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Devon’s Inter-Area Jamboree 2013

East team enjoy last gasp win.

Three teams of 12 players representing the East, South and Western areas of Devon met at the Newton Abbot club on Sunday to compete in their annual jamboree.

The East gambled somewhat  in playing the highly-graded John Stephens, and compensated for this by fielding a number of humbler players at the other end of the team. This tactic almost rebounded on them, as Stephens was well-beaten in the biggest upset of the afternoon, while none of the lower grades lost. Added to this, they defaulted one board as one player failed to turn up.

However, everything went down to the last game to finish, between Hewson and Brusey, which went to the last few seconds of extra time. Hewson had a knight + 3 pawns against a rook + 3, with the pressure on Brusey to look for a win as he was materially ahead, but with only seconds left on both clocks, it was Brusey’s that fell first, allowing the East to leapfrog the West.

However, by this time, three-quarters of the East team had already left for home, and so missed the dramatic denoument.

Organiser Trefor Thynne thanked all those concerned in the smooth running of the event; his wife Lyudmila and her colleague for providing an excellent tea and Bill Frost for controlling. Alan Crickmore reciprocated by thanking Trefor for his hospitality.

At the outset, Trefor had introduced to the assembled players, local schoolboy, John Fraser, who had recently been selected to represent England in the World Junior Championships in Greece, later in the year. Only the previous day, he had launched an appeal for donations to off-set the considerable financial costs his family would have to meet in taking up this offer, and within 24 hours it had already raised several hundred pounds. Anyone interested in contributing to this fund should contact Trefor on 01626-337876.

Bd team White grd     team Black Grd
1 W1 R. Pollock 164 1 0 E1 J. K. Stephens 192
2 E2 B. W.  Hewson 174 1 0 S1 A. W. Brusey 174
3 S2 W. Ingham 158 1 0 W2 M. Stinton-Brown 159
4 E3 S. Bartlett 164 1 0 W3 R. Wilby 145
5 W4 M. Quinn 135 ½ ½ S3 J. Fraser 153
6 S4 J. E. Allen 149 0 1 E4 I. S. Annetts 152
7 W5 E. A. Crickmore 134 1 0 E5 J. Morrison 137
8 E6 R. H. Jones 130 ½ ½ S5 R. Hocking 128
9 S6 P. Wiseman 125 0 1 W6 J. Dean 128
10 E7 J. Knowles 128 0 1 W7 M. O’Brien 124
11 W8 P. White 118 1 0 S7 B. Wilkinson 121
12 S8 D. Russell 120 ½ ½ E8 F. R. Hodge 115
13 W9 A. Tatam 110 0 1 E9 B. Aldwin 102
14 E10 E. Palmer 100 1 0 S9 M. Cuggy 118
15 S10 C. Peach 117 ½ ½ W10 C. Ziminides 106
16 E11 S. Thorpe-Tracey 100 ½ ½ W11 P. Lochead 102
17 W12 D. Scantlebury 100 0 1 S11 R. Greenhalgh 105
18 S12 R. Green 104 ½ ½ E1`2 A. Brinkley 100

NB: Players graded under 100, are deemed to be 100 for the purposes of this event.

Morrison defaulted.

Bd South       West       East    
1 A. Brusey 174 0   R. Pollock 164 1   J. Stephens 192 0
2 H. Ingham 158 1   M. Stinton 159 0   B. Hewson 174 1
3 J. Fraser 153 ½   R. Wilby 145 0   S. Bartlett 164 1
4 J. Allen 149 0   M. Quinn 135 ½   I. Annetts 152 1
5 R. Hocking 128 ½   E. Crickmore 134 1   J. Morrison 137 0
6 P. Wiseman 125 0   J. Dean 128 1   R. Jones 130 ½
7 B. Wilkinson 121 0   M. O’Brien 124 1   J. Knowles 128 0
8 D. Russell 120 ½   P. White 118 1   F. Hodge 115 ½
9 M. Cuggy 118 0   A. Tatam 110 0   B. Aldwin 102 1
10 C. Peach 117 ½   C. Ziminides 106 ½   E. Palmer 100 1
11 R. Greenhalgh 105 1   P. Lochead 102 ½   S. Thorpe-T 100 ½
12 R. Green 104 ½   D. Scantlebury 100 0   A. Brinkley 100 ½
    1572     1527     1594 7


