Archive for February, 2012
After having been held at West Buckland Village Hall for several years, this match had to be arranged for a new venue nearby, Norton Fitzwarren Village Hall. Several players experienced problems finding it, as the postcode, as given on their own website, when typed into google maps, pinpoints a spot over a mile away.
Once play was under way, it wasn’t long before the expected pattern of results appeared – Somerset 1st team set for a big win and the 2nd team for an equally big loss. And so it proved, with their 1st team’s 10.5 – 5.5 win mirrored by a 6-10 loss in the lower half.
|Devon 1||Grd||Somerset 1||Grd|
|1||D. Mackle||197||0||1||D. Buckley||201|
|2||K. J. Hurst||186||0||1||J. Sherwin||202|
|3||S. Homer||179||0||1||B. Edgell||198|
|4||B. W. Hewson||178||½||½||T. Stuttard||191|
|5||D. Regis||175||0||1||P. Kryzyzanowski||188|
|6||J. F. Wheeler||173||½||½||D. Littlejohns||174|
|7||J. Stephens||173||1||0||A. F. Footner||173|
|8||A. Brusey||174||0||1||R. Morgan||147|
|9||T. F. Thynne||171||½||½||D. Painter||175|
|10||D. Twine||170||0||1||M. Richardt||180|
|11||J. Leung||165||0||1||Megan Owens||171|
|12||A. Billings||157||1||0||D. Freeman||164|
|13||O. Wensley||164||0||1||C. Purry||151|
|14||W. Ingham||166||1||0||G. N. Jepps||161|
|15||P. Brooks||160||0||1||J. E. Fewkes||157|
|16||N. Rahimili||158e||1||0||N. N. Senior||156|
|Devon II||Somerset II|
|17||C. V. Howard||158||½||½||P. Flexman|
|18||B. Gosling||150||½||½||D. Peters|
|20||I. S. Annetts||152||1||0||Def.|
|21||P. J. Kennedy||147||1||0||S. Pickard|
|22||M. Stinton||150||0||1||D. Wood|
|23||P. Dobber||149||0||1||A. Champion|
|24||J. E. Allen||150||1||0||M. Worrall|
|25||D. A. Toms||153||1||0||C. Strong|
|26||J. S. Murray||151||1||0||C. McKinley|
|27||J. G. Gorodi||149||1||0||R. Challoner|
|28||P. E. Halmkin||150||½||½||R. D. Knight|
|29||K. Atkins||146||1||0||J. Wilkinson|
|30||J. Morrison||148||0||1||K. Paine|
|31||W. R. Taylor||141||0||1||C. Stanton|
|32||J. Fraser||125||½||½||M. Baker|
Meanwhile, in another village hall, near Honiton, Cornwall met their furthest opponents, Hampshire.
Now you’d think that after earlier results this season in which Devon beat Cornwall and Hampshire beat Devon, by substantial margins in each case, it would be only logical to suppose that Hampshire should beat Cornwall with some ease. But where Cornwall is concerned, logic is rarely the defining factor. In this case, for example, although the Cornish were outgraded on the majority of boards, they won 3.5 – 2.5 on both the top and bottom 6 boards, to register a 7-5 win. Where’s the logic in that?
Cornwall were without Ian George, but newly-retired County President, Robin Kneebone, seems to have more time to play, and the rise and rise of 11 year-old Theo Slade continued apace. As already reported, Theo became West of England U-12 Champion at Swindon the previous weekend, and here he was pitched into the senior county team at Bd. 7 and won in 28 moves against a higher graded opponent.
|1||J. Menadue||197||0||1||I. D. Thompson||204|
|2||M. I. Hassall||180||½||½||D. R. Tunks||187|
|3||L. Retallack||178||½||½||P. F. Cooper||172|
|4||R. Kneebone||170||1||0||C. J. V. Bellers||169|
|5||S. Bartlett||165||½||½||T. R. Anderson||163|
|6||G. Trudeau||151||1||0||D. W. Fowler||161|
|7||T. Slade||147||1||0||C. P. Priest||151|
|8||C. Reeves||146||0||1||S. J. Smith||149|
|9||J. Wilman||141||½||½||S. Dean||134|
|10||C. Sellwood||139||1||0||S. D. LeFevre||122|
|11||C. Long||133||0||1||L. Pearman||122|
|12||D. R. Jenkins||130||1||0||S. J. Murphy||113|
The West of England Junior Open Congress was held last weekend at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon. This event has grown in importance in recent years under the guidance of WECU Junior Secretary Bev Schofield and her band of helpers, and this year’s total entry was 356, making it by far the biggest weekend tournament in the westcountry.
