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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

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 Results (16.09.2017.)

The Paignton Congress finished last week with 61 cash prizes totalling £4,500, being awarded – too many to name all the winners here, though they are all on the keverelchess website. Here is a summary of the main winners.

Premier: 1st= Keith Arkell (Paignton) & Richard Bates (Hackney). 3rd Mike Waddington (Dorchester). Challengers (U-180) 1st K. Simpson (Mansfield). 2nd= Chris Lowe (Exeter); Robert Stern; Paul Jackson; Paul Jackson & Alex Rossiter (Bristol). Intermediate (U-150) 1st Ivor Annetts (Tiverton); 2nd= Terry Greenaway (Torquay) & Geoff Harrison (Gosforth). Minor (U-120) 1st= Tim Allen & Paul Errington. 3rd= Alan Davies (South Hams)  & Tim Crouch. 5 Round Morning sections. U-180 1st Roger Hutchings. U-135 1st Paul Doherty.

This game from the last round of the Morning tournament attracted a crowd during its fast finish. Notes based on those kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Martin Keeve. Black: Brian Gosling (E. Budleigh).

Dutch Defence [A85]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 The Dutch Defence, a regular choice against 1.d4 in the 19th century, and still a sound tool in Black’s armoury. 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.g3 b6 6.Bg2 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Bb7 8.Ba3 Preventing castling pro tem. 8…Ne4 Attacking the doubled pawns. 9.Qb3 Nc6 10.Bb4 a5 11.Ba3 a4 12.Qc2 Na5 13.c5 Nc4 Black is establishing a strong centre. 14.Bb4 bxc5 15.dxc5 Bd5 Black is planning to block White’s dark-square bishop out of the game, but must first take care of his own bishop. 16.Rd1 c6 17.0–0 0–0 18.Nd4 Qg5 After some successful jousting on the queenside, Black turns his attention to the other wing where the rest of the game will be played out. 19.e3 Rf6 20.Qe2 Rg6 21.f4 Qf6 21…Nxg3 is probably better but more complicated and with time running out was rejected. 22.Bxe4 fxe4 23.f5 exf5 24.Rxf5 Qh4 25.Qf2 Qg4 26.Rf1 Threatening mate on f8. 26…h6 27.Rf4 Qg5 28.Kh1? White now offered a draw, which Black declined as he could foresee the strength of his next move. 28…Ne5! 29.Rf5 Qe7? Better was 29…Ng4 30.Qf4 Qxf4 31.R5xf4 Nxe3. 30.Qf4 Nd3 31.Qc7 Bxa2 Black takes time out to snaffle a pawn and  create a passed pawn. 32.Qb7 Re8 33.Qa7 Bb3 34.Kg2 34.Ba5 is the only chance for White. 34…Kh7 35.h3? White falters in severe time trouble. 35.Kg1 is better. 35…Qh4 36.g4 Rxg4+ Black can afford to play this, knowing he has a draw by repetition in hand. 37.hxg4 Qxg4+ 38.Kh2 Qh4+ 39.Kg2 Be6 winning the rook which has nowhere to go. 40.Qc7 Bxf5 41.Rxf5 And now the last rites are acted out. 41…Ne1+ 42.Kf1 Nd3 43.Qxd7 Only seconds to go, and White seeks counter-play, but it’s too little too late. 43…Qh1+ Forcing 44.Ke2 Qe1#.

In last week’s position from a game at Paignton White played 1.Na6+! giving Black the unwelcome choice of taking the knight or moving his king, but neither is good enough. If 1…PxN 2.Qb3+ and mates next move, or 1…Ka8 then 2.Nxc7+ wins the queen.

Here’s a position from Hall vs Brusey Exmouth 2007. White to play and win.

White to play and win by force

Exmouth’s Buzzing Start (13.09.2017.)

Exmouth Chess Club got their new season off to their traditional start of the dreaded  Buzzer Tournament. Key to the whole event is the battery-powered, home-made device that emits an unmistakable, unmissable warbling buzz every 10 seconds. Whoever’s move it is must move immediately the buzzer sounds, after which the opponent has 10 seconds thinking time.