  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
East 0 1 1 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 7
West 1 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 ½ ½ 0
South 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 4½ 


General view of play, with Hewson vs Brusey in foreground

General view with White vs Wilkinson in foreground.

Bd. 1 - Richard Pollock (Plymouth) vs John Stephens (Exmouth).

Last game to finish - Hewson (Tiverton) vs Brusey (Teignmouth).

Megan O'Brien (Plymouth) the only lady player present vs John Knowles (Tiverton)

England junior international, John Fraser.

British Championship Qualifiers Square Up (19.01.2013.)

This game was played in a Devon league match last weekend. Both players have qualified for this year’s British Championship, and Mackle was jointly West of England Champion in 2011. Notes kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Dominic Mackle (202). Black: John Stephens (192).

Semi-Slav Defence – [D44]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 The Botvinnik Variation. 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 0–0–0 15.0–0 b4 16.Rb1 Qa6 17.dxe6 Bxg2 18.e7 Bxf1 A fantastic position, yet well-known to theory. 19.Qd5 The latest idea in this line. White is a rook and bishop down, but rather than capture one of Black’s 3 en prise pieces he introduces new threats. 19…Bh6 Black must connect his rooks. 20.Bxh6 Bd3 21.Ne4 The latest idea is for White to play for the following endgame viz. 21.Qa8+ Nb8 22.exd8Q+ Rxd8 23.Re1 bxc3 24.Bf4 Qb6 25.bxc3 Bf5 26.f3 Be6 27.g4 Bd5 28.Qxb8+ Qxb8 29.Bxb8 Kxb8 This endgame is the reason for the decline in this line of the Botvinnik. White is better, but a win would be difficult to find over the board. 21…Bxe4 22.Qxe4 Rde8 23.Bf4? Better is 23.Bg7! 23…Qb7 Black must grab control of this diagonal. 24.Qxc4 24…Rxh2 25.f3 If 25.Kxh2 Rh8+ 26.Kg1 26…Rh1#. 25…Rhh8 Better is 25…Reh8! 26.e8=Q+ Rxe8 27.Kxh2 Qxf3 28.Qa6+ Kd8 and White runs out of checks and Black’s dual threats of  of Ra8+ and Re2+ are decisive. 26.Rd1 In post-game analysis 26.Kg2 seemed stronger. 26…Rh1+ 27.Kxh1 Qxf3+ 28.Kg1 Qxd1+ 29.Kg2 Qa4 30.Qd5 30…Qb5 31.Qa8+ Nb8 32.Bxb8 Qb7+ 33.Qxb7+ Kxb7 34.Be5 34.Bxa7! was the move to find. If 34…Kxa7?? 35.g4 c4 36.g5 Rg8 37.Kf3 Rc8 38.g6 c3 39.gxf7 c2 40.e8Q c1Q 41.Qa4+ Kb6 42.Qxb4+ Ka7 43.f8Q winning for White. 34…Kc6 35.Kf3 Kd5 More accurate was 35…Kd7 when the king assists in covering e8 and freeing up the rook to support his queenside pawns. 36.Kf4 Ke6 37.g4 c4 38.g5 a5 39.Bc7 a4 White now has only seconds for his next move and manages to find one of the only moves that loses straight away.  40.Ba5?? 40.Ke4 is the critical move as the rook must support the queenside pawns whilst keeping an eye on the g5-g6 break. 40…c3 41.bxc3 b3 42.axb3 axb3 The pawn cannot be stopped. 0–1

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Ba3!