As it is an Open event there were entries from all over the country, all of whom
were eligible to win their age sections, but only those with genuine westcountry connections (birth, residence or schooling in the area) were eligible for the title of WECU Champion.
The prizelist was long and comprehensive, and this is just a summary of the main winners – (grades & clubs given).
Major Section: 1st= Marcus Harvey (209–Bicester) & Peter Bachelor (184-Willesdon) both 4/5 pts. 3rd= Rahda Jain (179-Cheltenham Ladies Coll.) & Kumar Dixit (164-Camberley) both 3½. WECU U-18 Championship Awarded to Jain and Dixit. The British Championship Qualifying Place, a new feature of this event, went to Bachelor.
U-14 Section: 1st= Ananthanarayan Balaji (169–Harrow); Adam Taylor (168-Colchester); Akito Oyama (156-Cambridge) & Roman Mitra (165-Herts) all 4/6 pts. WECU U-14 Champion: Jamie MacDonald (128-Wilts).
U-12 Section: 1st Vincent Lee (133-Herts). 2nd= Matthew Fergusson (142-Birmingham); Joshua Higgs (137-Sussex); Richard Meikle-Briggs (132-Richmond) & Ryan Wong (131-Maidenhead) all 5/6. WECU U-l2 Champions: Theo Slade (147-Cornwall) & Alex Vanlint (137-Basingstoke). Girls Champion: Eleanor Hapeshi (92-Gloucester).
U-10 Section: 1st= Koby Kalavannan (137-Surbiton) & Francesco Bernadini (u/g-Kent). 3rd= Charlie McLaren (114-Wilts); Anthony Zang (145-Berks) & Anantha Anilkumar (119-Coulsdon). WECU Champion; McLaren. Girl: Emily Vaughan (u/g Wilts).
U-9 Section: 1st Will Cleeves (86-Thamesdown). 2nd= Oliver Howell (106-Coulsdon) & Ben Perryman (u/g-Hants). WECU Champion: Cleeves.
Both Somerset and Devon have assembled strong teams for their match at Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, this afternoon. On paper, Somerset have the edge in the 1st team match (16 boards), while Devon look favourites in the 2nd team.
At the recent very strong Bunratty Masters weekend tournament 1st= were Mickey Adams (Taunton), Nigel Short and Gawain Jones (all 5/6 pts) with Keith Arkell (Paignton) and Con Ionescu just half a point behind.
Last week’s position White could have won if he had played 1.Qc3! and 1…Qe7 is not enough to save things after 2.Qxc8.
Here is another new 2-mover from Dave Howard of West Harptree. White to move.
Richard Towers of the flowing auburn locks and one-time member of the Exeter Chess Club, returned to active chess at the Paignton Congress, after an absence from the scene of over a decade. He was a strong club player, in the 150 – 160 grading range, playing regularly for both Exeter and Devon.
However, on Wednesday evening, he was walking home from his workplace on the Marsh Barton Industrial Estate in the city, when he was knocked down and received serious head injuries. He is now in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, under sedation and unconscious.
Even now, 5 days after the accident, Police are still trying to trace any relatives he may have had. Anyone who has further information in this direction, is asked to contact the police in Exeter.
Meanwhile, his friends and acquaintances wish him well in his fight for recovery.
Thursday 23rd Feb. Exeter & East Devon’s local paper, the Express & Echo, featured the accident on their front page, and included the above picture.
Apparently, a sister (next of kin) has been traced and informed.
Devon captain, Brian Hewson, reports as follows: “I phoned Derriford (Pencarrow Ward) today (Thurs.) Richard has had an operation on his leg that went ok. He won’t be able to recognise people at the moment according to the ward nurse. I am hoping to now visit on Monday, depending on what they say then.”
The West of England qualifying section of the annual Civil Service Championship was held last weekend at the Met. Office in Exeter. The winners here qualify for the National Final to be played at Leeds University in July. Although hundreds of chess-playing civil servants throughout Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Gloucestershire were eligible, only seven players entered, all of whom live within a few miles of the venue, which suggests more pre-event publicity might be in order next year. Never the less, there was a worthy winner in Alan Brusey (HMRC) on 5/6. Alan was the first National Champion over 20 years ago and is the current one and has played in every event in between. Joint 2nd were Sean Pope (Rural Payments Agency) and Steve Murray (Met. Office) on 4½ pts. These are the qualifiers. Other scores were Neville Lane (RPA) 3; Wilf Taylor (M.O.) 2; Davis Thompson (M.O.) 2 and Patrick Gwynne (RPA) 0.
