Search Keverel Chess
Monthly Archive

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

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 2017- 18

The new grading list has just been released, and these are the Exmouth Club’s full and associate members’ details.

The majority have risen; the falls are relatively small.

Name Standard Prev. Rapid Prev.
Abbott, Mark V 183 A 176 A 177 C 177 C
Belt, Malcolm 119 B 126 A 118 C 113 D
Blake, Simon 106 E 106 C 102 C
Braun, Walter 203 D
Dean, Alan J 140 D 139 D 139 A 140 D
Gosling, Brian GE 154 A 159 A 148 D 147 E
Grist, Ivor G 84 C 83 C 75 D 77 E
Hampton, Paul DJ 172 B 166 E 193 C 195 D
Hurst, Kevin J 173 D 173 C
Jones, Robert H 128 B 126 A 138 B 135 C
Martin, Steven 186 A 185 A 159 C 157 D
Murray, J Stephen 147 A 148 B 144 D 141 D
Newcombe, Barbara 92 D 85 E 83 D
Rogers, David R 130 A 128 A
Scott, Chris J 160 B 152 B 150 C 151 B
Shaw, Meyrick 169 A 159 A 186 B 177 B
Thomson, David 99 E 124 F
Underwood, Jon WR 192 C 187 C 180 B 186 B
Wensley, Oliver E 172 A 168 A 164 B 160 C

Dave Rumens 1939-2017 (22.07.2017.) 943

The British Championships at Llandudno start next Saturday, with a total entry in the 21 different sections standing at 923. Most interest will naturally fall on the top section, the overall British Championship, with an entry of 100. There’s no sign of the current Champion, Michael Adams, or Nigel Short entering the lists, but with 3 other members of England’s Olympiad team, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane as top seeds, there should be plenty to maintain the chess public’s interest throughout the 9 rounds.

The death of Dave Rumens at the age of 77 was announced earlier this month.

He was selected to represent England in the Glorney Cup U-18 international tournament in Glasgow 1957, in company with Michael Mcdonald-Ross and John Lawrence. Consequently, when, in the wake of the Fischer-Spassky match of 1972, a tidal wave of new weekend congresses swept the country as every town and city in the UK wanted to harness the enthusiasm this generated, and Rumens, being in his prime, was ideally placed to benefit as he won 1st prizes time after time throughout the ‘70s.

As White. he loved playing f4 in the opening, as in the Bird’s Opening, and he was particularly ruthless against the Sicilian Defence, when he ventured an early f4, which gained him many wins and became known as the Grand Prix Attack.

In later years he could be seen at British Championships, hanging about waiting for one or more of his child protégés to finish, before he helped them with post-game analysis.

Here is a typical game of his from Hastings in 1975.

White: David E. Rumens. Black:  Glenn Lambert.

Bird’s Opening [A02]

1.f4 Named after Henry Bird, (1830 – 1908) a lover of eccentric openings. 1…g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.e3 c5 4.Be2 Nc6 5.0–0 Nf6 6.Qe1 The usual way to get the queen active. 6…0–0 7.d3 d5 8.Nbd2 Qc7 9.Qh4 b6 10.e4 Early pressure in the centre is the key. 10…dxe4 11.dxe4 Bb7 12.e5 Nd5 13.Ne4 Nd4 14.Bd1 Ba6 15.Re1 Rad8 16.c3 Nxf3+ 17.Bxf3 Bd3 18.e6! f5 If 18…fxe6 19.Ng5 Threatening to mate and fork 4 major pieces. 19.Ng5 is played anyway. 19…Nf6 20.Be3 Ba6 21.Nf7 Rb8 22.Bf2 Bd3 23.Re3 Be4 24.Rd1 Qc6 25.Bxe4 fxe4 26.Qh3 Qa4 Black’s queen finds some counterplay, but all his other pieces are still at home. 27.Ra1 Qc2 28.Rf1 Qxb2 29.f5 Qxa2 30.fxg6 Rxf7 31.exf7+ Kf8 32.Bg3 Rd8 33.Bc7 Black’s rook must stay on the back rank and there is only one available square. 33…Ra8 and finally a sacrificial coup de grace 34.Rxf6 Bxf6 35.Qxh7 Black has a bravado check but mate on g8 is unavoidable. 1–0

In last week’s position, White could ignore the mating threat as he had 1.RXB+ KxR 2.Qd8+ forcing Kf7 and 3.Bd4 is mate.

