Archive for March, 2012
If there was a feeling of deja vu last night, it might have had something to do with the fact that Exmouth and Tiverton have already met 4 times this season in various competitions, and this fifth encounter was in Division 1 of the Exeter & District League, the newly-named “Premiership”. Having already won their first 2 matches in this tournament, against the Met. Office and Exeter A, a good result here would keep them on course to retain the League’s main trophy.
However, Tony Hart came unstuck against an in-form Keith Atkins (his last game against Exmouth notwithstanding), as the Tiverton player sacrificed material to smash his way through to the Black king, eventually winning the queen.
On the brighter side, Wensley established a pawn on the 7th rank in the middlegame, greatly restricting Duckham’s options and piece development. Eventually, he did manage to release his own rooks but, as they abandoned defence for attack, Black’s threats materialised into a winning combination. 1-all.
On top board, Stephens entered the endgame with a time and slight positional advantage, both of which evaporated as the 1st time control approached. Errors of judgement on both sides meant the game finished as a draw, which focused attention on the last game, Shaw-Annetts. Shaw had won a pawn in the centre, and as more material came off they were left with Shaw’s R+3 vs R+2, all pawns connected and on the king’s side. Annetts was very much on the back foot but defended well, and 2 pawns each came off. Eventually, with 2 minutes left on his clock, Annetts stopped the clock and claimed a draw as White couldn’t win “by normal means, whatever that means”. After some discussion about the rules, it was agreed the position probably was drawn anyway, and therefore, so was the match.
With only Exeter B left to play, Exmouth are in a good position, though nothing can be taken for granted.
|Exeter League Div.1||28.03.’12|
|1||John K. Stephens||173||½||½||Brian Hewson||178|
|2||Oliver Wensley||164||1||0||Jon Duckham||153|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Ivor Annetts||152|
|4||Tony Hart||145e||0||1||Keith Atkins||146|
Following the fortuitous win against Tiverton in the DCCA RapidPlay league, thus securing the trophy with the away match against Seaton still to be played, Exmouth seem to have hit a winning streak. In defence of their Exeter & District League Div. 1 trophy, they have made a perfect start, following up their win against the Met. Office with another against Exeter by an even more convincing margin. These game points may prove useful in a tie-break situation at the end of the season.
|Exeter League Div. 1||21.03.2012|
|1||John K. Stephens||173||1||0||Simon Waters||167|
|2||Oliver E. Wensley||164||1||0||Sean Pope||149|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Peit Dobber||150|
|4||Tony G. Hart||145e||1||0||Jonathan Waley||132|
On Saturday, they had a trip to Newton Abbot to play their Div. 2 match. The home team may have felt somewhat stretched as they were committed to playing an 8 board match at the same time, though they didn’t stint on this team, being just 5 points short of the permitted maximum.
On Bd. 1, they had the Torquay schoolboy, Jeff Leung, a rapidly rising star, though perhaps his weakness is playing too quickly and not extracting the maximum advantages from some of the positions he gets. Although excellent at rapidplay, Stephens does take his time in the crucial middlegame stages, and in this case won the day. The crucial game was on Bd. 4, the last game to finish, where Shaw’s strong nerves in the run up to the time control with his flag hanging in a complicated position were commendable!
|Mamhead Cup||640 max||24.03.2012|
|1||Jeff Leung||165||0||1||John K. Stephens||173|
|2||Alex Billings||157||1||0||Brian G. Gosling||150|
|3||Andrew Kinder||162||½||½||Tony G. Hart||145e|
|4||John E. Allen||150||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||150e|
This result leaves that league like this…..
|As at 25.03.’12|
With all matches played, Newton will finish bottom. If Exmouth beat Barnstaple to reach 5 points, and that’s a big if, the key match will be Tiverton vs Teignmouth, with Tiverton probably favourites to reach 6 points – though anything is possible, of course. After all, who would have put money on Newton Abbot coming last?!
