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Archive for September, 2010

West of England Jamboree (25.09.2010.)

The West of England Jamboree took place at Taunton last Sunday with 3 teams of 12 players in the Open Section and the same number in the grade-limited section.

Devon’s team was much the strongest but they underperformed and were lucky to emerge as joint winners when neither Somerset nor Gloucestershire could get over the winning line and all three finished on 6 points – a rare triple tie in which there were no losers.

On the other hand, the teams in the Graded Section were closely matched, yet Dorset finished clear winners with 8 points, followed by Torbay League (6) and Somerset “B” (4).

All match details and photographs may be found on the website.

Devon’s saving point was their strength in depth, and in this game their Player of the Year and Board 8 player, Robert Thompson, snuffed out White’s early attack to record a face-saving win.

White: W. Taylor (152 – Somerset). Black: R. Thompson (171).

Sicilian Defence – Hungarian Variation [B35]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 Key move of the Hungarian Variation, or Accelerated Fianchetto Variation, popularised by Benko in the 1950s. 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0–0 8.Nb3 d6 9.f3 a6 10.Qd2 b5 11.Be2 Ne5 As so often in this opening, White launches a quick King-side attack, while Black is poised to counter on the opposite wing. The result often depends on which side gets their attack in first and how telling it is. 12.g4 Be6 13.Bh6 Bc4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.0–0–0 White castles long before continuing further with his attack. 15…Qc7 16.h4 h5 17.gxh5 It is in White’s interests to open lines against the Black King rather than interlock pawns with 17.g5. 17…Nxh5 18.Rhg1 Rac8 19.Rg2 Bxe2 20.Rxe2 If 20.Qxe2 Nf4 forking 2 pieces, so he chooses to lose a pawn instead. 20…Nxf3 21.Qe3 Ne5 22.Rg1 Nc4 23.Qg5 Nxb2 24.Nd5 If 24.Kxb2 Qxc3+ 25.Kb1 24…Qc4 25.Reg2 Nd3+ 26.Kb1 e6 27.Ne7 White may have missed the forcing line 27.Qxh5! Qxe4 28.Qh7+ Kxh7 29.Nf6+ Kh8 30.Nxe4 leaving White a piece up, though facing a phalanx of central pawns. 27…Ndf4 28.Nxc8 Rxc8 29.Rh2 Qxe4 30.Rg4 White’s Queen is running out of space. 30…Qe1+ If 30…f6 31.Qxg6+ Qxg6 32.Rxg6+ Kxg6. 31.Kb2 f6 trapping the White queen. 32.Rg1 White’s only hope, but it fails to 32…Qc3+ 0–1

The solution to last week’s reprinted position was 1.Bf7+ Nxf7 (forced). 2.Qxc6+ Bd7 (forced) 3.Qxd7 mate. This week’s is a 2-mover by Christopher Reeves, probably Cornwall’s most noted composer since Charles Masson Fox.

White to mate in 2 moves.

Exeter League – 2010 AGM & Final Tables (21.09.10.)

The League’s A.G.M. was held at Exeter School on Monday evening (20.09.2010).

President Dave Beckwith took the Chair, accompanied by Secretary Ken Derrick (Sidmouth). Also present were Hazel Welch and Les Porter (Seaton); Tim Paulden & Jonathan Waley (Exeter); Brian Aldwin (Tiverton); Bob Jones (Exmouth).

Ken Derrick stood down as League Secretary and Tim Paulden agreed to take over with help from Ken in the early months.

Silverware had already been presented at the Coast v Country match in June, but the final tables were tabled.

              Div. 1         a        b        c       d        e  Pts
 a Exeter Rooks   XXXX   2½ – 1½   4 – 0   2½ – 1½     6
 b Exmouth A   1½ – 2½   XXXX   0 – 4 def   0 – 4 def     0
 c Met Office A   0 – 4   4 – 0 def   XXXX   1 – 3     2
 d Sidmouth A   1½ – 2½   4 – 0 def   3 – 1   XXXX     2
              Div. 2            
 a Exeter Pawns   XXXX   3 – 1   3 – 1   0 – 4 2½ – 1½   6
 b Exmouth B   1 – 3   XXXX   def   1 – 3 2 – 2   1
 c Met Office B   1 – 3   def   XXXX   2 – 2 ½ – 3½   1
 d Seaton A   4 – 0   3 – 1   2 – 2   XXXX 2½ – 1½   7
 e Tiverton Ravens   1½ – 2½   2 – 2   3½ – ½   1½ – 2½ XXXX   3
            Div. 3            
 a Exeter Gambits   XXXX   2 – 2   1½ – 2½   1 – 3     1
 b Seaton B   2 – 2   XXXX   ½ – 3½   2 – 2     2
 c Sidmouth Bishops   2½ – 1½   3½ – ½   XXXX   2 – 2     5
 d Tiverton Magpies   3 – 1   2 – 2   2 – 2   XXXX     4
           Div. 4            
 a Exeter Juniors   XXXX   2 – 2   1½ – 2½   4 – 0 def     3
 b Exeter School   2 – 2   XXXX   2 – 2   0 - 4     2
 c Seaton C   2½ – 1½   2 – 2   XXXX   2½ – 1½     5
 d Sidmouth Castles   0 – 4d ef   4 – 0   1½ – 2½   XXXX     2

