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Paignton Congress Day 3

Victor Cross, the morning’s controller, appeared on time, after having been stranded in France. His explanation of exactly what happened was too complicated to get my head round at that time in the morning. Everything then went off relatively smoothly. I became locked into a long, finely balanced endgame involving just a knight each and 3 vs 2 pawns. It went on long after all other games had finished and a good crowd gathered round, watching to see if I could hold things together. After eventually beng mated seconds before my flag fell, Victor explained why our game had gone on so long – so engrossed in the game at move 36, we put the clock back 30 minutes instead of the required 15, without anyone noticing, so it went on almost half an hour longer than the next longest. I suggested we should pass the hat round for entertaining the crowd for so long.

John and Christine Constable are familiar figures on the Westcountry chess scene as they run a book stall at most events. For several years they used to take turns; one playing in the Minor Section while the other minded the shop, and then changing roles at the next event. Recently John has tended to give way to Christine who usually plays. Also, they have moved from their erstwhile Coulsdon base in Surrey to Bude on the north Cornish coast.

Now they are starting a chess club in the town, with a 12 week beginners’ course starting on 20th September at 6 p.m.  on Thursday evening at the New Life Centre in the Strand. More experienced players are invited to fortnightly meetings from 27th September. For further details see

Chess clubs come and go over the years, but I can find no record of a chess club ever having existed in Bude, which is surprising for a town of c. 9,000 in a relatively remote corner of the South West, although nearby Holsworthy would have provided an outlet for players for some years until that, too, folded.

The Premier games finished as follows:

Bd   Paignton     Premier  
    Rd. 3        
1 (2) A. M. Stone 0 1 K. Arkell (2)
2 (2) M. Healey 0 1 S. Berry (2)
3 (2) J. McKenna 0 1 S. Dilleigh (2)
4 (1½) R. A. Bates 1 0 M. J. Simons (1½)
5 (1½) D. Ledger 1 0 J. Waterfield (1½)
6 (1½) J. Burnett ½ ½ D. O. Collier (1)
7 (1) A. Archer-Lock 0 1 D. Mackle (1)
8 (1) J. Hodgson ½ ½ G. Bolt (1)
9 (1) A. M. Brown ½ ½ J. W. Bass (1)
10 (1) M. J. Cutmore 0 1 Z. Harari (1)
11 (1) P. R. Kemp     A. W. Brusey (1)
12 (1) M. Shaw 0 1 J. F. Wheeler (1)
13 (1) A. Crombleholme ½ ½ A. Pickersgill (1)
14 (1) I. Lewyk ½ ½ J. C. Wells (1)
15 (1) D. B. Rosen ½ ½ J. Hickman (1)
16 (1) D. A. Cutmore ½ ½ C. Herda (1)
17 (1) D. Littlejohns ½ ½ C. Archer-Lock (½)
18 (½) R. A. Barton 1 0 S. J. Burke (½)
19 (½) K. Gregory 0 1 T. Spanton (½)
20 (0) R. J. Webster 1 0 P. Cheshire (0)
21 (0) N. Mahoney ½ ½ G. Taylor (0)
22   bye   1 J. Coburn (0)

Access the games here ▼

Paignton Congress Day 2

The Morning 5 Round tournament got under way on time, in spite of one or two setbacks. Local controller, Victor Cross was due to act as Arbiter, but late the previous evening he phoned in to say he was marooned in France on a train that had broken down and would be unable to make it to Oldway in time. However, John Ariss, another local Arbiter was able to step in at short notice.

Then the pairing board brought in specially for this event, had removable boards numbers from another event that no-one had changed, (not unconnected with Victor’s absence)  so bore no relation to the actual tables in the room where 2 rows of clocks had been set on the half hour. Some players were sitting down at tables all over the room while others stood by puzzled, trying to work out what had gone wrong. The confusion was quickly sorted and play got under way on time.

The Boniface Morning section gets under way. Former British Ladies Champion, Gillian Moore, in foreground.

As Rd. 1 finished by 1.30 , players were gathering for the start of the 2nd round of the other sections.

Michael Healey (Richmond) in head-dress on his way to a Rd. 2 win against Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth).

