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Archive for November, 2011

12th Beacon Seniors Day 1.

Getting ready:

First morning of the 12th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress, here in the Royal Beacon Hotel, on Exmouth’s late 18th century development on the cliff-top overlooking Lyme Bay.

At 11 a.m. with 2 hours to kick-off, everything is more or less in hand, apart from one or two late withdrawals, counterbalanced by one or two late entries, all of which makes it difficult for Controller, Ewart Smith, to do the draw. He’s learned from past experience the dangers of doing a draw too early, as there’s many a slip…….

Overall entries are a little down again this year, possibly not helped by having another Seniors Congress, the ECF Seniors Championship, plonked onto the calendar within a week of this one, although there are understandable special circumstances involved. Dinah Norman has just arrived and she’s happy to be playing in both, and said there were 28 players involved in the ECF event, held at Gatwick, so perhaps it could be wrong to overstate things.

The Calm before the Storm - Ewart Smith contemplates the draw in an empty room.

By 1p.m. the scheduled starting time, most players had arrived, all bar four who were either delayed in transit or mistook the starting time as 2 p.m. A few words of welcome from Mr. Jones before handing over to Mr. Smith who finally got the show on the road.

Rd. 1 finally gets under way.

Bds 1 & 2 in the Seniors Section: Gosling v Dodgson & Footner (A) v Wiltshire.

Bds. 5 - 8: Roberts v Carr:: Welker v Sherriff :: Cranmer v Openshaw :: Adams v Hurn.

Marian Cox against the blind player Philip Gordon of the I.O.W. (0-1)

Rd. 1 results for the "Junior" event - i.e. the 50-somethings.

Seniors section - majority of Rd. 1 results.

“Juniors” Rd. 1      
Dean, S. ½ ½ Heppel, I.
Wells, J. 1 0 Sellwood, C.
Rogers, D. R. 0 1 Burton, R.
McAllan, S 1 0 Orr, D.
Arris, J. 1   Bye


Rd. 1 games come in 2 parts:

Part 1:

Part 2:

All junior games:

Bournemouth & Guernsey Congresses (05.11.2011.)

The annual Dorset Congress has recently moved eastwards from Weymouth to a new Bournemouth venue, and the main winners this year were as follows: Open Section: 1st Martyn Simons (Bournemouth -4/5). Major: 1st= Matthew Wilson (Basingstoke) & David Helsby (Lewisham) 3½. Intermediate: 1st Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury – 4½). Minor: 1st Alan Fraser (Beckenham – 5) – the only 100% score of the weekend.

The recent 37th Guernsey Congress was won by the top seed, S. Sulskis of Lithuania on 6/7 points, but the outstanding performance was by Dave Collier of Bristol who came 2nd= with GM Mark Hebden (both 5½), thus qualifying for next year’s British Championship.

The 12th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress starts on Monday in Exmouth, but it’s still not too late to enter if you contact me on 01395-223340 or e-mail

Here is a game from last year’s event with a debatable finish.

White: John Dodgson (183). Black: Martin Page (162).

Queen’s Pawn Game – Exchange Var. [A00].

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2 0–0 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Nge2 Re8 10.0–0 Nf8 11.f3 h6 Black wishes to challenge the bishop but in doing so weakens his own King’s position. 12.Bh4 Ne6 13.Rad1 c5 14.dxc5 g5 15.Bf2 Bxc5 16.Ng3 Aiming for the ‘hole’ on f5. 16…b6 17.Nf5 Bf8 18.e4 Nc7 White wishes to preserve his strong forward knight. 19.Nd4 Bb7 20.Kh1 Rc8 21.Qd2 Nh5 22.Bb1 Qf6 23.a3 Qe5 24.Nf5 The knight is now free to return to f5. 24…dxe4 25.fxe4 Ne6 26.Be3 Rcd8 27.Qf2 Nhf4 Black gets his own advanced knight. 28.Nd5 Nxd5 29.exd5 Rxd5 30.Rde1 The Black queen leads from the front – a dangerous policy. 30…Rd7 Now the Black queen’s advanced position exposes her to great danger. 31.Bf4 Qxf4 At first sight, this looks reasonable enough, but White has a strong move. 32.Qc2 1–0. Black resigned as it seems his queen must move and then White’s knight will move to expose a mating queen/bishop combination. But closer inspection reveals that 32…Be4 would have enabled him to play on. e.g. 32…Be4 33.Qxe4 Qxe4 34.Bxe4 Rd2 35.b4 and Black is actually a pawn up. So did Black resign needlessly?

The solution to David Howard’s latest problem was 1.Rg8! with no immediate threat, but whatever move Black now makes will offer a range of different mates.

This 2-mover of 1878 by Sam Loyd first appeared in the Huddersfield College Magazine, which two years later became the British Chess Magazine.

White to mate in 2.


NB: The diagram as published in the paper was a piece short, and therefore unsolvable. This was noticed before publication, but too late to do anything about it. Apologies to all frustrated solvers. I aim to republish it correctly next week, and with the solution.

If it’s any comfort, before the advent of computers, most problem books contained many errors, both in the composition of the diagram, and the solution given, which could also be incorrect, or “cooked”. For example, perhaps the most prestigious series of problem books was the Christmas Series, (44 titles in total), edited by the American scholar and philanthropist, Alain C. White (1880 – 1952), yet, quite early on  he had to publish whole booklets with all the errata listed for each of the books.

So these things do happen to even the best.

Weekly Chess Column.

The Plymouth-based Western Morning News carries one of the oldest chess columns in any provincial daily paper. It was started in 1891 and has continued ever since in one form or another, in spite of having shifted for a short spell to another title in the same stable, the Illustrated Western Weekly News.

For the past 55 years it has had just three correspondents: J. E. “Eddy” Jones (1956 – 63); K. J. “Ken” Bloodworth (1963 – 1999) & R. H. “Bob” Jones from 1999.

For all this time, it has reported weekly on the chess activities within its readership’s area, Devon & Cornwall, However, since December 2010, in a cost-cutting exercise and rationalisation, the WMN joined forces with its Northcliff Group neighbour, the Bristol-based Western Daily Press, to produce a weekend supplement in common, called Westcountry Life. Fortunately, they retained the chess column, which means it now gets a much wider readership, and this must be reflected in the scope of what it records. So the activities in Somerset and Gloucestershire must get equal billing, as it were, with those of Devon & Cornwall.

One must hope this experiment will prove successful and continue. We hope chess followers will purchase the two papers in question, at least their Saturday edition, as this is the point of the exercise. However, I have permission to reproduce it on this website for the benefit of those outside the readership area.

To that end, I aim to post it here a day or two after its appearance in the paper.

Bob Jones