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.
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.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above: Look for the Age Concern sign.
Below: The door to the club premises.
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.
The West of England Inter-County Jamboree took place on Sunday at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton, with 3 teams of 12 players contesting the top section. Somerset fielded the strongest team seen at the event for many years in a determined effort to wrest the trophy from the holders, Devon. Yet they managed only a single win, while Devon won on boards 10, 11 & 12 to retain the cup. Gloucestershire also had a strong team and finished just a half point behind Somerset.
1. J. K. Stephens ½-½ M. Turner (GM). 2. J. Rudd (IM) 1-0 J. Stuart. 3. M. Ashworth ½-½ L. Hartmann 4. J. Underwood ½-½ J. Jenkins. 5. N. Hosken ½-½ A. Wong. 6. T. Goldie ½-½ T. J. Paulden. 7. M. Hui ½-½ B. Edgell. 8. P. Krzyzanowski ½-½ P. Masters. 9. C. Jones (GM) ½-½ A. W. Brusey. 10. K. J. Hurst ½-½ M. Levene. 11. K. Wandowicz ½-½ M. Payne. 12. P. Chaplin ½-½ D. Regis. 13. M. V. Abbott ½-½ D. Littlejohns. 14. D. Painter ½-½ P. J. Meade. 15. R. Ashworth ½-½ J. F.Wheeler. 16. J. Fraser 1-0 B. Whitelaw. 17. A. Killey 1-0 G. N. Jepps. 18. A. Gregory 0-1 B. W. R. Hewson.
There were 4 teams in the grade-limited section, which finished:- 1st Somerset S&W (8/12 points). 2nd Torbay League (6). 3rd= Somerset N&E and Wiltshire (both 4½). Details of all individual players’ results and photographs are available on www.keverelchess.com/blog
This game proved to be a career-best performance for White.
White: John Stephens (196). Black: GM Matthew Turner (238).
Sicilian Defence – Maroczy Bind [B39]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 The Maroczy Bind, inhibiting Black from playing d5, which usually frees up his position. 3…Bg7 4.d4 White had decided that the best approach was to attack from the outset. 4…cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Ng4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 9.Qd1 Ne6 10.Be2 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qa5 12.0–0 Qxc3 13.Qd5 0–0 14.Rfc1 Qb2 15.Bf3 d6 16.a4 Qe5 17.a5 a6 18.Rab1 Nd8 19.Bd4 Qe6 20.e5 dxe5 21.Qxe5 Qxe5 22.Bxe5 Bf5 23.Rb6 Rc8 24.Bxb7 Rc5 25.Bd4 Rxa5 Taking odd pawns away from the main scene of action can prove a costly waste of time; on the other hand to ignore them can be a decision that haunts you later in the game. It’s a matter of judgement. 26.Bxa6 Ne6 27.Be3 Bd3 28.Bb7 Nc5 29.Bxc5 Rxc5 30.Rc6 Ra5 31.h3 Rb8 32.Rc8+ Rxc8 33.Bxc8 Ra7 34.c5 Rc7 35.Bg4 e5 36.Rc3 e4 37.f3 f5 38.fxe4 Bxe4 39.Bf3 Bxf3 40.gxf3 Time for the kings to spring into life. 40…Kf7 41.Kf2 Ke6 42.Kg3 Ke5 43.c6 h6 44.Re3+ Kd5 45.Rd3+ Kxc6 46.Rd8 Rh7 47.Kf4! Although White has only 2 isolanis facing 3 connected pawns, the Black king is unable to join the fray, so a draw was agreed. If 47…Rd7 48.Rh8 Rd4+ 49.Kg3 h5 50.Rh6 Rd6 51.Kf4 and the pawns must come off. ½–½
(For more details refer to Blog section)
Last week’s problem involved another queen sacrifice; i.e. 1.QxB+ forcing 1…KxQ and then 2.Bg5 mate.
This week’s 2-mover is another world premier by local composer Dave Howard. White to play and mate in 2.
Entries are now coming in almost every day, for the 16th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress, which starts on Monday 2nd November at 1 p.m.
