Mixed Results for South Hams Players in the East Devon Congress
Three South Hams club members entered the East Devon Congress in Exeter on 27th Feb to 1st March 2015. Ken Ashby and Phil McConnell entered the Minor (U125) section, while Cliff Peach - who likes nothing more than grinding out a draw against higher-greaded opponents - entered the Major (U155).
The best performance was by Ken, who recovered from a narrow defeat on the Friday to win two and draw one of his games on the Saturday and Sunday. Ken finished on 2½ points out of 5, with a very respectable grading average of 104.
Phil took a ½ point bye on the Friday evening. With the black pieces he picked up a win and a draw, but on both games with the White pieces he messed up his opening and things went horribly wrong from there. He finished on 2 points with a grading average of 97.
Cliff also took a ½ point bye on the Friday. He had an "enjoyable defeat" on the Saturday morning, but felt quite ill on the Saturday afternoon and by his own account could barely string two moves together before going down to a heavy defeat. On the Sunday morning he had what looked like a certain draw sewn up (his opponent said he was about to offer a draw) when Cliff moved quickly and made a fatal error. However on the Sunday afternoon Cliff finally got what he was looking for - an honourable draw! Cliff finished on 1 point with a grading average of 99.
First place in the Open section was shared between Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot, 209) and Jack Ridd (Barnstaple, 221) on 4½ points.
Full results of the Congress can be viewed online here.