WECU Jamboree (19.09.2010.)

The venue in Taunton was the same as in recent years, the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, which is relatively central to the area covered by the Union, near the motorway, good parking facilities, modern building, carpeted floor etc. – much to commend it.

Entries were down this year, with 3 teams of 12 in both the Open and Graded Sections. In the Open Section,  Devon were the bookies’ favourites as their team outgraded their opponents by between 10 and 15 points on average on each board, while in the Grade-limited section it looked to be a much closer affair. None of the Graded teams got anywhere near the total limit of 1700 points.

It wasn’t long before Devon’s chances took a nosedive as their top 6 boards could must 1.5 pts. It was their strength in depth that rescued them from disaster. The pattern of results coming in made it unclear as to which team was in any kind of telling lead, when suddenly at the end, all 3 teams emerged with 6 points each. No one seemed sure as to the rules regarding tie-breaks – board count was suggested but couldn’t work  as Somerset, having won 5 games would have 5 board numbers to add together, compared to Somerset’s 3 wins. The captains readily agreed not to prolong the proceedings by sharing the Cup 4 months each.

If the Open Section had proved close when Devon looked to be certain winners, the Graded turned out to be the other way round, as Dorset ran out clear winners, losing only 2 games and notching up 8 points.

Full details:- 

  OPEN       SECTION       TEAMS    
  Devon  Grd     Glos Grd     Somerset  Grd  
1 D. Mackle 194 0   N. Hosken 185 1   J. Rudd 210 1
2 J. F. Wheeler 185 0   J. Stewart 179 0   J. T. Sherwin 200 1
3 S. J. Homer 180 0   J. Jenkins 170 ½   D. Pugh 175 ½
4 D. R. Cowley 170 ½   C. Mattos 170 ½   O. Schofield 173 1
5 B. W. Hewson 176 1   P. J. Meade 164 0   N. N. Senior 170 0
6 A. W. Brusey 175 0   P. Dodwell 164 1   D. Painter 169 1
7 T. Paulden 174 ½   G. Taylor 162 ½   C. Purry 169 ½
8 R. Thompson 173 1   A. Bentley 161 ½   W. Taylor 152 0
9 J. Underwood 172 ½   M. Oliver 153 1   R. Knight 147 0
10 Dr. D. Regis 166 1   B. Whitelaw 146 ½   D. Wood 145 0
11 S. Schofield 166 1   G. Brown 146 ½   K. Atkins 144 0
12 A. S. Kinder 166 ½   P. Baker 138 0   P. Humphries 144 1
  Totals 2097 6     1938 6     1998 6
  Average grd. 175       161       166  


  GRADED       SECTION       TEAMS    
  Dorset  Grd     Somerset B Grd     Torbay Grd  
1 M. Litchfield 135 ½   C. McKinley 144 ½   W. Ingham 164 ½
2 P. Wilcock 149 ½   C. Hee 140 0   P. Brooks 140 1
3 I. J. Willis 141 1   R. Morgan 140 0   A. Billings 148 1
4 D. Aldwinckle 139 1   C. Strong 136 0   M. Stinton 149 0
5 P. Brackner 138 ½   C. Barrett 135 ½   R. G. Wilby 133 0
6 T. Joyce 137 0   C. Stanton 135 1   N. F. Tidy 129 1
7 M. Steevens 134 1   P. Sartain 129 0   A. Tatam 127 0
8 P. Errington 132 1   K. Stanton 126 0   F. Nieva 124 1
9 W. J. Kelly 131 0   D. Woodruff 124 1   J. Hocking 115 0
10 K. Spooner 116 ½   S. Hill 119 ½   J. A. Ariss 111 1
11 J. M. George 116 1   R. Fenton 114 0   D. Scantlebury 112 0
12 N. Mackie 100 1   M. Cooper 110 ½   J. E. Doidge 106 ½
  Totals 1568 8     1552 4     1556 6
  Average grd. 131       130       130  


