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Cotswold Congress Results

Phil Meade has just sent the prizelist for the recent Cotswold Congress, held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, which featured two notable successes for Exmouth players, namely Mark Abbott’s 3rd place in the Open against some fearsome opposition, and Dave Rogers’ clear 1st in the Major. Well done to them, and all the winners.

Here’s the full prizelist:


1st                Stephen Berry (Wimbledon)               5½

2nd            Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton)    5

3rd=           Mark Abbott (Exmouth)                      4

                    Richard Jones (Swansea)                     4

                    Chris Purry (Frome)                             4

Grading      Geoff Taylor (Gloucester)                   3½

R1 Loser     Dominic Bennett (Bristol & Clifton)   3½

Best Lady   Lynda Roberts (Thornbury)                 1½ 

Major (U-160) 

1st                 David Rogers (Exmouth)                     5

2nd=            Carl Gartside (High Peak)                   4½

                     Megan Owens (Downend & Fishponds)   4½

                    Neil Tomkin (Kings Head)                  4½

Grading       Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury)                 4

                    Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham)          3½

R1 Loser     Mark Forknall (Cheltenham)               4

Best Junior  Oskar Hackner (Rotherham)               2½ 

Minor (U-120) 

1=               Kevin Bendall (Wotton Hall)               5

                   William Curry (Fareham)                     5

3=                Stephen Billett (Portsmouth)               4½

                    Gary Brown (Stroud)                           4½

                    Alan Fraser (Beckenham & Bromley)  4½

Grading       Michael Bolan (Ashtead)                     4

                    Chris Constable (Coulsdon)                 4

                    John Machin (Pudsey)                         3½

R1 Loser     Geoff Gammon (Downend & Fishponds)    3½

Best Junior  Matthew Claypole (Cheltenham)         3½

                    Kyle Reed (Hagley)                              3½

                    Thomas Thorpe (Bristol)                      3½

Devon Beat Surrey Pt. II (05.06.2010)

Devon’s three wins in their recent match against Surrey was enough to take them through to the semi-finals. This was Robert Thompson’s game which featured an interestingly asymmetric balance of forces.

White: A. French (173). Black: R. Thompson (170).

Sicilian Defence – Alapin Variation. [B22]

1.e4 c5 2.c3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.cxd4 d5 5.e5 Nc6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.h3 Nh6 8.g4 0–0 9.f4 White is being very bold in advancing all his kingside pawns so early without a prepared hiding place for his king. 9…f6 10.Bg2 fxe5 11.fxe5 e6 12.Nf3 Qb6 13.0–0 Black now sacrifices a rook for knight and pawn. 13…Rxf3 14.Bxf3 Qxd4+ 15.Qxd4 Nxd4 16.Bf4 Nf7 17.Rae1 Nc6 18.Nxd5 exd5 19.e6 Nh6 20.e7 Bd7 21.Bxd5+ Kh8 Black now has 2 knights for rook and pawn. 22.Bd6 Ng8 23.Rf8 Ncxe7 24.Rxa8 Nxd5 Now there is an even more interesting balance of forces with Black’s 3 minor pieces against 2 rooks. 25.Be5 a6 26.Kf2 Nb4 27.Bxg7+ Kxg7 There now follows a period of manoeuvring for positional advantage. 28.Rd1 Bc6 29.a3 Nd5 30.Rd4 Ngf6 31.Rc4 Bb5 32.Rd4 Nc7 33.Ra7 Bc6 One rook is now locked away while the other has to fend off attacks from the minor pieces. 34.Rc4 Nfd5 35.a4 Kf6 36.b4 Ke5 37.Kg3 Kd6 38.Rd4 Ne6 39.Rd2 Ng5 40.Rd1 Ne4+ 41.Kh4 h5 42.Ra1 Ke5 43.b5 axb5 44.axb5 Bxb5 (If 44…Ndf6 forces 45.g5) 45.Re1 Nf4 threatening g5 mate, so forcing… 46.Rxe4+ Kxe4 47.gxh5 gxh5 48.Kg5 Nxh3+ 49.Kxh5 Nf4+ 50.Kg5 Nd5 51.Ra5? The b-pawn is Black’s only hope of a win and yet White ignores it. 51…Bc6 52.Ra1 Nc3 53.Re1+ Kd5 54.Kf4 Kc4 55.Ke5 b5 56.Kd6 Be4 57.Ke5 b4 58.Rg1 b3 59.Rg8 Bc2 60.Rg4+ Ne4 61.Rg1 b2 62.Re1 Nc3 63.Rh1 Be4 64.Rg1 Kd3 65.Re1 Kc2 66.Kd4 Bd3 67.Rg1?? (A blunder, but the game is lost anyway, for if 67.Rh1 Kd2 68.Ke5 Nd1 69.Rh2+ Be2 and the b-pawn can queen safely). 67…Ne2+ White resigned as the knight will now come to c1 to protect the queening square of b1.

In the semi-final Devon are now due to meet Warwickshire who beat Lancashire 10-6.

