The 11th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress finished in Exmouth yesterday afternoon, too late for any details of the prizewinners, which will appear next week. However, after 3 of the 5 rounds, the “Juniors” section (the 50-somethings) was led by local players Alan Brusey of Devon and Simon Bartlett of Cornwall. The Seniors section (for over-60s) was less clear, partly because of the number of upsets in each round. By definition, all the players are greatly experienced and know how to put a game to bed given half a chance.
Probably the shortest game in the history of the event was this one from round 3, which shows that a game of chess need not necessarily be a long drawn out affair, and has some relevant lessons. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
White: John White. Black: Mary Black.
Scotch Gambit [C44]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 White offers a pawn in order to break open the centre to his advantage. exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 Be7 If Black decides to press on with 5…cxb2 there follows 6.Bxb2 and all White’s minor pieces are raking the board. Much the best move here is 5…d6 facilitating Black’s piece development. 6.Ng5? would be premature and answered by 6…Ne5, so… 6.Qd5 Suddenly there’s a threat of mate with no easy answers. How to meet it? 6…d6?? played one move too late. The only saving move now is 6…Nh6 which, although it loses the knight, at least allows Black to castle. 7.Bxh6 0–0 Now suddenly the mating threat has gone and White has his own problems to watch out for, or he will lose even more material than Black. 8.Bc1 or White will lose a rook and Black gain a second Queen. 8…Nb4 Now threatening both the queen and a fork check winning a rook. The boot is certainly on the other foot. 9.Qd1 c2 and Black makes good the loss of the knight. 10.Qd2 cxb1=Q 11.Rxb1 Nc6 Black is now a pawn up with a safely castled King and threats to be countered. Meanwhile, in the actual game, Black’s 6th move allowed a flight square for the king but to no avail. The game finished 7.Qxf7+ Kd7 8.Be6 mate.
One moral of the game is: Keep cool – things may not always be as bad as they first appear.
N.B. For more details and pictures look in the Blog section.
The next big event in the area is the Torbay Congress which starts at the Riviera Centre on Friday evening. Details from Ray Chubb on 01626-888255 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last week’s position, Adams played Rfxf7 with a threat of mate in 1 that cannot be upset however Black conducts his own attack.
Here is a 2-mover by Christopher Reeves.