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WELCOME to KEVEREL CHESS

Welcome to the Keverel Chess website, which will be covering all chess matters relating to Exmouth and Exmouth players, whether played or written in the town or further afield.

In addition, there will be a selection of chess books available to discriminating collectors. Lists will be updated regularly and enquiries about books listed may be e-mailed.

Introduction

Here are some short biographies of chessplayers who have made above-average contributions to chess at some level, whether in Devon or further afield.

The 1st editions of some of these articles got their first airing on the chessdevon website, and the author is grateful to its webmaster for that opportunity. These early ones have now all been reviewed and updated where new information has come to light before posting here.

Copyright remains with the author who will be pleased to receive further information for inclusion, or make corrections where necessary. Family history researchers should contact the author in the first instance with a view to a possible useful exchange of information.

Introduction to Exmouth Chess Club

This section contains news specifically about Exmouth’s Chess Club.

Currently, it meets at Age Concern, 8, New Street, Exmouth. EX8 1RT, on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m.

The club welcomes new members who are keen to make the most of their chess skills by playing real opponents, face to face. Queries should be addressed to the Club Secretary via e-mail. jones_r53@sky.com.

Above: Look for the Age Concern sign.

Below: The door to the club premises.

Weekly Chess Column.

The Plymouth-based Western Morning News carries one of the oldest chess columns in any provincial daily paper. It was started in 1891 and has continued ever since in one form or another, in spite of having shifted for a short spell to another title in the same stable, the Illustrated Western Weekly News.

For the past 55 years it has had just three correspondents: J. E. “Eddy” Jones (1956 – 63); K. J. “Ken” Bloodworth (1963 – 1999) & R. H. “Bob” Jones from 1999.

For all this time, it has reported weekly on the chess activities within its readership’s area, Devon & Cornwall, However, since December 2010, in a cost-cutting exercise and rationalisation, the WMN joined forces with its Northcliff Group neighbour, the Bristol-based Western Daily Press, to produce a weekend supplement in common, called Westcountry Life. Fortunately, they retained the chess column, which means it now gets a much wider readership, and this must be reflected in the scope of what it records. So the activities in Somerset and Gloucestershire must get equal billing, as it were, with those of Devon & Cornwall.

One must hope this experiment will prove successful and continue. We hope chess followers will purchase the two papers in question, at least their Saturday edition, as this is the point of the exercise. However, I have permission to reproduce it on this website for the benefit of those outside the readership area.

To that end, I aim to post it here a day or two after its appearance in the paper.

Bob Jones

Paignton Congress 2014 – Day 1 (31.08.2014.)

It's Torbay and the schools are back. Must be time for the Paignton Congress. Here at its new venue of the Livermead House Hotel, right on the sea-front.

Don't forget the hotel was someone's private residence once.

The view from the venue - a luxury liner in the Bay under the bluest of skies.

At 2 p.m. DCCA President, Mr. Paul Brooks welcomed all participants, in fron of the preoccupied arbiters, Tony Tatam (green), John Ariss (blue) and Victor Cross (yellow)

General view of the playing area. The re-alignment of the tables has created more space for movement around the room.

Tactics used are many and varied. Simon Bartlett's shirt, for example, is clearly giving his opponent a headache.

Top seed, Grandmaster Danny Gormally, completes his kingside fianchetto.

2nd seed, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, reflects on his opening move.

 

The number of lady players has almost reached double figures this year. On these 2 boards, for instance, they outnumber the men by 3 to 1. Nearest the camera is the noted chess artist, Nette Robinson.

The Other Cornish Olympian (30.08.2014.)

Michael Adams may have been the outstanding player for England at the recent Olympiad, but he was not the only Cornishman involved. St. Austell-born Andrew Greet was playing for Scotland, where he works as an editor for the Glasgow-based publisher Quality Chess. He excelled on Board 2 and narrowly missed achieving a Grandmaster norm. In this game from Round 5 he surprises a strong GM.

