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Archive for December, 2012

Dorset vs Somerset II Results (29.12.2012.)

Dorset played Somerset II at Bradford Abbas earlier this month, in the 2nd division of the West of England Inter-county tournament. There was a grade ceiling of 160, but even so, Somerset won fairly comfortably by 10½-5½ as they had the greater strength in depth. The details were as follows (Dorset names first).

1.P. Aston (151) ½-½ D. Freeman (156). 2.W. Legg (149) 0-1 P. Humphreys (154). 3.S. Blake (145) 1-0 C. McKinley (152). 4.M. Fielding (140) 0-1 A. Bellingham (147). 5.P. Errington ½-½ A. Champion (147). 6.C. Winch ½-½ L. Cutting. 7.P. Brackner ½-½ S. Wojcik (143). 8.P. Jackson ½-½ T. Wallis (142). 9.J. Kelly ½-½ R. Knight (139). 10.P. Bland (128) 0-1 T. West (u/g). 11.F. Fallon (124) 0-1 C. Strong (136). 12.N. Mackie (117) 0-1 M. Baker (133). 13.K. Spooner (113) ½-½ I. Stringer (131). 14.J. George (108) 0-1 R. Fenton (127). 15. S. Jones (106) 1-0 M. Cooper (126). 16. M. Kaye (95) 0-1 N. Mills (125).

2013 is but a few days away, bringing with it the return of the British Championships to the Riviera Centre, Torquay, 27th July – 10th August, for the 4th time in 15 years. Even in a “normal” year Torquay attracts around 1,000 entries, but as it will be the 100th championship, there are bound to be a few added extra activities attracting even more players, so it will be important for westcountry players not to leave entering until the last minute. Although entry forms are not yet out, it is likely that many of the top players will not be passing up the chance of becoming the 100 British Champion, providing it doesn’t clash with tournaments abroad. Among them, Taunton’s Michael Adams would have to be favourite.

This, too, will be an opportunity for qualifiers from the local congresses to rub shoulders with the GMs. The next opportunity to win a qualifying place will be at the WECU Junior event in Swindon in February; then the WECU Congress in Exmouth over the Easter weekend, followed by Frome in May.

In last week’s ending from the London Chess Classic, Mickey Adams played Bh3+! And whether White takes it or not, Black will mate on h1.

This is another original composition from reader Dave Howard for you to puzzle over this holiday period, should you manage to get a few quiet minutes to yourself. It’s a 3-mover this time, but he tells me it’s not too difficult. White to move and mate in 3.

White to move & mate in 3.

Obie Ebanks R.I.P.

Obie at a chess tournament.

Exmouth Club Member, Obie Ebanks, was reported by his brother Kim, to have been killed in a traffic accident on Christmas Eve. This happened on the A30 near Honiton at 11.30 a.m. on the dangerous stretch of road between Rawridge and Monkton, when the car he was driving ran head-first into an articulated lorry coming up the hill. It took the emergency services 7 hours to remove his body from the car.  

Obie had been a member of the Exmouth Club for about 2 years, after moving to the town from Leytonstone in East London. After a period of unemployment, he had recently got steady work as a hospital car driver for the South West Ambulance Service, and it may be that he was on one of these missions of mercy when the accident happened. 

It comes as a surprise to many to learn that he would have been 60 in June. 

His two abiding hobbies were chess and boxing. He had been  a member of the Repton Club, England’s most famous training establishment, the base for many champions. Obie’s amateur career started well, winning his first 20 fights, but his 21st was his first taste of defeat and he retired from serious competition thereafter. However, he maintained a fitness regime for the rest of his life.

He leaves two sons, Obie jr. and Levy, his mother aged 78, and two sisters & 2 brothers, one of whom, Kim, lives in Exeter.

The funeral will be held at Exeter Crematorium on Thursday 10th January, starting  at 2.00 p.m. 

Ebanks (l) & Blake deep in thought at a big match in June 2012.

Kingsbridge & the Classic (22.12.2012.)

The small Kingsbridge Club hosted a rapidplay tournament last weekend.

