CHESS players in the district won a county championship in dramatic fashion - after the lights went out.

Tynedale Chess Club excelled in the Cumbria Rapidplay Team Championship, after their board two player Steve Larkin defeated Fred Clough, of the Cumbrian Crown Jewels team, in the deciding game.

But halfway through the encounter, all of the lights went out inside the venue, in Penrith, which meant the remaining moves were played out under the lights of multiple mobile phones.

Tynedale’s three man team of Larkin, Peter Crighton and Jonny Kearney excelled in the five-round competition, where matches took place against the clock, with each player having a total of 30 minutes to complete their moves.

Round one saw Tynedale go up against a very strong Carlisle Knights side, but Kearney on board three was on top form, defeating his much higher graded opponent to secure a draw. In round two, a clean sweep by Tynedale brought them a comfortable victory, while in round three they managed another draw.

In round four, Tynedale squeezed home against Carlisle Kings by the narrowest of margins, with Kearney’s fourth consecutive win proving decisive.

Victories on boards one and two saw Tynedale tied level on points with the Crown Jewels team.

In the tie-break, Peter Crighton drew his match against Joseph McAtear, which led to Larkin taking on Clough in the deciding game.

Larkin, playing white, had five minutes in which to win.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “Victory went to Tynedale who, at the very last gasp, emerged as Cumbrian Rapidplay team champions, with a trophy to prove it.

“Whoever said there was no drama in chess?”