White: Emir Dizdarevic (Bosnia-Herzogovina – 2522). Black: A. Greet (Scotland – 2431).

Reti Opening [A06]

1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.b3 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 Bd6 8.d4 The game started as a Reti, but has transposed into the Tarrasch Defence to the Queen’s Pawn opening. 8…cxd4 9.Nxd4 Qe7 10.Nf3 Making a second unnecessary move with the same piece while other pieces remain undeveloped must lose tempo. 10…Be6 11.Bb2 0–0 12.Nc3 a6 13.Rc1 Rfd8 It might be better to develop the other rook first, then bring the other one to e8 13…Rad8. 14.Qc2 Rac8 15.Qb1 Bb8! Preparing …Qd6 and opening the centre with …d4. 16.Rfd1 Ng4 Black’s pieces are lined up against the enemy king. 17.h3 Now is not the moment to retreat. 17…Nxf2! 18.Kxf2 Qc7 threatening …Qg3+ and if Kg1 then Bxh6. 19.Bf1? White is so disconcerted by the sacrifice that he blunders and Greet extracts maximum advantage. 19…Qg3+ 20.Kg1 Having committed to attack, Black must bring every available piece into action – this is no time for vacillation. Ne5 21.Nd4 Bxh3 22.Rd3 Ng4 23.Nf3 Qf2+ 24.Kh1 Bxg2+ 25.Bxg2 Rc6 0–1. The distant rook suddenly joins the fray and 26…Rh6 mate cannot be prevented.

The death was announced last week of John G. Gorodi, aged 88, a regular and venerable figure on the south west congress circuit. With his brother and 200,000 others he fled his native Hungary after the collapse of the Hungarian uprising against the Russians in 1956, eventually settling in Newton Abbot. He kept in contact with some of his former chess colleagues and put me in touch with a Hungarian problemist, whose work subsequently appeared in this column. Only last year he became the British U-150 Champion at Torquay, probably the oldest title-holder in British chess history. That was after he crashed his car on the way home after round 3, discharging himself from hospital so that he could compete in Rounds 4 & 5, both of which he won.

Last week’s problem by Lt. Col. George Ansell was solved by 1.Ne6! threatening 2.Nd4 mate, and 1…BxN allows the White queen to do the honours.

From a recent game Black is faced with losing his rook with check. What’s his best response?

Black to play and win.

Adams Stars at Olympiad (23.08.2014.)

The recent 41st Olympiad at Tromsø was won by China, who at the outset were seeded 7th of the 177 participating teams of 4, based on the rating of their players. Second were Hungary (5th seed) and 3rd were India (18th seed). This serves to illustrate how the balance of power is moving from west to east. England came a disappointing 28th (10th seed), Ireland were 66th (62nd seed), Scotland were 83rd (65th seed) and Wales were 105th (98th seed).

One bright spot for England was the outstanding performance of Michael Adams, who scored 6½ points from the 9 games he played. Only a split on tie-break denied him the gold medal for the best individual performance on Board 1, and he had to settle for silver. This game from Rd. 5 against Vietnam was probably his best.

White: Le Quang Liem (2710). M. Adams (2740).