Open Section: 1st Meyrick Shaw (166 – Exmouth), the only player with a maximum 6 wins. 2nd John Franklin. Grading prizes: U-137 Oliver Wensley (136 – Exmouth). U-110 Roy Greenhalgh (101 – Plymouth). Junior prize: Reece Whittington (106 – Exeter).

By way of contrast, at the same time London was hosting the strongest tournament in this country for many years – the 4th Chess Classic. This was won for the 3rd time by the Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen, who thereby achieved the World No. 1 slot and the highest rating ever achieved. Nine of the world’s best players fought it out, with a scoring system the same as league football, 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw. This has had the effect of forcing players to try all-out for a win, instead of settling for the proverbial “grandmaster draw”. Although it doesn’t eliminate draws (16 of the 36 games were drawn) but their average number of moves was 64, indicating the degree of effort put in. Here is one of the home wins.

White: M. Adams (2710). Black: Judit Polgar (2705).

Sicilian Defence  [B40]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 White is clearly keen to leave the well-trodden paths of familiar theory. 3…Nc6 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.Qe2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.0–0 Be7 8.Rd1 0–0 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Rxd4 Bf6 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.c4 Nb4 14.Nc3 a6 15.Bf4 e5 16.Be3 Be6 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.cxd5 Bf5 19.d6 Qd7 Black needs to blockade the advancing pawn. 20.Bb6 Rac8 21.Bc7 Bg4 22.Bf3 h5 23.Rac1 Rfe8 24.Bxg4 hxg4 25.Qe4 Bg5 26.Rc5 Bd8 27.Qxb7 Re6 28.Rdd5 Rf6 29.Qxa6 Qf5 Threatening major damage via f2. 30.Qe2 Qb1+ 31.Rd1 Qxa2 32.Rxe5 Bxc7 33.Re8+ Rxe8 34.Qxe8+ Kh7 35.dxc7 Qa7 White now has to decide whether to queen his pawn now, or deal with the Black threats first; in view of the forced line 36.c8Q Qxf2+ 37.Kh1 Qf3+ 38.Kg1 Qxd1+ 39.Kg2 Qf1 mate, it was not a difficult decision. 36.Qe4+! 1–0. Black can’t deal with getting out of check and preventing queening next move.

This ending was also played out at the Classic between World Champion Vishy Anand and Mickey Adams. The Cornishman has just played Qd1 to which the Indian replied Qh6, with a view to taking the bishop next move and attacking the then defenceless Black king. However, he missed the thunderbolt up his opponent’s sleeve. Can you see it?

Black to play and win immediately.

Hants vs Gloucestershire (15.12.2012.)

The recent Hampshire-Gloucestershire match was closely contested, though the final result was kept in some doubt for almost a week after the event, as the outcome of one game was disputed by both players. Eventually, the Gloucestershire player conceded without it having to go to a neutral arbiter, which gave the match to Hampshire  by 9-7. The details were (Hants names first):-

1.J. Tambini (203) ½-½ J. Stewart.

(199) 2.I. D. Thompson (199) 1-0 N. Hosken (196). 3.D. Tunks (193)½-½ D. Lambourne (180) 4.S. Knox (174)½-½ J. Waterfield (175) 5.D. Fowler (174)1-0 J. Jenkins (170) 6.P. Cooper (169)1-0 P. J. Meade (169) 7.I. Stipcevic (165) 0-1 I. Pickup (166) 8.F. McLeod (164)½-½ P. Dodwell (163) 9.M. Buckley (160)½-½ P. Denison (162) 10.G. Jones (153)1-0 G. Taylor (154) 11.R. Ashmore (150) 0-1 M. Claypole (149) 12.D. Thompson (147) 0-1 M. Ashworth (148) 13.C. Priest (147)½-½ R. Dixon (142) 14.H. Grieve (146) 1-0 P. Baker (140) 15.T. Chapman (145)½-½ A. Richards (139) 16. Miss G. Moore (145)½-½ J. Lightowler (136).

Last month’s Seniors’ Congress in Exmouth will feature in the January edition of Chess when one of the joint winners, Norman Stephenson, will analyse some games. In Round 4 he beat Mike Yeo, who then had to win his last game to feature in the prizelist, where he faced local player, David Toms.

