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Archive for October, 2009

Torbay vs Exeter League Match (31.10.2009.)

The match between the Torbay and Exeter Leagues on Sunday was originally intended to have been over 40 boards, but a combination of player availability and swine flu restricted it to 32-a-side. The teams were well-matched in strength and the early results found the teams tied at 10-all, but the last 12 games to finish went mostly to the home side,  winning by 18½ – 13½..

This was the game on top board.

White: Andy Dunn (181). Black: Brian Hewson (184).

Scandinavian Defence [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 d4 3.Nce2 c5 4.Ng3 Nc6 5.Nf3 g6 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.d3 h6 8.e5 White gambits a key pawn in the hope of counter play with his pieces. 8…Nxe5 9.Ne4 Qc7 10.Bf4 Bg7 11.Bb5+ Kf8 (if 11…Bd7 12.Bxd7+ Kxd7 and the King is forced to join the fray in the centre). 12.0–0 Nxf3+ (Not 12…Bg4 13.Nxe5 Bxd1 14.Nxg6+ fxg6 15.Bxc7 Rc8 16.Bf4 Bg4 (not 16…Bxc2 17.Rac1 winning the bishop). 13.Qxf3 e5 14.Bg3 Be6 15.Bc4 Bxc4 16.dxc4 Ne7 17.Nf6 Rd8 (if 17…Nf5 18.Bxe5! Qxe5 19.Nd7+) 18.Rfe1 Qc6 19.Bxe5 Qxf3 20.gxf3 g5 (If Black had played 20…Nc6 White had a forced mate, thus 21.Bd6+ Rxd6 22.Re8#) 21.Nh5 Bxe5 22.Rxe5 b6 23.Rae1 Ng6 24.Rd5 Re8 25.Kf1 Rxe1+ 26.Kxe1 Ke7 27.Kd2 Rd8 28.Rxd8 Kxd8 29.Ng7 Now it is Black’s knight that does the telling damage. 29…Ne5 30.Nf5 Nxc4+ 31.Kd3 Nxb2+ 32.Ke4 Nc4 33.Nxh6 Ke7 34.Kf5 Na3 35.Kxg5 Nxc2 and White’s flag fell with one move to make, but Black’s advanced d- pawn cannot be stopped. 0–1

Somerset’s team has been strengthened this season by the arrival at Bath University of Chris Dorrington, who was British U-12 joint champion a decade ago, and now graded 221 has pushed Jack Rudd down a place in the team. In their recent 1st round match against Hampshire, they won the top six games 5-1 but lost further down the order and the match finished 8-all. The start was delayed by an hour as Somerset forgot to take their equipment.

Cornwall defaulted their match against Glos, so it was a jittery start to the new inter-county season.

Last week’s problem by Denys Bonner was solved by 1.Qxf6! which deserves its exclamation mark, if not two. There is no immediate threat, but every Black move permits a mate. e.g. If 1…exf6 2.Re8 mate because the knight is now pinned. If 1…gxf6 2.Ne6 mate as the King can no longer flee to the g-file. If 1…Rxf6 2.hxg7 mate, and if 1…Kg7 2.Qxg7 mate as the rook is now pinned. The work of a master composer, but this week’s 2-mover is a little easier.

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As reported briefly last week, Denys Bonner died in Exeter recently.

He was born in 1919 and was descended from two old Sidmouth families. His father moved around as Manager with the Westminster Bank before leaving the bank in 1930 and starting the old Moriglen Hotel in Exmouth. Denys joined the local club in 1943 and took them into the Exeter & District League when it was formed in 1953, leading them to the inaugural championship.

His job then took him to the Yeovil and Glastonbury area of Somerset as he was promoted through the ranks to becoming a bank manager himself. He became fully immersed in Somerset chess, including winning the county championship nine times, playing on the top boards for the county team and being its captain. He was a keen postal player and was Somerset’s top board for many years.

He was also a keen problemist, both as a composer and solver.

Strangely for such an active player in several aspects of the game, I can currently locate only one game of his and one problem – hopefully more will come to light in time.

He took part in the very strong 1st Barnstaple Congress in 1971 scoring 50%. One of his games was published in the tournament book, though it was not very good from his point of view, as his opponent was much lower graded yet held him to a draw.

White: P. A. Jones (1640). Black: D. P. Bonner (2040).

Ruy Lopez – Berlin Defence. [C67]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 Signature move of the Berlin Defence 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 White is trying to clear the e-file as quickly as possible while the Black King is still in the centre. Nd6 6.Bxc6 bxc6 7.dxe5 Nb7 8.Re1 Be7 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.Nf1 0–0 11.b3 Ne6 12.Bb2 d5 13.Ne3 f5 14.c4 f4 15.Nc2 Ng5 16.Nxg5 Bxg5 17.f3 dxc4 18.bxc4 Be6 19.Qe2 Qe8 And a draw was agreed at this point, even though Black was the stronger player by 400 rating points and there is a lot of play left in the game. The black bishops are somewhat constricted, however, and White has a passed pawn.

The 10th Seniors Congress starts in Exmouth on Monday 9th November and is followed by the Torbay Congress on the weekend 20th – 22nd November at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, so there’s another busy time ahead.

Last week’s game ending finished with 1…Ng4 threatening Qg2 mate, and if 2.hxg4 then 2…Qh4 mate.

This is the only problem by Denys Bonner I can find at the moment. It is a 2-mover and – be warned – it’s seriously difficult.

