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August 2014
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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

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.

Martin Simons Qualifies For the British (05.07.2014.)

Martin Simons of Southbourne is the player from the West of England’s Easter Congress who has accepted the Qualifying Place for the British Championship to be held at Aberystwyth University later this month. This Rd. 3 win against a 12 year old is one that helped him to a good score.

White: M. Simons (191). Black: T. Slade (173).

Sicilian Defence – Closed System [B25]

1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.d3 The position has evolved into the Closed System in which White declines to open up with d4. 5…e6 6.f4 Nge7 7.Nf3 0–0 8.0–0 d6 9.Be3 Nd4 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nef5 12.Bf2 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Qc7 14.Ne4 Bxe5 15.Bxc5 Bd4+ 16.Bxd4 Nxd4 17.c3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 f5? The f-pawn can’t actually take the knight at the moment and it leaves behind the e-pawn which will become problematic. 19.d4 Bd7 20.Nc5 b6 21.Nxd7 Qxd7 22.Rae1 Rfe8 23.Re5 Blockading the backward e-pawn, which will become increasingly difficult to defend once White’s heavy pieces gang up on it. This future problem leads Black to overlook present realities. 23…Re7?? 24.Qxa8+ 1–0.

Martin tends to show little respect for youth when it comes to chess. Here he trounces a 9 year old in the same event in 2000.

White: D. Howell. Black: M. Simons (203).

Scandinavian Defence. [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4 4.f3 Bf5 5.c4 e6 6.dxe6 Nc6 Black allows the check, calculating it will actually help his development. 7.exf7+ Kxf7 8.Be3 Bb4+ 9.Nc3 Re8 10.Kf2 Qe7 11.Qd2 Rad8 Black is now fully developed and sets about his task with relish. 12.Nge2 Ne5 13.Bg5 Nxc4 14.Qd1 Ng4+ 15.fxg4 Qxg5 16.gxf5 Qe3+ 17.Ke1 Nxb2 Normally, one is advised against pawn-grabbing but this threatens both BxN mate and the queen. With his knight on e2 pinned, blocking in 2 much-needed pieces, White’s position is a mess, but Black still has to win it. 18.Qb3+ Kf6 19.Rc1 If 19.Qxb4 Nd3+ 20.Kd1 Nxb4; or 19.Rb1 Bxc3+ 20.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 21.Kf2 Qe3+ 22.Ke1 Rxd4 with several mates in 3. 19…Qxc1+ 20.Kf2 Qe3+ 21.Ke1 Bxc3+ 22.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 0–1

Far from demoralising the youngster Martin was actually helping him in his career, as today David Howell is one of the world’s top players, a Grandmaster and twice British Champion. They might even meet again over the board in Aberystwyth, in which case there might be a whiff of revenge in the air!

In last week’s position, White can simply push his pawn to f7+, and if the king takes it, he has Rh7+ winning the rook. If Black therefore plays Ke7 he plays Rh7 and sets the same problem.

Here’s another hitherto unpublished 2-mover by Dave Howard.

White to mate in 2.

Devon C.C.A AGM

This brief review of Devon’s A.G.M. on Friday evening is a summary only, and does not constitute the official minutes which will be provided by the Secretary Trefor Thynne. However, the facts are believed to be correct at the time of publication.

All following officers were all re-elected en bloc.

  Office Incumbent
a President Paul Brookes
b Secretary Trefor Thynne
c Treasurer Keith Atkins
d Competitions Ray Chubb
e Match Captain Brian Hewson
f Congress Sec. Alan Crickmore
g Junior chess Vacant
h Grading officers Sean Pope / Ray ChubbTony Tatam / John Ariss
i Archivist Dave Beckwith
j Publicity Bob Jones
k WECU Delegates Brian Hewson & Keith Atkins
l ECF Delegate Ben Edgell

 

Some of the trophy presentations:

County President Paul Brooks presents County Secretary Trefor Thynne with the Schofield Cup.

New Devon Individual Champion, Dr. Tim Paulden, receives his trophy.

