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West of England Congress – Day 3

Life, like chess, has a habit of biting one on the b*m just when you thought things were going well. Having been a little smug yesterday about the virtues of Exmouth as a chess venue, last evening I went to book the hotel for 2014, only to be told there was a wedding booked for the Easter weekend, and they would be unable to host the congress next year. The first course of action is for me to approach the Town Council to see if they can come with the possibility of somewhere suitable in the town. Failing that, it’s back to the WECU Executive to devise a Plan B. So, a warning to the regulars – Don’t book any hotel rooms in Exmouth for 2014 just yet, as it may yet be held anywhere within the Union – from Penzance to Portsmouth to Cheltenham. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, the draw for Rd. 5 was as follows:

Bd. 1 Smith 1-0 Berry. Bd. 2 Regis 0-1 McMichael

 

 

Stephen Berry lost the overall lead by losing to Andrew Smith, while McMichael joined Smith in the joint lead by ending Dave Regis’s fine run.  Stephens lost ground when he got into time trouble, and Shaw, 21st grade of the 24 remaining players, maintained a steady run of results. 

Bd. Open -  Rd. 5          
1 Smith , A. (3)  1 0 Berry, S (3½)
2 Regis, D (3) McMichael, R (3)
3 Mackle, D (2½)  1 Littlejohns, D (2½)
4 Homer, S (1½)  0 Krzyzanowski (2½)
5 Stephens, J. (2½)  0 Thompson, R (2½)
6 De Coverley (2)  0 Dilleigh, S (2½)
7 Boyne, A (2)  1 Cutmore, M (2½)
8 Shaw, M (2)  ½  ½ Bass, J. (2)
9 Paulden, T (2)  1 Cutmore, D (1½)
10 Stephenson, D (1½)  0  1 Brusey, A. W. (1½)
11 Bartlett, S (1)  ½  ½ Helbig, P (1)
12 Czegeny, M (½)  0 Medina, P (1)
             
             

Round 6:

It was a case of a perfect Easter for Krzyzanowski, Thompson and Boyne, all chalking up 2 wins in the day, but a nightmare for Stephens,  Stephenson and Homer who drew blanks. With 1 round to go, the joint leaders are Krzyzanowski, McMichael and Thompson. while just a half point beind are Berry, Mackle, Boyne, Dilleigh and Smith – 8 players with the scent of blood in their nostrils. 

Bd. Open -  Rd. 6          
1 McMichael, R (4) ½ ½ Mackle, D (3½)
2 Krzyzanowski (3½) 1 0 Smith , A. (4)
3 Berry, S (3½) ½ ½ Dilleigh, S (3½)
4 Thompson, R (3½) 1 0 D. Regis (3)
5 Paulden, T (3) 0 1 Boyne, A (3)
6 Bass, J (2½) 1 0 Stephens, J (2½)
7 Littlejohns, D (2½) 1 0 Homer, S. J (2½)
8 Brusey, A (2½) 0 1 Shaw, M (2½)
9 Cutmore, M (2) ½ ½ De Coverley, R (2)
10 Medina, P (2) 1 0 Bartlett, S (1½)
11 Helbig, P (1½) 1 0 Stephenson, D (1½)
12 Cutmore, M (1½) 1 0 Czegeny, M (½)
             

 

West of England Congress – Day 2

Saturday dawned with sunny skies and the air like a sparkling white wine - another way of saying freezing cold. This weekend has every prospect of being the coldest Easter Congress ever; beautiful to behold from behind glass, but with a constant biting wind sweeping in from the Russian steppes. Difficult to think the clocks go forward tonight and from then on we’re working to British Summer Time. 

Round 3:

In the Open, Megan Owens withdrew overnight, feeling unwell. Mackle sacrificed a pawn in return for activity in a Catalan-ish opening, but at the end of the day was simply a pawn down inthe endgame. Stephens continued his recovery after a bad start to the tournament with a winning attack against Alan Brusey, but his clubmate Meyrick Shaw lost ground, after being the exchange down in the endgame. 

In the Major, Gosling and Slade made up ground on the leaders, while all the others, bar one, could only draw. 

Rd. 3 starts - general view

 
 
 
 
 
 

Open Section - Rd. 3: Bds 3 - 7.

 
 
 
 

Top boards in the Major: With Black are Steve Dean, Oliver Wensley & Brian Gosling.