In this game from last year’s British Championship, how did Keith Arkell (W) finish off his opponent quickly?

White to play and win

Exmouth draw with champions Newton Abbot (12.01.2013.)

Exmouth’s first weekend match of the season was one of the toughest tasks they could expect – a Div. 1 Bremridge Cup encounter against the current holders, Newton Abbot. Before the visitors arrived, the home team would probably have settled for a draw, but a comparison of the team sheets showed that Exmouth actually outgraded their opponents on 5 of the 6 boards and made them wonder whether a win might be possible.

Exmouth lost the toss and took Black on odd-numbered boards.  Stephens and Mackle set about each other like a hurricane, whipping out 20 moves in just 5 minutes each. Then, Mackle took 45 minutes for his 21st move as the position looked highly complex, with pieces hanging all over the board.

Meanwhile, 4 draws followed at a more sedate pace in the middle order. Hurst/Kinder was a 19 move draw, while Wensley had to rise from the dead to snatch a fortuitous draw from an opponent who was moving instantaneously in a rook & pawn endgame. Shaw and Gosling both had possible chances near the end but agreed draws as time started pressing around move 27.

As the Bd. 1 game approached its climax, Stephens was a rook up, but Mackle’s pieces excercised great threats and the utmost care was needed by both sides. Eventually, Black managed to ease the corset he had been strapped in for so long, and managed to start running his 3 united kingside pawns. This proved the decisive factor and he would have queened one of them had not Mackle resigned.

But just as a win seemed possible, David Toms lost on time in a complex position, leaving a drawn match.

  DCCA    Div. 1          
  Exmouth Grd     Newton Abbot Grd
1 John Stephens 192 1 0 Dominic Mackle 202
2 Kevin Hurst 176 ½ ½ Andrew Kinder 162
3 Oliver Wensley 172 ½ ½ Nijad Rahimili 161
4 Meyrick Shaw 166 ½ ½ Trefor Thynne 158
5 Brian Gosling 164 ½ ½ Paul Brooks 157
6 David Toms 159 0 1 John Allen 149
    1,029       989
      3 3    


The match gets under way.

Bds. 4 - 6

Playing at 20 seconds per move - until move 20.

Wensley allowed to rise from the dead.


Post-match analysis of a most complex game.

Jones Wins Hastings (12.01.2013.)

The Downend “Buzzer” Tournament on 27th December was won by the Bath club member, James T. Sherwin, a specialist at RapidPlay chess.

The main post-Christmas event is the ever-popular Hastings Congress, which, these days, takes the form of a large 9-round tournament on the Swiss system, with numerous titled players taking part. The clear winner on Sunday was Gawain Jones with 7/9 points.

Here is an example of his sharp, attacking style from Round 3.

White: Gawain Jones (2644). Black: Raja Panjwani (2402).

Nimzo-Indian Defence – Milner-Barry Variation.  [E33]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Rubinstein’s favoured move and probably the best way of avoiding doubled pawns. 4…Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bd2 0–0 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Re8 9.e3 Qe7 10.Be2 a5 11.0–0 a4 12.d5 Nd8 If 12…exd5 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.cxd5 Bf5 15.Bd3 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Na5. 13.Rfd1 Nd7 14.Bd3 h6 15.dxe6 Nxe6 16.Nd4 Ndc5 This is the moment for White to strike; his pieces are better developed, whilst the Black king is looking a bit lonely. 17.Bh7+ Kf8 18.Nf5 Qd8 19.f4 It’s not clear at this point, but this pawn will shortly be creating havoc. 19…g6 20.Bxg6! smashing open the defensive pawn structure. 20…fxg6 21.Nxh6 Ke7 22.Qxg6 getting all 3 kingside pawns for his sacrificed bishop – a good return on his investment. Rf8 23.f5 Qe8 24.f6+ Kd7 25.f7 Qe7 26.Bf6 Nf4 The Black queen had nowhere to go, so he tries a counter, but it is not enough.  27.Qf5+ Qe6 28.Qxf4 Ne4 29.Bg7 1-0 Black might have considered29…Rxf7; (or 29…Rd8 30.Rd4 Qg6 31.Rxe4 Kc6 32.f8Q Rxf8 33.Bxf8 Bh3 34.Qf3) 30.Nxf7 leaving Black a whole rook down. 30…Ra5 31.Ne5+ Rxe5 32.Bxe5 Nc5 33.Rd5, but it’s all pretty hopeless.

