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Devon Lose To Warwicks – Yeovil Congress (26.06.2010.)

In their National Semi-Final match against Warwickshire on Saturday, Devon’s U-180 team again drew 8-8, as they had done in the previous round against Surrey, only this time the tie-break rule of “board count” went against them; Devon’s wins were on the lower boards and so had a lower weighting. Devon’s winners were Alan Brusey, Trefor Thynne, Robert Thompson, Andrew Kinder and Charlie Howard, all members of the Newton Abbot Club. Draws were obtained by Ian Jamieson, Mark Abbott, Bill Ingham, Jon Duckham, Ivor Annetts and John Gorodi.

Meanwhile, the 9th Yeovil Congress was held throughout the weekend, with a number of juniors playing in the Open Section. Among them was Sarah Hegarty, recently selected to represent England in the next Olympiad, and 13 year old Felix Ynojosa. In the final round, they were drawn against each other, with Hegarty a half point clear of Ynojosa in 2nd, the lady player needing only a draw to be sure of 1st place. However, after 20 minutes her mobile phone went off in her handbag beside her chair, and as the current Rules of Chess dictate that all such offenders must default their game, the error cost her the £240 1st prize. Here is the winner’s 3rd round game.

White: F. Ynojosa (217). Black: A. Pleasants (180).

Sicilian Defence [B22]

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 e6 6.Nc3 d6 7.f4 Nc6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.Bc4 Nxc3 10.bxc3 0–0 11.0–0 Qc7 12.Bd3 Bd7 13.Qc2 Talented young players are usually good at seizing and keeping the initiative, setting the agenda for the whole game. 13…g6 If 13…Nb4 14.Bxh7+ Kh8 14.Qe2 Rac8 15.Bd2 Rfd8 16.h4 This is in keeping with this opening’s theme of White attacking quickly on the kingside. 16…Na5 17.h5 Nc4 18.Be1 b5 19.Bh4 Bc6 20.Ng5 Kg7 21.Rae1 h6 As suggested earlier, White will not want to take a backward step and risk losing the initiative, so… 22.Nxe6+! fxe6 23.Bf6+ Kg8 If 23…Bxf6 24.exf6+ Kg8 (or if 24…Kxf6 25.Qxe6+ Kg7 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Qxh6+ Kg8 28.Re6) 25.hxg6 the 2 pawns have got behind enemy lines and will wreak havoc. 24.Qg4 Bxf6 25.exf6 Qf7 26.f5 26.Rxe6 Bd7 27.Bxg6 Qxe6 28.Bf5+ Kf8 29.Qg7+ Ke8 30.Bg6+ Qf7 31.Qxf7 mate. 26…exf5 27.Bxf5 Bd7 28.hxg6 1–0

If 28…Qxf6 29.Bxd7 and all White’s pieces have long open lines to the Black King.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Be3! and although Black has over 20 possible moves he can make, each one is met with an immediate mate. Here is another 2-mover from the same source, with the four knights, so beloved of composers, clustered together.

White to mate in 2 moves.

Mobile Tragedy At Yeovil

One of the attractions at this weekend’s Yeovil Congress was seeing the latest addition to the English Ladies Olympiad Team, Sarah Hegarty, in action. Going into the final round, she was well-placed, a half point clear of the field, needing only a draw against 13 yr old Felix Ynojosa to be sure of being clear 1st and a prize of £240.

However, she arrived at the board 10 minutes late, rattled off some opening moves, but 15 minutes later her mobile phone went off in her handbag. Felix was untroubled by this and wished to play on, but disqualification in these circumstances is not discretionary – it’s automatic, FIDE having incorporated the rule in the Laws of Chess. So, without much effort on his part, Felix leapfrogged her into an unassailable 1st place.

Sarah was naturally chastened by the experience, but not too upset – it had never happened to her before, and presumably after this, won’t happen again.

Sarah Hegarty at the start of Rd. 5.

Minutes before her phone went off.

Felix Ynojosa in clear 1st place.