    OPEN         SECTION  
Bd   White Grd       Black Grd
1 G1 N. Hoskin 185 1 0 D1 D. Mackle 194
2 D2 J. Wheeler 185 0 1 S1 J. Rudd 210
3 S2 J. Sherwin 180 1 0 G2 J. Stewart 179
4 G3 J. Jenkins 170 ½ ½ S3 D. Pugh 175
5 S4 O. Schofield 173 1 0 D3 S. Homer 180
6 D4 D. Cowley 170 ½ ½ G4 C. Mattos 170
7 D5 B. Hewson 176 1 0 S5 N. Senior 170
8 S6 D. Painter 169 1 0 G5 P. J. Meade 164
9 G6 P. Dodwell 164 1 0 D6 A. Brusey 175
10 D7 T. Paulden 174 ½ ½ G7 G. Taylor 162
11 G8 A. Bentley 161 ½ ½ S7 C. Purry 169
12 S8 W. Taylor 152 0 1 D8 R. Thompson 173
13 S9 R. Knight 147 0 1 G9 M. Oliver 153
14 G10 B. Whitelaw 146 ½ ½ D9 J. Underwood 172
15 D10 D. Regis 166 1 0 S10 D. Wood 145
16 S11 K. Atkins 144 0 1 D11 S. Schofield 166
17 D12 A. Kinder 166 ½ ½ G11 G. Brown 146
18 G12 P. Baker 136 0 1 S12 P. Humphries 144
    GRADED         SECTION  
19 T1 W. Ingham 164 ½ ½ D1 M. Litchfield 135
20 D2 P. Wilcock 149 ½ ½ S1 C. McKinley 144
21 S2 C. Hee 140 0 1 T2 P. Brooks 140
22 T3 A. Billings 148 1 0 S3 R. Morgan 140
23 S4 C. Strong 136 0 1 D3 I. Willis 141
24 D4 D. Aldwinckle 139 1 0 T4 M. Stinton 149
25 D5 P. Brackner 138 ½ ½ S5 C. Barrett 135
26 S6 C. Stanton 135 1 0 T5 R. Wilby 133
27 T6 N. F. Tidy 133 1 0 D6 T. Joyce 137
28 D7 M. Steevens 134 1 0 T7 A. Tatam 127
29 T8 F. Nieva 124 1 0 S7 P, Sartain 129
30 S8 K. Stanton 126 0 1 D8 P. Errington 132
31 S9 D. Woodruff 124 1 0 T9 J. R. Hocking 115
32 T10 J. A. Ariss 111 1 0 D9 W. J. Kelly 131
33 D10 K. Spooner 116 ½ ½ S10 S. Hill 119
34 S11 R. Fenton 114 0 1 D11 J. George 116
35 D12 N. Mackie 100 1 0 T11 D. Scantlebury 112
36 T12 J. E. Doidge 106 ½ ½ S12 M. Cooper 110

 Here are some scenes from the event:- 

1st game to finish - Wheeler vs Rudd.

Playing area - general view.


Top boards 1 - 8 (nearest)


Devon's Player of the Year, Robert Thompson, on his way to another win.


Devon's Dr. Jonathan Underwood on his way to a draw.


Devon's Dr. Tim Paulden considers his options.

3 captains happy to share the main cup: l-r Phil Dodwell (Glos); Roger Morgan (Somerset) & Brian Hewson (Devon).

WECU President, Malcolm Steevens (left) presents the Graded Cup to the Dorset Captain, W. John Kelly.

60th Paignton Congress Prizelist (18.09.2010.) 598

The 60th Paignton Congress reached a successful conclusion last Saturday after 81 prizes had been awarded, totalling £5,500 in value. The main winners were:

Premier: 1st K. Arkell (Paignton) £600. 2nd R. Almond (Hastings) £400. M. Simons and R. Almond accepted the 2 Qualifying Places for the 2011 British Championship.

Challengers (U-180): 1st= C. Archer-Lock (177) Maidenhead;

A. Footner (175) Yeovil; B. W. R. Hewson (176) Exmouth. M. Page (162) Insurance; A. Price (157) Leamington. All 5 pts & £130.

Intermediate (U-150): 1st P. Smith (146) Hastings. £350. 2nd= P. Hannan (148) Charlton; Dinah Norman (139) Wokingham; D. Walshaw (126) Jesmond.