Last Saturday was the final round of the inter-county competition, with Cornwall meeting Somerset at Exminster and Devon playing Gloucestershire at West Buckland. A feature of this season has been the way in which any team is capable of beating any other – nothing could be taken for granted. Somerset had clearly learned this lesson and were taking no chances, fielding a strong team that steamrollered the Cornish by 11-3, thus retaining the West of England Championship. Somerset winners were Jack Rudd, Ben Edgell, Patryk Krzyzanowski, Andrew Footner, David Painter-Kooiman, Mike Richardt, Chirs Purry, Gerry Jepps and Neville Senior, while Cornwall’s only winner was David Lucas.
After earlier heavy losses to Somerset and Hampshire, Devon recovered to record a comfortable win against Gloucestershire by 10½-5½; only their second win from four matches, but enough to edge them into 2nd place. Devon’s winners were Steve Homer, John Wheeler, John Stephens, Jeff Leung, Andrew Kinder, Paul Brooks and Nijad Rahimili, while Joey Stewart and John Lightowler won for Glos.
Full details and photographs are on the keverelchess website, while games will become available on chessdevon.
Here is the top game from the Cornwall-Somerset match .
White: Jeremy Menadue (197). Black: Jack Rudd (213).
English Opening – Anglo-Indian Def. [A24]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 the commonest move here which tends to give Black attacking opportunities.3.g3 g6 4.Rb1 Bg7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.e3 c6 7.Nge2 d5 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.d4 e4 10.Qb3 Nc6 11.h4 Na5 12.Qc2 Bf5 13.Nf4 Rc8 14.b3 Nc6 15.Qd2 Re8 16.Bb2 Qd7 17.Na4 b6 18.Bf1 Although the white-square bishop moves to seek more open space on the queenside, doing so leaves White fatally weak in the king’s corner. 18…Bg4 19.Bb5 Bf3 20.Rg1 To castle now would be dangerous in view of Black’s control of the white squares. 20…h6 21.Rc1 Rc7 22.Bxc6 Rxc6 23.Rxc6 Qxc6 24.Qc3 Qd7 25.Qd2 Rc8 White’s king and rook are completely locked in. 26.Bc3 Bf8 27.Qb2 Qb5 With White’s pieces tied up in the King’s corner Black now moves to attack on the other wing. 28.Ne2 Qd3 29.Qd2 Qb1+ 30.Nc1 If 30.Qd1 Qxa2 and …b5 is threatened. White is hamstrung. 30…Ba3 31.Nb2 If 31.Bb2 Rxc1+ 32.Bxc1 Bxc1 and there is a range of different mating attacks. 31…Rxc3 32.Qxc3 Bb4 0-1. If 33.Qxb4 Qxc1+ 34.Nd1 Qxd1#.
The last few places are filling up rapidly for the West of England Congress in Exmouth, starting a week on Friday. Enquiries and late entries to Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In last week’s position, Black won quickly by 1.QxN+ KxQ 2.Rf1 mate.
Zugzwang is a German word used in chess situations where the player to move has no option but to worsen his own position, and this is an example. White to play and mate in 2.
The third inter-county match being played on Saturday was that between Hants and Dorset U-160 at Southampton. Although Hants were outgraded on every board, they managed to squeeze through by the narrowest of margins. These were the details:-
|Bd||Hampshire U-160||Grd||Result||Result||Dorset U-160||Grd|
|1||Matt Chapman||154||½||½||W. Adaway||U/g|
|2||Alec Samuels||155||0||1||M. Machacek||U/g|
|3||Phil Barber||149||½||½||G. Searing||158|
|4||Tim Chapman||149||0||1||F. Pittman||158|
|5||Gillian Moore||145||½||½||M. Litchfield||154|
|6||John Watts||144||0||1||P. Sorensen||146|
|7||Gregory Law||144||1||0||Paul Errington||144|
|8||Ted Black||135||0||1||W. Legg||142|
|9||Steve LeFevre||122||1||0||P. Jackson||140|
|10||Stuart Dean||134||1||0||I. Willis||138|
|11||Phillip Gething||125||½||½||Paul Brackner||138|
|12||Lawrence Pearman||122||1||0||Tarik Reghif||128|
|13||Levgenii Gettse||117||1||0||Chris Ambrose||127|
|14||Gunnar Mallon||117||½||½||John Kelly||126|
|15||James Farrant||116||½||½||Keith Spooner||117|
|16||Sam Murphy||113||½||½||J. George||111|
Today was the final day of the Union’s County Championship with Cornwall playing Somerset at Exminster, near Exeter, and Devon playing Gloucestershire at West Buckland, near Wellington.