Here is one of Alan’s games from earlier in his career, with notes based on those by former WECU officer, Richard Rendell of Swindon.
White: J. Riddell. Black: A. W. Brusey
39th Paignton Premier (5) 1989.
English Opening – Sicilian Variation. [A21].
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 f5 3…Nf6 is the most common move here, and …f5 is next most popular, but has mixed results for both sides, with not many draws. 4.d4 e4 5.Nd2 Nf6 6.e3 Be7 7.Be2 c6 8.d5 0–0 9.0–0 Nbd7 10.f3 cxd5 11.cxd5 exf3 12.Nxf3 Ne5 13.Nd4 g6 Despite his backward pawn on d6, Black has a comfortable game and has control of the centre. He also intends to get his pieces moving on the kingside. 14.Kh1 a6 15.Bd2 Nfg4 16.h3 Further weakening his influence over the dark squares. 16…Bh4! 17.Bf3 An interesting sacrifice. If 17.hxg4 Bg3! 18.Nf3 Nxf3 19.Rxf3 Qh4+ 20.Kg1 Qh2+ 21.Kf1 Qh1# Thus the knight cannot be taken as White has no defence to the mate. He therefore is forced to give up the exchange. 17…Nf2+ 18.Rxf2 Bxf2 19.Qe2 Qh4 The Queen comes in now and the hunt for the White King is on. 20.Rf1 Bg3 21.Be1 Bxe1 22.Rxe1 g5 23.Qf1 g4 24.Be2 Rf6 25.Kh2 gxh3 26.gxh3 Rg6 27.Nf3 Ng4+ 28.Kh1 Nf2+ 0–1 White resigned, for if 29.Kh2 Qg3#. So forced would be 29.Qxf2 Qxf2 30.Rg1 Rxg1+ 31.Nxg1 Qxe3 and White is hopelessly down on material with no threats.
The British Solving Championship is being held today at Eton College, and I hope to have the results by next week, together with one of the easier problems involved.
Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Rf8! and the threat of a double check and mate cannot be avoided.
This week’s position arose in a recent Devon League match. There was a move available to White that would have won the game and, with it, the match. He missed it, and went on to lose the game leaving a 2-2 draw. Can you spot it?
A minor piece of local chess history was made on Wednesday when a Seaton team came to Exmouth to play in a DCCA tournament, the Team Rapidplay (Newman Cup); neither Seaton nor Sidmouth had ever played in any DCCA competition before this season.
The maximum total grade for this match was 599, grades taken on the September 2011 grades (RapidPlay grade where appropriate), an average of just under 150 per board. Seaton’s team were all fairly close to this average, whereas Exmouth used Fred Hodge, relatively low-graded but vastly experienced and a safe pair of hands, on Bd. 4 to balance up the top 2 boards.
This policy proved successful as Fred held his own in both rounds against Alan Dowse who is c. 30 grading points higher, while Stephens and Wensley proved more than a handful at the top end. Only Jones failed to score, twice succumbing to Stone’s attacking skills.
Exmouth now have this win and a draw against Tiverton, with return matches yet to be played.
|Bd||Exmouth||Grd||Rd1 Rd2||Rd1 Rd2||Seaton||Grd|
|1||J. K. F Stephens||176||1 1||0 0||S. K. Dean||150|
|2||O. E. Wensley||164||1 ½||0 ½||M. W. Adams||136|
|3||R. H. Jones||147||0 0||1 1||S. Stone||147|
|4||F. R. Hodge||107||½ ½||½ ½||A. Dowse||135|
|Totals||594||2½ 2||1½ 2||568|
On Friday 10th February, the West of England regional qualifying tournament for the annual Civil Service Chess Championship, took place at the Met Office, Exeter. There were 7 entries, all from Devon, even though all civil servants from Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucestershire, and Dorset were eligible. There must be many thousands of civil servants in these counties, but why none of them entered this prestigious event is not clear, especially as the impressive venue stands at the junction of the M5 and A30 and is easily accessible from all directions.
This tournament was held on an All-Play-All basis at RapidPlay rates, and the outcome was as follows:
|2||Steve Murray||145||Met Office||½||X||½||½||1||1||1||4½|
|5||Wilf Taylor||142||Met Office||0||0||0||1||X||0||1||2|
|6||David Thompson||UG||Met Office||0||0||0||0||1||X||1||2|
Brusey, Murray and Pope thus qualify for the finals, due to be held at Leeds University in July. The current holder of the national title is Alan Brusey, who won the very first championship over 20 years ago.
Exmouth travelled to Teignmouth for their 2nd match in the Mamhead Cup (Devon’s division 2), fielding their secret weapon, Mike Redman, in what may be his only match for the club this season.
