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Archive for June, 2012

Rudd (Som.) vs Crouch (Middx) (30.06.2012.)

Although Somerset narrowly lost to Middlesex recently in the Semi-Final of the Inter-County Championship, their top 8 boards did incredibly well, winning 6½-1½. This was the game from Board 2 where Rudd continued his habit of providing entertaining games.

White: Jack Rudd (214). Black: Colin Crouch (221).

Scandinavian Defence [B01].

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qe5+ Playable but an unusual move. 3…Qa5 is by far the most popular. 4.Be2 c6 5.Nf3 Qc7 6.0–0 Bf5 7.d4 e6 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 Opening up the first mating threat, but compromising his own kingside safe haven for later. 10.g3 Nf6 11.Bf3 Nbd7 12.Qe2 0–0–0 The race is now on to strike first. 13.a4 Bd6 14.Bg5 Rde8 15.a5 a6 16.Rfd1 e5 17.d5 White wants to keep the centre relatively closed while chipping away at the queenside pawns to winkle open the Black king’s position. 17…c5 18.Bg2 Nh7 19.Bd2 f5 Black’s pawn centre is starting to look a bit ominous. 20.Na4 e4 21.c4 g5 22.b4 g4 22…cxb4 opens up the q-side for White’s pieces to charge through. 23.c5 Nxc5 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 25.Rdc1 Qd6 26.Bxb4. 23.b5 Ne5 24.bxa6 bxa6 Rooks love to grab an open file – and so they should. 25.Rab1 Nf3+ 26.Bxf3 gxf3 27.Qf1 Kd8 28.Rb6 f4 29.Bxf4 White cannot allow …e3 with the threat of …e2, For example 29.Rc6 e3 30.Rxc7 e2 31.Rc6 exf1=Q+ 32.Rxf1 Be5 33.Rxa6 Ng5 34.Re1 Nh3+ 35.Kf1 fxg3 36.fxg3 Rhf8 37.Nxc5 Rf5 38.Ne6+. 29…Bxf4 30.d6 Qa7 31.gxf4 Re6 32.Qh3 Attacking the rook and vacating f1 for his king. 32…Rg6+ 33.Kf1 Rh6 34.Qg3 Nf6 35.Rdb1 Rxh2 Threatening …Rh1 winning the queen, but it’s not quite quick enough. 36.Rb8+ Kd7 37.Rxh8 1-0. Black resigned because after 37…Rxh8 38.Qxg7+ wins the rook – not the queen because the rook still threatens mate. e.g. 38…Kc6 39.QxQ?? Rh1#.

Last week’s position ended after 1.Be5! both threatening mate on h8 and attacking Black’s queen which can do nothing about the mate.

This week’s highly unusual position was composed by Dr. Robert Norman in 1988. It had implications for the Laws of Chess which FIDE had to re-word slightly in the light of this problem. White to play and win, but be prepared to think the unthinkable. I’ll give a full explanation next week.

White to play and win by apparently flouting the rules.

Peter Norman (1923 – 2012)

Peter Norman

Peter Norman, who died earlier this year, was a member of the Club for several seasons in the mid-1990s, after his retirement and subsequent move to Budleigh Salterton.

Chess was one of his many interests, one that he shared with his younger son, Robert.

He stopped coming in 1996 after his neighbour, Peter Carter, with whom he came to the club, moved away.

Peter Norman was born in Wellingborough, Northants, and graduated from Birmingham University in 1948. While there he had contracted polio which necessitated a break from his studies and left him with a limp.  He then joined Standard Telephones & Cables and stayed with them for the whole of his 37 year career. In 1961 his design for transistor blocking oscillators was patented. In 1969 he came up with a design for a much improved transistorised  repeater which enabled 2,700 telephone conversations simultaneously on existing co-axial cable links. For this, STC won the Queen’s Award to Industry.

That Autumn he found even wider fame as the family appeared on the television quiz show “Ask The Family”, winning the whole series after a series of knockout programmes.

l-r: Peter, Robert (14), Margaret (13) & Pearl Norman.


