Our annual Eden Trophy match against Carlisle was held yesterday at the Crown Hotel. This year we played over 13 boards and Penrith probably had the strongest team that we’ve ever had. Unfortunately for Carlisle, the score line reflected this but as the overall score stands at 8-4 to Carlisle, we still have a lot of winning to do to catch up.

The match got underway shortly after 1 pm with a time control of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move, however one or two players preferred a straight 2 hours time control and their opponents kindly obliged.

Despite Penrith having the stronger team, the games looked to be closely contested but before long the results began to reflect Penrith’s superior rating. The lower board results came in first with Steve, Ciso, Richard, Yousef and Dave Hood all winning their games. There followed a couple of draws for Alice against George Glover and Dave Siddall against Alan Hiatt. Then Carlisle pulled one back when Matt Wardle beat Nick, making Nick’s return to standard chess not a happy one but I’m sure that won’t put Nick off. There were a couple of issues with the clocks but Steve sorted them out to everyone’s satisfaction. Eggert and Lewis then won their games followed a little later by wins for Holden and Jacob, leaving only my game against James Ovens. I had a good opening but it wasn’t too long before I made my first blunder, losing a bishop for no compensation and some time later, I gave away a knight. Fortunately for me, James didn’t take advantage of my next blunder and I managed to get to the endgame with, what I thought was, a drawn position. James however, played the endgame like a grand master and somehow, I found myself in a totally lost position so resigned, giving Carlisle their second win of the match.

The overall result was a resounding win for Penrith by 10 – 3. So, another trophy to add to the Walker Cup and Whitaker. Well done everyone and thanks for making June 1st a memorable day. Thanks also to Carlisle, especially Bill Hardwick who helped us out by bringing some clocks and of course, Mike and Anna for hosting the match.