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Archive for April, 2011

Death of Roger Grime (16.04.2011.)

Cornish chess has lost one of its great servants with the death last week of Roger Grime at the age of 58. He was born and lived all his life in Helston, attending the Grammar School between 1963-70, eventually qualifying as an accountant. He soon became the backbone of Helston’s Godolphin Chess Club, where he was Secretary and 1st team captain for over 35 years. As one of Cornwall’s top players he regularly took a top board in county matches, missing only a handful of matches in all that time. He became county champion in 1975, before the advent of Peter Clarke, Michael Adams and Andrew Greet, and was C.C.C.A. Treasurer for 30 years.

Here is one of his wins from the match against Somerset in 2000.

White: Mike Twyble (204). Black: Roger Grime (164).

Queen’s Gambit – Exchange Variation [D35]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 h6 8.Bh4 Be6 9.Nge2 c6 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.0–0 Nh5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.b4 a6 14.a4 b5 15.e4 Qxb4 16.exd5 cxd5 17.axb5 axb5 18.Rab1 Qe7 19.Rxb5 Rac8 20.Qd2 Qd6 21.Ra1 f5 22.Rba5 g5 23.Ra6 Qe7 24.Bc2 Nhf6 25.f3 Ne8 26.Bb3 Ndf6 27.Ra7 Rc7 28.Rxc7 Qxc7 29.Qe3 Ng7 30.Qe5 Qxe5 31.dxe5 Nd7 32.Nd4 Rb8 33.Ra7 Nc5 34.Bxd5 Bxd5 35.Nxd5 White is ready to press home an attack using his well-placed pieces and extra pawn. However, Black has plans of his own. 5…Rb1+ 36.Kf2 Nd3+ The time control at move 40 is getting close and the players must move quickly, increasing the possibility of oversights. 37.Kg3?? Oops! Essential was 37.Ke3 after which might follow Nxe5 38.Ne7+ Kf8 39.Ndxf5 Nxf5+ 40.Nxf5 Re1+ 41.Kf2 Nd3+ 42.Kg3 Re6. 37…Nh5+ resigns, in view of the inevitable 38.Kh3 Nf2 mate.

The Teignmouth RapidPlay attracted over 100 entries last Saturday, and the winners included the following:-

Open: 1st Patryk Krzyzanowski (Yeovil). 2nd Allan Pleasants (Weymouth). U-145: 1st D. Macarthur (Keynsham). 2nd G. Rosser (Torquay). Juniors: 1st= Theo Slade (Bude); Tom Kolya & Reece Whittington (both Broadclyst).

The 62nd West of England Championship starts on Friday morning at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, but it’s not too late to take part as entries, in common with most local events, are lower this year. Details are available from Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or e-mail –

In last week’s position, Black wins after 1…Rxh3+. If 2.gxh3 Bxf3 mate, and if 2.Bh2 then Rxh2+ with a winning attack.

This position was the end of the last game ever played in the WECU Championship by former Champion Ron Bruce. He has just played the seemingly obvious Rxg2, but this lets White off the hook. White to play and draw.

White to play and draw.

Bloodworth & Grime R.I.P.

Ken Bloodworth’s Memorial service went off satisfactorily at the Weston Mill Crematorium in Plymouth on Monday last. Appropriately, perhaps, the biggest group of mourners comprised his fellow chess-players, mostly members of the Plymouth Chess Club. His son Richard came over from Western Australia while Peter, from near Bournemouth, was accompanied by his family members. 

The funeral directors were Walter C. Parson of Budshead Road, Plymouth. In an earlier existence, Wally Parson was an able and very promising Plymouth Junior chessplayer, who came under the guidance of Ken, but he gave the game up as his career took over.

Afterwards, a reception was held at a nearby social club, which provided an opportunity to chat with the Wheeler brothers about chess stories from the distant past.

This was followed on Friday by the announcement of the death of Roger Grime, one of Cornwall’s most faithful servants for 40 of his 58 years.

He was born in Helston and attended the Grammar School there from 1963 – ‘70 before eventually qualifying as an accountant. He was general factotum at the town’s Godolphin Chess Club for over 35 years, acting as Secretary and 1st Team Captain  until his illness from cancer prevented it.

He took a top board for the Cornwall county team, rarely missing a match, and was Hon. Treasurer for C.C.C.A. throughout.  He won Cornwall’s individual championship in 1975, before the arrival on the scene of Peter Clarke, Michael Adams and Andrew Greet.

Roger Grime in 1983


The funeral is due to take place on Monday 18th April at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church, Helston. It is family flowers only, and donations, if wished, to either the Helston Flora Day Association or the Amputee Club at the Camborne-Redruth Hospital (Bamcoose). Cheques may be sent to Pendle Funeral Services, The Firs Funeral Home, St. Johns, Helston. TR13 8HN

New Cornish Champion! (09.04.2011.)