Incidents like this are not unusual – they have happened before at all levels. The ubiquitous mobile phone, which has quickly evolved into a miracle in miniature, can be both a boon and a curse to its owner. They are too valuable and “transportable” to be left at a reception area, so must be kept in one’s possession. The majority of chessplayers now have them, and one can imagine what a nightmare it would be if a laissez faire attitude to their use was adopted during play. FIDE have had to be firm, and have  introduced an immediate red card penalty. Everyone knows it, of course, but these things are now so small and fiddly that one can think it has been turned off when in fact it hasn’t. In an ideal world, it should be checked, and then checked again.

Devon Draw Again – (Yet Lose)

Brian Hewson sent his result sheet and report  of yesterday’s match against Warwickshire U-180 in the National Semi-Final.

Another 8-8 draw, but this time losing out on the tie break system of “Board Count”, whereby the greater weight is given to wins on the higher boards. To do this, add up the board numbers on which one team won and compare them with those on the other team. The lower number wins. this worked out at 44 – 36 in Warwickshire’s favour.

Devon thus finish the season undefeated – a fine record and a tribute to the players making the effort to turn out on a Saturday and the Captain, Brian Hewson, who organises the details.

MATCH: Warwickshire v Devon  DATE: 19th June 2010 

  SECTION: U180         VENUE: Frampton-on-Severn.

Bd Warwickshire  Grd     Devon Grd
1  M. D. Smyth 174    1     0  Stephen J. Homer 178
2  A. D. Lloyd 173 1 0  Dennis R. Cowley 176
3  D. J. Ireland 178 0 1  Alan W. Brusey 175
4  R. W Smith 177 ½ ½  Ian M. Jamieson 175
5  J. J Stewart 168 ½ ½  Mark V Abbott 174
6  R. Hearne 173 0 1  Trefor F. Thynne 173
7  A. Agnew 170 0 1  Robert Thompson 170
8  R. J. Wallman 172 ½ ½  William H. Ingham 166
9  R. C. Reynolds 171 ½ ½  Jon Duckham 169e
10  M. A. Cundy 169 1 0  Paul Brooks 162
11  T. D. Robinson 168 1 0  Brian G. Gosling 159
12  M. J. Doran 167 1 0  Mike Stinton 159
13  S. A. Williams 166 0 1  Andrew S. Kinder 158
14  S. C. A. Smith 160 ½ ½  Ivor S Annetts 156
15  G. Hope 161 0 1  Charlie V Howard 154
16  E. H. Goodwin 156 ½ ½  John Gorodi 155
  TOTAL 2703 8 8 TOTAL 2659

40 moves in 1hr 45mins + 30min allegro;

Devon won the toss and were white on odds

Warwickshire won on board count.

Brian’s report:-

There were no early results then Ian Jamieson (playing left-handed due to a broken finger and accompanied by an abacas to count his moves!) and Bill Ingham agreed draws. Robert Thompson then won well but Mike Stinton-Brownbridge lost. After much battling with a fine draw from new man Jon Duckham from Tiverton and good wins from Trefor Thynne, Andrew Kinder, Charlie Howard and Alan Brusey, despite a loss by Brian Gosling, Devon were 3 up with 6 to go. But Steve Homer missed his opponent’s winning bishop sacrifice, Dennis Cowley (having been well-placed earlier) and Paul Brooks were lost but fought to the bitter end, Ivor agreed the inevitable draw, Mark Abbott was unlucky that his opponent escaped with perpetual check and John Gorodi clung on as last man to finish.

 Trefor pointed out that 6 points were scored by the 7 Newton Abbot members playing.

 A good team effort.

Winter-Wood Tournament 2010

The Winter-Wood Tournament is a knockout competition run during the summer months, and is open to the Champions, or their Runners-Up, of clubs affiliated to DCCA. The prize is Devon’s most ornate and valuable trophy, donated by the widow of Thomas Winter-Wood of Brixton nr. Plymouth, he being a leading light in 19th century Devon chess.