It never fails to amaze and amuse, the extent to which those 10 seconds seem to vary, from the time one is playing the 1st 6 moves of one’s favourite opening to the final 6 moves or so, when fending off an attack that seems to come from all directions. They’re not the same thing at all.

In spite of the dreaded prospect of a whole evening of this mode of torture, 11 members were keen to get stuck in. In spite of the disparity in grades, the six lowest-graded players all beat someone of a higher grade, and all the top players lost a game, with the exception of FIDE Master Walter Braun, and even he dropped a half point before he got up a head of steam.

The final chart looked like this:

Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
1 Bob Jones 138 X 0 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½
2 Malcolm Belt 118 1 X 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Ivor Grist 75 0 0 X 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
4 Barbara Newcombe 83 0 ½ 0 X 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0
5 Chris Scott 150 0 1 1 X 1 1 0 ½ 0 0
6 Alan Dean 139 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 X 0 ½ 0 0 1
7 Mark Abbott 177 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 X 1 0 0 ½ 6
8 Simon Blake 102 0 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 X 0 0 0
9 Meyrick Shaw 186 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 X 0 ½
10 Walter Braun 190e ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 X 1
11 Oliver Wensley 164 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 0 0 X 6

Walter Braun (nearest) & Malcom Belt deep in thought. In the backgound Barbara Newcombe plays Club President Mark Abbott and Oliver Wensley faces Simon Blake.

Scott vs Braun & Grist vs Belt, while Alan Dean watches developments.

Wensley vs Blake alongside Newcombe vs Abbott

Paignton Pics #1

Here are some scenes from the last day of the Congress…

Final Rd: Keith Arkell in action against Ashley Stewart, with David Gostelow taking Black against Steve Dilleigh next to them.

Final Rd: John Fraser vs Mike Waddington & Bates vs Goater. At one stage Fraser seemed to have his opponent completely tied up with all 3 kingside pieces unable to move, but Waddington eventually broke free and had 2 vs 2 pawns in which his proved the greater menace.

In the Challengers, Roger Hutchings failed to show up for his Bd. 1 game, so lost the chance to add another £300 to that won the day before in the Morning event. Here Chris Lowe plays Paul Jackson. and Trefor Thynne can be seen in action against Rossiter, while next to him is Bill Ingham playing Robert Stern.

Paignton Congress 2017 – Complete Prizelist

Here is the final prizelist of this year’s event, which totals nearly £4,500. The 0/2 prize is also called the Slow Starter prize, which was introduced to encourage those who have started the event disastrously, and to whom the prospect of an early return home might be coming increasingly attractive. It gives them something still to play for, instead of messing up the draw by withdrawing.

Arkell’s short Rd. 3 draw against his nearest rival, Richard Bates was, perhaps, predictable, but to be be fair he’d made 172 moves in his previous 2 games and, in any case, he was feeling (and looking) quite tired after a long series of back-to-back tournaments, taking in Dundee, Cardiff and Qatar, to name but three. And who wouldn’t.

Congratulations to all these winners.

