Archive for March, 2011
Exmouth completed its programme of matches in the Newman Cup, the rapidplay league, making it 4 matches in 8 days.
Tuesday saw Exmouth’s first visit to Exeter’s new premises at the Heavitree Social Club. It’s a little away from the city centre, but is in a quiet area with good parking and a roomy building with a bar where one can get liquid refreshment.
Exmouth’s hopes were not high in either match, as they were well short of the maximum permitted strength, an opinion confirmed by the results.
|Bd.||RapidPlay League||22. 03. 2011.|
|1||S. Pope||166||0 0||1 1||M. V. Abbott||178|
|2||S. Waters||153||1 1||0 0||R. H. Jones||157|
|3||G. Body||140||½ 1||½ 0||J. Dzenis||130e|
|4||J. Waley||133||1 1||0 0||F. R. Hodge||111|
|Bd.||RapidPlay League||23. 03. 2011.|
|1||R. H. Jones||157||0 ½||1 ½||I. S. Annetts||151|
|2||J. S. Murray||143||0 0||1 1||J. Morrison||147|
|3||O. E. Wensley||130e||1 1||0 0||J. A. Knowles||135|
|4||J. Dzenis||130e||0 ½||1 ½||K. Atkins||134|
The news of Ken Bloodworth’s sudden death at the age of 96 came to light earlier today.
Here is the wording of an obituary I’ve done for the Western Morning News which should appear in their Saturday edition.
Kenneth John Bloodworth (25.06.1914. – 16.03.2011.)
Ken Bloodworth, a leading national organiser of junior chess, has died suddenly at his Plymouth home at the age of 96.
He had a distinguished career in the Royal and Polish navies, during which time he was awarded Poland’s Kryz Walecznych for great valour and courage in WWII. On June 1st 1944, his ship, the Polish vessel Krakowiak, tied up in Plymouth for 24 hours, and he had to report to the supplies office, where he encountered a teenage clerk, Joyce Turner. As he signed the requisite forms, she mused “Hmm, Bloodworth – that’s a funny name”. They married the following year.
He settled in Plymouth, becoming a schoolteacher and working in the city’s primary schools – Public P. S. (1949 – ‘60); Honicknowle (1960 – ’64); Montpellier (1964 – ’68) before returning to Honicknowle as Deputy Head until his retirement in 1974.
He joined Plymouth Chess Club after the war and was soon running the city’s school chess league. In 1953, he started the Devon Junior Championships, held each Christmas holiday at Plymouth College and ran this for 27 years. At its height, this attracted over 200 young players and the international section that he developed attracted players from all over Western Europe. At least six competitors went on to become senior champions of their own countries – Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, England and Scotland.
By the mid-1950s he was on a small committee that ran English junior chess. When The Times newspaper offered to sponsor a national inter-school tournament, it was Ken that devised the age-handicap formula that is still used to day.
In 1961 he became Secretary of the Glorney Cup competition, which was originally designed as a tournament between the junior players of the four home countries, but Ken expanded its scope to include national teams from Western Europe. In 1968, he got sponsorship from the publishers Faber, to run a similar tournament for the girls, the Faber Cup. In 1991, Ken completed three decades as Secretary when the competition was held in Ghent, Belgium, his last year.
In 1963, he was asked by the Western Morning News to succeed their then chess columnist, J. E. Jones, who was due to move north, and Ken filed his weekly copy for the next 37 years, before handing this job on in 1999 – his last administrative task in chess.
In 1983, the British Chess Federation inaugurated an annual award, the President’s Award for Services to Chess, to recognise outstanding voluntary service. Such was the esteem in which Ken was held, that he was nominated in only its third year. He was indeed a man of boundless energy, enthusiasm and perseverance who has left a lasting mark on the chess world.
Although he gradually relinquished his administrative posts, after several decades in each, there was little sign of him slowing down generally. He played both chess and bridge regularly and would drive himself to chess events throughout the westcountry well into his 94th year.
His wife, Joyce, predeceased him, and he is survived by his two sons, Peter and Richard who lives in Australia.
A much fuller account of his life may be found in the biographies section.
After an indifferent start to the season, Exmouth seem to have turned a corner since the New Year, but a run of 4 matches in 8 days in Mid-March would almost certainly determine the way the season as a whole would pan out.