Catalan Opening.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 White goes in for the Catalan Opening, a system named by Tartakover after he tried it in Barcelona in 1929. 3…d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Nf3 c6 7.Qb3 0–0 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Rc1 a5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Na3 Qe7 13.e3 Rd8 14.Rab1 g6 15.Qc2 Bg7 16.Rd1 Nf6 17.Ne5 Bd7 18.Nxd7 Rxd7 19.Rd2 e5 Breaking open the centre to create space for his pieces. However it also allows White’s knight to join the fray. 20.dxe5 Qxe5 21.Rbd1 Rad8 22.cxd5 Nxd5 23.Nc4 Qe6 24.Bxd5 cxd5 25.Nxa5 d4 26.exd4 Qxa2 27.Nb3 Qa4 28.Ra1 Qb4 29.Qc3 Qb6 30.Ra4 Qe6 31.Nc5 Forking queen and rook, but Black has a vital check available. 31…Qe1+ 32.Kg2 Rc7 33.Rc2 Qe8! Hitting the undefended rook and threatening …b6 winning the pinned knight. 34.Rc4 b5 35.Rb4 Black may be a pawn down, but this is the beginning of the end for White as Adams launches a powerful attack. 35…Rxc5 36.Qxc5 Forced, as the defending pawn was pinned. 36…Bf8 The point of Black’s sacrifice, as becomes clear. 37.Qxb5 Qe4+ Now both rooks are attacked. 38.Kg1 Qxc2 39.Ra4 Qb1+ 40.Kg2 Qe4+ 41.f3 Qc2+ 42.Kh3 Qd1 43.f4 h5 44.Qc4 Rxd4! 0–1 If now 45.Qxd4 Qf1+ forcing 46.Kh4 Be7+. Or if 45.Ra1 Qg4+ 46.Kg2 Rxc4 In fact, White is mated in every variation. Match drawn 2-2.

Vietnam eventually finished level with England on match points but came 27th on tie-break.

The Paignton Congress starts a week tomorrow at the Livermead Hotel. Enquiries about last minute entries should go to Alan and Linda Crickmore on 01752-768206 or e-mail plymouthchess@btinternet.com.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1. Bb8! Here is another 2-mover by Lt. Col. George Kirkpatrick Ansell, who was killed in action exactly 100 years ago next week.

Chess Problemist Shot (16.08.2014.)

The one million British and Commonwealth WW1 fatalities cut swathes of heartbreak through every walk of life. Even the esoteric world of chess problemists did not escape.

Witheridge and Bristol’s Comins Mansfield, for example, was gassed in the trenches and temporarily blinded, but he survived to become a universally acknowledged genius of the 2-mover.

Less well-known was Lt. Col. George Kirkpatrick Ansell who was killed in the first days of the war. Born in 1872 in Wymering near Portsmouth, the son of a soldier, William and his wife Harriet, he joined the 5th Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Dragoon Guards, and served under Baden-Powell in South Africa. In France, two weeks after the declaration of war, the two armies met for the first time at Mons, after which the British sought to make an orderly retreat. On 31st August Ansell’s men were settled for the night in the small village of Néry. In the early morning mist of 1st September, a lost battalion of Germans blundered into them and more fighting broke out. Ansell’s unit was sent out to attack on the flank, which was an effective counter, and to get a good view of the skirmish he rode to the top of a nearby bluff. However, this made him a perfect target for German snipers and he was shot in the chest and died within 15 minutes, the most senior British officer to be killed at that point.

He is one of 51 Britons buried in Verberie, one of the 65 war cemeteries in the small department of Oise. The full account of what became known as “The Affair at Néry” can readily be found on-line and makes fascinating reading.

He had been a keen composer and publisher of chess problems before enlisting but once in the army his love of horses in general and polo in particular gradually took over.

He left a 9 year old son, Michael, who had a strangely parallel early life. He joined the same regiment as his father, played polo and rode competitively. Early in WW2 he, too, found himself retreating in the face of an advancing German army. He hid in a hayloft, and was shot at by British troops who assumed he was the enemy. As a result he was blinded, but this did not stop his involvement with horses. From his home, Pillhead House, Bideford, Col. Sir Mike Ansell became the driving force of British show jumping and equestrianism in the post war decades, making it a regular feature of TV scheduling.

The answer to last week’s position was 1…Rb3+! and if 2.axb3 Ra1 mate.

Here is one of Col. Ansell’s early 2-movers.

White to mate in 2

British Championship – Local Players’ Scores (09.08.2014.)

As reported last week, the British Championship was shared between Jonathan Hawkins and David Howell on 8½/11 points. A point behind in joint 3rd place were twins Nicholas and Richard Pert, Mark Hebden, John Emms, Keith Arkell and Ravia Haria. The Ladies Champion was Amy Hoare.