Minor (U-125):1st C. Long (122) Truro. £350. 2nd= Christine Constable. (102) Coulsdon & G. Naldrett  (121).

5 Rd. Morning  (U-180):                                                                                        

1st R. Bryant (174) Chester £350. 2nd= A. Footner (175) Yeovil; E. Key (169) York; B. O’Gorman (157); D. Patrick (160) & E. B. Sandercock (146) all £60.

Keith Arkell won his first 6 games straight off and tried to make it 7/7, but was forced to concede a draw in the final round. This win from round 5 was his brightest.

White: Dr. Dirk Jordan (Dresden – 196). Black: Keith Arkell (231).

Trompowsky Opening [A45].

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c5 3.Bxf6 gxf6 4.d5 d6 5.c4 f5 6.e3 Bg7 7.Nc3 Nd7 8.Qc2 Ne5 9.Be2 h5 10.h4 a6 11.Nh3 Ng4 12.Nf4 Bd7 13.g3 Qa5 14.a3 b5 15.0–0 bxc4 16.Bxc4 Qc7 17.Rab1 Rh6 18.Rfe1 Kf8 19.Qe2 Qb6 20.Rec1 e5 21.Ng2 a5 22.Bb5 Bxb5 23.Nxb5 a4 24.b4 axb3 25.Rxb3 Qd8 26.Rc4 e4 27.Rc2 Ne5 28.Ra2 Nd3 29.Rb1 Qa5 30.Nf4 Nxf4 31.exf4 Qa4 32.Nc7 Rc8 33.Nb5 Ke7 34.Rc2 Qa8 35.Qc4 Rg6 36.Kh2 Kf8 37.a4 Kg8 38.Ra2 Qa5 39.Qe2 Rh6 40.Qc4 Kh7 41.Na3 Bd4 Black now whips up a quick and winning kingside attack from almost nothing 42.Kg2 Rg6 43.Nc2 In challenging the bishop he cuts off his own rook.  Bxf2! 44.Kxf2 Rcg8 45.Qe2 Rxg3 46.Qxh5+ Kg7 47.Ne1 Qc3 48.Re2 Kf6 49.Qh6+ R3g6 0–1 Resigned as Black, in blocking the check has vacated g3 for his queen to come in and join the attack.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Rc1! and whatever Black tries, the White King is going to either c1 or d1 creating mate using the unblocked white square bishop.

One didn’t need to be eagle-eyed to spot the anomaly in the position the week before, which might be called, like the title of an Agatha Christie novel, “The Confusing Case of the Three Black Bishops”. Apologies for the “typo”, and to set the matter straight, here is the correct position, with White to mate by force in 3 moves. It should be much less difficult to solve this time around.

White to play and win

Paignton Congress 2010 – Final Day.

From Thursday evening, have had a problem uploading pictures into the blog, which has proved impossible to solve in the short term and is b…….y annoying. Just when you have excellent sets of pictures to upload on a daily basis, the beast decides to play up. Feel like Basil Fawlty with his car on Gourmet Night. I’ve even tried whipping the computer repeatedly with a tree branch, but that hasn’t worked either.

Anyway, the final day, Saturday, as always, started at 9.30 a.m., unlike Rounds 1 – 6 which start at 2 p.m. With the 5 Round Morning event out of the way, this allows most folk to finish their games and be on their way home after lunchtime. Unfortunately, the overnight sole leader of the Challengers, a first-timer at Paignton, overlooked this fact and was timed out after 30 minutes. Luckily for him, he was not overtaken in the points tally and still figured in the 1st place tie.

Another tragi-comic event occurred during play, relating to the last round. As players from away vacate their digs, they tend to bring large bags of belongings into the hall for safekeeping. In one corner of the Ballroom, near the top boards in the Premier, about 10 bags were piled up. As the games built up in tension, a phone went off in one of them, but, short of rummaging through each one in turn and looking for name clues, it was difficult to ascertain which bag it was in. Eventually, Tyson Mordue, playing Keith Arkell on top board,  called out “Would someone turn off that b……. phone!” But, of course, no one came forward, for to do so would have meant instant disqualification. There may, of course, have been a phone in every bag, so all 10 bag-owners could assume the offender was one of the other 9.  The phone finally stopped ringing and peace broke out again.