Paignton  Congress  –  3rd – 9th September 2017
PRIZELIST
Premier
1st= Keith Arkell 2415 Halesowen £350
Richard Bates 2387 Hackney £350
3rd Mike Waddington 2080 Dorchester £200
4th= David Anderton 2093 Walsall Kipping 4 £33
Kevin Goater 2102 Weymouth 4 £33
Ashley Stewart 2127 Royston 4 £33
GP John Fraser 1870 Exeter University 4 £50
0/2 Ivan Myall 2000 Chelmsford 3 £20
Challengers (U-180)
1st Kevin Simpson 152 Mansfield 6 £300
2nd= Chris Lowe 176 Exeter 5 £75
Robert Stern 163 Albany 5 £75
Paul Jackson 162 Coulsdon 5 £75
Alex Rossiter 161 Bristol Cabot 5 £75
GP Yasser Tello 162 Wimbledon 4 £20
U-163 Colin Sellwood 155 Camborne 4 £20
U-154 Martin Page 152 Insurance £20
Jim Robertson 129 East Kilbride £20
0/2 Tim Spanton 169 Hastings £20
Intermediate (U-150)
1st Ivor Annetts 144 Tiverton £300
2nd= Terry Greenaway 141 Torquay 5 £150
Geoff Harrison 133 Gosforth 5 £150
GP Paul Doherty 126 Bolton 4 £10
U-132 Jeremy Brooks 121 Hampstead 4 £10
Gerald Parfett 119 Athenaeum 4 £10
0/2 Mark Stone 121 Pettswood 3 £20
Minor (U-120)
1st= Tim Allen 112 Battersea £250
Paul Errington 119 Bournemouth £250
3rd= Alan Davies 92 South Hams 5 £50
Tim Crouch 116 King’s Head 5 £50
GP Caroline Robson 105 Barnet 4 £30
GP George Phillips 96 B.C.A. 4 £15
U-98 Peter Carrick 96 Mid-Norton 4 £15
0/2 Reg Cox 84 Southampton 3 £10
Philip Gordon 119 B.C.A. 3 £10
5 Rd. Morning Sections
Boniface (U-180)
1st Roger Hutchings 174 Woodpushers £300
2nd= Richard Webster 175 Calderdale 4 £75
Clive Walley 164 Bath 4 £75
Alex Rossiter 161 Bristol Cabot 4 £75
Brian Gosling 154 East Budleigh 4 £75
GP Russell Goodfellow 159 Tunbridge Wells 3 £7.50
U-162 Alan Brusey 158 Newton Abbot 3 £7.50
Raymond Gamble 153 Derby 3 £7.50
Martin Keeve 161 Dresden 3 £7.50
U-146 John Shaddick 136 Basingstoke 3 £30
Thynne (U-135)
1st Paul Doherty 126 Bolton £300
2nd Tim Crouch 116 Kings Head 4 £200
3rd= David McGeeney 134 Bristol Cabot £33
Joseph Farrell 130 Metropolitan £33
Norbert Simmon 132 München £33
GP Stevo Ilic 101 Cowley £6
U-119 Clifford Peach 106 S. Hams £6
Barry Miles 115 Coulsdon £6
Graham Mill-Wilson 104 Plymouth £6
Susan Fraser 111 Darlington £6
0/2 Ken Ashby 97 S. Hams 2 £20
Richard Nash Blitz
1st John Fraser 5 £25
2nd Keith Arkell 4 £15
3rd= John Mercy 3 £2.50
David Costelow 3 £2.50
Kevin Goater 3 £2.50
Nigel Dennis 3 £2.50
Total prize money £4,458

Paignton Congress Rds. 3 & 4

Norman Tidy makes a move against Congress Organiser for many years, Alan Crickmore.

Rd. 4: Hazel Welch and Christine Constable both in deep thought.

Roger Waters (W) takes on Tony Tatam, who's enjoying the opportunity to swap the role of arbiter for that of player for a change.

Paignton Congress Hits The Road Again (06.09.2017.)

The venerable Paignton Congress got off to another start, but this time amid foul weather; a howling gale sweeping in from over Tor Bay bringing drenching rain – not your typical start to Paignton, it has to be said. It’s usually a fine week weatherwise, with the hotel gounds full of players soaking up the last rays of summer sun,  earnestly analysing or just chatting with friends. There won’t be much of that this week, but fortunately the hotel has room and facilities enough to cope with that.

The entry lists have a familiar look about them; players know what they like and come back year after year, but with a liberal enough sprinkling of  newcomers to maintain interest. Keith Arkell’s here, of course, defending his impressive 25 year record; familiar ground for him as he only lives down the road, and quite a change from his having just become the World’s Bughouse Chess Champion in Dubai, with his Bughouse partner and fellow Devonian, Jack Rudd. That must be some kind of record. If you don’t know what Bughouse Chess is, don’t ask – I’ll come back to it later.