Tony Tatam receives the President's Award for services to Devon Chess.

Trefore Thynne, top scorer for Devon, receives the Match Captain's Award

Leagues Title Bds Limits Winner Score Runner-Up Score
Div. 1 Bremridge 6 Open Exmouth 7/8 Tiverton 5/8
Div. 2 Mamhead 4 U-640 Barnstaple 6/8 Tiverton 5/8
Div. 3 Schofield 4 U-560 Newton Abbot 5/8 Tiverton 5/8
Div. 4 Moyle 4 U-480 Barnstaple 6/8 Exeter 6/8
RapidPlay Newman 4 U-600 Exmouth 6/8 Tiverton 4/8
Junior Bloodworth 4 U-540 Newton Abbot 4 Torquay BGS 4
Knockout Rooke 8 U-1120 Newton Abbot 5 Tiverton 3
Individual Ch.       T. J. Paulden 6/8    
Intermediate Ch.       H. W. Ingham 1½/2 R. Wilby ½/2
Minor Champ.       V. Ramesh 3½/4 W. Taylor 2½/4
Ladies Champ.       J. Barber-Lafon 2/2 N. Narayanan 1

3rd Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Congress Results (28.06.2014.)

Its prize fund of almost £4,000 is about three times that of any other weekend congress in the UK, making the Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Congress able to attract some top talent. Their third such event finished last weekend with over 160 entries of whom these were just a few of the winners.

Open Section: 1st= GM Nick Pert & IM G. Sarakauskas 4½/5 pts. 3rd  Keith Arkell 4. Grading prizes (U-175) 1st = S. Peirson & J. Pink. (U-167) 1st M. Littleton.

Challengers (U-165): 1st D. Thompson 4½. 2nd= C. Woolcock, D. Butcher, R. Desmedt & I. S. Annetts. GP (U-150) 1st= P. Morton, J. Torrance, R. Du Toit & P. Wilcock.

Intermediate (U-135) 1st J. Belinger 4½. 2nd= P. Errngton & S. Williams.

Minor (U-110): 1st T. Cutter. 2nd= S. Crockett, Jenny Goldsmith & J. Versey.

Grandmaster games at this level tend to be relatively quiet affairs as they tend to wait for their opponents to make the slip-ups. Firework displays are rare. This Round 4 game sees both players committed to a rough-house and puts the winner on the road to 4th= and a £40 prize.

White: Steve Homer (189). Black: Don Mason (209).

French Defence – Tarrasch Var.  [C06]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Tarrasch’s move, avoiding the potential pin  on b4. 3…Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 Many French Defence players are keen to break White’s stranglehold on e5 a.s.a.p. so that they won’t become landed with a cramped position.  9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0–0 Qc7 12.Bg5 0–0 13.Qc2 h6 14.Bh4 Nh5 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Bg6 Rxf3 17.Bxh5 If 17.gxf3 Bxh2+ 18.Kg2 Nf4+ 19.Nxf4 Qxf4 20.Bg3 Bxg3 21.fxg3 Qxd4 and Black has 2 pawns for the exchange. 17…Bxh2+ 18.Kh1 Rf5 19.Bg6 Black seems determined to give up a rook. 19…Bd6 20.Bxf5 exf5 21.f4 Qf7 22.Rf3 Bd7 23.Rd1 Re8 24.Nc3 Qh5 25.Rh3 Qg4 26.Nxd5? An injudicious pawn grab that allows… 26…Re2 27.Qxe2 The least worst option was 27.Ne3 Rxc2 28.Nxg4 fxg4 29.Rc3 .27…Qxe2 28.Re1 Qc4 29.Nf6 Better was 29.Nc3 29…gxf6 30.Bxf6+ Kh7 31.Rg3 suddenly White has a strong attack on g7 31…Qf7 Better was 31…Bf8 though the text is good enough. 32.Rg7+ Qxg7 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 0–1. Black’s 3 minor pieces should be more than enough to handle the rook which doesn’t have a good move on the board.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Nc6! threatening 2.Ne5 mate, and if 1…Qxb3+ 2.Qxb3 mate; or 1…dxc6 2.Bxe6 mate, or 1…Rxf2 2.Qxf2 mate.

