Whilst pawnstar is otherwise occupied, both chess playing and match report writing has been provisioned to lesser mortals.
With disastrous results sadly.
There is no easy way to say this, but Taunton’s Supreme Team of chess playing gods, suffered their first defeat in eons on Monday. Or more accurately, the gods that bothered turning up, alongside some other mortal standins, were defeated.
Anyway, here is a report of the tragic affair, from Ben.
Glastonbury v Taunton.
Taunton travelled to Glastonbury without two of their key players. Our Supreme Leader, Kim- Jun Wilson, was busy watching Eastenders (or feeding members of the Div. 3 team to the dogs, if several ill- reputed media outlets are to believed), whilst our German International, Mike Richardt, was busy preparing for his holiday to America by practising putting towels on sunloungers.
So in stepped Martin Worall and Robin Challoner to enjoy the giddy fame and reckless debauchery of Div. 1, leaving very occasional board 6 superstar, Mike Ward, to wonder when he will get the chance to repeat his famous victory against one of the other teams a few seasons ago.
When we arrived at Glastonbury it was clear they were at full strength, which meant no place in the team for occasional place- filler Matthew Turner, but several Millfield junior superstars- in- the- making.
The team sheet appeared to show Taunton as heavy favourites on paper, but as everyone knows juniors play at least 1000 points above their grades it was clear Glastonbury were in with a shout.
Board 5: Robin Challoner 0 v 1 Tristan West.
Robin started like a house on fire, gaining space all over the board and looking like victory was imminent. Unfortunately he then got mated.
Board 4: Neville Senior 0.5 v 0.5 Alex Conway.
Alex was up against an experienced county player and soon reached a dead- drawn position, so decided to offer a draw in order to watch the Arsenal match/ pay off his student loans through the Deal or No Deal machine.
Board 6: George Galliano 1 v 0 Martin Worrall.
Martin was up against one of the Millfield juniors and played an opening. After going into an opposite- colour bishops and rooks middle game, Martin unleashed a rook sacrifice of such devastating brilliance that even the likes of Fritz 8 overlooked it. Unfortunately, in spite of gaining clear compensation in the form of a massive attack, Martin was unable to correctly cut a path through the complications to find the win, and resigned after his opponent took the rook.
Board 2: Paul Moody 0.5 v 0.5 Dave LittleJohns
This was a real ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ with Paul ‘Ali’ Moody and Dave ‘Foreman’ LittleJohns playing a razor- sharp opening involving same- side castling and symmetrical pawn structures. Dave landed tactical blow after tactical blow on the queen-side, but Paul used the classic rope- a- dope strategy to desperately cling on. As the spectators, who had been on tend…on the edge of their… not paying the slightest bit of attention, sensed victory for the Taunton man, both competitors realised nothing had happened for most of the game, and agreed a draw. Much like Rumble in the Jungle.
Board 3: Mark Hassall 0.5 v 0.5 Cosima Keen.
Mark was up against experienced England International and Millfield junior Cosima Keen. Mark was only denied a deserved victory by his opponent having the temerity to play very good moves from the start and being at least slightly better for much of the middlegame.
Board 1: Ben Edgell 1 v 0 Stephen Whatley.
Ben was up against another Millfield junior, and went about playing for victory in classic style, declining to play his usual King’s Gambit and instead opting to play exactly the same moves as his opponent for the entire opening. After doing absolutely nothing after that, and sensing a win was needed to help gain the required 2 points to save the match, Ben found a stunning combination of almost 30- moves deep to net the exchange and go into a drawn ending.
As the crowds gathered 8- rows deep, Ben swiftly displayed no endgame technique whatsoever, moving his pieces back and forth and the king from one side to the other in a manor more akin to a Dave LitteJohns middlegame. The game came down to a mad scramble against the clock, and sensing it was impossible to gain the required 2 points to save the match, Ben did the only reasonable thing and won on time.
Final Score: Glastonbury 3.5- 2.5 Taunton.
So Taunton suffer their first Div. 1 loss since Yeovil brought in Ghandi as a ringer back in 1769, and returned home to burnt out cars and homes, and angry mobs with flaming pitchforks filled with vitriolic rage (much like most Mondays in Taunton). Surely the calls of the masses to reinstate Mike Ward to board 6 can no longer be ignored.