Keith has Richard Bates as his nearest rival, who may be taking heart from the struggles Arkell has had in his early games. In round 1 his game lasted 102 moves and nearly filled 2 complete scoresheets, while his next game took a mere 70 moves to wear down Graham Bolt. On the other hand, these marathons seem to be meat & drink to him; he’s content to sit at the board, motionless and fully focussed for hour after hour, and that’s an important quality in a top player – they all have it. No fidgets, fussing, watching other games – just the occasional break to get a breath of fresh air to clear his head, then back to the board.

DCCA President, Paul Brooks, welcomes everyone before Rd. 1 begins.

Arkell & Daniel Rosen get their 102 move marathon under way. Next to Arkell is David Anderton, making a rare appearance at the event.

Rd. 2 and another mini-marathon ensues, this time involving Graham Bolt.

Arthur Hibbert vs former Paigntonian Chris Lowe on top board of the Challengers.

General view of the playing area #1

General view from a different angle at the same moment.

What Is It About Carnon Downs? (02.09.2017.) 949

Carnon Downs (pop. 1300) is a small but growing community situated on the A39 between Truro and Falmouth. Its recent development has included the construction of a fine village hall in which a number of societies meet, including a chess club. One might assume that this would be a somewhat parochial affair, attracting just a few villagers, but in fact, the club is named Carrick, after Carrick Roads, the name given to the estuary of the River Fal, which reaches from Falmouth up to Truro, and was formed 2 years ago from members of the old Falmouth and Truro clubs which were both ailing and have since closed down. It’s proved an inspired move, as last season they became Cornwall’s club champions by winning the County Cup, in which their 1st team, Carrick ‘A’, beat their 5 opponents home and away, Newquay, Liskeard, Camborne, Penwith and Carrick ‘B’. Even their 2nd team won most of their home matches and finished in a respectable position.

Carrick have strength in depth, with a pool of 7 players comprising Jeremy Menadue (191); Mark Hassall (168); Robin Kneebone (164); Richard Stephens (160); Adam Hussain (145); Marcus Pilling (145) and Mick Hill (139). These grades are the most recent published and 11 yr old Hussain’s meteoric rise through the lists bodes well for the club’s prospects this season.

Much information about Carrick and all Cornish clubs and competitions may be found on Ian George’s excellent website, cornwallchess.org.uk.

Here is a game from last year’s WECU Jamboree, won by a Carrick player.

White: M. Hassall. Black: Steve Homer

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 In keeping with White’s thematic plan against the Sicilian of an early kingside attack. 7…e5 8.Nf3 Qa5 To counter White’s Plan A, Black generally seeks to counter on the opposite wing. 9.Qd2 h6 10.Bxf6 Nxf6 11.Bc4 Be7 If 11…Qb4? there follows 12.fxe5 Qxc4 13.exf6 gxf6 14.Nd5 and if 14…Qxe4+ 15.Kd1 and with no other developed pieces, Black has to try and counter the threats of Re1 winning the queen & Nc7+ winning a rook. If 15…Qc4 16.Nb6 wins the rook anyway. 12.0–0–0 0–0 13.Kb1 a sensible precaution before launching into anything rash. 13…Qc5 From now on, tempo is everything. 14.Bb3 b5? 15.Nd5 Bd8 16.Rhe1 exf4 17.Qxf4 Nd7 18.Nd4 Bg5 19.Qg3 Ne5 20.h4 Bd8 21.Nf5 Bxf5 22.exf5 Kh7 23.Rf1 Ra7 24.f6 g6 25.h5 Rg8 26.Qh3 g5 27.Qf5+ Kh8 28.c3 opening the white diagonal to press home the attack. 28…a5 29.Bc2 Ng6 30.hxg6 Rxg6 31.Qh3 1-0. Black must lose a second piece.

In last week’s 2-mover 1.RxQ+ looked attractive, but after 1…PxR there was no mate, so it fails the test. The more subtle 1.Bb2 is the key, for any Black move is answered by 2.Nc6 mate.