In this endgame from earlier this year how can White maximise the value of his extra pawn?

White to play and win.

Dr. Robert Dunstan – Cornishman (21.06.2014)

At the weekend I received a request for information about a Dr. R. Dunstan who was an active player in Devon for 25 year after 1904. It was a name I’d seen many times in the records but about whom I knew nothing, so I was prompted to do some research. It turned out he was one of the best Cornish players Cornwall never had.

He was the 8th of 9 children born to Robert, a Surveyor of Mines, and Anne, living at 68, Trevecca Cottages, Liskeard. He trained as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital, married Emily from Launceston soon after qualifying and had 4 children under the age of 6. He practiced in London until 1904 when he moved to Paignton. He flitted from club to club, playing for Torquay, Plymouth, Paignton, and Exeter at one time or another, and played for Devon, usually on top board. During WWI he was medical officer of troops in Paignton, probably at Oldway Mansion when it became a hospital for officers. In 1951 this became the home of the Paignton Chess Congress.

His two sons qualified as doctors and played chess, Walter becoming a member of the Teignmouth club and John getting 2 games published in the British Chess Magazine.

Here is one of the 10 games Robert had published in the BCM, this one from 1914 with notes by the then British Champion, F. D. Yates.

White: C. E. T. Jenkinson (Cornwall). Black: Dr. R. Dunstan (Devon).

Queen’s Gambit – Cambridge Springs Var. Orthodox Defence [D53].

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Ne4 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nxe4 This is not good positional judgement. The Black pawn on e4 is a useful wedge, delaying White’s development. In giving up command of the centre, White hands the initiative to Black. 7…dxe4 8.a3 0–0 9.Ne2 f5 10.Nc3 Nd7 11.Rc1 Here 11.Qc2 to be followed by 0–0–0 and f3 would have been better. The queenside counter-attack is too slow to be effective. 11…Nf6 12.Be2 Bd7 13.c5 Giving up command of d5. This comes in useful for Black later. Preferable was 0–0 followed by f3. 13…c6 14.0–0 Nd5 15.Bc4 Rf6 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.Ba2 f4 18.exf4 Rxf4 19.Qd2 Raf8 20.Rc3 Qf6 21.Rg3 h5 Now that Black’s heavy pieces are effectively placed, it only requires the advance if this pawn to complete an attack consistently carried through. 22.b4 h4 23.Rc3 Qg6 24.b5 Bg4 25.Bb1 Bf3 26.g3 Qg4 27.b6 Qh3 28.Rxf3 exf3 0–1

Last week’s elementary 2-mover by Mrs. Baird was solved by 1.Kf6! and depending where the Black king moves the rook will mate on either h3 or d8.

The English Chess Federation’s 2014 Yearbook contains an article on new problems first published last year and this one, by Barry Barnes, is one of the 2-movers.

White to play and mate in 2

Dr. R. Dunstan (1849 – 1927)

Dr. Robert Dunstan (1849 – 1927) 

Probably the Best Cornish Player Cornwall Never Had.

 A few days ago, someone asked me for information about a certain Dr. Dunstan who played for Surrey, Devon and Sussex during his long playing career. His was a name I’ve often seen in the records but otherwise knew nothing about, so I took the opportunity to dig a little deeper, and this is the result. 

Dr. Robert Dunstan was born in Liskeard in 1849, the eighth of nine children born to Robert Dunstan (a Mine Agent born in Modbury, Devon) and Anne (born in Tywardreath, a small village between Liskeard and Fowey). They lived at 68, Trevecca Cottages, Liskeard. The family must have moved frequently, as all the children were born in different places in south west Cornwall. 

By 1861 father Robert was listed as a Surveyor of Mines, so there was ambition in the family. By 1870 Robert’s sister Annie, 13 years his senior, had married John Rundell and they lived in London, so when young Robert went to study medicine at Guys Hospital, he was able to lodge with his relatives, which probably made his higher education financially possible. 

