We led a charmed life throughout this season.
We achieved just 19 points out of 32 available from the 8 matches. That, you might not expect would be enough to win the league, then the semi-final, and now, on 18th June, the final to bring the cup home to Beckenham.
Beckenham 5 and 6 were both in this league and since players could not in the early stages play for both teams, permutations were limited to meet the need to make an average of under 1500.
Wins from Dylan McAuliffe and Callum Hayes helped us on our way.
Anthony Barnett played Board 4 in every match. Nearly always outgraded, he scored 4.5 out of 8. Most importantly, his grade enabled higher grades to play the other boards. It must be Tony’s best season so far and this team would never have won without him.
Andrew Dovey and Martin Newman, boards 1 and 2, managed to draw 7 games out of the 14 games they played and their occasional wins were sometimes timely in taking us over the line.
Ian Mills on Board 3 for 6 matches deserves special congratulations. His five wins out of six represent a performance grade of about 300 points more than expected.
My previous reports of matches have several times described our close encounters.
The final – against Lewisham 5 – was another classic!
Anthony was playing someone graded 300 points higher and eventually succumbed. Andrew’s game looked great until a single inaccuracy in a pawn endgame cost him dearly. We were two games down with two to play.
Ian’s position looked commanding. My game had entered less than two minutes each on the clock mode, with Andrew recording the moves. A draw would have lost us the match. I tried a desperate cheapo to save my drifting game. Wow! He missed it! I won his queen! He resigns! I am so lucky!
Ian calmly forces resignation to draw the match 2-2.
Tie-break board count is level 5-5, still drawn. Next tie break is to disregard the lowest board. We win 2-1. That was close!
Match card: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/103573
So… a charmed life… but over 8 games, I’d like to think we deserved it.
I’d like to thank here all those who played for Beckenham 5 this season. It really has been a very considerable effort of the mind.
Martin Newman – 5th team captain
PS: My euphoria has been tempered by a picture on Lewisham’s Twitter of me receiving the cup, with the caption reading “Veteran Pascal Jasserand receives the trophy for Bromley”. Poor Pascal being mistaken for a man in his late 70s!