There had been talk in the week of the chances of Cornwall actually winning a share of the WECU Championship, bearing in mind their earlier win over Hampshire, who in turn had beaten Somerset. However, this could only happen if, like Hants, Somerset under-estimated their task and sent an under-strength team against a full-strength Cornwall. As things turned out, it was Cornwall who were lightweight by their own standards and Somerset were taking no chances at all, fielding several former WECU Individual Champions. The difference was pointed up on Board 10 where Somerset had Richardt (180 grade) 50 points ahead of his Cornish opponent. In fact, they outgraded Cornwall by an average of 32 points on every board.
In these circumstances, Somerset had little difficulty in running out 11 -3 winners, and winning the WECU Championship in the shape of the Harold Meek Cup. Much credit must go to team captain Roger Morgan in getting out strong teams for even the most distant venues.
Jack Rudd and Ben Edgell both had excellent games, the scores of which should come to hand shortly.
|1||Jeremy Menadue||197||0||1||Jack Rudd||213|
|2||Mark Hassal||180||½||½||Jim Sherwin||202|
|3||Lloyd Retallack||178||0||1||Ben Edgell||198|
|4||Simon Bartlett||165||½||½||Terry Stuttard||191|
|5||Gary Trudeau||151||0||1||Patryk Krzyzanowski||188|
|6||Chris Reeves||146||½||½||Dave Littlejohns||174|
|7||John Wilman||141||0||1||Andrew Footner||173|
|8||Colin Sellwood||139||½||½||Peter Chaplin||172|
|9||Michael Hill||130||0||1||Dave Painter-Kooiman||175|
|10||David R. Jenkins||130||0||1||Mike Richardt||180|
|11||David J. Jenkins||127||0||1||Chris Purry||151|
|12||Richard Smith||126||0||1||Gerry Jepps||161|
|13||David Lucas||118||1||0||David Peters||157|
|14||Philip Spargo||116||0||1||Neville Senior||156|
Meanwhile, 30 miles up the M5 at West Buckland, Devon were able to field a side that was palpably stronger than Gloucestershire – an average of 171 per board compared to 157. Notwithstanding a few inevitable upsets, this difference is always likely to produce a positive result for the stronger side.
|1||Joey Stewart||195||1||0||Dominic Mackle||204|
|2||John Waterfield||177||½||½||Kevin Hurst||186|
|3||Dan Lambourne||175||0||1||Steve Homer||180|
|4||John Jenkins||174||½||½||Brian Hewson||186|
|5||Geoff Taylor||165||½||½||Dave Regis||182|
|6||Phil Meade||165||0||1||John Wheeler||177|
|7||Phil Dodwell||165||0||1||John Stephens||175|
|8||David Vaughan||162||½||½||Alan Brusey||176|
|9||Richard Dixon||149||½||½||Trefor Thynne||161|
|10||Michael Ashworth||149||0||1||Jeff Leung||166|
|11||Pat Baker||146||½||½||Bill Ingham||155|
|12||Alan Bentley||145||0||1||Andrew Kinder||157|
|13||Graham Brown||143||0||1||Paul Brooks||160|
|14||Alun Richards||142||0||1||Nijad Rahimili||158e|
|15||John Lightowler||141||1||0||Brian Gosling||159|
|16||Peter Bending||127||½||½||Ivor Annetts||156|
Devon captain, Brian Hewson, remarks on three good wins by his players; double exchange sacrifices by Torquay Boys’ G.S. pupil, Jeff Leung, and clinical wins by John Wheeler and Steve Homer. These will become available on chessdevon.
Subject to the ratification of WECU’s tournament controller, Phil Meade, at next Saturday’s Executive Meeting, it seems the final positions are as follows:-
The following harum-scarum game occurred in the recent Devon-Somerset match.
