Forest Hall B beat Morpeth to win this year’s Summer Knockout.
|Colour||Board||Morpeth||07/09/2022||Forest Hall B|
|B||1||Roger Coathup||½ – ½||Tim Wall|
|W||2||Martin Seeber||½ – ½||Stuart Skelsey|
|B||3||Alan Welsh||0 – 1||Manoj Arora|
|W||4||Robert Mitcheson||0 – 1||Aaron Welson|
|Score||1 – 3|
|Handicap||0 – 0|
|Total||1 – 3|
The region’s top knockout teams competition ended in a dramatic showdown on Wednesday, with Forest Hall winning the Summer Cup Final against Morpeth 3-1.
The win, by Forest Hall B v. Morpeth, was the culmination of 14 matches held over the summer months. In addition to the Division 1 League title, this gives Forest Hall their second major title of the 2021-22 season.
The Cup Final took place in a function room at Morpeth’s temporary venue of Morpeth Conservative Club, under the watchful gaze of a portrait of Winston Churchill.
The first game to finish saw Forest Hall’s Manoj Arora winning with a swashbuckling attack against Morpeth’s Alan Welsh. Then two of the North East’s top players, Forest Hall’s Tim Wall (playing unusually for his club’s B team) and Morpeth’s Roger Coathup, drew their game after a cagey endgame standoff.
This result left Forest Hall just needing 1 out of 2 to secure victory. A 2-2 draw would give Morpeth the title, as they had the lower rating average – a big advantage in this handicap competition.
The decisive win came when Forest Hall’s Aaron Welson forced checkmate against Morpeth’s Bob Mitcheson after a tactical slugfest in which both players missed chances. This gave Forest Hall an unassailable 2.5-0.5 lead.
With the match decided, the final game, a slow-moving strategic battle between Stuart Skelsey (Forest Hall) and Martin Seeber (Morpeth), was quickly agreed a draw.
Here is Aaron Welson’s game:
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 e6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.O-O Nf6 8.e5 Nd5 9.Ne4 Qb6 10.Nd6+ Ke7 11.d3 Rd8 12.Nc4 Qc7 13.Qe1 Kf8 14.Qh4 Kg8 15.Ng5 h6 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.Qf2 b6 18.Bd2 Ba6 19.Ncd6 f5 20.exf6 Nxf6 21.Qg3 Rxd6 22.Nxd6 Qxd6 23.Qxg6 Qd4+ 24.Kh1 Rf8 25.Bc3 Qd7 26.Rae1 Qf7 27.Qg3 Nh5 28.Qg4 Bc8 29.g3 e5 30.Qf3 Be6 31.Qe2 Bd5+ 32.Kg1 exf4 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 34.Qe7 f3 35.Qh4 f2+ 0-1