It can be dispiriting when one spends over 40 years trying to win something, only to finish runner-up time after time. One could be excused for thinking fate had decreed it was never to be.

That was the case with the President of the Cornish Chess Association, Robin Kneebone, but just when he least expected it, he won his county championship at their annual congress at Stithians last weekend. He entered the fifth and final round of the Emigrant Cup a half point behind the leader, Lloyd Retallick, and needed a win with the black pieces in order to become Champion. Here is that game; (notes based on those by the winner.)

White: L. Retallick (181). Black: R. Kneebone (167).

Modern Benoni Defence [A70]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 Black is left with a backward pawn against White’s strong pawn centre. 6…g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.h3 0–0 9.Bd3 Nh5 10.0–0 Nd7 11.Bg5 Bf6 12.Be3 Re8 A better plan is to continue with piece development while Black’s queenside is still constricted. 13.Nd2  a better plan might be 13.Qd2 a6 14.a4 Rb8 15.Rac1. 13…a6 13…Bg5 14.f4 Bh4 15.g4 Ng7 16.Nf3 14.a4 Bg5!? 15.f4 Bh4 16.Nf3 Too cautious: although needing just a draw White should play 16.g4! Ng7 17.a5 f5?! (17…Qe7) 18.Nc4 fxe4 19.Nxe4 Nf6. 16…Bg3 17.Qd2 Qe7 18.Ne2 Ndf6 Black rejected 18…f5 19.e5 dxe5 20.Nxg3 Nxg3 21.Rfe1 e4 22.d6 and the fork can easily be escaped from. 19.Nxg3 19.Nc3 Bf5 19…Nxg3 20.Rfe1 Nfxe4 winning a pawn. 21.Qc2 Bf5 Suddenly all Black’s pieces are free. 22.Bf2 Qf6 23.Bxg3 Nxg3 24.Bxf5 Qxf5 25.Qb3 Ne2+ winning a 2nd pawn. 26.Kf2 Nxf4 27.Rxe8+ Rxe8 28.Kg1 Re2 0-1 White resigned. The threat is on g2, and though White has a number of tries, none are good enough. e.g. 29.Nh4 Qf6 (or 29…Qg5 30.g3 Nxh3+ 31.Kh1 Nf2+ 32.Kg1 Re3 33.Kxf2 Qxg3+ 34.Kf1 Rxb3) 30.Qg3 Rxg2+ 31.Nxg2 Ne2+ 32.Kh2 Nxg3 33.Kxg3 Qe5+ 34.Kf3 Qxd5+.

And so Robin achieved his dream of winning the county title and the Emigrant Cup. Retallick and Jeremy Menadue were in joint 2nd place.

The Falmouth Cup for players graded U-140 was won by David Jenkins of Polruan on tie-break from Chris Reeves (Truro) and Gary Trudeau (Liskeard). David is a newcomer on the Cornish chess scene, but his modest grade of 118 will surely rise on this form.

The Penwith Cup, a one day event for juniors and inexperienced adult players, was won by 12-year old Jack Grose.

The solution to last week’s position was 1.Ra8 forcing a pawn move and then 2.Kb7 gives a discovered mate.

This position is the end of a game at the WECU Championships in Newquay in 1978, between two Bristolians; Alan Ashby (W) and David LeMoir. How did Black win in 2?

Black to win quickly

West Of England Junior Championship Results (02.04.2011.)

The 25th combined West of England and Wiltshire Junior Championships were held recently at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon, with about 300 players taking part.

The older sections proved a triumph for the girls: the West of England Champion at both U-18 and U-16 was Radha Jain, whose eligibility is based on her being a pupil at Cheltenham Ladies College. The Wiltshire Champion for both age groups was Megan Owens who, although a native of Wales, was born in Salisbury.

The U-14 Champion was Kumar Dixit of Hampshire. At U-12, the Champions were Michael Ashworth and Eleanor Hapeshi both of Gloucester. In the U-10 group, the Champion was Harry Grieve (Hants) and the Girls title was won by Martha McCarron (Wilts). There was a tie in the U-9 section between brothers Thomas and Charlie McLaren of Wiltshire, so they won the county title as well. The U-8 Champion was Daniel Seymor (Wilts) while there was a tie for the Girls title between sisters Venetia and Mercedes Hobkirk-Caps of Gloucester. Wiltshire’s U-7 Champion was Rachel Fairfax.

The standard at the top end of each section was extremely high, and national team selectors take great notice of who is coming up through the ranks with a chance of representing their country.

The event was organised by the WECU Junior Organiser, Bev Schofield, with much help on the day from a host of volunteer helpers.

