Kingston 3 suffer unlucky defeat to Epsom 3

Surrey League division 4 match played at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston on 28 November 2022

Kingston’s newly inaugurated third team have not so far managed to chalk up a match victory, but this could – indeed perhaps should – have been it. And how sweet that would have been against Epsom, who love to beat us and were quickly on Twitter proclaiming their 3.5-2.5 win here as their third success in a row against Kingston.

Stephen Daines, Kingston’s third-team captain, likes to leaven his sides with experienced players, players relatively new to over-the-board chess, and juniors. In this match one of those juniors, Shaurya Handu, enjoyed a quickfire victory – his first for the club. Shaurya has huge confidence, enthusiasm and talent, and is a great prospect.

Fellow junior Jaden Mistry went down to defeat on board 6, but his attitude and spirit are tremendous and, at just 11, he is another terrific prospect for a club that has struggled to bring on juniors in the past. We continue to actively consider how we can establish a junior club to organise our efforts in this area.

The ever reliable David Shalom won on board 2 to raise hopes of a victory in the match, and Adam Nakar secured a draw on board 1 despite being outrated by more than 100 points. The problems for Kingston came in the middle order. On board 4, Mark Sheridan – on his debut for Kingston against his former club – allowed his advantage to slip against David Flewellen. And crucially, on board 3, the strong Kingston player who was due to turn out was indisposed. Newcomer Colin Lyle valiantly stepped in as a late substitute, but he was outgunned by the highly rated Venkatesh Subramoniam.

So near and yet so far, but the team is shaping up well and getting stronger. Thanks to Greg Heath for standing in as captain in the absence of Stephen Daines, who was on a chess fact-finding tour of Tenerife.

Stephen Moss