nxe6 and the position was equal until move 47 when white again played an incorrect queen move. This gave Bob the advantage again who then played an incorrect RXR move on move 52 leaving the position was equal again for the next 34 moves. The duel and finally came to an end on move 86.
Rob made the final queen mistake to give Bob a winning game and mated Rob on move 101 to send us through to the final where we play Weald of Kent. They topped the Mid Kent division and found that Gravesend defaulted in their semi final.
So, it looks as though it will be another epic struggle next Sunday .
(Photos courtesy of Brendan O’Gorman)