The first game ended when Jones coolly and quickly placed a rook en prise, with no compensation whatsoever. However, Teignmouth are nothing if not even-handed, and Bill Ingham marooned his last rook, leaving Murray to pick it up at leisure, levelling the scores. Gosling got short of time in what might have been a slightly better position, and he accepted the offer of a draw. This left everyone to gather around the top board game, as fortunes swung to and fro.
In the middlegame, Redman seemed to have a positional bind and merely needed to open the centre and exploit his advantage. However, he inadvertantly placed a piece on a bad square and Brusey could counter-attack. He went 2 pawns up and seemed sure to win himself. Material came off and with minutes to go, they were in a knight+pawns endgame. Redman’s knight perfomed minor miracles, winning 3 pawns and threatening to queen. From nursing a loss, to looking drawn, he was suddenly sniffing a win again. With the last seconds running out on the digital clocks, both sides queened and after a flurry of checks a draw was agreed. Nerves frayed all round, but honours even.
|1||A. W. Brusey||174||½||½||M. Redman||194|
|2||W. H. Ingham||166||0||1||J. S. Murray||151|
|3||P. E. Halmkin||150||½||½||B. G. E. Gosling||150|
|4||J. G. Gorodi||149||1||0||R. H. Jones||130|
The East Devon Congress starts a fortnight on Friday and the organiser, Alan Maynard, tells me he has only received 50 entries to date, whereas he hopes for a further 100 if the event is to remain viable. Therefore, he urges everyone considering entering to get their forms to him a.s.a.p. If necessary, the brochure may be downloaded from the chessdevon website.
Last year’s joint winners were Jack Rudd and Mark Taylor, and these were their last round wins that guaranteed 1st prize.
White: Jack Rudd. Black: Steve Homer. Sicilian Defence [B89]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0–0–0 White castling q-side in the Sicilian Defence is usually the precursor to a quick and violent attack on the other wing. However, that doesn’t happen in this game. 9…Qc7 10.f3 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.Be3 Be6 13.Bb3 b5 14.Kb1 b4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bd7 17.f4 This is about the extent of a king-side attack; not much but very significant. 17…e4? Black is already in difficulties; he started his own attack before getting castled and now that has stalled, he is faced with losing vital pawns. 18.Rd4 0–0 19.Rxe4 Bf5 20.Rxb4 With the q-side broken open, full attention is on attack and defence in this area. 20…a5 21.Qc4 Qd8 22.Rb7 a4 23.Bxa4 Qa5 24.Bc6 Bf6 Four black pieces now bear down on the enemy king’s position. 25.a4 Rfb8 26.Qb5 Qd8 Black cannot afford to exchange material due to the pawn deficit he acquired earlier on. 27.Bb6 Qc8 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Re1 Threatening to win the queen with a fork on e8. 29…Bxc2+ pure desperation. 30.Kxc2 Qf5+ 31.Qd3 Qxf4 32.Qe4 1-0 At last, the Black queen can no longer run away, thanks to the threat of mate on the back rank. Queens must come off and White’s extra q-side material will easily win the day.
White: P. Kryzanowski. M. V. Taylor.
Dutch Defence [A85]
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Nd4 Qd7 11.Nxe6 Qxe6 12.Be2 c6 13.Qb3 Rab8 14.0–0 Kh8 15.Rfd1 h6 The start of a Black attack. 16.Bh4 g5 17.Bg3 Nfd7 18.f3 f4 19.exf4 gxf4 20.Bf2 Having opened lines to the White king, Black marshalls his forces to exploit the weakness. 20…Rg8 21.Kh1 Qg6 22.Rg1 Qh5 23.Ne4 Nf6 24.Nxf6 Bxf6 25.Rad1 Rg5 26.g3 Rbg8 27.Rxd6 fxg3 28.Bxg3 Black needs to calculate the various possible outcomes carefully before launching his final assault. 28…Rxg3 29.Rxg3 Rxg3 30.Rxf6 Qh3 31.Rxh6+ Qxh6 32.Qc3 Qh5 33.Qd4 Kg8 34.Qd6 Qh3 0-1 The White queen has some bravado checks but cannot break the stranglehold on g2.
There were two solutions to last week’s position. One is 1.Nxf6+ exf6 2.Bf3 mate, and the other is 1.Qd3+ kxd3 2.Nxf2 mate. To be fair, it was not composed by a dedicated problemist, who would be posing only one difficult-to-spot solution, but was taken from a collection of positions intended for training purposes.
This week’s 2-mover by A. Gulyaev won 1st prize in a Soviet composing tournament in 1946.