In this position from a game in 1972, how did White benefit from his superior development?

White to move

British Championships @ Llandudno (15.07.2017.)

No sooner have the club and inter-county competitions ended for the season, than the British Championships loom on the horizon. This year’s event starts a fortnight today at Venue Cymru, a spectacular development on the Llandudno seafront, which is proving popular with players, if the current list of entries is anything to go by. With more coming in every day, total entries have already reached 859, of which 92 are in the main event, the British Championship. The top seeds are David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane, while Devon-based players include Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd and Brian Hewson. John Nunn has entered the 50+ Seniors section.

The healthy entry may be something to do with the fact that the schedule has been shortened from 11 rounds to 9. The previous formula consisted of 2 full weeks with a rest day in between, totalling at least 2½ weeks away from home, which is a big commitment in time and money, while the new arrangement means it will last just over one week.

Anyone can keep up to date with developments throughout on the event website britishchesschampionships.co.uk where games may be followed as they are being played.

Here is another of Devon’s four wins in their recent U-180 Championship Final against MIddlesex.

White: Bill Ingham (165). Black: D. Jagdeep (161)

Queen’s Pawn Opening – Mason Variation.

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Mason’s Variation, named after the Irishman, James Mason (1845 – 1905) who played it regularly. 2…Nf6 3.e3 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.c4 c6 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.c5 Qxb3 8.axb3 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Nh5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Bg7 14.b4 White’s freedom to expand on the queenside and the greater flexibility of his rooks along the board edges are keys to his win. 14…0–0 15.b5 White sensibly seeks to eliminate his weaker doubled pawn. 15…Rfb8 16.Kd2 e5 17.b4 exd4 18.Nxd4 Bxd4 19.exd4 Kg7 20.Bd3 Bxd3 21.Kxd3 Nf6 eyeing up g4. 22.Rhe1 Kf8 23.Ra2 Re8 24.Rea1 Black is unable to double his rooks on the e-file without losing pawns, so White can afford to leave his king to guard that. 24…Ne4 25.Nxe4 dxe4+ 26.Ke3 securely blocking the e-file. Now White’s rooks can get to work. 26…cxb5 27.Rxa7 Rab8 28.R1a5 b6 29.R5a6 Kg7 30.Rxb6 Rxb6 31.cxb6 Rb8 32.b7 f5 33.d5 Kf6 Allowing White’s rook to get where it needs to be … behind his pawn, but there seems nothing much better. 34.Kd4 h5 35.Ra6+ Ke7 36.Rb6 Resigns, as White will shortly have 3 passed pawns supported by rook & king, while Black’s 4 pawns will not be able to break through on the other wing. 1–0

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Bb4! and any move by the e-pawn next move will be mate or if 1…d3 2.Qa1#.

In this ending from a game played last year, Black is all set to checkmate, if it was his move – but it’s not. What, if anything, can White do about it?

It's White's Move

Pull Over for a Pit-Stop (14.07.2017.)

G’Day all,

Following the huge success of last year’s “Blitz at the Pits”, we’ll be running the event again this coming Friday (14 July 2017) at the Pit-Stop Cafe in Marsh Barton, Exeter.

Please see below for full details!

[Club captains / presidents / secretaries - please help spread the word about the event... thank you!]

*  *  *  *  *  *
Exeter Chess Club presents…

*BLITZ AT THE PITS*

A fun evening of fast chess, open to all (and free!)

7-10pm on Friday 14th July 2017,

at the Pit-Stop Cafe

(25 Marsh Green Road East, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8PQ)

Venue website: www.pitstopcafeexeter.co.uk

[Arrive 6:45pm for a 7pm start. Plenty of parking available.]

Format
Up to 40 places are available.

Two large balanced teams will be formed from the entrants, and you’ll get to play two blitz games (20min/game)
plus two blitz “chess variants” (15min/game) against different opponents.

Full details on the night!
Games will not go for grading.

Entry fee?

Entry is free! You are encouraged to purchase refreshments from the venue

(which are subsidised by £1 per entrant).
And you might even go home slightly richer than you arrived, as there will be a free raffle with a £10 cash prize to the winner!

How to enter

All players from all Devon clubs (and beyond!) are welcome to come and play, but please notify Brian Aldwin in advance [by Thursday 13 July] if you’d like to participate!