The first of these was on a clubnight (Wed. 16th ) when the visitors were Sidmouth in a Division 2 match in the local league. With Exmouth somewhat outgraded, much would depend on the form of their two “debutantes” this season, Wensley and Dzenis. As things turned out, the Latvian sacrificed a rook in order to press home a lively Kingside attack, which ended in an unavoidable mate. Wensley, too, won against the experienced Martyn Adams, which left Jones asking his opponent whether his twice-suggested offer of a draw was still open. Fortunately it still was, and this secured the win, leaving Kennedy vs Toms to wrap things up with a draw in a complex position.
|1||W||P. J. Kennedy||151||½||½||Dr. D. A. Toms||159|
|2||B||O. E. Wensley||120e||1||0||M. Adams||151|
|3||W||R. H. Jones||138||½||½||S. Stone||132|
|4||B||J. Dzenis||120e||1||0||P. J. Hills||126|
The following Saturday, players faced the long journey across the county, northwards to Barnstaple, the first match Exmouth have played there for nearly 30 years. That, incidentally, was an 8 board match in the Rooke Memorial Tournament, played at their then premises, Knight’s Photographic Studio in The Square, an afternoon that coincided with Santa Claus’ arrival at 3 p.m. to turn on the Christmas Lights. Carols blared out all afternoon from loudspeakers hoisted high onto lamp-posts, which positioned them right outside the windows of the upstairs room where the match was being played. Frank Sinatra belted out “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” every 40 minutes or so, I recall, amongst a medley of other seasonal songs on a tape that was set on auto re-play all afternoon. Their team captain, Nick Down (191), was so flustered by the cacophany outside that he lost to Jones, but the rest of the team were unperturbed and Barnstaple went on to win 7 – 1. An unforgettable afternoon – such fun!
Nick Down’s main claim to fame, incidentally, (forgive another aside here) lay in being the only man to win the British Ladies Correspondence Championship; he’d entered it, either for a prank or a bet, under the name of Nicola Down, and after winning the tournament his true identity was inevitably exposed. The story displeased the BCF who banned Down from any of their tournaments for some years, but it aroused much amusement in the media and made the national dailys at the time
Meanwhile, back in the present-day, the teams of 4 were well-matched, as International Master, Jack Rudd, was unavailable for the home team, it being a 4NCL weekend. Exmouth won the toss (again) yet it was Gosling with the Black who registered the first win, followed by Dzenis, also with Black, who was somewhat fortunate to catch his opponent in a mating net with just 2 rooks each and a scattering of pawns. Jones succumbed to the power of a classic bishop pair, raking the board on the long diagonals. This left the match result depending on the outcome of the Hewson – Marriott game, a scrappy, unclear position, with Hewson’s time rapidly running down through the single minutes of extra time as he sought a way through. Spectators gathered around, trying to work out which way it was going. Hewson pressed on the King-side, which came to be be adequately defended, then swiftly switched his pieces to the opposite wing where he managed to secure spacial advantage and was able to run his a-pawn ahead. Marriott resigned as the eventual outcome (with best play) was clear, though Hewson had only 3 minutes left to work it all out.
Barnstaple’s score of 1-3 was the same as all their other matches in this league this season.
|1||W||P. Marriott||159||0||1||B. W. Hewson||176|
|2||B||S. Clarke||155||0||1||B. G. Gosling||156|
|3||W||J. Munsey||146||0||1||J. Dzenis||130e|
|4||B||R. Oughton||144||1||0||R. H. Jones||138|
This win took Exmouth to the top spot in Division II with just one match to play.
A small piece of chess history was made at the weekend when Devon lost to Gloucestershire 7½-8½, in spite of outgrading them on every single board, thus completing a whitewash for the season, having lost every match played. The details were as follows (Devon names first): 1.Mackle ½-½ Gallagher. 2.Wheeler 0-1 Stewart. 3.Abbott 0-1 Jenkins. 4.Brusey 1–0 Waterfield. 5.Hewson 0–1 Lambourne. 6.Thynne 0–1 Meade. 7.Paulden ½-½ Dodwell. 8.Twine ½-½ Taylor. 9.Underwood ½-½ Dixon. 10.Regis 1-0 Bentley. 11.Duckham 0-1 Vaughan. 12.Ingham 1-0 Oliver. 13.Pollock 0-1 Whitelaw. 14.Schofield 1-0 Brown. 15.Brooks ½-½ Richards. 16.Toms 1-0 Baker.
