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12th Beacon Seniors’ Congress Results (19.11.11.)

The 12th Beacon Seniors Congress finished last weekend at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, one of the best chess venues in the country. There was a high percentage of winners.

Seniors Section: 1st= J. Dodgson, R. Everson, B. Gosling (Exmouth) & M Page (4/5 points). Grading prize (141 – 111) 1st= S. Cranmer, N. Dicker (Glastonbury), D. Elwood & G.Naldrett (3/5 pts). U-110: P. Carrick (Bath), H. Herschmann & S. Jones (Dorchester). Over-80s: B. Sandercock & A. Sherriff.

“Juniors”: 1st= I. Heppell  & J. Wells (3½/5). Grading prize: D. Rogers (Exmouth).

“The exchange” is a term used in chess when one player loses (or wins) a rook for a minor piece, knight or bishop, and is often sufficient to be a winning advantage. In this game, the exchange is won no less than four times, but in the end, the minor pieces have the last laugh. Both players knew they had to win to qualify for a share of 1st place, so held nothing back.

White: M. Page (168). Black: J. Footner (176).

Sicilian Defence – Paulsen Variation. [B49].

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Be3 Bb4 9.f3 d5 Black’s freeing move in the Sicilian Defence, but he allows White to get a positional edge. 10.exd5 Bxc3 11.dxc6 Bxb2 12.cxb7 Bxb7 13.Rb1 Ba3 14.Rb3 Bd6 15.f4 0–0 16.c4 Rfd8 17.Qb1 Be4 18.Qb2 Nd7 19.Nf3 Nc5 The rook has no safe place to go; White needs a plan. 20.Ng5 Nxb3 21.Nxe4 White has lost the exchange. 21…Nc5 22.Nxd6 Rxd6 23.Rb1 Rad8 24.Kf1 Ne4? allowing White to regain the exchange. 25.Bb6 Regaining the exchange – again… 25…Qd7 26.Bxd8 Nd2+ … but losing it back almost immediately. 27.Ke1 Nxb1 28.Ba5 Qa7 29.c5 Rd7 30.Qxb1 Qxc5 31.Qb8+ Qf8 32.Qxf8+ Kxf8 33.Bxa6 The issues have now crystallised – 2 bishops vs a rook, with the outside pawn being the advantage, providing it can be mobilised quickly.  33…Rd4 34.Bb5 Rxf4 35.Bd2 Rf5 36.Bb4+ Kg8 37.a4 f6 The bishops now withdraw to the protection of their king, leaving the a-pawn free to make a charge for the line. 38.Bd2 Kf7 39.Be2 Ke8 The rook alone will not be able to cope with the pawn and 2 bishops so the king must swing across, but finds it’s too late to be of any use. 40.a5 Kd7 41.a6 Kc7 42.Be3 Ra5 43.a7 1-0 Resigns. Play might have continued 43…Kb7 44.Bf3+ Rd5 the least worst option. 45.Bxd5+ exd5 leaving the White king free to mop up the pawns at leisure while the Black king is tied to b7 for ever.

This 2-mover shouldn’t delay you too long.

White to play and mate in 2.

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