Brian’s details are:
brianaldwin@yahoo.com

07435 317941

Transport?


Finally, if would like to offer a lift to/from the venue, or are in need of one, please mention this to Brian when you contact him.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday for what should be a very fun evening of chess!

*  *  *  *  *  *

Devon Win National U-180 Championship (08.07.2017.)

Devon faced Middlesex in the Final of the U-180 Championship at Leamington Spa on Saturday. Both teams were very closely matched and it was clear every half point would count. The initiative swung back and forth, between very tight limits, and in the end the match finished 8-8. In these situations, the tie-break is determined by adding together the numbers of the boards on which wins were achieved, and the team with the lower total is deemed to have won the match by virtue of having won on the higher boards. Using this formula Devon got 1+ 3 + 13 + 14 = 31, compared to Surrey’s 6 + 8 + 11 + 15 = 40.

The details were as follows (Devon names 1st in each pairing) :-

1.John Fraser 1-0 B. Kelmedi. 2.John Wheeler ½-½ S. Coles. 3.Mark Abbott 1-0 M. Grigorian. 4.Chris Bellers ½-½ I. Calvert. 5.Dennis Cowley ½-½ G. Bachelor. 6.Dave Regis 0-1 A. Hayler. 7.Paul Hampton ½-½ M. Dydak. 8.Oliver Wensley 0-1 A. Fulton. 9.Jos Haynes ½-½ R. Campbell. 10.Alan Brusey ½-½ R. Walczak. 11. Alex Taylor 0-1 J. White. 12.Paul Brooks ½-½ P. Kennelly. 13.Bill Ingham 1-0 J. Dhemrait. 14.Meyrick Shaw 1-0 J. Hudson. 15.Steve Dean 0-1 J. Rubek. 16.Brian Gosling ½-½ R. Thursby.

Here is the top game of the day.

White: J. Fraser (178). Black:  B. Kelmendi (183)

Sicilian Defence – Dragon Variation – Yugoslav Attack  [B76]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f3 Qa5 9.0–0–0 White’s moves of Be3, f3 and castling long constitute the Yugoslav Attack in which White establishes a firm grip on the centre before storming the kingside. Black must counter on the other wing especially down the c-file, “leading to fierce struggles and opportunities for both sides” (Tony Miles). 0–0 10.Kb1 Bd7 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.Bh6 Rfc8 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.g4 Be6 15.h4 Ne5 16.Nd4 Nc4 17.Bxc4 Qxc4 18.h5 Ng8 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 h6 22.Ne6+ Kf7 23.c3 b5 24.Qc2 Qa4 25.Qe2 Rab8 26.Rd4 Rc4 27.b3 Qa5 28.Rxc4 Probably too risky at this stage was 28.bxc4? although after bxc4+ 29.Qb2 Rxb2+ 30.Kxb2 leaves White with 2 rooks for his queen. 28…bxc4 29.Qxc4 Nf6 30.Rxh6 Qxd5 31.Ng5+! Effectively the winning manoeuvre. 31…Kg7 32.Rh7+ Black’s knight is overloaded. 32…Kg8 33.Qxd5+ Nxd5 34.c4 Nb6 35.Rxe7 White goes 2 pawns up and the rest is a matter of technique. 35…Nxc4 36.Rxa7 Ne5 37.Ne4 Rb4 38.Ra4 Rb6 39.Rd4 Nf7 40.Kb2 Kf8 41.a4 Ke7 42.a5 Ra6 43.b4 Ne5 44.Nd2 Kd7 45.Kb3 Kc7 46.Ka4 Nc6 47.Rd3 Ra8 48.Nc4 Rd8 49.b5 Ne7 50.Ne3 d5 51.b6+ Kb7 52.Kb5 d4 53.a6+ Kb8 54.Kc5 Rc8+ 55.Kxd4 Nc6+ 56.Ke4 Re8+ 57.Kf4 Rf8+ 58.Kg5 Nb4 59.a7+ Kb7 60.Rb3 Nc6 61.Nd5 Nd4 62.Ra3 Nxf3+ 63.Rxf3 Rxf3 64.Nc7 Resigns in view of 64…Rf8 65.a8Q+ Rxa8 66.Nxa8 Kxa8 67.Kxg6 and White’s g-pawn will queen. 1–0

In last week’s position White played 1.Re6! PxR 2.BxB+ etc.