Meanwhile, Cornwall went down to Somerset by 4½-9½ in a 14 board match at Exminster. The individual results were (Cornish names first): 1.Menadue 0-1 Rudd. 2.Hassall ½-½ Edgell. 3.Kneebone 0-1 Wong. 4.Bartlett 1-0 Hatchett. 5.Sellwood 0-1 Stuttard. 6.Nicholas 0-1 Kryyzanowski. 7.Healey 0-1 Footner. 8.Barkhuysen 0-1 Senior. 9.Trudeau ½-½ Purry. 10.Jenkins ½-½ Jepps. 11.Hill ½-½ Musson. 12.Long 1-0 Kilmister. 13.Lucas ½-½ Fewkes. Marjoram 0-1 Peters.
This miniature was one of the few bright spots for Devon in their recent match against Somerset.
White: Megan Owens (166). Black: Bill Ingham (164).
Old Indian Defence. [A55]
1.Nf3 d6 2.d4 c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.e4 e5 White now neglects her piece development, indulging in some unforced pawn moves. 6.h3 Be7 7.b3 0–0 8.g3 exd4 9.Nxd4 d5 10.exd5 cxd5 11.Nc2 Still not developing new pieces. Re8 12.Be3 Nb6 13.Be2 Bf5 14.c5 The stage is set for Black’s attack to begin. 14…Bxc2 15.Qxc2 d4 16.Rd1 Hoping to negate the fork. 16…Bxc5 17.Nb5 Bb4+ 18.Bd2 d3 19.Bxb4 If 19.Qb2 Rxe2+ 20.Kf1 Ne4 21.Qd4 Rxf2+ 22.Kg1 Bc5! 19…dxc2 20.Rxd8 c1Q+ 21.Rd1 Qc6! 0–1 The queen retreats to hit two more pieces, leaving White virtually a whole queen down.
In last week’s position, White mated with 1.Nb5! threatening 2.Nc7 mate and if the bishop takes it, there is 2.Qxb6 mate.
The 2011 British Solving Championship was held recently and finished in yet another triumph for John Nunn, who, as a result, now holds four major titles concurrently; World, European, British and International Solving Champion, a unique achievement. The 30 competitors had to try and solve 13 problems of increasing complexity, of which this is one of the three 2-movers – the easy ones at the start!
It was composed by the Revd. Gilbert Dodds in 1915 and first appeared in the American magazine, Good Companions. Black’s king cannot move, but how can White nail him in just two moves? A clue is that it revolves around the roles of the two queens.
The 36th East Devon Congress finished in Exeter’s Corn Hall on Sunday evening. The winners were as follows: (all scores out of 5).
Open Section: 1st= J. Rudd (Bideford) & M. V. Taylor (Crowthorne) both 4½. 3rd D. Mackle (Newton Abbot) 4. Grading prizes: U-177: A. W. Brusey (Newton Abbot) 3½. U-163: A. Waters (Rainham) 3.
Major Section (U-155): 1st J. Morgan (Exeter) 4½. 2nd J. Nielsen (Wimborne) 4. 3rd= G. Body (Exeter); R. Desmedt (Wombwell); J. G. Gorodi (Newton Abbot); T. Greenaway (Torquay) and A. Waldock (Guildford) all 3½. GP: U-145: A. Farthing (Worcester) & R. Wilby (Plymouth) both 3. U-133; C. Keen 131 (Exeter) 3.
Minor Section (U-125); 1st Christine Constable (Coulsdon) 4½. 2nd J. Wallman (Isle of Wight) 4. 3rd= S. Ross u/g (Shifnal); T. Slade (N. Cornwall); M. Hill (Liskeard); J. Carr (Portsmouth) & R. Scholes (Exeter) all 3½. GP: U-111: K. Sherlock (Yeovil) 3½. U-102 G. Jenkins (Exeter) 3½.
Team Prize: 1st Exeter. 2nd South Hams . 3rd= Barnstaple & Exmouth.
Here is an entertaining and instructive game from Round 3 that put the winner into the sole lead, only to lose in the last round to Rudd.
