March 7 saw an unfortunate clash of dates, with an Eastman Cup match on the same evening as a Thames Valley A Team match, which adversely affected both teams.
The Eastman Cup match against Cavendish resulted in a 5-5 draw, but I believe Cavendish will progress on board count. There were wins for Bob Eames, Caspar Bates and John Burke, while Iain Gourlay, Gavin, Jonathan Somekh and Mike Smart drew their games.
There was better news when Gavin’s team scored an excellent win against the up and coming team from Battersea. Wins from Ameet Ghasi, Gavin, Mike Healey, Martin Benjamin and Caspar Bates, along with draws from Iain Gourlay, Callum Kilpatrick and Chris Baker, left us 6½-2½ ahead, with John Burke’s game adjourned.
On the same day as the Eastman Cup match, our TVA team travelled to Surbiton to take on their B team. While we failed to repeat our heroics of the previous week we still managed a creditable draw against very evenly matched opposition. Chris W and Raghu both won excellent attacking games while Julien, Seb, Bertie and I all shared the point. The result ensured that we will remain in Division 1 next season.
Our B team, though, will be in a different division next season. Their win against Ealing B guaranteed them promotion, with Bertie, Eamon and Sampson (all former RJCC members) winning their games, Ian and Adrian drawing, leaving Stuart a pawn up in an adjournment. A draw in their final match, against Wimbledon D in May, will make Adrian’s team champions: congratulations to all concerned.
Richmond D won a closely contested match against Harrow B 3½-2½. Henry, Sampson and Nette all scored the full point, with a half point for Omar. Sadly, we had to concede the return fixture as we were unable to raise more than two players. Distant away matches at the end of the season are always a problem. We’ll need to recruit some more players next season.
Richmond E were beaten by Staines B, just managing a draw from Barry, while Dan’s game is adjourned.