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It was a busy weekend for Devon’s players, starting with their annual Wayling Cup match against Dorset at Luppitt on Saturday. The teams were well-matched over the top 8 boards, where the score was 4-all, but Devon’s greater strength in depth proved decisive and they won 10-6. Devon’s winners were Charlie Howard, Tim Paulden, John Morrison, Wilf Taylor, Steve Murray, Robert Jones and John Knowles, while honourable draws were obtained by Messrs. Gosling, Kennedy, Toms, Gorodi and Southall.

This game was last to finish and involved a newcomer to Devon.

White: T. Paulden (157). Black: P. Wilcock (157).

Polish Opening [A00]

1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.e3 Bf5 4.c4 e6 5.Qb3 Be7 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Be2 c6 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.d4 Ne4 11.Qc2 Ndf6 12.c5 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Ne4 14.Bd3 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 f5 cutting off White’s pieces from rushing to the defence of the King while opening lines for attackers. 17.f4 Rf6 18.Kh1 Rh6 19.Rg1 Bf8 20.Rg5 Be7 21.Rg2 Bf6 22.a4 It behoves White to create a diversion on the opposite wing. 22…Rc8 23.b5 Qe7 24.Qa5 cxb5 25.axb5 Ra8 26.b6 a6 27.c6 bxc6 28.Bxa6 Qe8 29.b7 Rb8 30.Qc7 Be7 31.Rc1 e5 32.Qxe5 Rf6 33.Qc7 Kf8 34.Qa5 By this stage Black has only seconds left to reach move 40 and a small crowd has gathered round. 34…Bd6 35.Qc3 Bc7 36.f3 Kg8 37.Rcg1 g6 38.Rb1 Re6 39.Rc1 White is thinking more of attacking c6 rather than defending e3. 39…Rxe3 40.Qxc6 Re1+ 41.Rg1 Rxg1+ 42.Kxg1 Qe3+ 43.Kg2 Qd2+ 44.Kf1 Qd3+?? The game is brought to a sudden halt by a terrible blunder brought on by time-pressure. 1-0 If Black had played instead 44…Bxf4 45.Rc2 Qd1+ 46.Kg2 Kg7 and the game is very finely balanced.

The following day, the Newton Abbot Club hosted Devon’s Team RapidPlay Tournament for the cup originally donated by A. R. B. Thomas. Nine teams of 4 players entered, playing six rounds at 12 minutes per player per game. At that speed, it was nail-biting stuff – not for the faint-hearted – and it was not decided until the last game to finish, when Exmouth “A” clinched it, just a half point ahead of Barnstaple, with Tiverton “A” in 3rd place. The event was organised by the host club’s Secretary, Trefor Thynne.

The death was announced this week of Denys Bonner at the age of 90 in an Exeter nursing home. In his prime he had been a top player in Devon and later in Somerset for many years. I hope to record more of his career later.

In last week’s position, Mestel won after 1…Nxa2+ 2.Qxa2 (forced) 2…Qf4 mate.

The 35th Guernsey Chess  Festival starts tomorrow and several local players will be involved. This week’s position shows the end of a game between Steve Murray of the Met. Office and Tony Corkett at Guernsey in 2002. How did Corkett (Black) win in 2 moves against any defence?

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As we celebrate the bi-centenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, writer of the seminal work “On The Origin Of Species”, it may be a good moment to reflect on the evolution of chess clubs. Like all organisms, they evolve through the years, some thriving while others become extinct. It is many years, for example, since places like Winkleigh and Dawlish had their own clubs. Exeter is a prime example; at the start of the 20th century there were clubs at the Wyvern Barracks Officers’ Mess, the Emmanuel Institute, Sidwell YMCA and the Constitutional Club. Half a century later these had gone, to be succeeded by Exeter School, the Civil Service, St. Loye’s and St. Luke’s Colleges. Fifty more years on the last three of these have vanished, to be replaced by the Met. Office and Isca Juniors.

The oldest club in the South West was Penzance, founded in 1848. In recent years it changed its name to Penwith, and now even this is not listed in the current ECF Yearbook.

The latest casualty is Totnes. It was one of the founding members of the DCCA in 1901 and had played a significant role in Devon chess in the early years of the century, but disbanding in 1926. Before that, members had included J. E. D. Moysey, once described by Mieses as one of the foremost English amateurs, Dr. Allingham, several times Devon Champion and the wonderfully-named J. Darley Dingle, Devon match captain, who died in 1924 while still in that office. Quite why the Totnes club had folded is not clear, as at the time it was Devon’s fourth largest club after Plymouth, Exeter and Torquay.

It was reformed in September 1951 by J. E. ‘Eddy’ Jones, shortly after he became Latin master at the Grammar School, retrieving the old club’s equipment and trophies that had languished for over a quarter century in the vaults of a local bank.

By way of contrast, the neighbouring club of Newton Abbot, that was recently revived by Trefor Thynne, is going from strength to strength, so the last four members of Totnes don’t have far to go.

Extinction for chess clubs, unlike the dinosaurs, is not irrevocable. Often, the key factor is the existence, or lack of, a single key person to breathe life into the corpse.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Rg7, not a threat in itself but any Black move will permit a mate.

This position, by Devonian H. Maxwell Prideaux (1857-1925), was taken from a book I recently acquired entitled 777 Chess Miniatures in Three, privately published by E. Wallis in 1908. In the front was a bookplate featuring an elaborate coat of arms above the name Dermot Macgregor Morrah. A little research revealed his dates were 1896–1974 and he was the Arundel Herald of Arms Extraordinary, who wrote books and articles on the Royal family and officiated at the Coronation. A miniature is a problem containing 7 pieces or less. Anyway, White to play and mate in 3 moves.