Westcountry qualifiers finished as follows: Allan Pleasants (Weymouth) 5½; Jeremy Menadue (Truro) and Martin Simons (Southbourne) both on 5; Jack Rudd (Bideford) started brilliantly but had 5 losses from his last 6 games to finish on 4½; Theo Slade (Marhamchurch) 4; Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) 3½ and John Fraser (Newton Abbot) on 3.

The Rd. 3 game between Chris Ward and Mark Hebden, that I gave two weeks ago, was eventually awarded the tournament’s Best Game prize.

Attention now turns to the 41st Olympiad currently being played in Norway. With over 2,000 players from 177 countries it’s one of the world’s largest sporting events. In Rd. 1 England were paired against Wales with this game featuring on Bd. 1.

White: Gawain Jones (2665 – Eng). Black: Richard Jones (2414).

Petroff Defence [C43]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 The Steinitz Attack. Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bd6 9.Qh5 Qe7+ 10.Be3 Be6 Instead of castling, which seems the natural move, White goes in for a combination likely to involve exchanges. 11.Bg5 Bg4+ 12.Bxe7 Bxh5 13.Bxd6 cxd6 The resulting weakened doubled pawns will  have a bearing on the outcome. 14.Rb1 0–0–0 15.Rb5 f6 16.Rxd5 Bf7 17.Ra5 Kb8 18.Kd2 There seems little point in castling now as White wants to bring his other rook into play, and the White king is effective and quite safe on d2. 18…Rc8 19.Rb1 Rhe8 20.Rab5 Re7 There now follows some gradual manoeuvring as White consolidates his pawn advantage. 21.a4 h6 22.a5 Be8 23.R5b4 Bf7 24.f3 Rcc7 25.c4 Bg8 26.R1b3 Bf7 27.Rc3 Kc8 28.Rb5 Kd8 29.h4 Kc8 30.g4 Kd8 31.g5 fxg5 32.hxg5 hxg5 33.Rxg5 Bg8 34.c5 dxc5 35.Rcxc5 b6 36.axb6 axb6 37.Rb5 The manoeuvrability of the white rooks settles matters. 37…Rc6 38.Rbf5 Threatening 39.Rf8+ Re8 40.RxR+ KxR 41.Rxg7 leaving White 2 passed pawns up. 38…Kc7 39.Rf8 Be6 40.Ra8 Bd7 41.Rg8 Rd6 42.c3 1-0 The g-pawn must fall and with it the game. Wins from Short, Howell and Sadler made it 4–0.

In last week’s game from this year’s British Championship, White finished with a double rook sacrifice, thus: 1.RxP+! KxR 2.Rh2+ Bh6 3.RxB+ KxB 4.Qh2+ Kg7 5.Bxe5 mate.

In this position from a recent rapidplay game, White is thinking about 1.RxB RxR 2.Qxe5+ winning the rook back, but it’s not his move. What can Black do about it?

Black to play and win

Hawkins & Howell Tie for the British Title (02.08.2014.)

With one round to go in the British Championship, matters were delicately poised. Jonathan Hawkins (31) of Consett, Co. Durham, had sailed into an early lead with 5 straight wins, and was still in the clear lead by half a point going in to the penultimate round. There, however, he had to play the ever dangerous Mark Hebden who was also keen to get his hands on the trophy, but the game was drawn. This left David Howell, playing fellow GM Nicholas Pert, though with Howell having the Black pieces. Howell pressed for the win, but Pert held firm and that game was also drawn, keeping Hawkins in a half point lead over Howell and Hebden going into the final round.

In that last round, Hawkins settled for a quick draw, taking him to 8½/11 points and guaranteeing him at least a share of the title. Howell, meanwhile, beat Hebden, to take him level with Hawkins and sharing the prize he won outright at Torquay last year.

Howell then departed immediately to join the rest of the England team for the forthcoming Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. The team comprises, Michael Adams, Howell, Gawain Jones, Nigel Short and Peter Wells.

One game that caught the eye was between two Devon residents in Round 4 of the British Championship. Arkell is renowned for his endgame skills but here doesn’t get chance to exercise that particular mastery. Notes based on those kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Jack Rudd (2278). Black: Keith Arkell (2433).