Very soon after qualifying he married a Cornishwoman, Emily Jane from Launceston, and by 1880 they had 4 children under 5, though they put a quick stop to all that. The eldest child was born back in Cornwall, in St. Ives in 1875 and the following year Walter Robert was born in Wistanston, a small village between Shropshire’s Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge and his patients came from the nearby villages described so succinctly by A. E. Houseman …

                       “Clunton & Clunbury, Clungunford & Clun

                        Are the quietest places under the sun”.

 Which suggests that he would have had to get experience through a series of temporary posts, but idyllic though these places undoubtedly were, he was keen to get back to London and by 1881 he was practicing as a GP in the Seven Sisters Road. 

A decade later he was living at 61, Acre Lane, Lambeth and was listed as a “Surgeon in General Practice”. By 1901 they had moved to 282, Balham High Road. 

His early chess career was spent in Surrey, joining first the Tufnell Park Liberal Club and then Brixton. In the season in which they won the League championship his personal score was 14½ / 15. He later became President of the Surrey C. C. A. 

By 1904 he had moved to Devon and in 1905 was playing for his new county against Kent on Bd. 1 (drawn) and against Essex on Bd. 3 (Won), this latter game appearing in BCM analysed by Samuel Passmore. However, the following year he played top board for Cornwall against Devon, the only occasion I can trace. Apart from that he played for Devon on Bds. 1 or 2. However, even then he flitted from club to club, playing at one time or another, for Plymouth, Paignton and Exeter. To this extent, he is somewhat difficult to pin down. He is not mentioned in Gaige’s encyclopaedic Chess Personalia, there are no photographs and no games of his are to be found in on-line databases. Yet in the decade 1904 – 14 a game of his was published in BCM most years, indicating either his gifts for entertaining play or self-publicity. 

In 1911 he became Devon Champion and was Runner-up in 1917 & 1918, winning it back in 1921 & 1922, then aged 73. That same year he also led Exeter to victory in Devon’s Division 1 – the Bremridge Cup. He had already led Paignton to victory in the same tournament in 1914. 

During WWI he was a medical officer of troops in Paignton. This was probably at Oldway Mansion, the home of Paris Singer that he turned over to the war effort, becoming the American Women’s War Hospital, with Lady Randolph Churchill as Chairman of the Committee and Paris as her Deputy. It was a place where injured officers could recuperate. In 1951 this became the home for 60 years of the much-loved Paignton Chess Congress. 

In 1914 he was recorded as living at “Russley”, Palace Avenue, Paignton, and was a member of both Paignton and Torquay, although playing only for Paignton in matches. In 1923 – 25 there was a paid-up member of the Teignmouth & Shaldon Club called Dr. W. Dunstan, but this was almost certainly his son, Walter Robert, who had also qualified as a “Surgeon in General Practice” and would have inherited at least some of his father’s chess talent. It’s easy to confuse the two from the records. His other son, John Arthur Dunstan also played and had two quick wins in the Knightsbridge Chess Circle Tournament published in the BCM in 1915. 

Eventually he retired to Brighton where he played for the Christ Church Club and played for Sussex until he retired from county match play in November 1926. Ironically, his last game was against Surrey, and his win was published in BCM with the footnote by J. H. Blake:  As this is understood to be (at 78) Dr. Dunstan’s last match game he is to be warmly congratulated on quitting the arena upon so happy and characteristic an effort.  He died on 27th November 1927, aged 78. 

And BCM noted He was gifted with a very quick sight of the board but was not a superficial analyst. On the contrary, he was always a dangerous opponent; and away from the board he was an adept at repartee. 

The following game scores may be found in BCM. 