After retirement, he moved to Budleigh Salterton in 1989-90, where he was able to indulge his many interests, including radio, astronomy, computers, chess and gardening.

In 1996 tragedy struck when his son, now Dr. Robert, died aged 40. The stress seems to have set off on a downward path Peter’s polio, which had been relatively stable for over 40 years, and he became immobile without the mobility scooter he nicknamed “Bruno”.

Robert had been captain of his school chess team, but his bequest to the chess world is this strange problem, published in Chess in 1988,  which seems to defy the Laws of Chess.

White to play and win.


At the time this was composed, Article 9.1 of the Laws of Chess stated that “the king is in check if it is attacked by one or two of the opponent’s pieces”. Article 9.2 states that “the check must be parried by the move immediately following”.

On this basis, the solution is 1.g6 Nd7+ forking king & rook. 2.Kf7+ NxQ+  3. g7+  The point of this is that the White king is now attacked by three pieces and so is not in check as defined by the Laws as they then stood, which can only be 1 or 2 pieces. There now follows 3…Kh7 4. g8=Q Kh6 5.Qg7 mate 

As a result of this problem, in 1992 FIDE amended the Laws to “…one or more pieces” to cover all eventualities.

It is also interesting in that it involves just one of each kind of piece, Kings excepted. A remarkable novelty.

Paignton Congress – The Future? (23.06.2012.)

The Paignton Congress, held each September at Oldway Mansion, is one of the oldest and most venerable events on the chess calendar. It was set up in 1951 by the Devon County Chess Association, partly to commemorate its Golden Jubilee while being its own contribution to the Festival of Britain.

Originally built as the home of multi-millionaire, Isaac Merritt Singer, Oldway was turned into a golf & country club by his son, Paris, and after his death in 1932 and the club folded in 1946, the local council purchased the estate for £45,000.

It was an early example of mutual self interest, as the Council, keen to extend the holiday season after the schools went back, reserved the Ballroom for the Congress rent free for several decades. Later, as their finances became more constrained, a rent was introduced, but it was still a relatively modest one.

In recent years, with its finances ever more restricted and the Oldway estate starting to fall into disrepair, Torbay Council were forced to sell it to property developers. As negotiations took place, there have been several years of uncertainty about the Congress’s future under a new regime.

This year’s event, the 62nd is now fast approaching and over 70 entries have been received by Congress Secretary, Alan Crickmore. However, he has recently been informed that it will not be possible to hold the congress there in September 2013 as the builders will have moved in, converting the mansion into a high-class hotel. Beyond that, it is unclear how the event will be able to fit into its new environment. The Ballroom will remain but the hire charge may prove prohibitive.

The charm of the event down the years has been the venue, and radical changes to that must cast a cloud over the future of the congress. Without being too alarmist, one has to consider whether this year’s Paignton Congress will be the last.

Last week’s game ended when Stuart Conquest played 1.Bxg7! Qxg7 (the only move as all others allow 2.Nh6 mate) 2.NxQ RxN 3.Qe6+ leaving White with Q+P for N+B, more than enough for a Grandmaster to win comfortably.

This position is from a game earlier this year. Black is the exchange up with active pieces and may be entertaining thoughts of a win, but White had an immediate knockout blow. Can you spot it?

Devon CCA A.G.M. 2012

The Devon Association held its postponed AGM at the Met Office, Exeter on Friday 15th June.

(1) ECF Membership Scheme:

The main focus of interest  lay in how the Association should approach the ECF’s new Membership Scheme, due to replace its Game Fee system on 1st September 2012. Under this new regime, players are urged to enter at one of 4 levels; i.e. (a) Bronze level (costing £12 net per person per annum) which would cover the grading of all games played in clubs, leagues and county matches. (b) Silver level, (costing £18 net per person per annum) would include all these plus games played in congresses. (c) Gold level (£26 net) would include FIDE-rated event, like the Paignton Premier, and (d) Platinum level (£60) for those wishing to go the extra mile in their support for the work of the ECF.