Arkell had already won the Premier with a round to spare after 6 straight wins, and it would have been easy to settle for a quick draw. But (a) He was playing for pride as, for all his may 1st places, he’s only once before scored a maximum 7/7 at Paignton (b) he needed to bump up his rating and (c) he now only lives round the corner from the venue (in Winner Street would you believe)  so it wasn’t like he had a train to catch. The game was indeed drawn, but it was one of the last games to finish and went right down to a rook and scattering of pawns each – Arkell’s strong area, but Mordue played correctly and it ended with no advantage to either side.

Here’s the definitive list of prizewinners:

Section Winner Grd. Club/area Pts. Prize
                                     1st K. C. Arkell 2439    Paignton   6½  £600
                                     2nd R. Almond 2130 Hastings   5   £400
                                     3rd= N. Gill 2115 I.O.M.   4½   £50
  B. Jenks 2124 Wessex       “
  K. Jordan 2170 Dresden       “
  J. McKenna 2082 Cowley       “
  T. Mordue 2258 Braille C. A.       “
  M. Simons 2178 Southbourne       “
Grading prizes          
                      2119 -2040 J. Bass 2041 Richmond   4   £10
  D. Collier 2115 Bristol & Clifton       “
  A. Crombleholme 2105 Bushbury       “
  S. Dilleigh 2110 Horfield/Bristol       “
  P. Kemp 2106 Linton       “
  I. Lewyk 2110 Bradford       “
  A. Milnes 2075 Maidenhead      “
                              U-2040 E. Hurwitz 2011 Rose Foregrove   4½   £50
                      Slow Starter Dr. D. A. Toms 2033 Sidmouth/Exmouth   2   £20
48 players competed          
Challengers (U-180)          
                                      1st= C. Archer-Lock 177 Maidenhead   5   £130
  A. Footner 175 Yeovil       “
  B. W. R. Hewson 176 Exmouth       “
  M. Page 162 Insurance       “
  A. Price 157 Leamington       “
Grading prizes          
                           160 – 153 M. Bush 159 Wantage   4½   £25
  J. Nyman 159 Sutton       “
                                  U-153 J. C. Boyce 149 Horfield/Bristol   4½   £50
                   Slow Starters N. Dicker 156 Glastonbury       £5
  I. S. Annetts 155 Tiverton       “
  M. Keeve 166 Dresden       “
  W. Taylor 152 Sedgemoor       “
34 players competed          
Intermediate (U-150)          
                                        1st P. Smith 146 Hastings   5½   £350
                                      2nd= P. Hannan 148 Charlton   5   £100
  Mrs. Dinah Norman 139 Wokingham       “
  D. Walshaw 126 Jesmond       “
Grading prizes           
                             140-134 T. Greenaway 139 Torquay   4½   £50
  G. Rosser 129 Torquay   4½   £50
                     Slow Starters T. Crouch 133 King’s Head       £5
  R. Lowery 127 Patchway       “
  R. Waters 124 Taunton       “
38 players competed          
Minor (U-125)          
                                        1st C. Long 122 Truro   5½   £350
                                     2nd= Mrs. Christine Constable 102 Coulsdon   5   £150
  G. Naldrett 121 Insurance       “
Grading prizes          
                              117-111 D. Burt 115 Bournemouth  4½   £50
                                   U-111 P. Broderick 102 Shifnal  4½   £50
                   Slow Starters H. Brooks 124 Bolton      £5
  A. Fraser 113 Beckenham      £5
  R. Cox 88 Southampton      £5
31 players competed          
Morning American          
                                        1st N. Dennis 150 Maidenhead  7   £90
                                       2nd G. Harrison 137 Gosforth  5½   £60
                                      3rd= C. Oliver 122 Cheltenham  3½   £15
  O. Namouk 156 Hastings       “
5 Rd. Morning  (U-180)          
                                         1st R. Bryant 174 Chester  4½   £350
                                     2nd= A. Footner 175 Yeovil  4   £60
  E. Key 169 York       “
  B. O’Gorman 157 D.H.S.S.       “
  D. A. Patrick 160 Courier       “
  E. B. Sandercock 146 Chalfont St. Peters       “
Grading prizes          
                            152-136 D. Siddall 152 Austin Friars  3½   £50
                                 U-136 Mrs. Joan Gardner 121 Berkhamsted  2½   £25
  A. Collins 125 Cowley       “
                      Slow starter M. A. Roberts 139 Holmes Chapel  2½   £10
  H. Höcker 140 S. G. Karpov’s Enkel       “
44 players competed           
D. Bates Bursaries          
                     Ladies Prize Hazel Welch 115 Seaton  4½   £75
                          Disabled Philip Gordon 120 Braille C. A.  4½   £75
Special BCM Prize A. F. Footner      9  
(highest pts total) R. Bryant      9  

 N.B. All scores out of 7 except for the Boniface morning section.