I hope to keep an up-to-date list of entries so far received, so that you can, perhaps, eye up the possible opposition.
|EXMOUTH SENIORS CONGRESS– Entries as at 02.10.’15|
A quick look at the team lists before the start of play showed that Somerset were making a big effort to wrest the Open trophy from Devon’s grip of recent years. The top half of their team were all graded higher than Devon’s No. 1, the new County Champion, John Stephens, with a Grandmaster and International Master among them. Their team total grade exceeded Devon’s by 118 points, or 10 points per board on average. The only chink of light for the holders was that Devon slightly out-graded Somerset on the bottom 3 boards, and by way of a gallows humour, there was a view that if the top boards could get a few draws, while the bottom ones could harvest a win or two, all might not be lost. But there wasn’t much conviction in the way it was said.
However, as the first results came in, the “plan” (if it could be so called) seemed to be taking shape. After a quick win for Rudd, early draws from the middle order were recorded, including Hurst, Regis, Underwood, Hui and Paulden. In fact the draws continued to roll in, while in the bottom 3 games, Wheeler and Fraser notched up the hoped-for wins. With 5.5 points in the bag and 3 games still in progress, it was team captain Brian Hewson’s win that took his team past the winning post. Devon’s last 2 games were against Grandmsters: John Stephens had taken the view from the start that all-out attack was the best policy, and he reached a rook & pawn endgame with 3 & 2 pawns on the same side of the board, and his rook kept Turner’s king from taking part in the action, so a draw was agreed; Stephens’ best-ever result. Alan Brusey was last to finish, with another rook & pawn ending against Grandmaster Christopher Jones (problem composer). With the match won, there was no pressure but neither player made any mistakes and an amicable draw agreed.
Amazingly, Devon’s “plan” had actually come about, and there was some incredulity in the room that such a strong team as Somerset had, could only win the one game. It has to be recorded, too, that Gloucestershire had also made a great effort to turn out a competitive team, which was their strongest for some years.
There was some compensation for Somerset captain, Roger Knight, in that in the Grade-limited section, Somerset S & E romped home with 8 points, a clear win against 3 very closely matched teams.
|1||John Stephens||196||Joey Stuart||200||Matt Turner (GM)||238|
|2||Lorenz Hartmann||190||Michael Ashworth||190||Jack Rudd (IM)||216|
|3||Jon Underwood||186||John Jenkins||185||Arturo Wong||202|
|4||Tim Paulden||185||Nigel Hosken||184||Thomas Goldie||201|
|5||Mark Hui||185||Paul Masters||182||Ben Edgell||199|
|6||Alan Brusey||184||Chris Jones (GM)||180||Pat Krzyzanowski||197|
|7||Kevin Hurst||181||Mike Levene||179||Matthew Payne||192|
|8||Dave Regis||183||Kajetan Wandowicz||170||Peter Chaplin||186|
|9||Mark Abbott||180||Phil Meade||169||Dave Littlejohns||182|
|10||John Wheeler||178||Robert Ashworth||145||David P-Kooiman||173|
|11||John Fraser||177||Barry Whitelaw||137||Gerry Jepps||167|
|12||Brian Hewson||176||Ainsley Killey||128||Andy Gregory||166|
|1||D1||J. K. Stephens||196||½||½||S1||M. Turner||238|
|2||S2||J. Rudd||216||1||0||G1||J. Stuart||200|
|3||G2||M. Ashworth||190||½||½||D2||L. Hartmann||190|
|4||D3||J. Underwood||186||½||½||G3||J. Jenkins||185|
|5||G4||N. Hosken||184||½||½||S3||A. Wong||202|
