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2017 Oxford Girls Quadrangular Under 18 Sunday, October 29
Paul Harris writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

On Sunday 29th October, our senior girls team headed up the M40 to Headington Prep School in Oxford for a four-county jamboree against Oxfordshire, Wiltshire & Warwickshire.

In the first round we faced Wiltshire, which proved a close contest in practice as well as on paper. An early win by Jodie Legg was followed by a number of close battles, which yielded a further four victories and an important match point. Francesca Blackwell coolly survived her opponent’s sacrificial kingside play to transition to a winning position. Arti Lenoir played patiently against her opponent’s solid queen’s pawn opening to prevail in the later stages. Mia Harris also started under pressure due to her opponent’s central control, but turned the game around admirably by trapping a bishop in the centre of the board and then establishing a decisive outpost and neat finish. Helen Archer-Lock completed the victories by winning an early pawn and later by well-timed play in a tactical middle game.

Round 2 saw another close battle, now against Warwickshire. This time the match was tied 4-4 sharing the match points, and two of the games were drawn. Arti Lenoir again played tenaciously to equalise a game from behind on material. Helen Archer-Lock had a small material advantage but had to agree to equality as time was running out. Three wins secured the tied match. Shreya Gaddam accumulated material advantages throughout her game, which proved decisive. Kathryn Thomas was trailing on pawns but achieved victory forcing checkmate with her major pieces. Francesca Blackwell earned a patient win after battling on from an equal position.

Round 3 saw us face a strong Oxfordshire team. This was a challenging round, but it was an achievement to have several close games and add an important two points to our total. The first win came from Kathryn Thomas, who achieved a substantial material advantage in good time and duly recorded the victory. In contrast, Mia Harris had to come back from a deficit, but did so with excellent tactical play.

Overall Oxfordshire convincingly won the event, but we finished a more than creditable second place. Well done to all the girls that attended.

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