The Premier results were as follows:-

    Premier     Round 2  
1 (1) K. C. Arkell 1 0 D. B. Rosen (1)
2 (1) S. Berry 1 0 D. Cutmore (1)
3 (1) A. Stone 1 0 M. Cutmore (1)
4 (1) M. Simonds ½ ½ J. Waterfield (1)
5 (1) C. Herda 0 1 J. McKenna (1)
6 (1) M. Healey 1 0 M. Shaw (1)
7 (1) S. Dilleigh 1 0 R. A. Barton (½)
8 (½) C. Archer-Lock 0 1 R. A. Bates (½)
9 (½) S. J. Burke 0 1 D. J. Ledger (½)
10 (½) J. W. Bass ½ ½ J. H. Hodgson (½)
11 (½) T. Spanton 0 1 J. Burnett (½)
12 (½) A. Pickersgill ½ ½ A. M. Brown (½)
13 (½) J. C. Wells ½ ½ P. R. Kemp (½)
14 (½) J. F. Wheeler ½ ½ J. E. Hickman (½)
15 (½) D. O. Collier ½ ½ A. Archer-Lock (½)
16 (½) G. Bolt ½ ½ K. D. Gregory (½)
17 (0) D. Mackle 1 0 R. J. Webster (0)
18 (0) Z. Harari 1 0 N. Mahoney (0)
19 (0) G. P. Taylor 0 1 A. Crombleholme (0)
20 (0) J. Coburn 1 0 I. Lewyk (0)
21 (0) P. Cheshire 0 1 D. Littlejohns (0)
22   bye     A. W. Brusey  

Access the games here

The launch of Keith Arkell’s autobiography created some interest among players, many of whom opted to take the chance to get their purchases signed by the author while the opportunity was there.

Copies available from the publisher – enquire by e-mail for more information.

Front cover of Arkell's Odyssey - not easily missed.

The back cover gives more detail of its contents.

Paignton Congress 2012 Day 1

Sunday morning, and the organisers arrived in ones and twos to start getting things set up ready for a 2p.m. start. All of them had done it all before, some of them many times, so everyone seemed to get on with their jobs without panic or fuss.

By 1 pm the players started to arrive, and on the Gallery outside the Ballroom, numerous conversations sprang up readily between old friends and acquaintances, all animated by the anticipation of forthcoming combat, while others quietly scanned the wallcharts to eye up the opposition in their own particular section.

One early point of interest was the fact that Grandmaster Keith Arkell, Paignton’s most frequent winner, was using the occasion to launch his autobiography, Arkell’s Odyssey, and a table had been set up to facilitate a signing session before the round started. The first customer was Joe Coburn (see photo below).

The Mayor and his wife/consort arrived relatively early (1.15) and were interested in chatting informally to officials about the past and future of this perennially popular event. At 1.40 they took to the stage in company with Paul Brooks, the new President of the Devon County Chess Association, the event’s parent body, and DCCA General Secretary, Alan Maynard. (see photo below). A few minutes speech from each left just time for a photo opportunity on top board before time was called and the serious business of the day began.

Round 1 is usually the time for the top players to assert themselves against weaker opposition, though things don’t always follow this pattern. Nor did they in this case as local player Graham Bolt drew with 2nd seed Richard Bates. No such mistake by top seed Keith Arkell who overcame Taunton’s Dave Littlejohns, joint winner of this year’s East Devon Congress, in a relatively short game (for him).