Here is a new 2-mover by Dave Howard.

White to move and mate in 2

Devon Win National U-180 Title (03.07.2017.)

Devon took the English U-180 Championship in the Finals at Leamington Spa on Saturday. Here is the report of Captain on the day, Paul Brooks.

Match report: Devon vs Middlesex – U180 Final:
Devon won the toss and had white on odd boards. The first three hours of the match went well for Devon with a very good positional victory for Bill Ingham and solid draws for Brian Gosling, Dennis Cowley, Jos Haynes and Paul Brooks. John Fraser had the better of his opponent’s Sicilian defence and Steve Dean was looking in control of his game with excellent outposts for his knights and a good space advantage. I then looked at Steve’s clock and noticed he had 5 minutes to play about 17 moves! By the time he reached the time-control the outposts had gone, he was a pawn down and his bishop was buried behind a solid wall of pawns, so he was facing an uphill struggle.
Debutant Alex Taylor played a King’s Gambit where chances seemed to be fluctuating from one side to the other, while Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley were both under fairly strong pressure. Meyrick Shaw, on the other hand, created an excellent position with a kingside attack, doubling rooks on the h file.
Chris Bellers and Alan Brusey both achieved well-earned draws and a few minutes later John Wheeler had neutralised his opponent’s slight pressure and another draw was agreed.
Alex Taylor having fought to reach an position where he had 3 pawns for a bishop was unfortunate that his opponent was able to co-ordinate his rooks and bishop successfully in an attack where Alex had to give up a rook or be mated.
Mark Abbott took advantage of opposition time pressure to win a good game, but things were looking bad for Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley, who both reached positions where their opponents had endgames with a couple of extra pawns. After a hard fight both players were forced to resign.
Steve Dean also succumbed in the endgame, so with 3 matches still to be decided Devon were 2 points in arrears. It was clear that 2 wins and a draw would enable Devon to win on board count, so there was still all to play for.
Meyrick Shaw played well to exchange into a rook and pawn endgame where he was 3 pawns up and after a short fight his opponent was forced to resign. On top board, John Fraser played an excellent attack which forced his opponent to exchange into an endgame where John was two pawns up and these were both passed and connected on the sixth rank. John played a clever combination which allowed his opponent to win a pawn, but the consequence was that a couple of moves later he was forced to liquidate into an endgame where John had a single unstoppable g pawn.
So the match was all-square and everyone’s attention shifted to Paul Hampton’s game. This had been very close all the way through, but, with both players down to their last 10 minutes, the Middlesex player seemed to have an edge, holding the slight material advantage of rook and 2 pawns to Paul’s knight and 3 pawns. The fact that all the pawns were on the kingside meant that we had hopes that Paul could hold the draw. Paul’s opponent looked as though he was taking control with his advanced king and rook on the seventh rank, but Paul kept cool, swapping off a pawn and creating a fortress which meant that his opponent was never going to be able to force his final pawn through. In the end, Paul was able to create a passed pawn himself which advanced to the seventh rank where his opponent had to sacrifice his rook and leave Paul with a bare knight and a draw.
So a very tough encounter finished 8-8, but as Devon’s wins had come on higher boards Devon were victorious on board count. A great victory to follow up an excellent season!
Devon grd Middlesex grd
1 John Fraser 178 1 0 B. Kelmendi 179
2 John Wheeler 174 ½ ½ S. Coles 176
3 Mark Abbott 172 1 0 M. Grigorian 175
4 Chris Bellers 173 ½ ½ I. Calvert 177
5 Dennis Cowley 169 ½ ½ G. Batchelor 174
6 Dave Regis 175 0 1 A. Hayler 170
7 Paul Hampton 161 ½ ½ M. Dydak 169
8 Oliver Wensley 168 0 1 A. Fulton 173
9 Jos Haynes ½ ½ R. Campbell 168
10 Alan Brusey 166 ½ ½ R. Walczak 173
11 Alex Taylor 165 0 1 J. White 171
12 Paul Brooks 161 ½ ½ P. Kennelly 167
13 Bill Ingham 162 1 0 J. Dhemrait 161
14 Meyrick Shaw 163 1 0 J. Hudson 154
15 Steve Dean 160 0 1 J. Rudeck 161
16 Brian Gosling 159 ½ ½ R. Thursby 154
8 8
Board count 31 40
A few photos of the happy occasion……
The team after the presentation, clutching their golden trophies.