White: S. Homer (180). D. Mackle (194)
Sicilian Defence – Grand Prix Attack. [B23]
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 Key move of the Grand Prix Attack, so called after its popularity on the Grand Prix circuit in the 1970s as a way of scoring a quick point with a rapid King-side attack before Black gets a chance to counter on the Q-side. 3…g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.0–0 a6 7.Bd3 An ugly-looking move that is not quite as bad as it looks. 7…e6 8.e5 d5 9.exd6 Qxd6 10.Ne4 Qc7 White now gambits a pawn in order to open up the centre while the Black King is still in the centre. 11.Ne5 Bxe5 12.fxe5 Black decides to accept the gift, thinking that White’s awkwardly-placed bishop will hinder further development, but this underestimates the force with which White can counter. 12…Qxe5 13.c3 Nc6 14.Bc2 f5 15.d4 cxd4 16.Bf4 The hitherto blocked bishop joins the attack to great effect. 16…Qg7 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Bb3 e5 19.Bg3 h6 20.Nf7 Rh7 21.cxd4 exd4 22.Rc1 Qf6 23.Bd6+ Nge7 24.Rxc6 White calculates he can afford to sacrifice material in order to break through. 24…bxc6 25.Be5 Qh4 26.Rf4 Qh5 27.Qxd4 The Black queen is about to get trapped, but he is also threatened with mate on d8 so cannot save it. 27…Bb7 28.Bd1 Qxd1+ 29.Qxd1 Rxf7 30.Qd6 Kg8 31.Rb4 1-0 resigns as Black must lose his bishop if he is to avoid mate.
Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qg4! threatening 2.Qg2mate, and the rook coming to g3 in order to prevent this, blocks off the bishop, allowing 2.Nf2 mate.
This 2-mover was composed in 1907 by the Plymothian, Mrs. Edith Baird.
Dominic Mackle had a fairly comfortable game against Dr. Adam Woodruff and his win took him to clear 3rd.
In the Major Section Jamie Morgan of Exeter came clear 1st. Although he lives in the city, he has yet to visit their club. He was born in Guernsey and learned his chess in the far west of Cornwall, and should now prove an asset to East Devon chess.
The Minor proved a triumph for Christine Constable, who, with her husband John, runs the bookstall and provided all the equipment. It was the first clear 1st in her chess career, and it is a moot point as to whether she is the first lady player to win outright any section at this event. Someone should consult the record books. Unfortunately, the trophy hadn’t been returned by its previous winner, (no names – no pack drill) so she, too, will have to wait until Easter to receive it.
The full details were:-
|East Devon||Congress||4th – 6th March||2011|
|M. V. Taylor||181||Crowthorne||4½||£170|
|3rd||D. Mackle||194||Newton Abbot||4||£80|
|GP: U-177||A. W. Brusey||175||Newton Abbot||3½||£30|
|J. G. Gorodi||150||Newton Abbot||3½||£14|
|GP: U-145||A. Farthing||144||Worcester||3||£15|
|2nd||J. Wallman||108||Isle of Wight||4||£100|
|T. Slade||103||N. Cornwall||3½||£14|
|GP: U-111||K. Sherlock||102||Yeovil||3½||£30|
Although the event passed pleasantly enough, there remains to question of falling numbers – a drop of c. 15 per year over the past few years is unsustainable without some adjustments to the formula. The Committee will be considering the possiblities – whether it be a new cheaper venue, an increase in entry fees, cutting out the Friday evening round, the formation of a Friends of the Congress fund, similar to Paignton, or a more rigorous “selling” of the event, if that is possible. They are not alone in this – many events are having to take stock in the wake of falling numbers.
Meanwhile, here are some scenes from the final round:-
Recently, I have been looking into the early years of the West of England Individual Championship. It started in 1946 when just four players were invited to compete for the title. These were Ron Bruce of Devon, Chris Sullivan of Gloucestershire, Capt. P. D. Bolland of Somerset and 23 year old H. V. Trevenen of Cornwall, who at that time was the new champion of the Bristol & Clifton Club. Trevenen was the surprise winner, and this was no fluke as he won again in 1949 and 1950 when it had been increased to a seven round 8-player tournament.
However, he seems to have been something of a mystery man, as no-one today, even those who can remember him, can relate anything about him, even his Christian names. He did suffer a nervous breakdown at some point and was hospitalised in Bodmin, but this is about all anyone knows. If any reader can add to this very small amount of information, I would be grateful.
Meanwhile, here is one of his games from the 1947 Championship, which demonstrates his sharpness. His opponent was the Gloucestershire and Bristol champion, Ron Slade, who was born in Plymouth and died in Cornwall at the age of 90.
White: R. A. Slade. Black: H. V. Trevenen.