The Winter-Wood Trophy

The new club champion, Mark Abbott, has accepted his right to play, this being the first time he’s taken part in it – a new experience for him.

The draw for Rd. 1 has just been sent out by the organiser, Stephen Schofield.

1. David Twine (Plymouth) vs Dominic Mackle or Trefor Thynne (Newton Abbot)

2. Brixham Champion vs Andy Dunn (Torquay)

3. Ivor Annetts (Tiverton) vs Alan Brusey (Teignmouth)

4. Graham Bolt or Dave Regis (Exeter) vs Mark Abbott (Exmouth).

It is hoped to have a winner by DCCA’s Autumn Meeting.

Mark is in a brilliant run of form, and is capable of beating any one of the other 7 qualifiers. Whether he can do it 3 times running remains to be seen.

Championship Game (19.06.2010.)

 The following interesting game was played recently in the Exeter Club Championship. Notes by the winner.

White: Dr. T. Regis (165). Black: T. Paulden (177).

English Opening. [A50]

1.c4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.d4 Nf6 4.f3 c5 Handing White a large space advantage. Better is… 4…Nc6 and if now 5.e4 with a good game. 5…e5. 5.d5 g6 6.e4 d6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.0–0 Ne8 11.Qc2 e5 In a cramped position, Black decides it’s time to strike out in the centre. 12.dxe6 White opts to create structural weaknesses in the black camp. 12…fxe6 13.Ng5 Qe7 14.Bg4 White starts aiming pieces at Black’s e6 pawn. However, developing the c1 bishop instead would have properly locked in White’s advantage. Black now manages to kickstart some tactics based on White’s weak back rank. 14…Bd4+ 15.Kh1 Qxg5! The queen cannot be taken as Black then mates on f1 16.Bxe6+ Kh8 17.Bxd7 White emerges a pawn up, but his forces are poorly coordinated and Black will gain time harassing White’s wayward bishop. 17…Qe7 18.Bg4 Nf6 19.Bf3 Rae8

A critical position. Black has activated all his pieces and the e4 pawn is under heavy fire, but how should White proceed? 20.Bd2 The dark-square bishop finally leaves home, but ironically it is this natural-looking move that hands the advantage to Black. To retain a small edge, White had to block up the a8-h1 diagonal with 20.Nd5 although Black would retain good practical chances after 20…Nxd5 21.cxd5 g5 22.g3 h5. 20…Bxe4 A neat move, again exploiting White’s weak back rank. 21.Bxe4 Nxe4 22.Nd5 White would have liked to develop his final piece but tactics prevent this e.g. 22.Rae1 Nf2+ 23.Kg1 (if 23.Rxf2 Qxe1+ 24.Bxe1 Rxe1+) 23…Ng4+ 24.Kh1 Qh4 25.h3 Qg3 and Black mates next move. 22…Qg7 This sneaky redeployment cranks up the pressure on b2, but also has a diabolical sting in the tail. Can you spot it? 23.Bc3 Ng3+ White resigned, faced with 24.hxg3 Qh6 mate

This afternoon the Devon Under-180 team is playing Warwickshire at Frampton-on-Severn in the Semi-Final of the National Inter-County Competition.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Bb6! Black has four tries, but each one is met by the White King moving away giving a killing check with the queen.

This week’s complex 2-mover comes from a book entitled The Modern Chess Problem by Philip Williams, the description “modern” being relative as the book is over 100 years old.

White to mate in 2 moves

Walton’s Knockout Championship Cup 2010

Brian Gosling has e-mailed to say that the final of the Walton’s tournament, played out last night at his home between him and new Club Champion, Mark Abbott, resulted in a win for Mark. So he wins the Club’s double, league and knockout, for 2010.

I haven’t seen the score but Brian tells me he tried the Bird’s Opening and got bogged down in a passive position, unable to cope with Mark’s sharp attack. Mark really has been on fire these last few months, so his 100% record in all club games should not be a surprise.

Club A. G. M. 2010.