White: D. A. Toms. Black: M. J. Yeo  1.e4 Nf6 Alekhine’s idea, but White declines the invitation to advance his pawn.2.d3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.Nbd2 Bc5 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.0–0 dxe4 8.dxe4 Qe7 9.c3 a5 10.Qc2 0–0 11.Nc4 Bh5 12.Be3 Rfd8 13.Rad1 Ng4 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.Rxd8+ Rxd8 16.Qe2 b5 17.Ncd2 f6 18.Nb3 Qb6 19.h3 Nh6 20.Rd1 Nf7 21.g4 Bg6 22.Nh4 Nd6 23.Nxg6 hxg6 24.Qf3 Nc4 This knight proves a real nuisance. 25.Qe2 Rxd1+ 26.Qxd1 Nxb2 27.Qd5+ Kh7 28.g5 Ne7 29.Qd7 Ng8 30.Bf1 a4 31.Nd2 Nd1 32.Qg4 Qxf2+ 33.Kh1 Ne3 34.Qe2 Qf4 35.Bg2 fxg5 36.Nf3 Nf6 37.Nxe5 With the idea that if 37…Qxe5 then 38.Qxe3, but 37…Nxg2 wins a piece. 38.Qxg2 Qxe5 39.c4 Qxe4 40.Qxe4 Nxe4 41.cxb5 Nc3 42.Kg2 Nxa2 0–1

In last week’s position, Kitto’s move was simply e2, cutting off the White king’s flight square and making the unavoidable Qxh2 a mating move.

This ending is from the game Steve Murray vs Tony Corkett at Guernsey 2002. Black is a piece up, but how does he make that pay in just two moves?

Black to play and win.

Devon vs Cornwall (08.12.2012.)

Devon beat Cornwall 12-8 at sunny Saltash on Saturday. The details were (Devon names first): 1.D. Mackle 1-0 J. F. S. Menadue. 2.J. K. Stephens ½-½ M. Hassall. 3. S. Homer 1-0 L. Retallack. 4. J. F. Wheeler ½-½ S. Bartlett. 5.K. J. Hurst 1-0 J. Willman. 6. B. W. R. Hewson ½-½ G. Trudeau. 7.A. W. Brusey ½-½ C. Sellwood. 8. O. E. Wensley ½-½ J. Nicholas. 9. J. Leung 1-0 D. J. Jenkins. 10. M. Shaw ½-½ M. Hill. 11. B. G. Gosling ½-½ R. Smith. 12.A. Kinder ½-½ C. Long. 13. N. Rahimili 1-0 D. R. Jenkins. 14. T. F. Thynne 1–0 A. Barkhuysen. 15. W. Ingham 1-0 P. Spargo. 16.P. Brooks 1-0 D. Lucas.

The top game was this, with notes based on those by the winner.

White: D. Mackle (202). Black: J. F. S. Menadue (187).

Queen’s Gambit – Slave Defence – Alapin Variation. [D15]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 White has gambited a pawn in return for extra space for his pieces. 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 e6 8.Ng5 h6 9.Nge4 b4 10.Nb1 Qh4 11.Qf3 Ba6 12.Nbd2 c3 13.Nc4 Bxc4 14.Bxc4 cxb2 15.Bxb2 Nd7 16.a5 f5 17.exf6 N7xf6 18.Bd3 Kd7 Black decides to keep his king in the centre as he plans a kingside attack. White accepts the challenge and goes for a queenside counter. 19.0–0 Nxe4 20.Bxe4 Bd6 21.g3 Qf6 22.Qd3 a6 23.Rfc1 h5 24.Rc2 h4 25.Rac1 hxg3 26.hxg3 Rhc8 27.Qb3 Ra7 28.Qa4 Rac7 29.Bd3 Qf3 30.Be2 Qe4 31.Qb3 Rh8 32.Bf3 Qf5 33.Bg2 g5 34.Qc4 Ra8 There now follows some toing & froing as the time control at move 40 looms. 35.Re2 Rcc8 36.Rce1 Re8 37.Rc2 Rec8 38.Qe2 Re8 39.Rec1 Rec8 40.Re1 Re8 With an extra 20 minutes thinking time now available, White can afford to work out the details of his attack. 41.Bf3 Rac8 42.Bg4 Qg6 43.Rcc1 Re7 44.Qxa6 the final assault. 44…Nf6 45.Rxe6 Rxe6 46.Bxe6+ Kxe6 47.Qxc8+ Nd7 48.d5+ cxd5 49.Re1+ 1-0 as the king must abandon his knight. 49…Be5 doesn’t work after 50.Rxe5+ nor 49…Kf7 50.Qxd7+ Kf8 51.Qd8+ Kf7 52.Qe8#.