No one is obliged to enter the scheme at all, but non-members will be charged a punitive £2.00 per game graded, so non-members playing more than 6 games per year would be out of pocket. It makes financial sense, therefore, for active players to become Members. However, to leave this purely up to individuals (the laissez-faire option) invites an administrative nightmare at best, and chaos at worst, as already over-worked unpaid officials everywhere would have to sort out what to do in cases where Members play non-Members, and after identifying them, how much money to claim off whom, and how and when etc. etc.

It was agreed unanimously that all Devon-affiliated clubs should incorporate the £12 Bronze level membership fee into their annual subscriptions, so that all club members are automatically ECF Members, thus eliminating all the above paperwork and hassle. This is not quite so much as it sounds at first, as clubs will not have to pay Game Fee as they have in the past.

So, to be a member of a Devon club is to be a ECF Member (Bronze level). It will be up to individual clubs to compile a list of its own members and fill in an ECF-generated form giving all the members’ details they require and paying the moneys due.

Congress organisers will have to devise their own way of ensuring whether entrants need to upgrade to Silver membership. Some may automatically incorporate the extra £6 into their entry fee, and be prepared to refund this to any player able to demonstrate their prior Silver Membership.

(2) Paignton Congress: The other item of interest and concern lay with the future of the Paignton Congress. Its Secretary, Alan Crickmore, had been in contact with the MD of the Akkeron Group, the company who had been negiotiating with Torbay Council for the purchase of the Oldway Mansion and estate, and had learned that the project had moved on apace. The developers will be ready to move their men in soon after this year’s Congress. In contrast to what they had said earlier, they plan to tackle the mansion itself first, turning it into a hotel, with rooms in the main building and the Rotunda. Thus, there will definitely not be a Paignton Congress in 2013. The new owners have indicated that the Ballroom will be available for Congress again in 2014, but whether their hire charge will be sustainable remains to be seen. Without being defeatist we may have to be prepared to find that this year’s Congress is the last.

(1) Competitions & Prizegiving:

The team competitions were very much the Tiverton and Newton Abbot show, as evidenced by the photographs below, with Exmouth putting up a good challenge in those sections they entered.

  Bremridge Div. 1 1 2 3 4 5 F A Tot.
1 Newton Abbot 2 2 2 2 18½ 8
2 Tiverton 0 2 2 2 13 11 6
3 Exmouth 0 0 2 2 12 12 4
4 Exeter 0 0 0 1 10 14 1
5 Teignmouth 0 0 0 1 17½ 1


  Mamhead Div. 2 1 2 3 4 5 F A Tot.
1 Tiverton 2 1 2 1 10½ 6
2 Exmouth 0 2 1 2 9 7 5
3 Barnstaple 1 0 2 1 4
4 Teignmouth 0 1 0 2 6 10 3
5 Newton Abbot 1 0 1 0 7 9 2


  Schofield Div. 3 1 1a 2 2a 3 3a F A Tot.
1 Newton Abbot 2 1 2 2 11 5 7
2 Teignmouth 0 1 1 1 3
3 Tiverton 0 0 1 1 2


  Moyle Div. 4 1 2 3 4 F A Tot.
1 Tiverton 2 2 2 8 4 6
2 Newton Abbot 0 1 2 6 6 3
3 Exeter 0 1 2 3
4 Teignmouth 0 0 0 0


  RapidPlay 1 1a 2 2a 3 3a F A Tot.
1 Exmouth 1 2 2 2 18 14 7
2 Tiverton 0 1 2 1 4
3 Seaton 0 0 1 0 1


  Individual Champions Club  
1 Open John Stephens Exmouth  
2 Intermediate Oliver Wensley Exmouth  
3 Minor Tony Tatam Plymouth  
    Ken Alexander Tiverton  
4 Ladies Jacqui Barber-Lafon Newton Abbot  


General Secretary Alan Maynard presents the Bremridge Cup to Trefor Thynne of Newton Abbot.