Held the A.G.M. last night in the new premises at Age Concern, New St., Exmouth.

The agenda was fairly routine and most discussion centred around possible ways of raising the profile of the club within the immediate community as a way of  increasing the membership and attendance at the club on a Wednesday night. It was agreed that measures already taken this season should be continued with perhaps more rigour and to explore the idea of getting some chess played in a public venue, as was the case with the early days of the Walton’s Knockout Competition (see Club History). What is needed is a sympathetic owner/manager of a suitable establishment that the public can easily access.

Not wishing to be too downbeat, it was recalled that the club had retained both the Devon Team RapidPlay in October (Thomas Cup), and the Mamhead Cup (Devon Div. II). Mark Abbott had won the Club Championship, winning every one of his 10 games.

Former club champion and DCCA President, Phil Trussler, disrupts the photo opportunity.


Intruder ejected, Mark Abbott, new Club Champion, poses with trophy.

Devon & Exeter Institution Rendezvous.

Rendezvoused with Brian Hewson at the Devon & Exeter Institution in order to hand over the refreshment equipment I used at Salisbury in the Inter-County Quarter-Final, and needed by him for the Semi-Final against Warwickshire on Saturday. Also settled up financially.

The Institution is a wonderful haven of peace and tranquility in a busy world – to walk through a Cathedral Close packed with shoppers, tourists and assorted crusties, and enter their library is like stepping back 200 years, leaving all that mayhem behind.

In the 1960s and early 70s it used to be the venue for the Exeter Chess Club, when they had a small, cramped upper room for clubnights, but for weekend matches they could use the large tables in the Inner Library, where the furniture and shelves of ancient leather-bound tomes helped give the encounter an ambience of the 19th century.

His first match game was against A. R. B. Thomas, and I recall playing a former Exeter Champion (1956), the eccentric Pole Eddy Czerniawski, who appropriately enough played the Polish Opening.

Devon’s team for Saturday looks very competitive – it could go down to the wire again.

Coast vs Country Match (12.06.10.)

The Exeter League’s annual Coast vs Country match took place on Tuesday at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, involving one team from the coastal clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton against the inland clubs of Tiverton and Exeter.

The match was preceded by the presentation of trophies won during the season. Tim Paulden received the Div. 1 cup on behalf of Exeter; Alan Dowse took the Div. 2 cup for Seaton, Tom Badlan received the Div 3 trophy for Sidmouth and Les Porter took the Div. 4 cup won by Seaton.

The two teams of 19 were evenly matched on paper and as results came in, there was never more than one point between the sides. With the last two games in progress, the scores were tied at 8½-all. Then Mark Abbott won, giving the Coast an unbeatable 9½ points, leaving the top game, between Ken Derrick and Simon Waters, to decide the issue. It ended in a time scramble with both players having to move almost instantaneously, but it finished in a dead drawn position, making the total 10-9 to the Coast.

This was the penultimate game to finish.

White: Dr. D. Regis (165). Black: M. V. Abbott (174)

Sicilian Defence [B20]

1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 Nc6 3.e4 g6 4.d3 Bg7 5.f4 e6 6.Nf3 Nge7 7.0–0 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.e5 d4 avoiding the pawn exchanges leave White with a backward d-pawn. 10.c4 Rb8 11.Nbd2 b5 12.cxb5 Nb4 13.Ne4 Qb6 14.Nfd2 Nf5 15.Nc4 Qxb5 16.Re1 Rd8 17.g4 Nh4 18.Bh1 Ba6 19.b3 Nd5 20.Ba3 Ne3 21.Nxe3 dxe3 22.Nxc5 g5 23.Rxe3 gxf4 24.Re4 Ng6 25.d4 Nxe5 the d-pawn was pinned 26.Rc1 Nd3 27.Rc4 Nxc5 28.Rxc5 Qd3 29.Qxd3 Bxd3 30.Rxf4 Bxd4+ winning the exchange. 31.Rxd4 Rxd4 32.h3 Bg6 33.Bf3 Rd3 34.Kf2 Rd2+ 35.Ke3 Rxa2 0–1 White resigned, as he loses more material after 36.Bc1 Rxb3+ 37.Kf4 Rf2 etc.