End of Season Review (01.07.2013.)

The passing of June means the end of the chess season, with club and county AGMs and the handing out of silverware throughout the Westcountry.

The Cornish AGM will be held at 7 p.m. in Carnon Downs Village Hall (TR3 6GH) on Wednesday 19th July, where Carrick A will receive the County Shield for winning Division 1, and the Camborne delegate with receive the Roberts Cup (Div. 2). Their county team had a good season, beating and drawing respectively against Gloucestershire and Somerset. This enabled them to participate in the Quarter Finals of the Minor Counties section of the National Stages, where they were drawn against Leicestershire, which was played at Mark, near Brent Knoll. The Midland county might have been fancied to win the match anyway, but they left nothing to chance and fielded a very strong team, winning all but 2 games. Only Andrew Greet on Bd. 1 was able to keep the Cornish flag flying.

Devon had an excellent season by any standards, winning the WECU hat-trick of Jamboree, 1st & 2nd s. In the National Stages U-180 section, they beat Notts in the ¼-Final and Surrey in the Semi and now face Middlesex in the Final. At Devon’s AGM, cups were awarded as follows: Div. 1 (Bremridge Cup) – Exeter; Div. 2 (Mamhead Cup) – Exmouth; Div. 3 (Schofield Cup) -  Barnstaple; Div. 4 (Moyle Cup) – Newton Abbot; Team Knock-out (Rooke Cup) – Newton Abbot; RapidPlay (Newman Cup) – Tiverton. Junior League (Bloodworth Cup) – Sidmouth Juniors.

Retiring county captain, Brian Hewson, named Oliver Wensley as his Player of the Year. Here is his game against S. Hams back in March in which he executes a short, sharp kingside attack.

White: O. Wensley. Black: S. Levy.

1.e4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Qe2 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Bd2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Be7 10.0–0 0–0 11.a4 Getting the isolated pawn to become active. 11…Nd7 12.a5 c5 13.Bf4 Bf6 14.Rfd1 Qc8 15.Ne5 Bxe5 16.dxe5 f5 17.Bb5 White also had the choice of 17.Bc4, possibly slightly stronger. 17…Rf7 18.a6 Bc6 19.c4 h6 threatening …g5 and …f4 20.h4 Nf8 21.h5 g5 22.hxg6 e.p. Nxg6 23.Bxh6 a kingside breakthough 23…Rh7 24.Bg5 Qe8 25.Rd6 Bxb5 26.cxb5 solving White’s weak queenside pawn formation. 26…Rc8 27.c4 Nf8 28.Ra3 All White’s pieces are now poised to attack Black’s weakened king’s position. 28…Rcc7 29.Bf6 Rh6 hoping to double up the rooks. 30.Rg3+ Rg6 31.Rd8 Qf7 32.Qh5 with threats, including mate on h8, that Black cannot withstand. 1–0.

In last week’s position White could win by sacrificing with 1.Rh8+ forcing 1…KxR 2.Qf8 mate.

This position is taken from a game played 8 years ago and White is looking for a way to break though to the Black king. It wasn’t easy to find the key move, but once he did, everything fell into place.

White to play and win

Is This The Breakthrough? (24.06.2017.)

Many chessplayers are also keen on, and good at, contract bridge, and the two games have similar appeals as both are excellent mental and socialising activities. For decades, the English Bridge Union and ECF have tried, and failed, to convince HMRC that the games should be categorised as sports, thus becoming exempt from having to pay VAT on tournament entry fees. In 2015 the High Court ruled that bridge and chess were not sports eligible for lottery funding, with lawyers acting for Sport England telling the Court that the games were no more a sport than “sitting at home reading a book”.

Consequently, as reported earlier, the long-time organiser of the world’s biggest tournament for junior chessplayers, Mike Basman, was declared a bankrupt for his failure to collect VAT.

Recently, however, the English Bridge Union took their case to the European Court of Justice, and one of its most senior lawyers, the Advocate General, Maciej Szpunar, argued that sport should be understood as something that involved the “training of mental or physical fitness in a way that is generally beneficial to the health and well-being of citizens”, and recommended that Bridge be exempted from VAT in the UK.