 
 
 

Top boards in the Minor Section.

Bd. Open  Rd. 3          
1 Mackle, D (2) 0 1 Berry, S (2)
2 Smith, A (2) 1 0 Bass, J. W. (2)
3 Littlejohns, D (1½`) ½ ½ Dilleigh, S (2)
4 Regis, D (1½`) 1 0 Stephenson, D. W. (1½`)
5 Cutmore, M (1½`) ½ ½ Thompson, R (1½`)
6 Shaw, M (1½`) 0 1 McMichael, R (1)
7 Stephens, J. (1) 1 0 Brusey, A. W. (1)
8 De Coverley, R (1) 1 0 Medina, P (1)
9 Paulden, T (1) 0 1 Homer, S.. (1)
10 Boyne, A. T. (1) 1 0 Czegeny, P (1)
11 Bartlett, S (1) 0 1 Krzyzanowski, P (1)
12 Cutmore, D. A (1) 1 0 Helbig, P (½)
  Megan Owens w/d (0)        

 

Bd Major Rd. 3          
1 Nyman (1½`)  ½  ½ Razzle (2)
2 Farthing, A (1½`)  ½  ½ Wensley, O. E (1½`)
3 Ingham, W. H. (1½`)  0  1 Gosling, B (1½`)
4 Slade, T (1½`)  1  0 Fraser, (1½`)
5 Higgs (1½`)  ½  ½ Morgan, J (1½`)
6 Thynne, T. F. (1)  ½  ½ Tew (1)
7 Ellison, D. G. (1)  ½  ½ Gamble, R (1)
8 Woodward (1)  ½  ½ Page, M (1)
9 Harris (1)  ½  ½ Wood, P (1)
10 Dean, S. K. (1)  ½  ½ Morton (1)
11 Wilson (1)  ½  ½ Chapman (1)
12 Hibbitt, A (1)  1  0 Worrall (1)
13 Annetts, I. S. (1)  ½  ½ Lawrence, (1)
14 Sandercock, E. B (½)  1  0 Hamilton, (½)
15 Pollock, R (½)  1  1 Sellwood, C (½)
16 Foster, P (½)  ½  ½ Price, (0)
17 Hurst, K. J. (0)  1  0 Parfett, (0)
             
             

 

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West of England Congress – Day 1

After a lot of hard work by a handful of volunteers and the inevitable, unforeseeable glitches, the 65th West of England Championship & Congress, finally got on the road at 10 a.m. precisely, in the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. In fact, after a half century of moving around the 7 counties that comprise the Union, it was decided to try and keep it in one spot for several years to see how it might affect the entry. The criteria was that it should (a) be near the sea, so that other family members could enjoy a seaside Easter break; (b) it should have good travel connections, by road, rail and bus; (c) should be reasonably near the centre of the area, and (d) should be a comfortable, cheap venue. Exmouth met all those wishes and 15 years on, it is still held there. 

The entry this year increased significantly to 94, close to the maximum the venue could hold, with 24 contesting the Open Section, and with the Major Section taking players up to a 174 grade, it made for a very competitve section, as there were no GMs to walk off with the top prizes. 

After a few welcoming words by Alan Crickmore, the joint Entry Secretary, clocks were started and battles commenced. 

Open: Nearest Brusey V Bass; Stephens V Medina - both White losses.

 

Bds. 1-3 in the Major: Hurst V Gosling: Hibbitt V Wensley & Thynne V Higgs.

 

Bds 13-15 in the Major: Slade V Hamilton; Worrall V Morgan & Nyman V Lawrence.

 

By the end of Rd. 1, the scores were:-

Bd. Open -  Rd. 1      
1 Cutmore, M 0 1 Berry, S
2 Mackle, D 1 0 Helbig, P
3 Smith, A. P. ½ ½ McMichael, R
4 Boyne, A ½ ½ Thompson, R
5 Paulden, T ½ ½ Krzyzanowski, P
6 Stephens, J. K. 0 1 Medina, P
7 Brusey, A. W. 0 1 Bass, J. W.
8 Cutmore, D ½ ½ Stephenson, D. W.
9 Shaw, M ½ ½ Dilleigh, S
10 De Coverley , R 1 0 Owens, M. R.
11 Bartlett, S. ½ ½ Homer, S. J.
12 Regis, D 1   Bye
         