Mark Abbott is enjoying a good run at the moment as he came 3rd= in the Open Section of the recent Cotswold Congress behind S. Berry and C. Beaumont. His clubmate Dave Rogers came clear 1st in the Major at the same event.

The next two events in the south west are the 9th Yeovil Congress on 18th – 20th June (contact: and the 2nd Bideford Congress on 17th-18th July (details from

The solution to last week’s problem by Maurice Jago was 1.Ra4!

This week’s position comes from the 1924 book Simple Two-Move Themes and was first published in the Devon & Exeter Gazette in 1905.

White to mate in 2 moves

Coast vs Country Match 2010

This annual match originated in 2003 as the League celebrated its 50th year with a match between the clubs situated on the coast (Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton) and those sited inland (Tiverton and the various clubs in Exeter).

After a gap of one year, it was decided to make this Coast vs Country formula an annual event, at the Manor Hotel on Exmouth’s Beacon.

This year Ken Derrick took over as Coast team Captain, with Brian Aldwin assembling the Country team, aiming at 20 players each. In the  event, 2 players failed to show and after a little judicious shuffling of players it settled down as a 19-a-side match. On paper the teams were closely matched from top to bottom.

Play was preceded by the prizegiving, with Brian Aldwin doing the honours.

Exeter captain Tim Paulden receives the Div. 1 Cup from Brian Aldwin.

Alan Dowse receives the Div Cup on behalf of Seaton.



Sidmouth member Tom Badlan receives the Div 3 cup.

Les Porter of Seaton receives the Div. 4 trophy.

Once play got under way, it wasn’t long before the first results came in and there was never more than a point between the two teams. Eventually, with the top two games reaching a climax, the teams were tied at 8.5 each. On Bd. 2, Mark Abbott won his game to put the Coast team in an unbeatable position, but Derrick and Waters were involved in a breathless time scramble and the clock could have decided matters. Derrick, however, managed to make about 30 moves almost instantaneously and snaffling some vital pawns in the process. With seconds left on both clocks, a dead drawn position was reached, the draw making the score 10 – 9 in the Coast’s favour.


  Coast Grd. Club     Country Grd Club
1 K. Derrick 184 Sid ½ ½ S. Waters 170 Exe
2 M. V. Abbott 174 Exm 1 0 D. Regis 165 Exe
3 J. Underwood 165 Sea ½ ½ T. Paulden 160 Exe
4 B. G. Gosling 159 Sid 1 0 S. Pope 156 Exe
5 D. A. Toms 156 Sid 0 1 I. S. Annetts 156 Tiv
6 D. R. Rogers 149 Exm ½ ½ K. Atkins 145 Tiv
7 R. H. Jones 140 Exm 1 0 C. Southall 145 Exe
8 A. Dowse 130 Sea 0 1 C. Keen 135 Exe
9 R. Warburton 125 Sid 0 1 J. Waley 124 Exe
10 T. Badlan 122 Sid ½ ½ J. Maloney 121 Exe
11 M. Belt 119 Exm 1 0 J. Knowles 121 Tiv
12 P. Hills 117 Sid 0 1 R. Scholes 115 Exe
13 R. Curtis 105 Sea 1 0 G. J. Jenkins 103 Exe
14 L. Herzberg 104 Sid 0 1 B. Aldwin 100 Tiv
15 P. Leask 103 Sid 0 1 E. A. Maynard 99 Tiv
16 L. Porter 88 Sea 1 0 A. Brinkley 96 Tiv
17 R. Cubbon 70 Sid 0 1 W. Marjoram 100 Exe
18 B. Marsh Ug Sid 1 0 J. Royle Ug Exe
19 D. Arany-Bibby 50 Sid 1 0 J. Rayson 47  
  Total     10 9