Trefor Thynne presents the Mamhead Cup (Div.2) to Alan Maynard of the Tiverton Club.

The Schofield Cup (Div. 3) went to Newton Abbot.

The Bloodworth Shield for junior teams went to Torquay Boys' Grammar School.

Somerset & Hants Lose in Semi-Finals (09.06.2012.)

The Westcountry’s two remaining teams in the Inter-County Championship were both eliminated in the Semi-Finals on Saturday. In the Open Section, Somerset were edged out by Middlesex 7½-8½ with a remarkable set of individual results. Of the 16 games, Somerset won the top 8 boards by 6½-1½, but could only muster 2 draws on boards 9 – 16.

In the Minor Counties competition, Hampshire lost 7-9 to Hertfordshire, their only winners being Mike Yeo, Dominic Tunks and Andy Manning.

Time now to look forward to next season’s matches, which have been scheduled as follows:

Sun. 16th Sept. 2012: Inter-County Jamboree at Taunton.

Sat 20th Oct. 2012 – Rd. 1: Glos v Cornwall: Devon v Dorset & Somerset v Hants.

Sat. 1st Dec. 2012 – Rd. 2: Devon v Cornwall; Hants v Glos & Dorset v Somerset.

Sat. 19th Jan 2013 – Rd. 3: Hants v Devon; Glos v Somerset & Cornwall bye.

Sat. 9th Feb 2013 – Rd. 4: Cornwall v Hants; Somerset v Devon; Glos bye.       

Sat. 9th March 2013 – Rd. 5: Devon v Glos; Dorset v Hants & Cornwall v Somerset.

In spite of their recent Quarter-Final loss to Surrey, Devon were first to register a win with this miniature. The moral is that if one is going to stray from the beaten track of known theory, one should be all the better prepared.

White: Dr. D. A.Toms (153). Black: M. Turowski (141).

Scandinavian Defence [B01].

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qe5+ 3…Qa5 is almost always played here. 4.Qe2 As White was already a half hour behind on the clock having arrived at the venue late, he was happy to speed up the simplifying process. 4…Qf6? Unsurprisingly, there is no game on record where this move has been made – it has little to commend it. 5.Nf3 Bg4? White is unsure what’s going on here, but is happy to play along and see where it leads 6.Qb5+ Bd7 Another golden rule broken – unnecessarily moving the same piece twice in the opening. 6…Qc6 allows 7.Ne5 Qxb5 8.Nxb5 Na6 9.Nxg4 winning a piece. 7.Qxb7 Bc6??  8.Qc8# 1–0.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Rh2+! Kf3. 2.Rf2 mate.

This position arose earlier this year in a game between Stuart Conquest (W) and Bath’s David Buckley. Both players have lost only a pawn each, but Black’s defence is in a terrible tangle. How did Conquest take full advantage?

White to play and win quickly.

Coast v Country Match 2012

The Exeter & District League’s annual “Coast vs Country” match took place on Tuesday 12th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the Management. This event started in 2003 as a celebration of the League’s 50 years’ existence and has been held ever since. The Coast team comprises players from the clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton, while players from Exeter and Tiverton make up the Country team. There is always a problem equalising the numbers in both teams and there has to be a bit of flexibility, with one or two players helping out the opposition, but the matches are usually very closely fought.

This year, the recipe was complicated somewhat, by a late influx of juniors, and after the teams were evened out, the even later withdrawal of John Morrison, left 11 yr old Guy Susevee without an opponent. Nevertheless, he ended up having probably more chess than anyone else in the room, as the early finishers gave him several friendly games.

Looking at the team lists on paper beforehand, the Coast team were bracing themselves for a sizeable loss, as they were outgraded by 6 points per board, on average, but it didn’t work out like that, with the Coast eventually winning by one of the bigger margins in the series 11.5 – 6.5.  9 year-old Reese Whittington set the ball rolling by beating his opponent in 8 moves, and it went on from there.