This week’s position looks fairly innocuous, with level material and chances seemingly about even, yet GM John Nunn (W) found a killer move that won immediately.

White to move and win.

Paignton Approaches (26.09.2017.) 948

The Paignton Congress starts a week tomorrow with entries coming in all the time. Meanwhile, here’s a game from the 1996 event by then Paignton resident, Gary Lane, who won it that year. Here he faced a former joint-British Champion. Notes condensed from those originally kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Gary Lane. Black: Alan Phillips.  Bishop’s Opening [C24]

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 A good way to avoid the Petroff which has the reputation for being a bit dull. 2…Nf6 3.d3 c6!? A line known as the Paulsen Defence after Louis Paulsen (1833 – 91), one of the world’s leading players in the 1860s. 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bb3 The bishop retreats which is part of the opening plan in this line so that …d7-d5 lacks bite because it won’t be attacking the bishop on c4. 5…0–0 6.0–0 d6 7.Re1 Na6 8.c3 A slow, gradual way to create a pawn centre with an eventual d4, and it also allows an escape square for the bishop to avoid an exchange of pieces. 8…Nc5 9.Bc2 Bg4 10.Nbd2.

The middlegame plan is to prevent any counterplay so that White can slowly build up his kingside pieces in preparation for an attack. 10…Ne6 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nf1 Ne8 13.Ng3 Bg6 Black should think about exchanging some pieces to avoid getting a cramped position. 14.d4 Bf6 15.Be3 catching up on development. 15…Qc7 16.a4 a5 17.Qe2 The queen moves to the 2nd rank in order to coordinate the rooks and keep an eye on the possibility of …b7-b5. 17…c5 18.d5! 18…Nf4?! 19.Qd2 Nh5 Black avoids losing a pawn but now the initiative allows White to step up the kingside pressure in an effort to make the most of the black pieces’ lack of harmony. 20.Nf5 Bd8 21.g4 Nhf6 22.Kh2 There is no rush as Black has no hint of counterplay, so there is time to reinforce against a possible later kingside attack. 22…Qd7 23.c4 23…h5!? Black was in no mood to sit and wait so tried to mix things up. 24.Rg1 hxg4 25.hxg4 Nh7 26.Rg3 26…Nef6 27.Rh1 Re8 28.Bh6! forcing home the advantage because acceptance of the sacrifice would lead directly to mate. 28…Nxe4 Desperation, but there’s nothing better. 29.Bxe4 gxh6 30.Qxh6 Bf6 31.Kg2 The king steps out of the way to unleash the rook on the h-file which is all part of the plan 31…Qd8 32.g5! Bh8 33.N3h4 White can now force checkmate. 1–0

Last week’s problem by Mansfield was solved by 1. Nd3! and there’s nothing Black can do to prevent 2.Qf5#.

The opening round of the British Problem Solving Championship closed at the end of July, and there were more correct solutions sent in by WMN readers than any other provincial daily, so congratulations to all those. By now they will have received the postal round comprising 8 more positions in various categories and of increasing difficulty. The best solvers of these will be invited to participate in the Final at Eton College next February.

Meanwhile, here is another 2-mover by Dave Howard, having its first showing worldwide.

White to Mate in 2

Jones Regains Title (12.08.2017.) 946

At the start of the final round of the British Championship on Sunday, there were no less than 7 players with a chance of reaching the 7 points that could involve them in the almost inevitable play-off. In the event 4 players managed it, namely Gawain Jones, Luke McShane, John Emms & Craig Hanley, which made the play-off easier to organise. In the semi-final Jones beat Howell and MacShane beat Hanley. In the subsequent final, played using the controversial Armageddon tie-break rules, it was Jones that kept his nerve and wits to wear down McShane and take the title for the first time since 2012.

Jovanka Houska became British Ladies Champion for the 6th time. Other prizewinners were as follows: U-21 1st= Ravia Haria (Wood Green) & Andrew Horton (3Cs). 50+: 1st John Emms (Wood Green).