The very first West of England Junior Champion was P. T. Burnett of Kingswood School, Bath, when the event was held in Bristol in 1948. I wonder if he’s the Philip Burnett who plays for the Bristol Cabot club?

Here is an encounter from the WECU Junior Championship of 1974 that won the Best Junior Game prize.

White: H. Sommers. Black: A. W. Brusey.

French Defence [C00]

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Be2 Nf6 5.0–0 Bd6 6.Re1 0–0 7.d4 Re8 8.Bg5 Bg4 9.Nc3 c6 10.Ne5 Be6 11.Qd2 Nbd7 12.Nxd7 Bxd7 13.Bf3 Re6 14.Rxe6 Bxe6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Ne2 Ne4 An exchanging line which forces an ending in Black’s favour. 17.Bxe7 White has nothing better. 17…Nxd2 18.Bxd8 Nxf3+ 19.gxf3 Rxd8 20.Nf4 Re8 21.Nd3 Kf8 22.Nc5 b6 23.Nxe6+ Rxe6 24.Rxe6 fxe6 White’s inferior pawn formation gives Black a big advantage. 25.Kg2 Kf7 26.Kg3 Kf6 27.Kf4 c5 28.c3 g5+ 29.Kg4 cxd4 30.cxd4 e5 31.dxe5+ Kxe5 32.Kxg5 d4 33.f4+ Kd6 After 33…Ke4 34.f5 d3 Black queens first but will find it hard to win. 34.f5? The fatal error.  34.Kg4 Ke6 leads to a draw – despite being a pawn up, White is not going to win. 34…d3 35.Kh6 d2 36.Kxh7 d1=Q 37.f6 Qg1 0–1

The solution to last week’s position was 1.Qf5! forcing 1…Kg3 and 2.Bf2 mate follows. How can White repeat a 2-move mate this week?

White to Mate in 2 moves.

EPSCA Southern Zonal Results (26.03.2011.)

Devon hosted the southern zonal section of the English Primary Schools Chess Association Inter-Area Championship at Tiverton High School last Saturday, with six teams of 20 young players involved. The teams involved were Devon, Wiltshire, Birmingham, Berkshire, Sussex and the favourites Wey Valley from Surrey.

There were 3 rounds, making 60 points the maximum possible per team, and these were the final scores. 1st Wey Valley (49½). 2nd Sussex (36½). 3rd Berkshire (34½). 4th Devon (26). 5th Birmingham (20½) and 6th Wiltshire (13), all of which demonstrates the gulf in overall strength that exists between teams from the Home Counties and the provinces.

The Bristol League is starting a new Spring Congress at Filton on Friday 1st April. Details from G. Mill-Wilson on 0779-0167-415. The following weekend sees the 30th Teignmouth RapidPlay at their usual venue. Details from Ray Chubb on 01626-888255 or e-mail:

Easter won’t be far behind and with it the West of England Congress at Exmouth. Accommodation will be limited, so entries should be submitted as soon as possible, to Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or

This miniature was a win for Gloucestershire in their recent victory over Devon.

White: David Vaughan (159). Black: Jon Duckham (165).

Four Knights Opening [C48]

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 e5 4.Bb5 as in the Ruy Lopez, which leads to the name Spanish Four Knights applied to this variation. Bc5 5.d3 d6 Such symmetry as we have here can sometimes rebound on the second player.  6.Be3 Bb6 7.Nd5 0–0 The knight is safe on d5, as if 7…Nxd5 8.exd5 a6 9.Ba4 and Black’s bishop prevents the saving …b5. 8.Bg5 Bg4 9.Qd2 Bxf3 10.Bxf6 Nd4 11.Qg5 If White took the queen straight away, Black has some counter-measures which need careful calculation; e.g. 11.Bxd8 Bxg2 12.0–0–0 Raxd8 13.Rhg1 Nf3 so White has steered a more pragmatic course. 11…Ne6 Black’s only viable option. 12.Bxd8 Nxg5 13.Bxg5 White has simply won a piece without unnecessary complications. 13…Bh5 13…Bxg2? would be asking for more trouble, for after 14.Rg1 Bh3 15.Bh6 14.Bc4 c6 15.Nxb6 axb6 16.Be7 Rfe8 17.Bg5 White declines 17.Bxd6 which looks playable. 17…c5 18.Bc7 17…b5 18.Bb3 b4 19.f4 exf4 20.Bxf4 Bg6 21.0–0 Rac8 22.Be3 c5 23.Bd5 Re7 24.a4 Rd8?? 25.Bg5 The last straw. 1–0

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Rc3!  There’s no immediate threat from this, but Black can only move knight or queen and whatever he tries opens up a mate.

That was championship level stuff; this 2-mover’s considerably easier but still needs careful consideration.

White to mate in 2

Devon Finish Season Winless (19.03.2011.)

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.

White to mate in 2