Keith Arkell had the chance to join him on 7 pts, but lost his last game with white. Jack Rudd finished on 50%.

Next weekend will be a very busy one with a round of the Inter-County Championship on Saturday, Devon’s Inter-Area Jamboree on Sunday and Bristol’s Winter Congress overlapping with both.

In last week’s position, Morphy finished with a typical flourish after 1.Rxh6+! KxR (forced). 2.Rd3 ready to replace its brother rook on h3, and unavoidably mate.

This week’s 2-mover is from Polgar’s big book of 5,333 problems.

White to play & mate in 2.

Ronald A. Slade (05.01.2013.)

January is traditionally a time for looking either ahead or behind, and this time I look back to a westcountry player, namely R. A. (Ron) Slade (1917-2006).

He learned the game at the Plymouth Club where he was influenced by the solid, positional player, Ron Bruce. At the outbreak of war, he moved to Bristol and he came into contact with a more dashing group of players who thought little of sacrificing a piece in pursuit of a win. He quickly realised this was his true style, using sharp lines which had to be “felt rather than calculated”. In 1948, he became champion of his club, Bristol & Clifton, the League Champion and Gloucestershire Champion for the 2nd of 4 consecutive times.

This would have gone on for many more years, but in 1951 he left for Kent, where he won their county championship before he had relinquished the Gloucestershire title. He had competed in the WECU Championship from the start, but didn’t win it until 1958 at Newquay, after which he didn’t enter again. After that he concentrated on the Civil Service Championships until he retired to Lelant, Cornwall in 1977. He played for his new county for a season, but found it did not suit his adventurous individual style, and retired from chess as well.

About a decade ago, I mentioned his name in this column; a neighbour gave him the cutting and he got in touch, and we corresponded for his last two years.

Here, he beats his former mentor.

White: R. M. Bruce. Black: R. Slade. WECU Championship – Bristol 1947.

Dutch Defence – Stonewall Var. [A95]

1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 d5 7.Nc3 c6 8.b3 Qe8 9.Ne5 Nbd7 10.Nd3 Ne4 11.Bb2 g5 Black intends to unsettle his conservative opponent. 12.f3 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 f4 14.e3 fxg3 15.hxg3 Qg6 16.Qe2 Bd6 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Be7 19.Rad1 b6 20.cxd5 cxd5 21.Kf2 a5 22.Rh1 Ba6 23.Qd2 Rac8 24.Bf1 Bxf1 25.Rhxf1 Rc6 26.Rc1 Rfc8 27.Kg1 Ba3 28.Bb2 If 28.Rc2 the bishop becomes pinned. 28…b5. 28…Rc2 29.Bxa3 29.Rxc2 Rxc2 30.Qd1 Rxb2. 29…Rxd2 30.Rxc8+ Kg7 31.Rfc1 Qd3 32.R1c7+ Kh6 33.Bf8+ White gets in a check at the cost of allowing the threat of …Qb1 mate 33…Kh5 34.Rxh7+ Qxh7 0–1

Last week’s original 3-mover by Dave Howard was solved by 1.b6! and if (a) 1…axb then 2.Rd3 and 3.Ra3 mate. Or (b) 1…a6 then 2. Rh5 and 3. Rh8 mate.

Here’s another one from Gary Lane’s 2003 book “Find The Mate”. From the “Old Favourites” section he gives this finish by Paul Morphy. White to play and win quickly.

Morphy (W) to play and win quickly