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John Ripley Cup Semi-Final 2019

 

 

 

Atticus

 

 3½

 4

Skelmersdale

+1½

1

b

S Kee

195

 1

 0

S Melia

168

2

w

T Bimpson

172

 1

 0

M McGreal

157

3

b

D Stuttard

153

 0

 1

D Stansfield

134

4

w

M Williams

131

 1

 0

P Massey

118

5

b

J Wiseman

117

 0

 1

B Melia

112

6

w

S Burge

120

½

½

A Quickfall

ug

 

This year's John Ripley Cup semi-final saw Atticus paired with Skelmersdale from Division 2, a team renowned for their fighting spirit. True, we outgraded them on every board, but given they started with a +1½ handicap, we knew that tonight we were in for a battle!

Straight from the off, our 'attackers' on boards 3, 5 and 6 had their opponents' kings in their sights, grabbing dangerous positions and Skelmersdale's handicap cushion looked to be most shaky. The positions on the other boards were quieter, and seemed positionally fairly even.

Then, after a couple of hours play, catastrophe struck as first Dave, then Jim, saw their excellent positions left in ruins as they both dropped pieces, and this gave Skelmersdale a 3½ – 0 lead – we had to win all the remaining four boards to snatch victory! However, this was not so far-fetched, as at various stages, the positions on all four looked very promising.

First, Tom forced checkmate, then my opponent's flag fell as I looked like I was about to do the same. Mike's position had by now gone from good, to really bad, to fantastic, but Steve's position had also changed, devolving from winning to dead-drawn, and that, indeed, was how the Atticus 'cookie crumbled'.

So, an excellent and hard-fought match, and a great performance by Skelmersdale to defeat Atticus, who had won the cup in the last two seasons, and we wish them well for the final!

 

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