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SAE - Checkendon Saturday, November 04
Brent Smith writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

A somewhat disappointing turnout for a new venue, but for the 11 entrants, it proved possible to fit in 7 rounds. There were no draws in any of the games although several perhaps should have ended with honours even - it shows how difficult it is to play the end-game accurately - one mistake and a total collapse can quickly follow.

Round 4 proved decisive in deciding the final winner, with Sam Goodwin posting a win over eventual runner-up Aaron Iley. After two joint-first finishes, Sam made sure of a trophy of his own with a comprehensive 7 points from 7 games. Afer the top two players, most of the rest finished in a bunch on 3 or 4 points, with everyone dropping at least one game to others within this middle group.

The under 9 trophy required a blitz playoff which was very tight all the way - both Alfie Hall and Chloe Rogers watched their time carefully, never allowing themselves to fall too far behind their opponent and thus risk becoming rushed. Into the endgame, and Chloe's two active rooks were forcing the pace. Alfie made one blunder, losing one of his own rooks and all looked lost. In the penultimate move of the game Chloe accidently placed a rook en prise, but this was overlooked (easily done at this speed of playing) and she was able to check-mate the next move and claim her second minor trophy.

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