Some of the winners from the other sections were as follows: Seniors 50+: 1st John Nunn. 65+: 1st= Stephen Berry (Wimbledon) & Roger Emerson (Guildford). U-180: 1st O. Chinguun. U-160: 1st= G. Brown & O. Chinguun. U-140: R. Clegg (Huddersfield). U-120: 1st C. Fraser W. Bridgford). U-100: 1st Y. Kumar (Bath. U-16: 1st= K. Kalavannan (Surbiton). U-14: 1st V. Stoyanov (Sandhurst). U-12: 1st C. Tombolis (Richmond). U-11: Y. Han. U-10: A. Chung. U-9: 1st= J. Birks & G. Clarkson. U-8: 1st= S. Verma & S. Lohia.

Here is the new champion’s game from Rd. 3.

White: IM Richard Palliser (2408). Black: GM Gawain Jones (2660).

Ruy Lopez -  Steinitz Defence [C75]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 One of the more conventional openings from the 450+ played in the Championship. Players of this strength should know it well. 3…a6 4.Ba4 d6 The Steinitz Defence Deferred, the theme of which is for Black to wait to see how White deploys his pieces before deciding on his own plan.  5.c3 5…Bd7 6.0–0 g6 7.d4 Bg7 8.Bg5 f6 9.Be3 Nh6 10.dxe5 dxe5 The opened d-file becomes a big factor later in the game. 11.Qd5 Qe7 12.Na3 0–0–0 13.Qd2 Ng4 Bringing the knight into play, attacking a bishop that doesn’t have a move on the board. 14.Qe2 Nxe3 15.Qxe3 f5 16.exf5 gxf5 Generally, pawns should take towards the centre, and this has the additional advantage of opening lines to White’s king. 17.Rad1 Kb8 18.Rd5 e4 19.Bxc6 Bxc6 20.Rxf5 Rd3 21.Qg5 Qd7 22.Nd4 Bxd4 23.cxd4 Rxd4 24.Rc5? Surely it was time to bring the knight in from the cold with 24.Nc2. 24…e3 Offering a pawn in order to open up further lines to White’s king. 25.Qxe3 Rg8 grabbing more space on the k-side. 26.g3 Rd1 27.f3 Re8 28.Re5 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Qd1+ 30.Kg2 Rxe5! setting up a neat combination. 31.Qxe5 Qxf3+ 32.Kh3 Bd7+ 33.Kh4 Qg4# 0–1

In last week’s position, it was White’s bishops that do the damage. 1.QxP+! forces 1…PXQ then 2.Bg6 mate.

Here is a championship-level 2-mover by Comins Mansfield that first appeared in this paper 80 years ago.

White to play & mate in 2

British Championship 2017 – Final Round Prospects.

The absence of 2 factors has probably helped to create this year’s blanket finish, going in to the final round this afternoon.

British Championship – Final Rd.
1 McShane Jones
2 Howell 6 Emms
3 Yang-Fan 6 6 Hanley
4 Gormally 6 Ghasi

Either Adams or Short would surely have this all sewn up by now, but they’re not here, and are surely missed by the spectators, if not the players.

The foreshortened 9 round format has many good points, but the possibility of a multiple play-off after the prizegiving is not one of them. An extra 2 rounds would have thinned down the contenders somewhat. As it is, the possibilities are almost endless.

For example, McShane and Jones can hardly afford to have a quick draw to ensure a play-off place, when Emms, who is clearly on-form, is capable of beating Howell, who is clearly not, thus taking the trophy outright. If Howell-Emms and Bd. 1 is drawn there would be 3-way tie. Or, if Howell, Yang-Fan and Gormally (all White) all win, while McShane – Jones is drawn, there’s a 5-way tie – and that could take the rest of the day tomorrow to resolve. And let’s not forget Hanley.

Two things are certain: there are many permutations, and the players will keeping a close eye on the other games as well as their own.

So who’s it going to be?