White: Keith Atkins (145). Black: John I. Wilkinson (137)
Pirc Defence [B07]
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.f3 Nbd7 6.Be3 0–0 7.Qd2 e5 8.Nge2 a6 9.h4 Rb8 10.Bh6 exd4 11.Nxd4 Ne5 12.Bb3 c5! White suddenly realises he is about to lose a piece after 14.Nde2 c4 15.Ba4 b5 winning the trapped bishop, so decides his best chance is a direct attack against the Black king on the other wing. 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.h5 cxd4 15.hxg6 dxc3 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.gxf7+ Nxf7 This knight is now pinned and so poses no threat to the attacking queen. 18.0–0–0 necessary preparation for the final assault as the rook’s participation is essential. 18…cxb2+ 19.Kb1 Qe7 20.Qg5+ Kh8 By unpinning one knight Black is merely pinning the other. 21.Rxh7+ Nxh7 He has no choice but to lose his queen, but has a rook and 2 knights for it – the game’s not quite over yet. 22.Qxe7 Kg7 23.Rh1 b5 hoping to get in Rb7, but he doesn’t quite have the time. 23…Nf6 was necessary here, to keep his pieces as active as possible. 24.Bxf7 Rxf7 25.Qxd6 leaving him still with 3 pieces for the queen. 24.Rxh7+! The killing move, enabling the powerful queen to mop up Black’s uncoordinated pieces left and right. 24…Kxh7 25.Qxf8 Ne5 26.Bg8+ Kg6 27.f4 Nd7 28.Qxd6+ Kg7 29.Be6 Rb6 30.Qe7+ Kg6 31.Bxd7 1–0
The final matches in the WECU tournament take place this afternoon, with Cornwall facing Somerset at Exminster and Devon taking on Gloucestershire in the 1st Division, while Hampshire play Dorset in Division 2.
The following weekend will see the Cornwall Congress at Stithians, organised by Anton Barkhuyson. The top section, the Emigrant Cup, constitutes the Cornish Championship, where the current champion, Robin Kneebone, will be defending his title. The Falmouth Cup is open to all players graded U-146. Everyone is eligible for the prize money but only Cornwall registered players may win the cup. The same applies to the Penwith Cup, for players U-91 grade. Round 1 starts on the evening of Friday 23rd March and entries must reach the organiser by the previous day.
WECU’s own Congress over the Easter weekend is also getting close. It starts on Friday 6th April at its usual venue in Exmouth. Enquiries and late entries to Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or email@example.com.
In last week’s position, White has to eliminate Black’s knight with 1.BxN before playing 2.Qh5.
In this game between Fogel and Czerniak, White needs just one move to complete his development, but it’s not his go. How did Black mate in 2?
After their disappointing loss to Tiverton in the Bremridge Cup (Div. 1) on Saturday, Exmouth were faced with meeting them again just four days later, this time in the Newman Cup, which comprises four players involved in two one hour games.
The teams were well-matched, to within 1 grading point. Playing “Steady Freddy” Hodge with a modest grade on Bd. 4 allowed stronger players in the middle order – a policy that paid dividends when he won the 1st game as Knowles, in desperate trouble, had to watch his digital clock count down the last 10 seconds. Wensley also won, while the other 2 games were drawn, Jones being a knight for a rook down but a king in a good defending position. With seconds to go, his opponent was not prepared to risk losing on time so agreed a draw. 3-1 to Exmouth.
In Rd. 2 with colours reversed, Annetts and Knowles took revenge for their earlier losses, while Stephens and Hewson drew again. Jones had White and went all out for early attack against the Sicilian Defence, using the Yugoslav System. He lost the exchange but it didn’t seem to matter as all his pieces were active and the Black king was stuck in the centre. Atkins defended stoutly and his queen became active. With a minute to go, the queen checked forking a rook. White brought his queen back to both block the check and protect the rook, which looked good for about 2 seconds until he realised the rook was not reciprocating the defence; in fact the queen was completely undefended and could be taken for nothing, with check and picking up the rook as well. Black’s mindset was that he did not wish to exchange queens as the White pawns would win the game, so imagining, like White, that the proximity of the rook to the queen meant they were protecting each other, withdrew his queen back up the board. The collective and audible sharp intake of breath from the spectators told him something was very amiss and then he realised. ****! (Expletive deleted). Seconds later the queens were forced off and the danger passed. Those 10 seconds of double lunacy decided the game, the match and the destination of the League trophy.