Meanwhile, Somerset beat Dorset 10½-5½ at Bradford Abbas, while Hants lead Glos 8-7 with one disputed result to be settled. More details next week.

The solution to Christopher Reeve’s problem was 1.Nd8! after which Black has four tries, all of which fail; viz (a) 1…BxR 2.BxB#;  (b) 1…PxN 2.QxP# (c) 1…BxB 2.QxQP# and (d) 1…PxP 2.QxQP#.

This position is taken from an early Paignton Congress game – T. H. Tylor vs F. E. A. Kitto. Black (to move) has sacrificed a rook in pressing his attack. Was it worth the price?

Can Black win in spite of his material deficit?

Millfield Juniors & Bristol Activities (01.12.2012.)

Anyone needing to shake off any post-Christmas torpor might consider entering the Downend & Fishpond’s Buzzer tournament on 27th December at the Cricket Club. 10 games between 7 and 11 p.m. could be the kill or cure option. Details from Shaun Walsh on 0117-9562183.

Following that is the Bristol Winter Congress at the Holiday Inn from Friday 18th – 20th January 2013. It’s a new date and new venue, so it should be worth trying out. Details from Graham Mill-Wilson on 0779-016-7415. Entry forms downloadable from the chessit website.

At the recent Millfield Junior Tournament, 1st= in the U-18 section were Adam Dickinson (Chilton Cantelo) and Zoe Strong (Millfield), while Henry Righetti (King Edward’s School) won the U-12 section.

Westcountry GMs, Peter Wells (Swindon) and Keith Arkell (Paignton), were joint winners of the recent Brighton Tournament. This was Wells’ last round win that helped him to 4½/5 points and a £300 cheque.

White: Peter Sowray (2362). Black: Peter Wells (2488).

Nimzo-Indian Defence – Simagin Variation. [E40]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 Rubinstein’s favoured move. Other popular responses here are 4.a3 and 4.Qc2. 4…0–0 5.Nge2 d5 6.a3 Bd6 The Simagin Variation. 7.Ng3 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 Nc6 11.0–0 Bg4 12.Nce2 Re8 13.h3 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 Bd6 15.Nf5 Be5 16.f4 Weakening his e-pawn. 16…Bc7 17.b4 Bb6 This active bishop finds its most effective square, focussing on the weakened e-pawn. 18.Qf3 Ne7 19.Ng3 Ng6 The pinned e-pawn is going to prove fatal. 20.Ra2 Rc8 21.Re2 Rc3 Probing for further weaknesses. 22.Rd1 Qc7 23.Bb2 Nxf4 24.Bxc3 Nxe2+ 25.Nxe2 Rxe3 The threat of the discovered check means that White’s queen is lost anyway. 26.Qxe3 Bxe3+ 27.Kh1 Nh5 28.Re1 g6 29.Bb2 Ng3+ 30.Nxg3 Qxg3 31.Re2 f5 0–1. The balance of R+B for queen is not necessarily fatal, but Black’s extra pawns, hindering the bishop pair, prove the deciding factor.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.e4! If 1…RxN 2.RxP mate. Or 1…Bxp 2.Nc4 mate. Or RxP 2.NxR mate. Or Rb1 2.Rf5 mate.

This 2-mover was composed by Christopher Reeve of Cornwall, and won a 1st prize in the British Chess Magazine. It’s quite a challenge, with 26 pieces to sort out – best of luck with it!

White to mate in 2 - not an easy one.