|6||S4||T. Goldie||201||½||½||D4||T. Paulden||185|
|7||D5||M. Hui||185||½||½||S5||B. Edgell||199|
|8||S6||P. Krzyzanowski||197||½||½||G5||P. Masters||182|
|9||G6||C. Jones||180||½||½||D6||A. W. Brusey||184|
|10||D7||K. J. Hurst||181||½||½||G7||M. Levene||179|
|11||G8||K. Wandowicz||170||½||½||S7||M. Payne||192|
|12||S8||P. Chaplin||186||½||½||D8||D. Regis||183|
|13||D9||M. V. Abbott||180||½||½||S9||D. Littlejohns||182|
|14||S10||D. P-Kooiman||173||½||½||G9||P. J. Meade||169|
|15||G10||R. Ashworth||145||0||1||D10||J. F. Wheeler||178|
|16||D11||J. Fraser||177||1||0||G11||B. Whitelaw||137|
|17||G12||A. Killey||128||1||0||S11||G. N. Jepps||167|
|18||S12||A. Gregory||166||0||1||D12||B. W. Hewson||176|
|Bd||Torbay||Gd||Som. S&W.||Gd||Som. E&N||Gd||Wilts|
|1||P. Brooks||158||D, Freeman||165||F. Felicio||165||A. Cooper||177|
|2||M. Stinton||158||R. Knight||157||C. Purry||160||M. Bowhay||152|
|3||W. Ingham||158||M. Baker||150||C. Strong||155||D. O’Byrne||149|
|4||A. Kinder||151||J. Fewkes||145||C. Fewtrell||145||C. S-Lumb||139|
|5||V. Ramesh||143||C. Mckinley||142||J. Lee||141||P. Musgrove||135|
|6||R. Wilby||142||S. Pickard||138||A. Champion||128||T. Cooper||133|
|7||M. O’Brien||126||R. Challoner||136||G. Daniel||123||G. Williams||128|
|8||J. Ariss||121||R. McClatchy||131||Z. Strong||121||R. Ludlow||118|
|9||M. Cockerton||116||I. Stringer||116||H. Fowler||121||E. Hughes||110|
|10||J. Dean||112||G. Greenland||108||R. Waters||110||M. Walters||107|
|11||C. Peach||105||M. Cooper||105||C. Fowler||95||D. Brown||98|
|12||A. Tatm||105||R. Fenton||104||M. Walker||70||R. Sparks||80|
|1||T1||P. Brooks||158||½||½||N1||F. Felicio||165|
|2||W1||A. Cooper||177||½||½||S1||D. Freeman||165|
|3||N2||C. Purry||160||1||0||W2||M. Bowhay||152|
|4||S2||R. Knight||157||½||½||T2||M. Stinton||158|
|5||T3||W. Ingham||158||½||½||W3||D. O’Byrne||149|
|6||N3||C. Strong||155||0||1||S3||M. Baker||150|
|7||S4||J. Fewkes||145||½||½||N4||C. Fewtrell||145|
|8||W4||C. S-Lumb||139||½||½||T4||A. Kinder||151|
|9||W5||P. Musgrove||135||1||0||N5||J. Lee||141|
|10||T5||V. Ramesh||143||1||0||S5||C. McKinley||142|
|11||N6||A. Champion||128||1||0||T6||R. Wilby||142|
|12||S6||S. Pickard||138||1||0||W6||T. Cooper||133|
|13||T7||M. O’Brien||126||1||0||N7||G. Daniel||123|
|14||W7||G. Williams||128||0||1||S7||R. Challoner||136|
|15||N8||Z. Strong||121||1||0||W8||R. Ludlow||118|
|16||S8||R. McClatchey||131||0||1||T8||J. Ariss||121|
|17||T9||M. Cockerton||116||0||1||W9||E. Hughes||110|
|19||S10||G. Greenland||108||1||0||N10||R. Waters||110|
|20||W10||M. Walters||107||1||0||T10||J. Dean||112|
|21||W11||D. Brown||98||0||1||N11||I. Stringer||116|
|22||T11||C. Peach||105||½||½||S11||M. Cooper||105|
|23||N12||M. Walker||70||½||½||T12||A. Tatam||105|
|24||S12||R. Fenton||104||1||0||W12||R. Sparks||80|
Grandmaster Keith Arkell has made the Paignton Congress virtually his own personal fiefdom during the past two decades, having come 1st, either clear or shared, almost every year. This time, however, he had just lost 7 rating points at his previous event at Coulsdon and was determined to make this up by scoring a maximum 7/7 points at Paignton, something he’d done only once before. In spite of his superior skills and rating at this event, this is not so easy to achieve in practice, as all or any one of his seven opponents are inclined to raise their game against the master and thereby force a draw, or even an unexpected win. But he stayed focussed throughout, kept things simple, and made it to the finishing line with the 7 points he wanted.