Slow Starters lost their 1st two games.

 Total prize money  totalled around £5,500 and there are further prizes to be awarded  – e.g. Best Games (to be decided) and 10 book vouchers each worth £20, drawn by lot.

Paignton Congress (Day 6)

The main point of interest this morning was the conclusion of the 5Rd. Morning tournament.

Play started at 9.30 and 4 hours later, Victor Cross was able to present cheques to those prizewinners who were present. These were:-

1st R. Bryant  £350

2nd= A. Footner; D. A. Patrick; B. O’Gorman; E. Key; E. B. Sandercock. £60 each

Grading Prize (152-136 inc.)   D. Siddall £50

Grading prize (U-136): J. Gardner & A. Collins £25 each

Slow Starter: M. A. Roberts & H. Hocker £10 each

Paignton Congress – Adams Simultaneous (Day 3)

Arrived a little early at Oldway on Tuesday to hand out the free Paignton books to the last group of players, those in the Morning American in the Mayor’s Parlour. I found the 8 players gathered in a bit of a huddle, and then the morning Arbiter, Victor Cross, came in and addressed them all to sort out something of an anomaly.

The formulaic pairing table for the American had been published in the programme, and in a separate chart the 8 names had been listed alphabetically. However, the Arbiter for that section, (not Victor) had allocated the players to their numbers by lot, as one should do, and they had played Rd. 1 accordingly. The next day, the players sensed the anomaly and by discussion among themselves, sought to rectify matters by choosing a different opponent and playing them with colours opposite to what they had in Rd. 1, without any Arbiter fully realising what they were doing, thus further muddying the picture.

After it became clear what had happened, the previous evening Victor and the Senior Arbiter had had to devise a draw for the next 5 rounds, allowing the 2 games already played to stand, while ensuring the fairness of the new improvised draw in allocating the correct number of whites and blacks; i.e. 3 whites and 4 blacks to four players and 4 whites & 3 blacks to the others, without fear or favour. They seemed to appreciate the situation and were further mollified and distracted by having a free book thrust into their hands at that moment. A timely intervention.

Lost my own game by 12 noon and thus had 7 hours to wait before the start of the Michael Adams simultaneous match. Of all the evening events, this one seemed to have excited the imagination more than any other, and there was a palpable air of anticipation about the place. He and his wife, Tara, duly arrived about 6 p.m. and after a little meeting and greeting spent some time wandering around the Grade II listed gardens while tables and boards were manoeuvred into place in the restaurant.

The entry forms for the congress had invited any player who wanted to play Adams to tick a box. However, the constraints of the available space and time dictated that the room would only hold 30 tables. Add to this the GMs’ rule-of-thumb formula, ( 10 players per hour – i.e.  a 20 player simul would last 2 hours; 30 would be 3 hours etc. ) and the extra hour till 10 p.m. negotiated with the Caretaker, would be under threat. So, although many more wished to be involved, 30 names had to be chosen by lot. These comprised a goodly selection of players; locals & visitors – young and old – British & Continental – strong and weak, and so on. The fair sex was respresented by WECU Ladies Champion Hazel Welch and former British Ladies joint-Champion, Gillian Moore, (we won’t mention the year).

Finally, after a few welcoming words from the Host and two generous rounds of applause from the soon-to-be-slaughtered lambs, the match swung into quickfire action with Adams flitting round the boards; a quick handshake with each before making his 1st move, and on to the next. Discipline was good, each player waiting till Adams came to the board, allowing him to see the move being made, and writing his move down on duplicate scoresheets. 

This is a summary of the results. Mickey had brought along 6 small prizes in the shape of books and videos and the 5 gaining a result got to choose one. The solitary winner, Robert Thompson, has been making a habit of beating GMs in simuls, as he was the only player to beat Keith Arkell, when the latter came to his Torquay school earlier this year. 

