25 October 2017
Tonight was the first round of the annual Ellis and Appleby competitions for individuals. Limewood had 9 members taking part.
Because of increased numbers, with 44 entrants in the Appleby alone, the event had to be split between the Rose Forgrove penitentiary at Oakwood for the toffs in the Ellis and Alwoodley for the plebs in the Appleby.
Our sole rep in the Ellis was Paul May. At the time of writing we haven’t heard how he fared, so maybe he is still playing – he does like to make sure the paint is properly dry before he concludes a game. (See Late News)
The other eight of us helped to fill up the lower end of the Appleby listings. Seven faced uphill grade differences ranging from 22 to 53 – a tough assignment. Yet, incredibly, the lads brought back 2 wins and 2 draws.
David Halpin overcame a 53-point deficit to win his game against Stephen Haggas – a fine achievement against the odds. His game can now be played through in our Best Games section: David Halpin v Stephen Haggas.
John Light, with the black pieces, overcame a gap of 32 points to defeat Tom Devlin. We don’t have details of the game but rumour has it that John did a smash and grab raid on Tom’s queen. Light was obviously switched on.
Phil Higgins, new to Limewood this season, scored in his game against Pete Farrell (graded 35 points higher than Phil). Despite being 3 pawns down, in one of the longest games of the evening, Phil was able to mend his defences and was in attacking mode when it was his opponent who asked for a draw, which Phil rather reluctantly accepted. Well done, Phil!
Our other result, a draw, came from Chris Tatham who was the only one of us not playing a higher-graded opponent.
So, 2 wins and 2 draws against severe opposition and against all reasonable expectation. A great performance!
Paul May (148) was pitched against Warren Dennison (171) in the Ellis – so another big hill to climb gradewise. He emerged with a hard-earned draw – which means that more than half our squad of nine took home a result, despite all but one being heavily outgraded.