Keres Defence.

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Nc3 c5 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 Ne7 6.e3 d6 7.Bd3 Nbc6 8.f4 f5 9.Nf3 0–0 10.h3 b6 11.g4 Na5 A 2nd  move by the same piece while 3 others remain untouched is too slow. Black underestimates how quickly White’s attack develops. 12.Rg1 Qe8 13.Ra2! Freeing up the other rook right across the 2nd rank. 13…Ba6 14.Rag2 g6 15.Ng5 Bxc4 16.Bxc4 Nxc4 17.Qe2 b5 18.h4 Rf6 19.h5 cxd4 20.hxg6 Rxg6 21.gxf5 exf5 22.Qh5 Rg7 23.Qh1 Qc6 24.Ne6 Rxg2 25.Rxg2+ Kf7 26.Nxd4 Qd5 27.Qxh7+ Ke8 28.Rg7 Qe4 Black’s queen is overloaded here, trying to do the impossible – to defend effectively both f5 and e7 simultaneously. 29.Nxf5 Qxf5 30.Rxe7+ Ending all Black’s resistance. 30…Kd8 31.Qxf5 1–0

In last week’s position, Black played 1…RxN 2.RxR e5! attacking both queen and rook.

This position arose in one of the earlier rounds of the British Championship. White is a grandmaster known for his attacking skills. Black has just played b4 attacking the bishop. How should White respond? 

White to play

Exmouth’s New Grades July 2014

1 129415F G Abbott, Mark V 173 +1   167 -9
2 242270A B Badlan, Tom W 82 +3   78 -2
3 173289E B Belt, Malcolm 128 -1   124  
4 286681L B Blake, Simon 102 -2   91 +1
5 214854H B Derrick, Ken W 197 -7      
6 111446D G Gosling, Brian GE 153 +1      
7 181711F B Grist, Ivor G 108 +3   88 -2
8 140874E B Hodge, Fred R 97 +1      
9 266234G S Hurst, Kevin J 191 +9   157 0
10 181711F B Grist, Ivor G 108 +3   88 -2
11 113895K S Jones, Robert H 129 -3   147 -1
12 116002D B Murray, J Stephen 138 -3   140 0
13 118154D S Rogers, David R 158 +12      
14 248908K B Scott, Chris J 157 +12   157 +6
15 290163J G Shaw, Meyrick 170 -6   167 -7
16 155629A S Stephens, John KF 194 +8   178 -2
17 242384E G Toms, David A 151 +9      
18 242283K B Underwood, Jon 179 +8      
19 285021H S Wensley, Oliver E 149 -8   151 +3

After the false start a little while ago, having confused a June re-adjustment with the new list, here is the new, definitive  grading list as it applies to anyone who has played in or for the Exmouth teams during the past season.

Top improvers are Chris Scott, who did extremely well in both internal and external tournaments throughout the season, and Dave Rogers who did equally well in congresses, winning a number of prizes en route. Not far behind are Kevin Hurst, John Stephens, and Drs. Toms & Underwood, all of whom went up significantly.

Jones has slipped 3 points to 129, his consolation being that he will now be automatic top grade in any U-130 tournaments, like the new Thynne section of the 5 Rd. Morning tournament at Paignton, coming up in just over 4 weeks time. 1st prize £300 – no pressure there, then.

British Championship 2014 Rd. 3 Ward vs Hebden.

At the British Championship in Aberystwyth, the anticipated late rush of entries from the better players did not materialise as several of them were preparing for the forthcoming Olympiad. This left defending champion David Howell as the clear favourite, ahead of a small number of talented aspirants, eager to snatch the crown, given half a chance and a following wind.

The Round 3 draw on Monday paired up two of the seven competing Grandmasters, the 1996 champion, Chris Ward (46) against Mark Hebden (56). Hebden is currently the stronger of the two, and has always featured in the ultimate destination of the title, without actually winning it himself.