It actually made up for our bad luck on Saturday.
|Bd||Tiverton||Grd||Gm 1||Gm 2||Gm 1||Gm 2||Exmouth||Grd|
|1||B. W. R. Hewson||178||½||½||½||½||J. K. F. Stephens||176|
|2||I. S. Annetts||153||0||1||1||0||O. E. Wensley||164|
|3||K. P. Atkins||138||½||0||½||1||R. H. Jones||147|
|4||J. Knowles||124||0||1||1||0||F. R. Hodge||107|
After the match it was calculated that even with a match against Seaton still to play, Exmouth cannot be caught and have won the cup with a match to spare.
The position below was the vital one. The pieces at the top of the board are not exact, as the whole thing was a blur at the time. White now played 1.Qe1 to block the check and protect the rook. Black, not realising the queen was unprotected and not wishing to exchange queens (as he thought) , played 1…Qg5. Nothing to be proud of on either side, but anything can happen as the clocks run down to the last few seconds.
After a disappointing 5-1 loss to Newton Abbot in their previous Div. 1 match, Exmouth were hoping for better luck against an equally strong Tiverton side. They had their 4 regulars on the top boards, fresh from triumphs at the East Devon Congress the previous weekend, and were joined by 2 “newcomers” on Bds. 5 & 6, namely Tony Hart and Meyrick Shaw, both of whose absence from active play for can be measured in decades.
After 2 hours play there were some very worried faces on the Tiverton side, as the home side looked to be comfortable-to-better on 5 boards. However, converting any advantage to a full point proved impossible.
Tony Hart was running Ivor Annetts ragged for most of the game, but misjudged his defences, allowing his opponent back into the game and he succumbed to a strong kingside attack. Shaw fell for a sucker punch in the opening, allowing Bxf7+ to an uncastled king with a knight hovering to follow it up. The “gift” was declined and he got back to a pawn up going into a bishops of opposite colour endgame, which couldn’t be forced. Gosling overlooked what appeared to be a forced mate in 2 and allowed his opponent to get in a long series of checks and a draw was agreed, making 3 results that got away. Wensley was always comfortable against Hewson and it ended up with K+equal pawns with no advantage to either side. Stephens’ position was equal up to the point where he inadvertantly lost his bishop. His only compensation was for his queen to have total domination of the white squares and a long series of checks that again ended in a draw. At the outset, Hurst was determined to play quickly in the opening in order to avoid the risk of blundering pieces away in time trouble at the end – a plan that didn’t quite work the way he intended. Never the less, Edgell knew he was in danger at several points and had to be at his best. All in all, it was a case of ’so near and yet so far’ from a fabulous result.
|1||Kevin J. Hurst||186||0||1||Ben Edgell||194|
|2||John Stephens||173||½||½||Mike Richardt||180|
|3||Oliver Wensley||164||½||½||Brian Hewson||184|
|4||Brian Gosling||150||½||½||Simon Bartlett||165|
|5||Tony Hart||145e||0||1||Ivor Annetts||150|
|6||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Keith Atkins||145|
A late spurt in the number of entries helped lift the total for the East Devon Congress that finished on Sunday evening to 120.
The prizelist included the following names:
Open Section: 1st= Dave Littlejohns (Taunton); Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) & Graham Bolt (Exeter) all 4/5 pts. Grading Prizes: U-179: 1st= John Stephens (Exmouth) & John Wheeler (Cosham) both 3½. U-164: 1st= Brian Gosling (Exmouth) & Steve Dean (Seaton) both 2½.
Major Section (U-155): 1st= A. Frangleton (Exeter); R. Greatorex (Llangollen); J. Morgan (Penwith); T. Slade (Marhamchurch) & M. Stinton-Brownbridge (Plymouth) all 4. Grading prizes – U-145: D. Lawrence (King’s Head) 3½. U-133: 1st= D. Cornes (Wimborne) & B. Upton (S. Norwood) both 3.
Minor Section (U-125): 1st Christine Constable (Couldsdon) 4½. 2nd J. O’Grady (Newton Abbot) 4. 3rd= A. Fraser (Beckenham); Joy Fursman; R. Hood (Isca); G. Mill-Wilson (Yate); A. Rinvolucri (Barnstaple) & P. Saunders (Patchway) all 3½. Grading prizes: U-110: 1st= I. Bowman (Liskeard) & Marian Cox both 3½. U-100: G. Jones (Barnstaple).