The final details were as follows:

  Coast Grd       Country Grd  
1 Stephens J. K. 175 Exmouth ½ ½ Hewson, B. W. 186 Tiverton
2 Abbott M. V. 170 Exmouth 1 0 Annetts, I.S. 156 Tiverton
3 Wensley, O. E. 165 Exmouth ½ ½ Keen, C 155 Exeter
4 Shaw, M 160 Exmouth 0 1 Duckham, J 155 Tiverton
5 Gosling, B. G. 159 Exmouth ½ ½ Dobber, P 149 Exeter
6 Belt, M 131 Exmouth 1 0 Marjoram, W. 148 Exeter
7 Scott, C. J. 130 Exmouth ½ ½ Atkins, K. P. 148 Tiverton
8 Jones, R. H. 131 Exmouth ½ ½ Body, G 147 Exeter
9 Palmer, E 125 Exmouth 1 0 Waley, J 132 Exeter
10 Hodge, F. R. 122 Exmouth 0 1 Amos, J 130 Exeter
11 Badlan, T 104 Exmouth 1 0 Knowles,J 125 Tiverton
12 Ebanks, O 105 Exmouth 0 1 Maloney, J 120 Exeter
13 Blake, S 100 Exmouth 1 0 Scholes, R 114 Exeter
14 Porter, L 88 Seaton 0 1 Thomson, D 114 Exeter
15 Haines, M 88 Seaton 1 0 Maynard, A 100 Tiverton
16 Trott, T 92 Ex. Juniors 1 0 Aldwin, B 98 Tiverton
17 Whittington, R. 85 Ex. Juniors 1 0 Murray, T 80  
18 Susevee, Greg 84 Sidmouth 1 0 Finch, T. 64  
19 Susevee, Guy 88 Sidmouth          
  totals 2214   11½   2321  
  average 123       average 129  















In recent years this event has been combined with the presentation of trophies to teams who have won their leagues during the season. This year it was decided to hold that back until the AGM in September. However, one presentation was made; this was by Devon’s match captain, Brian Hewson, to his Player of the Year, Mark Abbott, who had won all his 5 games for the county during the season. As neither would be at Devon’s AGM on the following Friday, it seemed appropriate to take this opportunity.


Mark Abbott (r) - Devon's Player of the Year 2012.

Bds 6 (nearest) to 1.

Bds. 11 (nearest) - 16.

Bds 17 & 18.

Hodge vs Amos & Palmer vs Waley.

Top game: Stephens vs Hewson.

Coast team's top players.

Inter-County Quarter-Final Results (09.06.2011.)

In the National Stages of the Inter-County Championships several westcountry teams were involved in very close matches. In the Open section, Somerset drew 8-8 against Yorkshire but went through after the tie-break rules were applied, and are now due to meet Middlesex who beat Staffordshire 11½-4½. However, the Middlesex team was not as strong on paper as Yorkshire, so Somerset will not be underdogs. In the U-180 section Devon lost narrowly to Surrey and in the Minor Counties section, Gloucestershire narrowly lost 7½-8½ to Hertfordshire in a match where 11 of the 16 games were drawn. Gloucestershire’s only two winners were Joseph Stewart on Bd. 1 and Graham Brown on Bd. 13. In the same section, Hampshire had a walk-over against Suffolk and will meet Hertfordshire in the semi-final.

This Round 2 game from the recent Frome Congress was the favourite’s second consecutive loss, ending his interest in the prize list at an early stage.

White: Bruce Jenks (206). Black: Mark  Littleton (171).

Queen’s Gambit – Exchange Variation  [D36].