White: C. G. Ward (2422). Black: M. L. Hebden (2554).

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 White makes a positive bid for the centre ground. 4…d6 5.Nge2 0–0 6.Ng3 c5 Black has transposed into a Sicilian Defence with an early fianchetto, an opening on which Ward is an expert. 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Taking towards the centre files is the correct thing to do, and now Black is stuck with an immobile backward pawn. 9…Na6 10.0–0 Nc7 11.a4 Na6 12.Bg5 h6 13.Be3 Re8 14.Qd2 h5 15.Bg5 Now the bishop can return to its intended spot. 15…Qc7 16.f4 White commits another pawn to the centre.  16…Nh7 17.Bh4 Bh6 18.Bc4 Nb4 19.Rae1 All White’s pieces are now beautifully placed, and he is almost spoiled for choice as to how best to continue. 19…Bd7 20.Qf2 Unpinning his f-pawn. 20…a6 21.e5 Bxa4 22.exd6 If 22.Nxa4 b5 winning the piece back and netting a pawn. 22…Qa5 If 22…Qxd6 23.Nge4 and Black has several ways of losing material – e.g. 23…Qxf4 24.Qxf4 Bxf4 25.Rxf4. 23.Ra1 There now follows a very finely balanced series of threats and counter-threats. 23…b5 Attacking the bishop, countered by 24.d7 Red8 25.Qxc5 Now the Black queen is unguarded, preventing PxB. 25…Bf8 26.d6 Rxd7 27.Rxa4 Bxd6 If 27…Qd8. 28.Qxd6 bxa4 29.Qxg6+! The “defending” pawn is actually pinned. The end is near. 29…Kh8 30.Bf6+ Nxf6 31.Qxf6+ Kh7 32.Nf5 1–0. Black resigned in view of White’s several mating combinations, which can be worked out from here.

At the end of Round 3, Ward was one of only three of the 58 players still on a maximum score, the others being Justin Tan (17) and Jonathan Hawkins (31), but there’s a long way to go yet, with 8 more gruelling games ahead.

In last week’s position, White won a piece with 1.QxN QXQ 2.Nxe6+ forking the queen, after which the win should be routine.

In this position from a game earlier this year, how did Black launch a stinging attack?

Black to play and win significant material.

Penrose at Aberystwyth (19.07.2014.)

The British Championship starts today at Aberystwyth University for the 3rd time in its history. It was first held there in 1955 when Harry Golombek won the last of his 3 British titles, and again in 1961 when Jonathan Penrose won the 4th of his 10 titles. Although the many other sections will get under way on Monday, as the Championship itself used to, this year it will start and end two days earlier than usual. Games may be followed live on britishchesschampionships.co.uk/

Here are two wins by Jonathan Penrose in the 1961 campaign, from Rds. 2 and 4 respectively,

White: J. Penrose. Black: Derek Ellison.

Ruy Lopez – Steinitz Defence – Siesta Variation. [C74]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 f5 The sharp Siesta Variation popularised by Capablanca in 1928. However, Penrose was the sharpest of sharp players and could easily handle this kind of play. 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.0–0 Bd3 8.Qb3! White ignores the threat to his rook. 8…b5 9.Qd5 Bxf1 10.Qxc6+ Ke7 An ugly move but the only option. 11.Bc2 Bc4 12.d4 Nf6 13.Bg5 h6 14.dxe5 hxg5 15.exf6+ gxf6 16.Nbd2 Freeing up White’s rook. 16…Kf7 17.Nxc4 bxc4 18.Qd5+ Kg7 19.Nd4 Threatening Ne6+ winning the queen. Black has surrendered all the white squares. 19…Kh6 20.Qf7 White now has a choice of mates, either Qg6 mate or Nf5 mate. 1–0

The next game was against Tiverton’s Andrew Thomas, who fell for a little-known trap in a familiar opening.

White: Jonathan Penrose. Black: A. R. B.  Thomas.

Ruy Lopez – Close Defence [C88].