Bd. Opponent   Grd Result Moves Opening
1 Gillian Moore   Southampton   144      1-0    35 Alekhine’s
2 M. Keeve   Dresden     1-0    29 Q.G.D.
3 G. Body   Lympstone   140    1-0    49 Sicilian
4 A. W. Brusey   Teignmouth   175   1-0    41 French
5 G. W. Harrison  Gosforth   137   1-0    29  
6 D. Walshaw   Jesmond   126   1-0    31  
7 B. O’Gorman   D.H.S.S.   157   ½-½    41 Sicilian
8 A. French   Streatham   185   1-0    56 Alekhine’s
9 W. Taylor   Sedgemoor   152   ½-½     
10 R. Waters   Taunton   124   1-0    23 Levitsky V.
11 J. C. Wells   N. Norfolk   175   ½-½    
12 J. C. Boyce   Bristol   149   1-0    45  
13 A. Doust   Marple   125   1-0    36 Alekhine’s
14 S. Schofield   N. Abbot   166   1-0    50 Scandinavian
15 R. Thompson   N. Abbot   173   0-1    39 K.I.D.
16 A. Billings   Torquay BGS.   148   1-0    26 Sicilian
17 G. W. Naldrett   Insurance   121   1-0    29  
18 P. Smith   Hastings   146   1-0    30 Sicilian
19 P. C. Wood   Hastings   146   1-0    26 French
20 C. Archer-Lock   Maidenhead   177  ½-½    39 French
21 P. Aston   Weymouth   154   1-0    
22 T. J. Woods   Milton Keynes   149   1-0    50 Pirc
23 H. Hocker   SG Karpov’s     1-0    16  
24 R. S. Scowen   Hampton   155   1-0    23 Spanish
25 R. J. Nash   N. Devon   138   1-0    44 French
26 M. A. Roberts   Holmes Chapel   139   1-0    44  
27 N. Dicker  Glastonbury   156   1-0    32 English
28 Hazel Welch   Seaton   115   1-0    40 Sicilian
29 I. Blencowe   Gloucester   136   1-0    31  
30 L. Plunkett   Ireland   137   1-0    23  
31 F. Sugden   Torquay BGS.   127   1-0    18 Spanish
                   Total     28 – 3    

John Constable made a video of the event, which he later edited and posted onYou-Tube. To see it, go to the You-Tube website and in the search box type “adams simul” and it should come up.

And now for some pictures…

On arrival, Mickey and his wife Tara, looked relaxed and confident.


Adams meets local player Stephen Schofield.


Adams starts his only losing game, against Robert Thompson.


Former British Ladies Champion, Gillian Moore, faces the current Champ.


Two wives of chessplayers - Tara Adams and Napoleon's Empress Josephine.


While play was in progress, Tara Adams explored the magnificent Gallery in Oldway Mansion.


Brendon O'Gorman held on for a draw from this position.


Robert Thompson close to the only win of the evening.


60th Paignton Congress (Day 2)

Monday morning and the roads are clogged with car-loads of kids starting a new school year, making the trip to Oldway Mansion 50% longer. My hope of being able to distribute the free book on the history of the Congress to all players in the 5 Rd.Morning event before the start thereby quashed as I was lucky to make it in time for the 9.30 start.

No alternative but to try and do this while playing. Not helped by being told I was paired against a bright young junior international, graded 162 & rising fast. Distribution was achieved during my non-thinking time, at the cost of losing a bishop for 2 pawns. The compensation was being better developed and Black having an exposed King. As he gradually extricated his back row pieces it looked like the game was up, until he allowed a queen check forking an undefended rook. With a suddenly lost position he resigned. Does this qualify as a brilliant piece sacrifice for the attack or a swindle?

Some more book distribution followed after play got under way at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, here are some picures from the start of the start of Rd. 2 in the Ron Bruce Premier.

Keith Arkell (left) settles into his 2nd game.

Martyn Simons (r) poised for a tussle.

 To make the Congress a bit more special this year, a bolder programme of evening events had been organised by the Committee. This evening it was a talk by the senior arbiter and respected junior chess organiser, Peter Purland. He held a large audience in the Restaurant amused for over an hour with his talk entitled “Ramblings of A Chess Arbiter”, spellbound by the cadences of his unique Welsh-Liverpool accent and deliberate delivery. He told a series of amusing anecdotes, but forgot the one his colleague Victor Cross told me later, in which a certain round of a northern congress happened to fall on April 1st, and late the previous evening he and Victor went round the playing hall, blutacking to the board every black pawn on e7. Next morning, players of the French Defence were first to discover the prank, while others only found out later, at various stages of their game.

60th Paignton Gets Under Way

The 60th Paignton Congress finally got under way this afternoon.

Preparations went according to plan, with everyone turning up in the right place at the right time. My main  job was to get the presentation books to the guests on time. On arrival, Steve Giddins, the new Editor of BCM, was there, having just published his first issue (Sept. 2010) and already looking for suitable material for the October issue. Hopefully, Paignton should feature a little more than for many years.