Year       Opponent Team Analysis by  
1901 DR B 0 P. R. England North P. R. England Postal gm
1903 DR W 0 M. Jackson North   Postal gm
1904 DR W 1 H. E. Dobell Hastings F. J. Marshall  
1908 DR B 1 T. Taylor Plymouth C. T. Blanshard  
1909 DR B 1 A. Rumboll Wilts    
1910 DR B 1 C. Jenkinson Cornwall F. D. Yates  
1911 DR W 1 T. Edwards Glos    
1914 DR B 1 T. Taylor Plymouth C. E. C.Tattersall  
1926 DR W 1 W. Greenwood Surrey J. H. Blake  

  This is a synthesis of material from (a) British Chess Magazine, (b) Chris Ravilious and Brian Denman published by Dr. Dave Regis in his book 100-Odd Years Of Exeter Chess Club (c) my own archives and (d) ancestry.co.uk.

Bristol’s Boniface Memorial Congress (14.06.2014.)

The Steve Boniface Memorial Congress finished on Sunday evening at Bristol’s  Holiday Inn, with the following emerging as prizewinners: (all scores out of 5)

Open Section:  1st Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton) 4½. 2nd= Tim Paulden (Exeter), Carl Bicknell & Peter Kirby (both Horfield) 4. Grading prizes:  U-178  Chris Timmins (Bristol).             U-165 Joe Fathallah (Wales).

(27 players participated).

Major (U-155): 1st G. A. Harvey (South Bristol) 4½. 2nd= Alex Rossiter & Neil Derrick (both Bristol Cabot) 4.

Grading Prize: Paul Gillett (Cirencester) 3½. 20 Players.

Minor (U-125): 1st Chris Snook-Lumb (Swindon) 5. 2nd Alastair Marston (Bristol Cabot) 4. 3rd=  Richard Porter (Bristol University), Steve Williams (Cwmbran) & Amol Telang (Bristol & Clifton) 3½.

Grading Prizes (U-110): Martyn Maber (Taunton) 2½. (U-90) James Dettman (Pete’s Potentials) 2.  22 Players.

Here are a couple of games from Round 3 in the Open.

White: G. Willett (126). Black: H. Andolo (176).

English Opening  [A29]

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e5 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.d3 Be7 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.0–0 0–0 9.a3 a5 10.Be3 Be6 11.Nd2 f5 12.Bxb6 cxb6 13.b3 Rc8 14.Nc4 Nd4 15.Bxb7 Rc7 16.Ba6 Ra7 17.Bb5 f4 18.Nxe5 Qc7 19.Nc4 Qc5 The bishop can’t move so must be protected, though this cuts it off from the defence, with fatal consequences. 20.a4 Qh5 21.Nd2 Bb4 22.Nce4 Nxe2+ 23.Kh1 Bxd2 24.Qxd2?? Qf3# 0–1. White might have wriggled free after 24.f3 Nxg3+ 25.Nxg3 fxg3 26.Qxd2 though Black’s much greater freedom of movement, not to mention his 50 point grading advantage, would probably win the day.

The following game helped Timmins on his way to a grading prize.

White: C. Timmins (167). Black: J. Waterfield (179)

Queen’s Pawn Game [D01]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.e3 g6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Bd3 c5 8.0–0 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.Qh4 White’s forces are starting to mass on the kingside. 10…Re8 11.Ne5 a6 12.Rf3 Nf8 13.f5 c4 14.fxg6 Nxg6 If 14…cxd3 15.gxf7+ Kh8 Black’s rook is going nowhere, so… 16.Rg3 with the threat of Bh6. 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Rh3 Qd6 17.Rf1 Bc8 18.g4 Be6 19.Bh6 Nh5 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.gxh5 f6 22.Rg3 fxe5 23.Rxg6+ Kh7 24.Qg5 and mate on h6 cannot be avoided. 1–0

Many more games may be found on the League’s website – www.chessit.co.uk.

In last week’s position, Black could finish in 3 forcing moves, starting with the sacrificial 1…Rg1+ 2.Kxg1 Qh2+ 3.Kf1 3.Qh1 mate.

This simple 2-mover was composed by Edith Elena Baird shortly before she died in Paignton in 1924.

White to mate in 2