Som Cup Final 2014 – match report

(if this webpage is asking if it can run extra software – say yes – its a video player for later on… - pawnstar)

It is round about this time of year that everyone can take heart in the natural order of things. Certain annual events take place with a metronomic regularity, and help give a certain relaxation to the proletariat that all is good, the natural world order is in place and all is fine with life.

‘What are these events?’ I hear you ask. Well, around now in early May, the days get warmer, Man United win the Premiership, Mourinho wins something elsewhere to placate doubters, and more locally, the Taunton Supreme Team of Chess Playing Gods participate in the Somerset Cup Final, win the toss (sometimes after multiple attempts), give Nick white, and subsequently win the title yet again…

But the natural order of things is seriously miss-firing this year –

The weather (up until today) has been crappy, ManU didn’t even make the top four, Mourinho has nothing, and whilst the TSTCPGs have made the final (that would have been truly earth-shattering if not), but somewhat in-explicably, although we won the toss (after just one attempt this time), DaveL not only gave Nick black, but chose White for himself – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a selfish choice of colour ever before….!

After all this change – it does beg the question – will the natural order of things be restored? Will the TSTCPGs win the title, or has there been such a cataclysmic shift of events that not even this can be relied upon anymore?

Ok, no prizes for guessing (especially as I’ve already revealed the result in an earlier post), but at the time, as the match started, everyone was a bit un-easy (even CPGs have doubts from time to time) – can we win to establish the natural order of things?

Incidentally, back in the ’80s, there was an advert telling kids to drink milk, otherwise they’d never be good enough to play for Man United, and would instead play for Accrington Stanley – cue kids eagerly quaffing lots of milk…

Our team for the match has a couple of changes from the regular TSTCPGs – firstly James was ill (get well soon), and Ben (who despite drinking milk on occasion), plays for a Sedgemoor in the Somerset Cup. Being an 8-man team, Stan and Jerry were drafted in. (worryingly, not using MikeW as our board 8 secret weapon is also a break from the natural order of things)

So our team was – DaveL, MarkH, MikeR, NickW, TerryS, AlexC, StanW and JerryK.

Sedgemoor turned up and the match got underway. The games finished like this –

Board 5: T Stuttard 1/2 v S Green 1/2
Terry couldn’t break through against black’s defences here and the game was drawn. No game details held – please send me the .PGN.

Next was Stan –

Board 7: S Wojcik 1/2 v A Byrne 1/2
Stan couldn’t break through against black’s defences here and the game was drawn. No game details held – please send me the .PGN.

Then Jerry –

Board 8: S Hill 1/2 v J Kilby 1/2
Jerry couldn’t break through against white’s defences here and the game was drawn. No game details held – please send me the .PGN.

So three draws in a row, and by now Mark had reached move 14, when suddenly, this happened –

Board 2: W Taylor 1/2 v M Hassall 1/2
A… ahem, cough, ‘grandmaster’ draw… So few moves, but please send me the .PGN.

So, four draws so far. Scores level at 2-2. Looking at the remaining games, Dave was slowly being squashed by Ben, Mike’s game looked harmless, Nick’s was double-edged and Alex, whilst a pawn or so up, had opposite bishops in an ending. So, if Alex drew and Dave lost, then both Nick and Mike would have to win, otherwise the board count-back rule (where is MikeW when we need him?), would mean we lose. Arrggh… maybe the natural order of things is looking shaky…

But whilst I was fretting and concerning over the possibility the TSTCPGs may lose to mere mortals, Alex’s game came to an end like this –

Board 6: V Effiong 0 v A Conway 1
Comments from Alex –

Great win – Score now 3-2 to Taunton, but Nick and Mike still possibly drawish and DaveL looking lose-ish, we’d still lose on board count..

Next was Nick with this –

Board 4: C McKinley 0 v N Wilson 1
Nick, unaccustomed to playing Black, says – “I was happy to let Chris move all his major pieces over to the Q-side as I thought this would be a simple sac-sac-mate on the now-deserted K-Side. But I took too long, let Chris blockade, and the game became double-edged. Chris made a slip, letting me win the exchange, but even then, with best play, I think it was drawn. But in the end, my rook got free, mopped everything up and the game was decided.”.

This win means we just need half a point from the next two games.

MikeR was next with this –

Board 3: M Richardt 0 v N Senior 1
Comments from Mike himself –

And with this, Taunton lead by 5-2, thus winning the Somerset Cup!!

The final game between Dave and Ben went like this –

Board 1: D Littlejohns 1 v B Edgell 0
Ben steamrollered Dave, let him off the hook, and Dave grabbed a draw at the end – aided by Ben’s morose as Sedgemoor has already lost the match by then. Final moves not recored due to a time scramble, but caught on video!

So – Taunton win 5.5 – 2.5 and are Somerset Cup Champions again!!!

Congratulations to all – this is an unprecedented run of success for Taunton – in years to come, people will look back at these halcyon years and recognise the true legendary greatness of the TSTCPGs!

But also, it means the natural order of things has been restored and we can all rush out and put a tenner on Man Utd being champions next season…

And as usual, we celebrated with MaccyDs (maybe next year it’ll finally be the coke and hookers…)

Scoffing MaccyDs in a victory celebration!

Scoffing MaccyDs in a victory celebration!

So, a big big thank you all members, who each and everyone has have helped Taunton have such a great season and maintain the glory, aura and domination of the Taunton Supreme Team of Chess Playing Gods!

-pawnstar

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