He also noted that the International Olympic Committee was among organisations that “expressly include mental sports or endorse activities without a physical element”, having classified Bridge as a sport in 1998.

Also, the 2011 Charities Act adopted a definition of sport as “activities which promote health involving physical or mental health or exertion”, which specifically included “mind sports”.

Advocate Generals’ recommendations are not necessarily binding, but the courts rarely go against their rulings.

Where Bridge leads, English Chess Federation officials must now surely follow, and quickly, to make sure Chess does not miss out. But can it be done before Brexit?

Devon’s opponents in the U-180 team championships will be Middlesex who squeezed past Essex after an 8-all draw and tie-break rules were applied. This will take place at Warwick next month, and will be Brian Hewson’s last match as Devon Captain, having won the West of England hat-trick of the Jamboree in the Autumn, and the 1st & 2nd divisions of the inter-county championship. It would be a great treat to win the National title as well. His final award of Devon Player of the Year went to Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) for his unbeaten run of games against strong opposition.

There’s only room for a short game this week. White: R. Combe. Black: W. Hasenfuss. (Folkestone 1933). 1.d4 c5 2.c4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Nxe5?? Qa5+ winning the knight. Combe had the last laugh by wining the 1946 British Championship at a canter in the greatest upset in the history of that event.

In last week’s position (above) Black could play 1… Rd2! with threats of a back rank mate.

In this position, Black is a piece up with a free-wheeling queen. Is there anything White can do about it?

White to play

Devom March On To A National Final (17.06.2017.)

After beating Nottinghamshire in the quarter finals of the U-180 Inter-County Championship, Devon met their semi-final opponents, Surrey, on Saturday at Burcombe Village Hall, on the A30 near Salisbury. The teams were very evenly matched in strength, apart from one Surrey player having to withdraw at short notice and being replaced by a lower-graded reserve. His eventual loss was the difference between the teams as Devon finished 8½-7½ winners. They now go on to play in the Final next month. The details were as follows:- (Devon names first in each pairing).

1.John Fraser (178) ½-½ R. F. Holmes. 2.John Wheeler (176) 1-0 F. Hernandez. 3.Mark Abbott (176) 1-0 D. J. Young. 4.Chris Bellers (173) ½-½ J. Ranga. 5.Plamen Sivrev (173) 1-0 D. Sedgwick. 6.Trefor Thynne (165) ½-½ J. P. Foley. 7.Oliver Wensley (168) ½-½ M. Smart. 8.Jos Haynes (165) ½-½ M. G. Smith. 9.Alan Brusey (161) ½-½ N. L Edwards. 10.Paul Brooks (162) 0-1 O. S. Phillips. 11.Meyrick Shaw (159) 0-1 N. Faulkes. 12.Bill Ingham (165) ½-½ I. Deswarte. 13.Brian Gosling (159) ½-½ P. D. Barasi. 14.Chris Scott (152) ½-½ P. Gibbons J. 15.Andrew Kinder (153) 0-1 N. D. Grey. 16.Martin Quinn (145) 1-0 D. J. Howes.

Here is Devon’s unusual opening and subsequent win from Bd. 2.

White: F. Hernandez (178). Black: John Wheeler (176).

Scotch 4 Knights [C47]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 White’s pawn on e4 is no longer protected as its defender is pinned. 6.f3 This seems a reasonable defensive move but then… 6…Nxe4? A gambit usually assumes the voluntary loss of a pawn in return for advantages other than purely material. Offering a whole piece is much more unusual, especially in such a crucial match.  However, if it was Black’s wish to lead his opponent into unfamiliar territory, he surely succeeded in that.  7.fxe4 Qh4+ 8.Ke2 If 8.g3 Qxe4+ forking king & rook, but after 9.Qe2 Black’s queen is pinned anyway, so there’s no real advantage. 9.bxc3 Qxe4+ At least Black gets 2 pawns for his knight, and White’s pawns, isolated and doubled, look a mess compared to Black’s.  10.Be3 d6 11.Nf3 0–0 12.Qd3 White would like to make equal exchanges won’t help Black’s cause, so… 12…Qg4 13.h3 Qh5 14.Kd2 Bf5 15.Qc4 Be6 16.Qf4 Qd5+ 17.Bd3 Rfe8 18.Rhb1 Threatening Rb5 winning the White queen. 18…Ne5 19.Qe4? The threatened mate forces Black’s hand, but it proves bad for White. 19…Qxe4 20.Bxe4 Nc4+ 21.Kd3 Nxe3 22.Bxb7? In not retaking immediately, White has miscalculated.  22…Bf5+! Not just check but defending the knight as well. 23.Kd2 Rad8 White has now lost his one piece advantage and is a pawn down. 24.Nd4 Nc4+ 25.Kd1 Bd7 26.Rb4? A fatal error, inviting c4; but first… 26…Ne3+ 27.Kd2 c5 forking rook & knight. 0–1