Chief guest, however, was C. J. de Mooi, of the Eggheads team on TV and now ECF President. He arrived on time after a 3 hour drive down and at 1.30 p.m. we gathered in the Mayor’s Parlour to rendezvous with Cllr Philips, the Chairman of the Torbay Council and his Escort, Cllr. Nicole Amil, and Stephen Thorpe-Tracey, President of the Devon County Chess Association. This was an opportunity for Stephen to present both guests with inscribed copies of the Paignton book and my earlier book on Cecil de Vere, both with a Torbay connection. (see picture below)

The group then processed to the Ballroom, where players were foregathered for the speeches. C.J. spoke well and from the heart, clearly a natural communicator. Cllr.Philip’s welcoming words were also well-received. There only remained for the usual photo-opportunity whereby the guests take on the stars (for one move only).

In no time at all, peace descended as play got under way. I then started the distribution of the Paignton Congress books, starting with Keith Arkell on top board.

Most players semed to have no idea what it was, or whether they were expected to pay for it.

Anyway, here’s a pictorial account of the start.

Presentation of books in Mayor's Parlour.

President of the BCF addresses the assembled players.

Traditional photo-opportunity for the local press

Tournament favourite Keith Arkell (left) joins the party on Bd. 1.

Tyson Mordue (Keynsham) faces local player and Congress Treasurer, Alan Brusey on Bd. 3 in Rd. 1

Play in action in the Winaretta Room.

Play in the Mayor's Parlour, originally Paris Singer's private study.

Paignton Congress Eve (04.09.10.)

The 60th Paignton Congress starts tomorrow afternoon at Oldway Mansion, with welcoming speeches by civic dignitaries and the President of the English Chess Federation, C. J. De Mooi, of Egghead fame, before the players get down to business. The final round will start on Saturday morning and Grandmaster Keith Arkell looks favourite to assume his usual place at the top of the pile.

Meanwhile, here is an instructive game from the 1989 congress with notes based on those by R. Rendell.

White: T. Headlong. Black: A. Tredinnick.

Nimzo-Indian Defence [E21]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 This move invites a Kingside advance of the Black pawns and Tredinnick takes it with both hands. 6…g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 8.Qc2 f5 9.e3 Bb7 10.Bd3 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 d6 12.d5?! White’s position is rather cramped and therefore to open it up he sacrifices a pawn in the centre. 12…exd5 13.cxd5 Bxd5 14.Nd4 Black has a choice now. Should he defend his pawn on f5 or give it up and complete his development? The defence of the extra pawn may well result in his having to spend much of the game defending and he therefore decides to give it up in an attempt to retain his attacking chances. 14…Nd7 15.Nxf5 Ndc5 16.f3 Nxg3 17.Nxg3 Qf6 Black has succeeded in keeping his pieces active but foregoes the right of castling, but who is to say that the best place for the King is not on d7? 18.Bg6+ Kd7 19.0–0 White however decides to castle, but is it really safer here than in the centre? 19…Rag8 20.Bf5+ Be6 21.e4 h5 22.Rad1 h4 23.Bxe6+ Nxe6 24.Qa4+ Kd8 25.Nf5 Qxc3 26.Rc1 Black is slowly steamrollering his opponent and his pawns are ready to crash into the King’s defensive wall. 26…Nc5 27.Qxa7 Qe5 28.Rfd1 h3 29.gxh3 This move allows Black access to the King via the h-file, whilst 29.g3 is very weak in the long term. However, now White doesn’t last to the long term. 29…Rxh3 30.Rd2 Not 30.Qb8+ Kd7 31.Qxg8 Qxh2+ 32.Kf1 Rxf3+ 33.Ke1 Qf2#. 30…Rgh8 31.Ng3 Qf4 32.Rcd1 Qe3+ 33.Rf2 Rxh2 34.Rdf1 R8h3 35.Qa8+ Kd7 36.Nf5 Rh1+ 37.Kg2 R3h2+ 38.Kg3 Qf4# 1-0 A well-conceived mate. Taking the a7 pawn brought about White’s downfall as he was effectively a queen down thereafter.

Last week’s game was quickly and easily ended by 1.Bf7 mate. This week’s position is from the game M. V. Abbott v T. Paulden at this year’s E. Devon Congress. White has just played 1.Kh2 to avoid the knight check, leaving Black’s knight and Queen both under attack. How should Black respond to win quickly by force?

Black to win by force.