The noted Cornish problemist, Dr. Maurice Jago was most prolific during the war when he was a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He became increasingly interested in the more flamboyant and unusual kinds of positions and problems. This 2-mover is taken from an article entitled Horse Play that he got published in the British Chess Magazine in 1943, and is typical of his work at that time.

White to mate in 2

WECU Council Presentations

Left home at 12.50 for the WECU Council Meeting at Ilminster, and as General Secretary was stocked up with spare agendas and sets of minutes, in spite of having sent these out well before – (there’s always somebody that’s forgotten to bring their copy). There had been several apologies flagged up and I had expected a relatively small attendance, but this was not the case as 13 showed up, filling every seat round the table. 

Phil Meade as retiring President took the chair and it had been tacitly agreed beforehand that he would steer things through to the end, even though Deputy President Malcolm Steevens of Dorset would swap offices with him when the Election of Officers item was reached. 

Wearing his other hat as Fixtures Secretary (he has many others at home, he told us) he presented his summary of the past season’s results, and his proposed programme of fixtures for 2010 – 11, already approved by the Executive in March, was ratified. 

2009 – 2010 Results. 

Div. 1 (H. Meek Cup) Corn Devon Glos Hants Som Pts. Pos.
Cornwall XXX 5 Def. 0 5th
Devon 11 XXX 10 8 11 7 1st
Gloucestershire w/o 6 XXX 8 8 4 2nd=
Hampshire 8 8 XXX 8 3 4th
Somerset 5 8 8 XXX 4 2nd=


Div. 2 (Wayling Cup) Devon Dorset Hants Pts. Pos.
Devon XXX 10 w/o 4 1st
Dorset 6 XXX 0 3rd
Hampshire def 10½ XXX 2 2nd

 2010-2011 Proposed Programme: 

Rd. 1 Sat. 16th Oct. ‘10 Glos v Corn Dev v Dorset Som v Hants
Rd. 2 Sat. 4th Dec. ‘10 Dev v Corn Hants v Glos Dorset v Som
Rd. 3 Sat. 22nd Jan. ‘11 Hants v Dev Glos v Som Cornwall (bye)
Rd. 4 Sat. 12th Feb. ‘11 Corn v Hants Som v Dev Glos (bye)
Rd. 5 Sat. 12th Mar. ‘11 Dev v Glos Dorset v Hants Corn v Som

 Entries for 2010-2011 season based on current information.

  WECU WECU   ECF Stages        
  Div. 1 Div. 2              
    (bds) Open Minor U-180 U-160 U-140 U-120 U-100
Corn Yes No              
Devon Yes Yes (16)     Yes        
Dorset No Yes (16)              
Glos Yes No   Yes          
Hants Yes Yes (12)   Yes     Yes    
Som. Yes No              
Wilts No No              

 Devon had won both cups and their team captain, Brian Hewson received them from the President.

Devon Captain, Brian Hewson (l), receives the Div. 1 Cup from WECU President, Phil Meade.

Brian Hewson receives the Div. 2 Cup from WECU President, Phil Meade.

This opportunity was taken for President-elect, Malcolm Steevens to make a presentation to Frank Kingdon in recognition of his near half century service to Dorset chess, which coincided with the length of time he had been with the Union.

WECU President-elect presents Frank Kingdon with commemorative plaque.

  Frank Kingdon first appeared on the westcountry chess scene 48 years ago, in 1962, when he became Secretary of the Dorset C.C.A. and their delegate to W.E.C.U. shortly after moving to his present home in Weymouth. This was his first stepping-stone into chess organisation. 

By 1969 he had switched to becoming Correspondence Chess Co-ordinator for Dorset and Grading Officer for WECU and the Union Delegate to the BCF. 

In 1976 he was elected WECU President, and as soon as he stepped down from that post he was elected President of Dorset, a role he reprised in the late 1980s. In the mid-1980s he took on the post of WECU’s Fixtures Secretary, a job he did until retirement at the 2009 Council meeting, when he was elevated to the status of Life Vice-President. 

He was a founding member of the Dorset Congress in 1964, which he recalls as starting at the former club at the Winfrith Atomic Energy Establishment of which he was a member, before settling in Weymouth. He ran this for many years until ill-health forced his retirement in 2008, after which no-one could be found to replace him in the short term – he was literally irreplaceable. The event has now been incorporated into the Bournemouth Bicentenary Congress in October 2010. 

Although a naturalised Dorset man, Frank is, in fact, a Devonian. He was born in Plymouth in 1929 before moving to the tiny village of Puddington, between Tiverton and Crediton, and finally to Exeter at the age of 3. There are still family connections in that area as he has a sister in Exmouth.  He attended Hele’s School in Exeter before starting his national service in 1947 with REME where he trained on servicing computers, which in those days were as a big as a house.

After being demobbed he became a pioneering atomic scientist, working first at Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment, the main centre for nuclear power research in the UK. It was the site of Europe’s first nuclear reactor in 1946, and once housed as many as five reactors. Later, he transferred to Winfrith, a UK Atomic Energy Authority site, near Dorchester, which opened in 1958 and was used for nuclear reactor research and development until the 1990s. 

Frank Kingdon with plaque.

                © R. H. Jones 2010