Exmouth were away to their local rivals Exeter in Devon’s 1st Division, the Bremridge Cup, when both teams were without several key players. The match was held in the offices of the Schools Health Education Unit, on the Marsh Barton estate, with Bds 1-3 in one room and 4-6 in another, and generally, the teams were very evenly matched.
On Bd 4, Brian Gosling, with Black, achieved a crushing breakthrough against his opponent’s kingside and forced the fist resignation. On Bd. 6, Bob Jones won a central pawn that had been injudiciously advanced, and managed to exploit this slight advantage, and a subsequent blunder, to win a rook with a knight fork. On Bd. 5, newcomer Tony Hart turned around what at one point looked a difficult position to conduct a king hunt with all his forces coordinating excellently.
Thus, all games in one room were completed 3-0, while the top players battled on. In a pawn and minor pieces ending Oliver Wensley sacrificed one piece to secure 2 passed pawns. His opponent returned material to reach a K+5 ending. Thinking it was probably losing, his opponent offered a draw, which Wensley accepted without hesitation, securing the match. A post-game analysis showed it was actually a drawn ending.
Stephens lost in a complicated position, while Hurst, standing 3 pawns up in a Q+2R each endgame, placed a rook on a square where it could be taken for nothing. Match over.
|1||D. Regis||182||1||0||K. J. Hurst||186|
|2||S. Waters||165||1||0||J. K. F. Stephens||173|
|3||S. Pope||152||½||½||O. E. Wensley||164|
|4||W. Marjoram||151||0||1||B. G. E. Gosling||150|
|5||P. Dobber||150||0||1||A. G. K. Hart||145e|
|6||A. J. Waley||129||0||1||R. H. Jones||130|
Here are the first 2 games to finish.
White: W. T. Marjoram (151). Black: B. G. E. Gosling (150).
King’s Indian Defence – Classical Variation [E90]
1.c4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.h3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.e4 e5 7.d5 0–0 8.Bd3 a5 9.0–0 Nc5 10.Be3 b6 11.a3 Bd7 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4?? Diagram
Overlooking the fact that his queen is overloaded. First get rid of the knight – viz. 13.Bxc5 bxc5 14.axb4 cxb4 15.Rxa8 Qxa8 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.cxb5 Nd7 18.Qd2 Nc5 19.Bc4 and Black is comfortable with a pawn up. 13…Rxa1 14.Qxa1 Nxd3 15.Qb1 Nf4 16.c5 bxc5 17.bxc5 Qc8 With the luxury of an extra piece, Black lines up against the enemy king. 18.c6 Bxh3 19.Bxf4 exf4 20.gxh3 Qxh3 21.Qd3 Ng4 22.Ne2 Nh2 Winning more material. 23.Nxh2 the least worst option. 23…Qxd3 24.Nxf4 Qxe4 25.Ng2 Qxd5 26.Ne3 Qg5+ 27.Kh1 Qc5 28.Rd1 Qxc6+ 29.Kg1 Ra8 30.Nd5 Kf8 31.Kg2 Ra5 Resigned as Black is winning another piece. 0–1
White: A. G. K. Hart (145). Black: P. Dobber (150).
English Opening – Sicilian Var. [A22]
1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 e5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.g3 c6 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.0–0 0–0 8.a3 a5 9.Rb1 Qc7 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Nbd7 12.Qd2 h6 13.Bb2 Be6 14.e3 d5 15.cxd5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Rfc1 f6 18.e4 Be6 19.Nh4 Kh7 20.f4 Bd6 21.f5 Bf7 22.Nf3 Ba2 23.Ra1 Qb6+! White overlooked this check, which wins a pawn. 24.Kh1 Bxb4 25.Qe2 c5 However, White soon has a trick to win it back. 26.Bxe5 fxe5 27.Rxa2 Ra6 28.Rxa6 bxa6 29.g4 Qf6 Now materially level, but Black has an outside passed pawn with available support. White decides to act vigorously on the other wing in order to preoccupy Black from pushing his a-pawn. 30.h4 g5 31.fxg6+ opening lines to the Black king. 31…Kxg6 32.Rf1 Qe7 33.Bh3 a5 34.g5 Rd8 Diagram
35.Bf5+ Kg7 36.gxh6+ Kxh6 37.Qe3+ Kg7 38.Rg1+ Kf7 39.Qh6 Qf6 40.Qh7+ Ke8 41.Rg8+ Nf8 42.Bg6+ 1-0 Resigned. If 42…Qxg6 43.Qxg6+ Kd7 44.Rg7+ Kc8 45.Qc6+ Kb8 46.Qb7#