Of the three joint winners of the Open, by far the most surprising is Oliver Wensley, who only returned to chess last season, not having played since primary school days, 20 years ago. In this game from Rd. 2 he creates a whirlwind winning attack from a seemingly innocuous position.
White: O. E. Wensley (165). Black: N. Livesey (174).
Pirc Defence [B07]
1.e4 d6 2.Nc3 g6 3.Bc4 By far the most common move here is 3.d4. 3…Bg7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d3 Nc6 6.0–0 0–0 7.h3 a6 8.a4 b6 No games have ever been recorded in the on-line databases that reached this position – this is all new. 9.Bg5 Bb7 10.Qd2 Rc8 11.Bh6 Na5 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Ba2 c5 14.Ne2 Qd7 15.c3 c4 16.Ng3 Qc7 17.Rfe1 e6 18.dxc4 Rfd8 19.b3 d5 Both sides appear to have stable positions, and Black would seem justified in breaking open the centre in the hope of gaining space and possibly winning a pawn – yet this is a losing move. 20.exd5 exd5 and now a moment of spontaneous inspiration 21.Nf5+! gxf5 Black has little choice here, for if 21…Kf8?? 22.Qh6+ Kg8 23.Qg7#; Or if 21…Kh8 22.Qh6 Rg8 23.Re7 Qd8 24.Ng5 winning. 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Qxf6+ Kg8 24.Re7 Black is forced to give up his queen to avoid mate. 24…Qxe7 25.Qxe7 Re8 26.Qg5+ Kf8 27.Qh6+ Ke7 Forced, as if 27…Kg8 28.Ng5 with several mating lines. 28.Re1+ Kd8?? 29.Qd6# 1–0
28…Kd7 would have drawn things out a bit, but it’s still a lingering death e.g. 29.Qxb6 Rxe1+ 30.Nxe1 Re8 31.Nd3 dxc4 32.Nc5+ Kc8 33.b4 Rg8 34.Bxc4 Rg6 35.Qxa5.
Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Ne4! threatening 2.Nd2. If 1…Kxe4 2.Bxd5 mate. The try 1.Nb1? failed to 1…e4.
In this game position, how should White conduct his winning attack?
After the usual round of minor triumphs and tragedies on the final day, the Congress came to an end on Sunday evening, with the following names on the prizelist – a provisional list, subject to ratification by the Congress Secretary.
|O. E. Wensley||165||Exmouth||4|
|GP||U-179||J. F. Wheeler||177||Cosham||3½|
|1st=||J. K. Stephens||175||Exmouth||3½|
|U-165||B. G. Gosling||151||Exmouth||2½|
|1st=||S. K. Dean||157||Seaton||2½|
|GP||U-145||D. Lawrence||134||King’s Head||3½|
|1st=||B. Upton||112||S. Norwood||3|
|2nd||J. O’Grady||107||N. Abbot||4|
Each club could nominate 4 members to constitute a team whose individual scores would be totalled, the highest to win chess equipment from the bookstall to the value of £20.00. The results were as follows (Maximum possible 20 pts):-
1st Exmouth (13½). 2nd= Barnstaple & Taunton. (12). 4th Dorset Danes. (11). 5th Exeter (10). 6th= Tiverton Hawks & Frome (9). 8th Bridport (8). 9th Torquay (7). 10th Tiverton Eagles (6).
There was an interesting situation in the Minor Section, where two ladies were fighting it out for 1st prize on top board, namely Christine Constable and Joy Fursman. It was Christine who won this section last year and is the current holder of the trophy, her first-ever cup win. However, between them, she and her husband, John, who was running the bookstall, brought everything with them in their van, except the kitchen sink …. and the trophy in question. John said there was nothing for it but to win it again, so as to minimise any inconvenience. It took her a long time, as theirs was one of the last games to finish, but she did it in the end, so minimising any inconvenience. Problem solved!
The problem of Congress finances which led to some discussion of possible cheaper venues in the future, as mentioned earlier in this report, was resolved in the short term by a large donation from a mystery benefactor. So forget what was said, and be assured that the Corn Hall will remain the venue for next year, and hopefully for some while yet.