Dec 06, 2023

Cambridgeshire Blues. Julian Hudson takes a deep dive into his win for Bedfordshire County.

The 3rd of December 2023 saw the second of the East Anglian Open County Chess Championships, held at the King Edward VII Memorial Hall, in the horse racing town of Newmarket. Four county teams of 16 players each took part; Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and our home side, Bedfordshire.

The morning match was Bedfordshire v Norfolk, with three Luton players on the team; Julian on board four, Tommy on board nine and with a player short, rather than default on bottom board, yours truly on board sixteen. Looking around the large playing hall was intimidating. There was Suffolk's Alan Merry, an IM with two GM norms. There was Stephen Orton, who runs Norwich & Norfolk Juniors with such authority, that I even was afraid of him when I used to take my son to his club. And there were all the top players from Bedfordshire, none of whom I would be strong enough to be paired against in a league match.

In my game against Steve Moore from Norwich Dons, I was quickly on the backfoot playing Black against a c3 Sicilian. I did my best, but my more skilled opponent managed to give me doubled pawns on the g-file, then put his heavy pieces to pressure the f-file, and despite his time pressure, played more accurately to reach a won endgame, and I resigned.

By this time, Julian's game against a 2100 rated junior Samarakoon Vivash had also been lost but Tommy held the honours for Luton with a win in his game against Anthony Hall. The overall match result ended in an 8 - 8 draw.

Onto the afternoon, Cambridgeshire v Bedfordshire. The opposition defaulted on the bottom two boards, so I wasn't playing but the higher placed Tommy and Julian had their work cut out for them. As usual, Tommy's appearance on the board was calm and collected, and he accepted a draw against Paul McMahon in a position with tactical complications. Top boards one to three also ended in draws for Bedfordshire's James Gardner, Stephen Ledger and Gary Kenworthy. Last two games to finish was Bedford's evergreen player, Paul Habershon which ended in another draw and our very own Julian Hudson on board four which is the featured game in this post below. The match ended Cambridgeshire 6 - 10 Bedfordshire. Thanks to Captain Kevin Williamson and organisers for this event and well done Bedfordshire, on equal points with top position Norfolk.

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