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Be7 7.e3 0–0 8.Bd3 c6 9.Qc2 h6 10.Bh4 Ne8 11.Bg3 Bd6 Black is determined to exchange off the black square bishops. 12.0–0 Bxg3 13.hxg3 The resulting break-up of White’s protective pawns plays a part in the course of the game.  13…Nd6 14.Rae1 Re8 15.Nh4 Nf6 16.f3 Nh5 17.Qf2 The queen is deflected from applying pressure to f5 and allows… 17…g5 18.g4 forced. 18…Ng7 19.Nf5 Black can now win the pawn that started on the h-file. 19…Ngxf5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.Bxf5 Nxf5 22.e4 Ng7 23.f4 g4 24.f5 Nh5 25.exd5 Rxe1 26.Rxe1 cxd5 27.Re5 Nf6! Defending 2 pawns while holding back White’s f-pawn and will prove to be the key to the mating net. 28.Qe2 Qd7 29.a4 Rd8 The White king now sets out to invade down the kingside – a bold but dangerous and ultimately fatal plan. 30.Kf2 a6 31.Kg3 Qd6 32.Kh4 Kh7 33.g3 Entombing his own king 33…Qf8 34.Qe3 Qg7 35.a5 White doesn’t have a good move, but must simply await the last rites. 35…Rg8 36.Nxd5 Qg5+ 37.Qxg5 hxg5 mate 0–1.

In this week’s position, how does White mate in 2 moves, while avoiding stalemate or allowing the Black king to escape its net?

White to mate in 2

Sir Robert Newman MP – Lord Mamhead.

Sir Robert Newman   – Lord Mamhead.   (1871- 1945)


 Robert Hunt Stapyton Dudly Lydston Newman, became the D.C.C.A.’s third President in 1920.

At the time he was the Conservative M.P. for Exeter, and it was quite usual for many of the city’s societies to invite a local dignitary to head their organisation in order to give it added kudos. After all, the Association’s first President in 1901 had been the then Exeter M.P., Sir Edgar Vincent, whose connection only ceased when he lost his seat in the 1905 election. The self-interest was mutual, as it suited the sitting member to be so involved in city life as it brought him into contact with the electorate, limited though it was at that time. 

When the Association’s second President, Edward J. Winter-Wood, died unexpectedly in 1920, Sir Robert Newman was approached and readily agreed. There is no record of any chess activity on his part, but he must have been interested in the game as he remained in post for at least 15 years, possibly longer. Henry Lewis Bowles, who had lived and played chess in Exeter in the early 1870s recalled the names of several players he had met, and one of them was a Newman. This could not have been Robert, of course, but could have been his father, indicating an interest within the family. 

Mamhead House - an early print.

 He had been born in London in 1871, the son of Sir Lydston Newman (1823 – 92), but the family home was the Mamhead estate, situated between Dawlish and the Haldon Hills, overlooking the Exe estuary and Exmouth beyond.  In fact, Sir Lydston only succeeded to the title after his older brother, another Sir Robert, was killed at the Battle of Inkerman in the Crimean War. It was one of the finest country seats in the county, the estate having been purchased in 1823 by Robert W. Newman, who had made his fortune as a Dartmouth merchant, and who himself became MP for Exeter.

He had a new house built on the Mamhead estate, designed by Anthony Salvin (1799-1881) and built in Bath stone. It was Salvin’s first major commission, and Newman’s faith in him was rewarded as Salvin went on to win a reputation as a leading expert on late mediaeval houses, applying the principles to the fashion for Victorian Gothic architecture.

Sir Robert succeeded to his father’s Baronetcy in 1892, and was elected to Parliament in 1918, in which capacity he served the city until 1929. Although a Conservative, he moved increasingly to the left on the political spectrum in the wake of the General Strike and the Depression that followed, until in 1929 he stood as an independent against the official Conservative candidate. Such was his popularity in the city that he was re-elected and stayed in the Commons until 1931, when he was “kicked upstairs” to the House of Lords, taking the title Lord Mamhead. 

He was, by all accounts, a small, thin man, quiet and reserved, but also described by a friend as a man of strong character, independent views, sincere convictions and a delightful modesty. He was a devout Anglo-Catholic, and one of his housemaids recalled that each and every morning, after eating a boiled egg for breakfast and smoking his only cigarette of the day, he would walk to the local church to take Communion.

