Our C team made the long journey to play Barrow at their home venue, the Navy Club.

Barrow’s team consisted of Cumbria’s highest rated player, Matthew Mackenzie, Russ Hayley and Alan Llewellyn.

The match started just before 2 pm and what seemed like 5 minutes later, Alan offered Dave a draw on board 3 after only 8 moves. Dave had played an excellent opening with the white pieces which gave Alan no choice but to repeat moves by checking with his queen. Dave, rather than spoil his position, thought it best to repeat his moves, blocking the check with his bishop. A great result for Dave against a player over 500 rating points above him.

Yousef on board 2 with black, played a tight game but eventually, Russ was able to win the exchange and concentrated his pieces on Yousef’s isolated ‘e’ pawn and despite all his efforts, Yousef couldn’t avoid losing it and after exchanging the major pieces, Russ had a winning endgame.

Meanwhile on board 1, I had managed to hold Matthew at bay but at the expense of a pawn, then another pawn and another. Matthew eventually managed to force the queens off, leaving a bishop and 7 pawns against my knight and 4 which was powerless to prevent Matthew from promoting at least one of his pawns to a queen.

So, a 2½-½ victory for Barrow, keeping our C team firmly on the bottom of the table.

Meanwhile, our B team were playing away to Carlisle A, previous winners of the Open League.

There appears to have been some confusion over the home team’s board order as, when I got the match score sheet, Paul River and Stephen Barnes seemed to be unsure as to who should play board 2 and who board 3. Perhaps, as Paul is captain of Carlisle A, he got the final say.

Andrei, on his debut as B team board 1, faced a very strong, Roy Ellames and sadly for Andrei, he proved too strong.

On board 4, Ciso managed a draw against the very experienced, George Glover.

Eggert, with black on board 2, managed a win against Paul Rivers despite being under attack for most of the game.

Steve knew that a draw wouldn’t win the match but lost a long game against Stephen Barnes after pushing too hard for the win.

Final result: Carlisle A 2½ Penrith B 1½.

Meanwhile in Maryport, our A team were playing their final match of the season, against Maryport B, knowing that a win would put Penrith A on the Walker Cup for the second season running.

On board 1, Jacob was playing Tommy Wilson who has recently had a good run of results but he had yet to face anyone as strong as Jacob and his run came to an end.

Holden kept his 100% record intact on board 2, after a win against Ian Stone, making it 7 wins from 7 games.

Alice, too won her game against Terry Tyson on board 3, putting the league title beyond doubt. 

Sadly, Richard lost his game on board 4, against Matthew Haworth.

So, though Maryport A can catch our A team, they can’t pass them and as their only loss was to Penrith A, they would lose on tie-break.

The League table looks like this: