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Archive for June, 2011

Yeovil Chess Congress – Results

Last weekend saw the completition of this year’s Yeovil Congress, masterminded by IM Jack Rudd.

When the brochure first came out, there was some debate about the fact that Jack had decided to make not only the Open section FIDE-rated, but the Major section also. It was felt in some quarters that the possible need to pay a hefty surcharge to FIDE for this “service”, over and above the normal entry fee, might put off many potential entrants. Jack, however, was determined to go ahead and take stock for the future in the light of this year’s experience.

In the event, the entry of 18 for the Open was well up to Yeovil’s average, though the Major was down to 14, somewhat lower than usual. However, a total of nine partial FIDE ratings were achieved, which was Jack’s original intention. In the light of this, his initial gut feeling is that he will continue with the ratings formula for next year.

Prizewinners (all totals out of 5):

Open Section: 1st Paul Cooksey 4½ (204 – Maidenhead).  2nd Bruce Jenks 4 (Lymington – 187). 3rd= Allan Pleasants (Weymouth – 185); Martyn Simons (Southbourne – 192) & Andrew Footner (Yeovil – 175) all on 3½.   Footner won the Grading Prize as this was larger than a third-share of 3rd prize.

British Championship QP – Cooksey.

Partial FIDE Ratings were achived by John Footner, Tristram de Piro and Selwyn Hamilton.

Major Section (U-165): 1st Julian Spradley 4½ (clear winner with a round to spare). 2nd Brendon O’Gorman 3½ (DHSS – 157); 3rd= Jim Fewkes (Yeovil – 146); Chris McKinley (Sedgemoor – 144); Martin Oliver (Cirencester – 153); Terry Stuttard (Taunton) all on 3.

Paretial FIDE ratings were achieved by Fewkes, McKinley, Stuttard, Steve Dean, Tim Chapman & Tim F. Woodward.

Minor Section (U-140): 1st= Rhys Bennett; Peter Dimond (Bath – 124); Michael Pope (St. Neots – 126); James Galloway (Patchway – 128) & Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham – 137) all 4 pts.

Grading prizes: Christine Constable & James Barnett both 3 pts.

Somerset Senior Champion: Andrew Footner.

Somerset U-18 Champion: Rhys Cumming.

Somerset U-16 &U-14 Championships: Martin Oliver.

Somerset U-12 & U-13 Championships: Nikita Ayvazyan.

Photographs will probably be available on Brendon O’Gorman’s Picasa picture gallery.

Devon’s UK Chess Challenge Results.

Cornwall’s champion club this year is Truro who won their Division 1, the County Shield, by a considerable margin. Their pool of players comprised Jeremy Menadue, Robin Kneebone, Chris Reeves and Marks Hassall and Pilling. Runners-up were Camborne.

Div. 2, the Roberts Cup (U-164) was won by Falmouth, who also won Div. 3 for Under-135s.

Devon’s club champions this year were Newton Abbot who retained the Bremridge Cup, while Exmouth retained the Mamhead Cup (Div. 2).

Devon’s contribution to the world’s largest chess tournament, the British Land UK Chess Challenge which attracts over 75,000 young players annually, was completed on Saturday with the county final at Churston Grammar School.

The boys’ title of Supremo was conferred on the following:-

U-7: Chris Kiddey (Ilsham). U-8: James Lloyd (Kelly College Prep.). U-9: Josh Parton (Broadclyst).

U-10: Thomas Kolya (Broadclyst).

U-11: Taylor Finch (Exeter Juniors). U-12: Tomas Trott (Clyst Vale C.C.). U-13: John Fraser (Torquay Boys’ G.S.). U-14: Jared Wray (Torquay Boys’ G.S.) U-18: Oliver Bell (Ilfracombe Arts College).

The girls’ title of Suprema was won by the following:- U-8: Olivia Whidley (Ilsham). U-9: Hannah Burnett. U-10: Ella Bibby. U-11: Becky Trott (all Broadclyst  Primary School). Becky Trott and Josh Parton were the only two to score a maximum 6/6 points.

Here is a game from the recent Frome Congress, won by WECU’s qualifier for next month’s British Championship in Sheffield.

White: P. Krzyzanowski (177). Black F. J. Musson (157)

Queen’s Gambit – Slav Defence.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Bf5 7.e3 e6 8.Bb5 Nd7 It makes better sense to continue with normal development and prepare for castling e.g. 8…Bb4. 9.Qa4 Qb6 10.Ne5 Ndxe5 11.Bxe5 f6 12.Bg3 Be7 13.Rc1 0–0 14.0–0 a6 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Qb3 Qxb3 17.axb3 Black now tries to eliminate his backward pawn, but this only sets him on a slippery slope. 17…c5 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Nxd5! Rfc8 20.Nc7 hitting rook and bishop. 20…Rxc7 Black has no choice but to give up the exchange. 21.Bxc7 Bb4 22.Rfd1 Ra7 23.Rc4 Rb7 24.e4 Bg4 25.f3 Bh5 26.Rd8+ Kf7 27.g4 Bg6 28.h4 h5 29.Rh8 threatening to win the trapped bishop. 29…hxg4 30.h5 Bxe4 31.fxe4 e5 32.Rb8 Forcing off the rooks and leaving White a whole rook up, so Black resigned. 1–0

In last week’s position, 1.d3 allows to move his bishop while preparing for 2.Qc4 mate.

This 2-mover was taken from the recent inaugural British Junior Chess Problem Solving Championship, won by 16 year old Peter Lalic, whose parents are both Grandmasters.

White to mate in 2

Devon Win National Semi-Final

After an abysmal season during the winter, Devon have suddenly sprung into life in the National Stages of the Inter-County Championships – U-180 section. After squeezing past Warwickshire in the quarter-final, they faced an even stronger Yorkshire team in the semis last weekend at Worcester, and repeated the act, with the same player sealing the 9-7 win at the last minute (see game below).

Devon’s winners were M. Abbott, W. Ingham, Dr. D. Toms, C. Howard, and B. Gosling, while creditable draws were obtained by T. Thynne, Dr. T. Paulden, Dr. J. Underwood, D. Cowley, Dr. D. Regis, A. Kinder, J. Duckham and A. Billings. Hewson, Brusey and Brooks conceded Devon’s only three losses.

In the Final Devon will play the winners between Lancs and Notts on 2nd July at Leicester.

At one stage, Devon were 3 points up with 4 games still in play. One of these was lost, another drawn, leaving the onus on this game to seal the win – nail-biting stuff once again.

White: B. Gosling (156). Black: D. Patrick (160)

Queen’s Gambit–Slav Defence. [D10]

Notes based on those by the winner.

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 c6 4.c4 4…Qa5+ 5.Qd2 White heads for another long ending. 5…Qxd2+ 6.Nxd2 Bf5 7.Ngf3 e6 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.h3 Nbd7 11.a3 Nh5 12.Bh2 f5 13.Bd3 Nhf6 14.f3 Be7 15.0–0–0 Kf7 16.Kb1 c5 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Rhe1 cxd4 19.exd4 Rh4 20.Nb3 Bg5 21.Bg1 Rhh8 22.Bc4 N7b6 23.Bd3 Nf4 24.Nc5 Bh4 25.Re5 Bg3 26.Bf1 Rab8 27.Re3 Nbd5 Black’s Knights are beginning to dominate the position. 28.Rb3 b6 29.Nd7 Rbc8 30.Ne5+ Kf6 31.Nd7+ Kg5 32.Be3 Rc7 33.Ne5 Nxe3 34.Rxe3 Rhc8 35.Ba6 Black will not be allowed to control the c-file. 35…Rd8 36.Rc3 Rxc3 37.bxc3 Rd5 38.Bc4 Ra5 39.Kb2 Nxg2?? A blunder just before the 1st time control. How many times have players been advised not to grab a knight’s pawn instinctively, but still they do it. 40.Rg1 Ne3 41.Rxg3+ Kf4 42.Rxg6 Rxe5 43.Bxe6 The safer option. 43…Rb5+ 44.Kc1 Kxf3 45.Bd7 Rb3 46.Kd2 Rxa3 47.Bc6+ Kf4 48.Rxg7 Ra2+ White played 49.Kd3 and offered a draw knowing that this would win the match for Devon, so Black had no choice but to play on. 49…a5 50.d5 Ra1 51.Re7? Ng2? The decisive blunder. 52.d6 Rd1+ He should have played this a move earlier. 53.Ke2 Rxd6 54.Bxg2 a4 55.Ra7 b5 56.Ra5 Kg3 57.Bf1 Rd5? 58.c4 Re5+ 59.Kd2 Re4 60.Rxb5 f4 61.Bd3 Re8 62.Ra5 Kxh3 63.Rxa4 Black’s time ran out here, but he is lost anyway.  1–0

Last week’s position was solved by 1.d3! which allows the bishop to move though it can do nothing to prevent 2.Qc4 mate.

White to play and mate in 2.

White to mate in 2

WECU’s “New” Deputy President.

At the West of England Chess Union’s annual Council Meeting on Saturday, Cheltenham’s Philip Meade stepped down from his four year cycle as President and a successor was sought. Each of the six constituent counties get an opportunity to nominate a candidate and as it was Hampshire’s turn it had been suggested that John Wheeler would be an ideal person for the role. The fact that he had done this job before was not deemed to be a problem as he has many attributes. He is an active, life-long player at a high level and a quietly efficient administrator and organiser in a number of areas.

Here is a game of his from nearly 40 years ago in which he beats a renowned opponent in the WECU Championship, held at Falmouth. Notes by the former Scottish champion, the late Dr. J. M. Aitken.

White: A. R. B. Thomas. Black: J. F. Wheeler.

Petroff Defence–Steinitz Attack [C43]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Bd6 6.0–0 0–0 7.c4 Nc6 A suggestion of Tarrasch, in place of the earlier …c6, which leaves the initiative with White. 8.Nxc6 White chooses what I consider to be the best reply. 8…bxc6 9.c5 Be7 10.Nc3 f5 11.f3 Ng5 12.Be3 f4 13.Bf2 Bf5 14.Re1 Qd7 15.Re5 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Bf6 17.Re2 Nf7 18.Rae1 Nh6 19.Re6 Rfe8 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Rxe8+ Qxe8 22.b4 g6 23.Ne2 Nf5 24.Nxf4 Bxd4! Black plays neatly hereabouts. If 25. Bxd4 Nxd4 Qxd4?? Qe1 mate. 25.Kf1 Ne3+! 26.Kg1 Nc2! 27.Ne2 Bxf2+ 28.Kxf2 Nxb4 Black has now won a pawn but his knight is driven out of the game. 29.Qc3 Na6 30.Nf4 Qe7 31.Nd3 The knight aims at e5, g4 & f5. Also, Qa5 is immediately threatened. 31…Qg7 The exchange is forced, but White’s pieces are so well placed that he should not have much trouble in drawing. Unfortunately for himself, he tries too hard for more. 32.Qxg7+ Kxg7 33.Ke3 Kf6 34.Kd4 Ke6 35.a3 g5 36.g4 Nb8 37.f4 gxf4 38.Nxf4+ Kf6 39.h4 Nd7 40.Nd3 a5 41.Nc1 Ne5 42.Nb3 Nf3+ 43.Ke3 a4 44.Nd4 The pawn ending was White’s idea, but he under-estimated his opponent’s chances. 44…Nxd4 45.Kxd4 Ke6 46.Kd3 Ke5 47.Ke3 h6 48.Kf3 Kd5 is a powerful alternative, as after 49.Kf4 Kc3! 50.g5 hxg5+ 51.hxg5 d4. Black has the advantage; I think he should win the eventual queen ending. 48…d4 49.Ke2 Kf4 50.g5 hxg5 51.hxg5 Kxg5 52.Kd3 Kf5 53.Kxd4 Kf4 54.Kc4 Ke4 55.Kb4 Kd4 56.Kxa4 Kc4! This key move wins by force -Kxc5 only draws. White has little choice in what follows. 57.Ka5 Kxc5 58.Ka6 Kd4 59.Kb7 c5 60.a4 c4 61.a5 c3 62.a6 c2 63.Kxc7 c1Q+ 64.Kb8 0–1

White to play and mate in 2.

White to mate in 2.

Annual Prizegiving & Coast vs Country Match

Thirty-six league players of varying strength gathered at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth for the annual prizegiving, to be followed by an 18 board match between the clubs of  the coastal towns against those situated inland.

First of all, John Stephens accepted the Division I Cup on behalf of the Exmouth Club, having won it the week before (see account). Jonathan Waley, as captain of the Exeter team  was presented with the Div. II cup, followed by John Knowles who won Div III with the Tiverton Ravens. (See photographs below)

The match followed immediately and it wasn’t long before the Coast team established a small lead of 1 or 2 points as the results started to come in, with a good number of draws. Eventually, the Coast had a 2 point lead with 3 games still in progress, though Abbott and Rogers had their backs to the wall in losing endgames. So with one game still in play, the scores were level, and Obie Ebanks, a new arrival at the Exmouth Club, had a small advantage against schoolboy S. Keat, but was having to face a strong attack, when Keat’s flag fell but neither noticed in the excitement. With Keat’s clock 3 minutes past flag-fall, Ebanks forced the win of a rook and the game was up. Keat resigned not having realised he’d already technically lost minutes earlier, though, of course, the win has to be claimed.

Full details:-

Bd. Coast Team Grd     Country Team Grd
  1 John Stephens 181 ½ ½ Tin Paulden 174
  2 Mark Abbott 177 0 1 Dave Regis 166
  3 David Toms 159 ½ ½ Sean Pope 159
  4 Ray Shepherd 129 ½ ½ Peiter Dobber 158
  5 Dave Rogers 150 0 1 Chris Southall 138
  6 Steve Murray 143 ½ ½ Jon Waley 132
  7 Giles Body 132 1 0 John Knowles 133
  8 Oliver Wensley 130e 1 0 Charlie Keen 131
  9 Alan Dowse 132 0 1 Will Marjoram 120
10 Bob Jones 138 0 1 John Maloney 120
11 Tom Badlan 120 1 0 Dave Nagy   80
12 Hazel Welch 115 ½ ½ Richard Scholes 108
13 Robert Ryan 114 ½ ½ Geoff Jenkins 100
14 Fred Hodge 111 ½ ½ Louis Ten-Holter 99e
15 Roy Curtis 101 ½ ½ Tomas Trott 96e
16 Obie Ebanks 100e 1 0 Sam Keat 90e
17 Les Porter 93 1 0 Chris Ebanks 95e
18 Dave Aramy-Bibby 78 ½ ½ Alan Brinkley 89
  Total      

 

John Stephens (Exmouth) receives the Div. 1 cup from Brian Aldwin.

Jonathan Waley receives the Div. II cup.

John Knowles is truly delighted with his Div. III trophy.

Paulden and Stephens reprise their encounter of the previous week.

Hodge vs Ten-Holter (nearest)

General view.

General view#2

Exmouth Club’s A.G.M. 2011

The Exmouth Club held their AGM on Wednesday 1st June at the club premises of Age Concern in New Street.

Club President and Treasurer, Mark Abbott, took the chair and advised those present that things ran at a financial loss this season. Some fat had been used up, and there might be enough left to carry on without change for another season, but that would leave nothing in the kitty. He advised that it would be prudent to avoid this danger by raising subscriptions now. After some discussion, it was felt that an increase from £20 p.a. to £30, although a 50% increase, would still represent good value, when one bore in mind the facilities available at Age Concern, and the subscriptions of other clubs in the county. Passed unanimously.

Team Captain, Bob Jones, reported on team successes in winning Devon’s Div. 2 (the Mamhead Cup), and the Exeter & District League Div. 1 the night before (see previous report) – these were the top two tournaments the club had entered.  However, he had been somewhat frustrated in other tournaments, by a number of factors  – lack of available players, work commitments etc. and he sought more team captains for some of the teams to share the repsonsibility.

Mark Abbott was congratulated on becoming Devon’s Individual Champion and retaining the club Championship.

Plans were then discussed for the  next season.

Club members at the AGM. Seated (l-r): Tom Badlan; Mark Abbott; John Stephens; Fred Hodge; Standing: Malcolm Belt; Obie Ebanks; Simon Blake; Oliver Wensley.

Cotswold Congress Prizewinners (04.06.2011.)

The Cotswold Congress finished on Monday with the following players among the prizewinners.

Open Section: 1st= S. Berry (Wimbledon) & A. Gilmour (Cheltenham) 5½/6. 3rd= O. Hackner (Rotherham); P. Martin (Cheltenham) & R. Savory (Bristol)  4 pts. Grading prize: A. Gentry (Witney), I. Ponter (Bristol); P. Davies (Cardiff) & P. Neatherway (Oxford).

Major (U-160): 1st D. Hartley (Chesterfield) 5½. 2nd= M. Doran (Warwick); J. Goodhead (Cheltenham) & Andrew Price (Leamington) 4½. Grading: K. Biswas (Oxford), D. Macarthur (Keynsham) & R. Weston (Witney).

Minor (U-120): 1st S. Ross (Telford)           5½. 2nd Theo Slade (Barnstaple) 5. 3rd M. Ashworth (Gloucester) 4½. Grading: N. Purry (Christchurch), P. Carrick (Bath) & J. Boswell (Stone).

A number of westcountry players were involved in the recent Sunningdale Congress. Here is a miniature from Rd. 1 won by Paignton’s grandmaster, Keith Arkell.

White: P. Dupre (2050). Black: K. C. Arkell (2419).

Nimzo-Indian Defence – Rubinstein Variation. [E26]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Rubinstein’s recommendation. 4…c5 5.a3 Usual here is 5.Bd3 5…Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qa5 7.Bd2 Ne4 Rather than succumb to a totally defensive game, White goes for a double attack, but Black will have carefully calculated the risk involved before playing his last move. 8.Qg4 Nxd2 9.Qxg7 Qxc3 10.Qxh8+ Ke7 11.Rd1 Already there is no defence, as Black has a forced mate in 6, starting with 11…Ne4+ 12.Ke2 Qc2+ 13.Kf3 Black ignores the rook and goes for the finish. 13…Qxf2+ 14.Kg4 If 14.Kxe4 Qf5 mate 14…Qf5+ 0-1 resigns as the end is inevitable e.g. 15.Kh4 Qg5+ 16.Kh3 Qh5 mate.

In last week’s position, Brian Gosling could have played 1.Re6+ KxR 2.c8=Q+ which retains the initiative giving him vital time to cover Black’s queening square f1.

This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2011-12 British Solving Championship. Work out White’s only move (the key) that leaves Black unable to avoid mate next move. Send the solution to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, together with a cheque or postal order for £3.00, made payable to British Chess Problem Society. Please provide an e-mail address if you have one. All entries should be postmarked no later than 31st July 2011. Don’t forget to mention that you saw the position in this paper. After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution and a free copy of The Problemist. Those who got the correct solution will also receive the Postal Round, comprising 8 positions of slightly greater difficulty and variety. In due course, the best competitors from the postal round will be invited to the Final at Oakham School in February at which the prize fund will be about £1,000.