The key to last week’s position (above) was 1.NxP+ and if 1…PxN 2. Qd6#, or 1…Kf8 2.Qh8#.

This week’s position came at the end of a game played in the US Championships earlier this year. Black to play and win.

Black to play and win

Cotswold Congress Results (10.06.2017.)

The Cotswold Congress finished on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, and of the 116 competitors the following emerged with prizes:-

Open Section: 1st= Michael Ashworth 186 – Wotton Hall) & Tim Kett (202 – Cardiff). 3rd= Don Mason 193 – Shirley), Martin Simons (194- Southbourne) & Joe Stewart (194 – Gloucester). Grading prize: Ian Clarke (168 – Malvern). Junior prize: Charlie McClaren (177 – Wotton Hall).

Major Section (U-155) 1st T. Woodward (154 – Trowbridge). 2nd= D. Edwards (142 – Witney); C. Hosdurga (141 – Bristol); B. O’Gorman (150 – DHSS); A. Papier (139 – Bristol) & I. White (148 – Wotton Hall). Grading prizes (U-145) D. Curry (139 – Halesowen) . (U-136) A. Di-Vetta (127 – Bridgend). Junior: Eleanor Hapeshi (136 – Kings’ School).

Minor Section (U-125): 1st= S. Butterworth (120) & K. Langmaid (114 – Yate). 3rd= B. Aubrey (108 – Dragon School), C. Frazer & Rachel McIntosh (110 – Chepstow). Grading prizes: (U-111) Christine Constable (106 – Bude). (U-100) Z. Ashraf (77 – Wiltshire).

Joint winner of the Open, 55 year old Tim Kett has been playing since he was 4, but only since retiring early from his career as a software specialist with a global company about 3 years ago has he been able to play much more frequently. He has thrice been Welsh Champion (2012 -14 & -16) and with his wife, Sarah, has set up TSK, which brings coaching to schools and individuals in South Wales, where they are heavily involved in the Chess in Schools and Communities project. He has truly made his hobby his 2nd career.

Here was his Rd. 5 win against the no. 3 seed.

White: T. J. Kett (202). Black: Martin Simons (194)

Nimzowitsch Defence [B00]

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.d4 d6 4.d5 Nb8 5.Bg5 c6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nbd7 9.0–0–0 Taking a considerable but calculated risk, as Black’s queenside pawns are well-placed to launch an attack at any time. But at least White has castled while Black still has some way to go.  9…Qc7 10.Be2 g6 11.Qe3 Bg7 12.Bh6 Bxh6 13.Qxh6 c5 14.Qe3 a6 15.f4 Before Black’s pawns can fully mobilise, White concentrates on the centre. 15…b5 16.Bf3 b4 17.Ne2 Rb8 18.g4 h6 19.h4 Completing an impressive array of advanced kingside pawns, forcing Black to divert his attention away from his own plan of attack. 19…h5 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.Bxh5 Rxh5 22.Ng3 Rh7 23.e5 dxe5 24.f5 Nf6 25.fxg6 fxg6 26.Qg5 Kf7 27.Rhe1 e4 28.Nxe4 Rh5 29.d6! Best. White is not to be diverted, as the centre is rapidly breaking open to his advantage. 29…Qc6 If 29…Rxg5? 30.Nxg5+ Ke8 31.dxc7 Ra8 32.Ne6 Black has lost a rook and White threatens 38.Rd8=Q+. 30.Qf4 Rf5 31.Ng5+ 1–0 Play might have continued… Kg8 32.Qc4+ Rd5 33.dxe7 Re8 34.Rxd5 Qxd5 35.Qxa6 Kg7 36.Ne6+ with the deadly fork 37.Nc7 to follow.

In this week’s position, almost hidden among all these pieces is a mate in 2 for White. Can you see it?

White to play