Here’s how the other games finished:-

Bd Paignton     Premier  
  Rd. 1        
1 D. Littlejohns 0 1 K. Arkell  
2 R. A. Bates ½ ½ G. Bolt  
3 K. Gregory 0 1 S. Berry  
4 D. Ledger ½ ½ J. W. Bass  
5 M. J. Cutmore 1 0 D. Mackle  
6 J. H. Hodgson ½ ½ S. J. Burke  
7 A. W. Brusey 0 1 A. M. Stone  
8 J. Burnett ½ ½ A. Pickersgill  
9 R. J. Webster 0 1 M. J. Simons  
10 A. M. Brown ½ ½ J. C.Wells  
11 J. Waterfield 1 0 Z. Harari  
12 P. R. Kemp ½ ½ T. Spanton  
13 A. Archer-Lock ½ ½ J. F. Wheeler  
14 J. McKenna     G. P. Taylor  
15 J. Hickman ½ ½ D. O. Collier  
16 A. Crombleholme 0 1 C. Herda  
17 N. Mahoney 0 1 M. Healey  
18 I. Lewyk 0 1 M. Shaw  
19 J. Coburn 0 1 S. Dilleigh  
20 D. B. Rosen 1 0 P. Cheshire  
21 D. A. Cutmore 1   bye  
22 C. Archer-Lock ½   bye  
23 R. A. Barton ½   bye  

Rd. 1 Games from the Premier may be found here:

Joe Coburn becomes Arkell's 1st customer.

Mayor & consort pose with Paul Brooks at Keith Arkell's board.

May the best man win!

Down to the serious business - Dave Littlejohns vs Arkell

Titled player and leading contender, Dave Ledger (r) looks deep in thought.

Peace descends on the multitude.

Boniface Memorial Congress Results (01.09.2012.)

Last weekend’s Steve Boniface Memorial Congress in Bristol appears to have been a closely contested affair with no one player able to dominate proceedings. Local organiser, Dave Tipper, has kindly supplied the scores which were as follows (all players Bristol-based unless otherwise indicated):

1st= Jim Burnett (200 – Worksop) & Chris Timmins (175) both 4/6 pts.

3rd Nigel Hosken (196 – Cheltenham) 3½. 4th= Tyson Mordue (201); Steve Piper (181 – Salisbury); Peter Davies (174 – Cardiff) & Jody Johnson (160) all on 3 pts. 8th= Steve Dilleigh (183); Robert Thompson (176) & Richard Edney (158-IOW) all on 2½. 11th= Peter Jaszkiwsky (169 – Kettering); Ian Ponter  (165); David Dugdale (158); Michael Meadows (156) & Ian Matthew (156 – Portsmouth). 16th Michael Harris (159) 1½; 17th Roger Hardy (153) 1.

The Paignton Congress starts tomorrow at the soon-to-be-redeveloped Oldway Mansion, with local grandmaster, Keith Arkell, favourite to win, after his 2nd place at Hinckley last weekend. He will also be taking the opportunity to launch his autobiography, Arkell’s Odyssey, which will be available for sale and signing. Here is a Paignton 1988 game of his from the book.

White: Tyson Mordue (2224). Black: Keith Arkell (2430).

Sicilian Defence – Scheveningen Variation. [B85]. (Notes by the winner)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Qc7 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0–0 Be7 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 Bd7 11.Qe1 0–0 12.Qg3 Nxd4 If 12…b5 13.a3 (13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Bh6 Ne8 16.Bf4 Bd6). 13.Bxd4 Bc6 14.Bf3 Rfd8 15.Rad1 g6 16.Rfe1 b5 17.Qf2 Rab8 18.e5 Ne8 19.Bxc6 Qxc6 20.Ne4 dxe5 21.fxe5 Ng7 22.Nf6+ Bxf6 23.exf6 Nf5 24.Be5 Rbc8 25.h3 h5 26.c3 h4 27.Qf4 Rd5 28.Kh2 Rcd8 29.Rxd5 Qxd5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Qxa4 Qd2 32.Qe4? He should have done something about this b-pawn, but in any case I obviously have a positional advantage. In the Sicilian, Black often stands well once he has survived the initial onslaught. 32…Qxb2 33.Rb1 Qf2 34.Bc7 Rd2 35.Rg1 Qc5 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Bf4 Rf2 38.Qe8 Rxf4 39.Qxf7+ Kh6 40.Qg8 40…Qxg1+ Not strictly necessary, but it forces a quick end to the game. 41.Kxg1 Ng3 42.Qf8+ Kh5 43.Qc5+ g5 44.Kh2 Rf1 45.Qe7 Rh1# 0–1

After last week’s difficult Olympic-themed problem, here’s a little more accessible 2-mover.

White to mate in 2 moves