In last week’s position, Brian Gosling could have played 1.Re6+ KxR 2.c8=Q+ which retains the initiative giving him vital time to cover Black’s queening square f1.

This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2011-12 British Solving Championship. Work out White’s only move (the key) that leaves Black unable to avoid mate next move. Send the solution to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, together with a cheque or postal order for £3.00, made payable to British Chess Problem Society. Please provide an e-mail address if you have one. All entries should be postmarked no later than 31st July 2011. Don’t forget to mention that you saw the position in this paper. After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution and a free copy of The Problemist. Those who got the correct solution will also receive the Postal Round, comprising 8 positions of slightly greater difficulty and variety. In due course, the best competitors from the postal round will be invited to the Final at Oakham School in February at which the prize fund will be about £1,000.

White to mate in 2

Exmouth Win E. Devon League Div. 1

Matches in this season’s Exeter & District League seem to have been more difficult than usual to arrange and get played. Players and organisers are busier than ever these days with work and family commitments, and trying to get competitive teams out midweek is getting increasingly frustrating. 

This season Sidmouth, recent winners of Division 1, had already declined to enter, and the Met Office was forced to withdraw before a match was played after a combination of staff retirements and transfers caused them to lose players. This left Exmouth & Exeter as the only teams left, and even this match got put back to the last minute. Eventually, it was agreed to have a one-off, winner-takes-all match on the last Tuesday before the League Prizegiving at the annual Coast vs Country match, to be held at the Exeter Club’s new premises, the Heavitree Social Club. Whatever the unsatisfactory nature of  having to decide the top prize in this way, at least it focussed minds on the night – the kidology going on as the players assembled betrayed a definite frisson to the occasion. In spite of having just a few days’ notice, both teams had their strongest teams out – it was going to be a High Noon moment. 

The least-experienced player was Exmouth’s Oliver Wensley, a former member of the old Exmouth Junior Club, who returned to active play in September after an absence of nearly 20 years when his grade was 97. It soon became clear that he had improved greatly since then, and his provisional grade of 120 was upgraded to 130 at the start of the year, and his new grade in August may be even higher. This could be his sternest test to date. On the night he matched Simon Waters’ early play and no advantage to either side was discernable after move 22 when Waters offered a draw. Wensley correctly consulted his captain as to the state of the match, and the offer was accepted with some alacrity. 

On Bd. 2 Brian Hewson and Dave Regis, whose 50th birthday it was, both played with care and precision. Hewson seeemed to get a slight edge as the first time control approached, but not enough to be able to force anything and a draw was agreed. 

Meanwhile, Exmouth’s Abbott and Stephens, both playing with the Black pieces, had the initiative in their games – the only question was whether this could be converted into points as the allegro 15 minutes after move 30 raced by. On Bd. 3  Paulden was short of time throughout the game and eventually his flag fell, but in circumstances where it was debatable whether Stephens had enough material to win. The subsequent discussion involved all present and the finest of fine points of the Laws of Chess relating to these situations were debated. Meanwhile, Graham Bolt resigned after losing a piece in the ending of a game in which Abbott had held the initiative throughout, but was in danger of losing it as Bolt’s undeveloped pieces eventually sprang out of the traps, a fact that allowed the Stephens-Paulden game to be agreed a draw without affecting the result of the match- Exeter 1.5 – 2.5 Exmouth.

  Exeter  Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 G. Bolt 182 0 1 M. V. Abbott 177
2 Dr. D. Regis 166 ½ ½ B. W. R. Hewson 176
3 Dr. T. J. Paulden 174 ½ ½ J. K. F. Stephens 181
4 S. Waters 167 ½ ½ O. E. Wensley 130e
     689    664

 

Birthday boy, Dave Regis (50) surrounded by his Exeter team-mates, Graham Bolt, Simon Waters & Tim Paulden.

Wensley v Waters (nearest); Stephens v Paulden; Hewson v Regis.

Bolt v Abbott (nearest); Hewson v Regis.