2nd= on 5 points were Stephen Berry (Wimbledon) and local player Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) who had his best-ever result, after many years taking part. 4th on 4½ was 14 yr. old Theo Slade (Barnstaple). Grading prizes (U-2005) went to Graham Bolt (London Railways) and Adrian Pickersgill (Hastings). The slow starter prize (0/2) went to Jason McKenna (Oxford).
Arkell’s two best games were against Berry and this one from Rd. 6. Note how he keeps everything as simple as possible by exchanging off Black’s active pieces, thereby leaving Black completely without any piece activity.
White: Keith Arkell (241). Black: Steve Dilleigh (187).
Queen’s Gambit – Exchange Variation [D35]
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Bd3 Nh5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.0–0 g6 11.Re1 0–0 12.e4 dxe4 13.Bxe4 Qd8 14.d5 cxd5 15.Nxd5 Ndf6 16.Rc1 Nxe4 17.Rxe4 Nf6 18.Rd4 Nxd5 19.Rxd5 Qf6 20.Qd4 Qxd4 21.Nxd4 Re8 Suddenly Black is left with only one active piece against three. 22.h4 h5 23.Rc7 a6 24.Rd6 Rb8 25.f3 The bishop doesn’t have a decent move on the board, which in turn leaves the rooks unconnected. 25…Kf8 26.Rb6 Ra8 27.Kf2 Re7 28.Rxe7 Kxe7 The rook & knight now have control of the board, and there’s little Black can do about it. 29.a4 Ra7 If 29…Rb8 30.Nc6+ wins the exchange viz 30…bxc6 31.Rxb8. 30.a5 Bd7 In the absence of any threats, White’s king can stroll up the board at leisure to add his own two-pennyworth to the attack. 31.Ke3 Bc8 32.Kf4 f6 33.g4 hxg4 34.fxg4 Bd7 35.g5 fxg5+ 36.Kxg5 Be8 37.Re6+ Kf8 38.Kf6 Ra8 39.Re7 Rb8 40.Ne6+ Kg8 41.Rg7+ Kh8 42.Rc7 Kg8 43.b4 Kh8 44.Re7 Kg8 45.Nc5 Kf8?? 46.Rg7 and in order to avoid the knight’s immediate mating threat, Black must incur more material loss. 1–0
In last week’s game ending, Rowena Bruce finished with a queen sacrifice, possibly the most satisfying finishes of all. 22.Qxh7+! Black’s next three moves are forced. 22…Nxh7 23.Nxf7+ Kg8 24.Ne5+ Kh8 25.Nxg6# 1-0. The mysterious “Mr. Black” was, in fact, her husband, Ron.
In this position how does White mate in 2?
Exmouth may have been blitzed several times during WW2, but Exmouth Chess Club had its first taste of true Blitz Chess last night, when they managed to borrow 4 new digital programmable clocks, which were set at 3 minutes per player per game, with an added increment of just 2 seconds per move made. This meant games could last little longer that 8 minutes – if that, making it a true baptism of fire. Seven members turned up and played each other twice, with colours reversed, that’s if they could actually remember what colours they’d had in the first game, such was the mind-numbing qualities of the process, otherwise they tossed again.
After 12 games each, these were the results:- (current Rapidplay grades are indicated – not quite the same as blitz, but near enough).
I wrote recently of the disappointment Grandmaster Keith Arkell must have felt at his anticlimactic finish to the recent British Championship. It seems he wasn’t downhearted for long, however, as immediately after, he took part in the massive Vienna Open tournament, where 460 players competed, and he came away 1st=, having beaten four other GMs on the way, and getting a career-best tournament rating of 2700+. It was a performance that so far seems to have been somewhat under-reported in the chess press.
So he arrived at the Paignton Congress full of optimism and a wish to add to his twenty 1st places since 1986, hopefully with a maximum score of 7/7.
In this Rd. 3 game, a former WECU President beats a former WECU Champion.
White: John Wheeler (177) Black: Maurice Staples (171).