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 Black has adopted a Pirc Defence formation, first popularised in the mid-’40s. 4.Bd3 Bg7 5.h3 Nbd7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 h6 Black will not be able to castle without losing his h-pawn as long as White’s pieces are lined up against h3. 8.Nge2 e5 9.0–0 exd4 10.Nxd4 Nc5 11.Rae1 Nxd3 12.cxd3 Bd7 13.f4 0–0 Black doesn’t hesitate to get castled. 14.f5 Kh7 15.Nce2 c5 16.Nf3 c4 17.fxg6+ fxg6 18.Ng3 cxd3 19.e5 Not 19.Qxd3? Bb5 19…Nd5 20.Qxd3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Leaving Black with the bishop pair against two knights. 21…Bb5 22.Rf2 dxe5 23.Nxe5 Rxf2 Slightly better was 23…Qh4 24.Rc2 Rae8. 24.Qxf2 Qd5 25.Ng4 While the knights are almost sidelined, the bishops cut swathes across the board. 25…Bc6 26.Re7 Rf8 27.Qe2 h5 28.Nh2 and now Black delivers a two-move knockout blow. 28…Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Rf2 0-1Resigned because of the devastating fork between the queen and h2. Play might have continued… 30.Qe3 Qxe3 31.Rxe3 Rxg2 32.Ne4 Rxb2 and White’s problems are too many and too serious to repair.
The East Devon Congress is taking place this weekend in Exeter’s Corn Hall, where the holder, Paul Helbig of Bristol, is defending his title. I will have full details of all prizewinners here next week.
White’s most efficient way of winning in last week’s position was to play 1.Bg8! and nothing the Black rook can do will prevent a mate on either g7 or h7.
This 2-mover is similar except that both sides have an extra piece to contend with.
After 3 rounds of the congress, only one player is left with a maximum score in the Open; Stephen Homer of Exminster. There are four players a half point behind – these are Alan Brusey, Steve Dilleigh, Mark Taylor and Jack Rudd, the latter two having drawn against each other in Rd. 3. Tomorrow’s winner must surely come from this group.
All five have a Devon connection in common: Brusey and Rudd live in the county, while Dilleigh was brought up in Plymouth and Taylor was a student at Exeter University.
The 36th East Devon Congress got under way at the appointed time of 7 p.m. tonight with a few words of welcome from the Secretary, Alan Maynard. The overall entry was 15 down on last year, which was, in turn, 15 down on 2009, a worrying trend for the Committee to consider at their post-congress meeting. Strangely, while the Open and Major sections held up well, it was numbers in the Minor Section that were down. By and large, most of the players here were familiar faces, the usual suspects, one might say; if the congress is to continue in its present form, it must attract many more newcomers.
Paul Helbig of Bristol returned to defend the trophy he won last year, hopes dented by the unexpected appearance of IM Jack Rudd, hot foot from the Brighton International that finished mid-week, and clear favourite here. Other contenders for a prize in the Open include John Wheeler, Graham Bolt and Dominic Mackle.
Exmouth met Tiverton for the 2nd time in 5 days on Wednesday evening, this time in the Exeter & District League Division 2, and away at Blundell’s School.
But again, the Tiverton side were a little lighter in overall strength than might have been expected, being the home team playing on their own clubnight, and both teams were somewhat short of the 600 grade maximum.
First game to finish was Knowles (W) v Jones, in which an early foray by the White queen resulted in its being harried, in turn leading to Black gaining space on the queenside and the initiative, after which material started to drop. 0-1 to the visitors.
Shortly after, Abbott (B) overcame Annetts to at least ensure avoiding defeat, especially in view of the fact that Hodge (W) on Bd. 4 had trapped and won his opponent’s queen as early as move 14 and was himself sure of getting something from the game. In the event, his extra material got trapped behind a phalanx of attacking pawns and was unable to break out effectively, so he offered a draw in order to secure the match win, which was readily accepted in view of his opponent’s large material deficit.
Meanwhile, on Bd. 2, the game Kennedy (W) vs Morrison was a complicated one with a lot of material on the board as time started to run out, so a draw was agreed, making the final score 1-3 to the visitors.
|1||W||I. S. Annetts||155||0||1||M. V. Abbott||171|
|2||B||J. V. Morrison||152||½||½||P. J. Kennedy||151|
|3||W||J. Knowles||133||0||1||R. H. Jones||138|
|4||B||D. F. Allen||111||½||½||F. R. Hodge||111|