The Mamhead Cup, Devon's division 2 trophy.

The Mamhead Cup: Silver hallmarked 1909 and donated to DCCA by Lord Mamhead in 1935, intended for the 2nd Division championship and still used for that today.  The difference between the dates of its hallmark and  donation  suggests it might originally have been used for something else.  Its value in 1994 for insurance purposes was over £1,000.

 The first winners were:-

1935 Exmouth.  1936 Exmouth.  1937 Plymouth.  1938 Exmouth. 1939 Exeter.   No contest. 1946 Exeter. 1947 Exeter.  1948 Exeter. 1949 Plymouth. 1950 Exmouth

Lord Mamhead died in 1945 at the age of 74.  In 1954 the estate was auctioned off, and Mamhead House became a Christian centre. In 1963 all the house’s furniture and fittings were sold off, and it became a boys’ school. It is now owned by the Rockeagle property company, and several small businesses have their headquarters there.

Mamhead House in 2012


In 2012, the house and accompanying 165 acres of gardens, park and farmland, were put up for sale with an asking price of £8,000,000.

At the moment, it is not clear whether the donation of the cup marked the end of Mamhead’s presidency – a sort of parting gift -  or whether he stayed in office until the time of his death. If the latter, he would have been Devon’s President for a quarter of a century, and even if there is no evidence of his playing strength or activity, his longevity in office at a time of consolidation for the Association makes him eligible for inclusion in this list of Pioneers. 


Stacey, C:                   Men of the West                                  Stacey                         1926

Who’s Who In Devonshire          Wilson & Philips                                                 1934

Fincham-Powell K & Williams J:  Memories of Mamhead & Ashcombe    1999

Annetts, I. S:                Devon Trophy Book                                                             1997

Somerset in Dramatic Win Over Yorkshire (02.06.2012.)

This game, part of Somerset’s recent dramatic win over Yorkshire, has everything – sacrifices, combinations and a cross-country king hunt.

White: Rhys Cumming (188). Black: J. Arnott (206).

French Defence-Tarrasch Var. [C05]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ndf3 Qb6 8.g3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Bb4+ 10.Kf2 If 10.Bd2 Nxd4 11.Rc1. 10…f6 11.Kg2 0–0 12.Nh3 fxe5 13.fxe5 Rxf3 14.Qxf3 Nxd4 15.Qf4 Nc6 16.Bd3 Ndxe5 White’s pawn centre has collapsed, leaving Black with 2 central passed pawns, but his “French bishop” is holding back completion of his development, giving White the chance of a lightning attack. 17.Bxh7+ This move is called a “Greek Gift”, possibly after the saying “Beware Greeks bearing gifts”, though often the defender has little choice but to accept, as here. 17…Kxh7 18.Ng5+ Kg8 19.Qh4 Qd4 20.Qh7+ Kf8 21.Rf1+ Ke7 22.Qxg7+ Kd6 23.Bf4 Qxb2+ 24.Kh1 Bc3 25.Rab1 Qe2 26.Nf7+ Kc5 27.Qf8+ Kd4 28.Bxe5+ Nxe5 29.Rf4+ forcing the king ever onwards. 29…Kd3 30.Nxe5+ Qxe5 31.Qc5 Bd7 It’s a bit late now, as White has a forced mate. 32.Rf3+ Kc2 33.Qg1 Be1 34.Rxe1 35.Qf2 1–0.

Somerset now face Middlesex in the Semi-Final on June 9th.

Last week’s game ended thus: 1.Rh7+! after which if (a) 1…KxR 2.Rb7+ wins the queen, or (b) 1…Kg5 2.h4+ Kf5 3.Rf3+ and again the check allows BxQ next move, and Black has nothing left.

This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2012-13 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 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 2012. 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 Eton College in February 2013 at which the prize fund will be about £1,000.

White to mate in 2 moves.