Queen’s Gambit – Chigorin Defence. [D07]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.e3 e5 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.bxc3 Nf6 8.c4 forcing Black onto the back foot, 8…Qd6 9.d5 Ne7 10.Nf3 Ne4 11.Bd3 Nxd2 12.Nxd2 f5 13.e4 0–0 14.Qb3 Kh8 15.Qc3 c5 16.0–0–0 Now the test is who can be first to mount a telling attack against the enemy king. 16…f4 17.Be2 Ng8 18.Nf3 Nf6 19.Nd2 Bd7 20.g3 The start of line-opening operations. 20…Rae8 If 20…fxg3 21.hxg3 and White will be able to attack down the h-file. 21.Rhg1 a6 22.g4 On the other hand, White can now run his pawns forward at will. 22…b5 23.g5 Ng8 24.Bh5 Re7 25.Bg4 b4 26.Qh3 Rfe8 27.Nf3 Bxg4 28.Rxg4 Rb7 29.Rd3 b3 30.axb3 Qb6 31.Nh4 g6 32.Nf3 32…Qa5 33.Kb2 Reb8 34.Nd2 The 8th time this overactive horse has moved. Qc7 35.Rh4 White’s greater manoeuvrability is paying off. 35…Qg7 36.Qe6 a5 37.Rdh3 a4 38.Rxh7+, and Black resigned because although after 38…Qxh7 39.Rxh7+ Rxh7 Black has 2 rooks for the queen, usually slightly stronger, White has 40.Qxe5+ winning one of the rooks 1–0.
In last week’s position White could win by 1.Qc5! threatening 2.QxQ mate. If Black takes the queen, apparently for nothing, White has 2.c3 mate. If 1…exf2 2.Nd2 mate.
Here is the game that the 11-times British Ladies Champion, Rowena Bruce of Plymouth, said on BBC Radio was her favourite. The notes are her actual words as spoken.
White: Rowena Bruce. Black: Mr. Black.
1.f4 Nf6 2.e3 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.d4 0–0 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 b6 7.0–0 Bb7 8.Nbd2 d6 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Qe1 Qc7 11.g4 e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Qg3 Putting an extra piece on the e-pawn, and preventing Black from playing …e4. So Black plays… 13…Nd5 14.Ne4 Rae8 15.Bd2 Kh8 16.Qh4 N5f6 Black smells trouble on his king’s wing. 17.Nfg5 Threatening to win a piece by Rxf6. 17…Bxe4 18.Bxe4 exd4 One pawn down. 19.Bd5 dxe3 Two pawns down. 20.Rae1 exd2 Might just as well give him the bishop also! 21.Rxe8 Rxe8 Any idea what the next move might be?
On the other boards, local star, Alan Brusey, seems to have hit a fine vein of form, and looks set to post an impressive final total.
|Paignton Premier||Round 4|
|1||Gostelow, D. W.||2042||(2½)||0||1||Arkell, K. C||2505||(3)|
|2||Berry, S. H.||2294||(2)||½||½||Dilleigh, S. P||2064||(2)|
|3||Pickersgill, A. O.||1991||(2)||0||1||Wheeler, J. W.||2117||(2)|
|4||Brusey, A. W.||1998||(2)||1||0||Hewson, B. W.||2080||(2)|
|5||Littlejohns D||1994||(2)||0||1||Slade, T||1998||(2)|
|6||Bass, J. W.||2018||(1½)||½||½||Bolt, G||2004||(1)|
|7||McKenna, J. P.||2138||(1)||1||0||Toms, D. A.||1908||(1)|
|8||Brown, A. M.||2088||(1)||1||0||Hempson, P. W.||2059||(1)|
|9||Staples, M. J||1975||(1)||½||½||Spanton, T. R.||1958||(½)|
|10||Byway, P. V.||2158||(0)||1||0||Gibbs, D. C.||1784||(½)|
The first result in, before play even started, was the win awarded to Theo Slade after Dave Littlejohns was taken ill and had to retire to his room. Gostelow seemed to have decided that rather than risk suffering a long, lingering death, came out from the start with all guns blazing, but Arkell was not one to be panicked and soon had all his pieces on active squares, and his biggest problem was trying to decide which of the potentially good lines to select. He soon got the full point, to maintain his 100% score.
