Dorchester Jamboree 2022

The trek down to Dorchester is a long one. But, for this annual curtain raiser event, it has been well worth the drive for Poole CC in recent years with the past two going in our favour.

Captain Chip has done very well during this time, shrewdly assembling his avengers and bringing home the trophy that no-one could find this year.

This was my first time actually, and I was impressed by the organisation and presentation from Mark Potter who, as I understood it, had needed to take over at the last minute. Six Teams of six players, with a sort of all-play-all, looking to match gradings as far as possible. The team with the most points would win the trophy. Simple.

Aside: why is it thar curtain raisers have to be so complicated? Get me to the normal matches I say. And how many curtains do we have to raise? There are a lot of windows.

From a purely playing strength perspective, I think that it is fair to say the Weymouth, Poole and Highcliffe led the way. But Mark’s pairings were designed to level the field and it seemed to work very well.

Poole Team: Chip, JohnW, moi, Zander, TimJ and Dragi. An excellent line up. A mix of youth and experience! Well, Zander and the rest of us.

Probably the key match-up from a Poole perspective would be Zander (White) vs Richard Ursell on board 10 of 18. Zander sent me his scoresheet and I looked through the game. A very even e4/e5 structure, but Zander was able to establish a knight on f5, which, as every world champion called Kasparov knows, is worth at least a pawn and makes the black side difficult to play. I spoke to Richard after the game and he did say that he was disappointed with a couple of mistakes, but nevertheless Zander closed out the game very well. Hopefully Zander will have some time to annotate his thoughts on the game for us in due course.

Further down Dragi had the White pieces against Chris Webb from Ringwood. I didnt see much of the game, but I expect that you know what happened before I tell you. A standard Dragi game. Slow, bunged up opening through to middle game blah blah, pieces swapped off when they can blah blah, arrive at Dragi’s favourite endgame blah blah, But no! What’s this? Dragi won? Indeed, Dragi reversed recent form and converted for the point. Well played Dragi.

Another person needing some results was myself, on Board 5, paired against David Hardie from Dorchester. It was an interesting game and I believe that I played well improving the White side of a Scandinavian, gaining space and creating chances of an attack on the Black king, but always with the threat of the thematic d5 break. At the critical point, David played a move accompanied by a draw offer, but unfortunately missed that a Nb6, attacked by c5, had no free square resulting in the loss of the exchange. Some care and a flashy Bh7 move, which the computers laughed at because there were better ways to win, allowed me to make it three out of three.

Next to me on Board 4, JohnW seemed to be trying very hard to be dead lost within ten moves or so with Black against Adam Baston from Yoevil. And he succeeded in getting a terrible position! Very unusual for John.

And two boards up on Board 2, Chip had been given the black pieces against against Alan Pleasants from Weymouth, a tough match indeed. Boa Constrictor Al vs Short Arm Chip (never move a pawn two squares when you can move it one) was always going to be a long slog and so it was.

I am afraid that I saw little of Tim’s game against Paul Brackner from Dorchester on Board 14, except that it looked pretty even midway through the evening. Nevertheless, Tim was also able to harvest the full point and bring us to the heady heights of four out of four. I would have had a stiff brandy if I hadn’t been driving.

With Highcliffe also winning all their games except for the aforementioned Zander-Richard game, and with Chip and John looking very much worse, us four winners accidentally went to the bar.

After some discussion about how clever we had been, I wandered upstairs only to find that John had found some activity and won the exchange. All that was required was to close the game out with both players on increment. A couple of minutes later Adam conceded and Poole results showed five out of five. Great play from John.

The last two games of the evening were Boards 1 and 2. Bruce Jenks need to beat Kevin Goater to force some form of tie-breaker complexity. Kevin had been better for most of the game, but a draw was agreed R+p (Kevin) vs N+2p (Bruce) when no progress could be made. So Highcliffe could only secure 4.5 points and Poole’s 5.0 could not be beaten.

Alan and Chip were the last to finish with Alan prrssing his advantage well. Bad luck Chip.

So Poole win the trophy for the third year in a row.

A great evening. Well done Mark P for arranging everything.


David Fuller
September 24, 2022