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.d4 Nxd4? Tempting, but it’s a trap that loses the exchange and a pawn. 9.Bxf7+ Rxf7 10.Nxe5 Should Black save his rook or knight? 10…Ne6 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.e5 The point. 12…Bb7 If 12…Ne8?? 13.Qf3+ winning the other rook. 13.exf6 Bxf6 Leaving White the exchange up, but Black’s minor pieces are well-placed and White is made to work for his full point. 14.Nc3 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Kg8 16.a4 Qf6 17.Be3 Rf8 18.Qd3 Ng5 19.Bd4 Qh6 20.Re3 c5 21.Be5 c4 22.Qxd7 Bc6 23.Qd6 Qxd6 24.Bxd6 Rd8 25.Be7 Rd5 26.a5 Rf5 27.Rd1 Now White has extricated both rooks, the end is near.  27…Ne4 28.f3 Nf6 and Black resigned without waiting for a reply. Rd6 will be a killer blow. 1–0

Penrose finished a clear point ahead of his nearest rival, while Ellison and Thomas finished level on just 4 points.

In last week’s position, David Howell played 1…Qg3! hitting both knights and setting up an unstoppable attack on g2.

In a Bristol Tournament last year, Megan Owens fell to White’s clever little combination.

White to play and win.

British Championships Fast Approaching (12.07.2014.)

For the next three weeks, attention will be focussed on the British Championships that get under way next weekend at Aberystwyth University.

Although late entries will still be coming in, the current favourite, and strongest entry so far, is defending champion David Howell. He always appears to be calm and impassive at the board and plays a steady risk-free game, but applying increasing pressure as the game goes on. This Rd. 3 game against the 1996 Champion from last year’s championship at Torquay, put Howell on his way to the title.

White: Chris Ward (2432). Black: David Howell (2639).

Nimzo-Indian Defence [E32]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 Ward published a book on this opening in which he said he had “employed it ever since the word go”. Here, Howell uses Ward’s own best weapon against him. 4.Qc2 The Classical Variation – Capablanca’s favoured continuation, but often criticised as being relatively innocuous. Other popular options at this point are 4.a3 the Sämisch Variation, immediately challenging the pinning knight; 4.e3 The Rubinstein Variation, probably the most popular way for White to develop patiently but effectively or 4.Qb3 Spielmann’s Variation. 4…0–0 5.e4 d6 6.e5 dxe5 7.dxe5 Ng4 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 Nc6 10.Nf3 f6 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Be3 e5 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Be2 Bg4 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Nd4! 17.Rxd4 Having to give up the exchange but probably better than the alternatives. Certainly not 17.Bxd4?? exd4+ winning the queen. 17…exd4 18.Qxd4 c6 19.0–0 Qe7 20.b4 Rfd8 21.Qc5 Being materially down, White would normally want to avoid exchanges which only serve his opponent’s best interests e.g. 21.Qc3 or 21.Qf4 would keep the queens on. 21…Qxc5 22.Bxc5 Rd3 23.b5 Nd7 24.Bb4 a5 25.bxa6 Rxa6 26.c5 Rdxa3 27.Be2 If 27.Bxa3 Returning material in order to obtain other advantage elsewhere e.g. 27…Rxa3 28.Rc1 Ra5 and Black will have the winning advantage of 2 passed pawns. 27…R3a4 28.Bc3 Ra8 29.Rd1 Nxc5 0–1

Westcountry interest in the championship will centre on the fortunes of Jeremy Menadue and Theo Slade from Cornwall; Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd, Alan Brusey and John Fraser from Devon and Martin Simons and Allan Pleasants from Dorset.

In last week’s new 2-mover by Dave Howard, White should play 1.Rf6! threatening 2.Rxe6 mate. Black has four inadequate ”tries” viz. 1…Rxd6 or 1…exf5 then 2. f4 mate. If 1…Kxd6 2. Bf4 mate and if 1…Bc6 2.Rxe6 mate.

David Howell is Black in this position and has a winning move ready. Can you spot it?

David Howell (B) to play and win.