The Congress has usually started to take shape by Rd. 3. In the Premier there were already only 2 players on a maximum 2/2; naturally being the top 2 seeds, Arkell and Berry had to meet this early. Having started with the white pieces, it was Arkell’s turn to have White again, always a slight advantage. Indeed, he did manage to establish the kind of position he’s probably best at, with all rooks on, and his good knight against a poorer bishop. It was a potent piece, defending well and covering potential threats while having some itself, and Arkell is not the kind of player to let slip these small advantages, even if he has to sit on his hands all evening, content to play the long game.
Further down the order, a former WECU President, John Wheeler (W) faced a former WECU Champion, Maurice Staples, who played the Chigorin Defence. After castling on opposite wings, it was Wheeler who mananaged to secure open lines for his pieces to attack down the kingside. Black’s counter on the opposite wing was a move or two too slow, and Wheeler finished with a sharp combination.
|Paignton Premier||Round 3|
|1||Arkell, K. C||2505||(2)||1||0||Berry, S. H.||2294||(2)|
|2||Hewson, B. W||2080||(1½)||½||½||Littlejohns, D||1994||(1½)|
|3||Dilleigh, S. P||2064||(1½)||½||½||Pickersgill, A. O.||1991||(1½)|
|4||Hempson, P. W.||2059||(1)||0||1||Gostelow, D. W.||2042||(1½)|
|5||Wheeler, J. W.||2117||(1)||1||0||Staples, M. J.||1975||(1)|
|6||Slade, T||1998||(1)||1||0||Brown, A. M.||2088||(1)|
|7||Bolt, G||2004||(1)||0||1||Brusey, A. W.||1998||(1)|
|8||Gibbs, D. C.||1784||(½)||0||1||Bass, J. W.||2018||(½)|
|9||Spanton, T. R.||1958||(½)||0||1||McKenna, J. P.||2138||(0)|
|10||Toms, D. A.||1908||(0)||1||0||Byway, P. V.||2158||(0)|
No sooner had the calm of the afternoon descended on the playing hall at the back of the hotel, than a party broke at the front, where the hotel management had laid on a bit of a do for the guests in celebration of the Queen’s record-breaking longevity. I came across this quite by chance, and as a reporter always on the look-out for a good story, asked the lady at the door if I could perhaps take a few photographs of the colourful scene and was welcomed in, treated to champagne (choice of red, white or blue) and afterward tea, sandwiches and cakes. The guests were mostly made up a coach party of pensioners from Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas, who joined in whole-heartedly with the entertainment provided by Spencer, the resident organist, and a female duo calling themselves “The Two Jonnies”, referring to their costume, typical of the so-called stage door Jonnies of the late Victorian and Edwardian era. They gave it their all, with a range of war-time songs like Underneath The Arches – a couple of real old pros, adept at working the crowd.
The chess congress going on in the background, while exciting to the players, could hardly expect to match this for sheer spectacle and pizzazz.
Chess players from all quarters started to assemble at the Livermore House Hotel on Sunday 13th September for the next in the long series of Paignton Congresses. On bumping into the resident GM, Keith Arkell, I opened by commiserating him on his anti-climactic finish to the British Championship, in which he lost to Jonathan Hawkins, who then became British Champion, while Keith slipped to 11th= and out of the prizelist. Bad luck, and Caissa can be a cruel mistress, was my opening gambit, but not a bit of it. He pointed out that he had just returned from the titanic Vienna Open, held in the magnificent Vienna Rathaus, – 461 competitors from all over the world - where he came 1st with a career-best rating of 2700+, beating 4 other GMs in the process. While Keith came 1 st in Vienna, Jonathan Hawkins (they are team-mates, friends and had travelled together) came 11th – positions perfectly reversed from their previous event. The phrase “Swings & Roundabouts” springs to mind.
He was undoubtedly on a high and had already put Warwick well behind him. It must be said that the Vienna event has been somewhat under-reported in the British press, as I was far from being the only one who had missed this.
At 1.45, players were called to take their seats after which DCCA President, Paul Brooks, made an excellent welcoming speech, while reviewing some of the highlights of the event over the years. Congress Secretary, Alan Crickmore then added his own remarks, and lay commenced at 2 p.m. precisely.
Here are a few shots of the opening day.