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Archive for September 5th, 2010

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.