  Byes      
  Littlejohns, D ½    
  Czegeny, M ½    
         
Bd. Major  -  Rd.1      
1 Hurst, K. J. 0 1 Gosling, B. G.
2 Hibbitt, A ½ ½ Wensley, O. E.
3 Thynne T. F. ½ ½ Higgs, J
4 Annetts, I. S. ½ ½ Gamble, R
5 Ingham, H. W. 1 0 Sellwood, C
6 Ellison, D. G. 0 1 Tello, Y
7 Pollock, R ½ ½ Wood, P
8 Farthing, A ½ ½ Page, M
9 Harris, M ½ ½ Tew, P
10 Morton P ½ ½ Price, A
11 Dean, S. K. ½ ½ Chapman, T
12 Foster, P 0 1 Razzle, D
13 Slade, T 1 0 Hamilton, S
14 Worrall, M 0 1 Morgan, J
15 Nyman, J 1 0 Lawrence, D
16 Parfitt, G 0 1 Fraser, J
         
  Byes      
  Wilson 1    
  Sandercock E. B. ½    
  Woodward, T ½    
Bd. Minor – Rd. 1      
1 Hadfield, R 0 1 Mills, Na
2 Rogers, D 1 0 Dean, J
3 Billett, s. 0 1 Jackson, P
4 Hunt, R 1 0 Spooner, K
5 Waters, R 0 1 Shepherd, G
6 Blencowe, I 1 0 Cox, Mrs. M
7 Pearce, F ½ ½ French, M
8 Crouch, T. 1 0 Whittington, R
9 Fraser, A 0 1 Dimond, P
10 Tidy, N. F. 1 0 Welch, Mrs. H
11 Carr, J. 0 1 Huba, M
12 Errington, P 0 1 Banks, G
13 Dengler, T 0 1 Mills, Ni
14 Andrews, G ½ ½ Cox, R
15 Leggett, 0 1 Gardiner, C
16 Burt, D ½ ½ Kaye, M
         
  Byes      
  Roberts, M ½    
  Ryan, R. A. ½    

                                                                  Round 2. 

Gosling Vs Slade; Morgan Vs Annetts & Wensley Vs Sandercock.

 

Dilleigh Vs Bartlett; Homer Vs Shaw & Czegeny Vs Smith.

Bd. Open -  Rd. 2          
1 Berry, S (1) 1 0 De Coverley , R (1)
2 Medina, P (1) 0 1 Mackle, D (1)
3 Bass, J. W. (1) ½ ½ Regis, D (1)
4 McMichael, R (½) ½ ½ T. Paulden (½)
5 Stephenson, D. W. (½) 1 0 Boyne, A (½)
6 Krzyzanowski (½) 0 1 Littlejohns, D (½)
7 Thompson, R (½) 1 0 Cutmore, D (½)
8 Dilleigh, S (½) 1 0 Bartlett, S. (½)
9 S. Homer (½) ½ ½ Shaw, M (½)
10 Czegeny, M (½) 0 1 Smith , A. (½)
11 Helbig, P (0) 0 1 Stephens, J. (0)
12 Owens, M (0) 0 1 Cutmore, M (0)
             
  Byes          
  Brusey, A   1      
             
             

A. S. Hollis R.I.P.

  

Adrian Swayne Hollis (b. 02.08.1940 – d. Feb. 2013.)

Adrian Hollis, former West of England Champion, WECU Vice President and Grandmaster of Postal Chess, died recently at his home in Wells, Somerset after a long illness.

Hollis was the only child of Sir Roger Hollis and Evelyn Esme (née Swayne) whose families came from the North Somerset towns of Wells and Burnham-on-Sea respectively. At the time of Adrian’s greatest over-the-board activity, his father was Director-General of MI5 (1956 – 1965) a period that saw a string of controversial and high profile spy cases, including the Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, George Blake and John Vassall affairs and the Profumo scandal. 

Adrian went to Eton and studied Classics at Christ Church, Oxford. He played in four Varsity matches from 1959 – ’62, the first three of which were drawn. He was an exact contemporary of future WECU President, Philip Meade, of Queen’s College, Cambridge, and the two played against each other on Board 1 in the 1961 match.  Adrian had learned the game at the age of 13 from a cousin and within 7 years had become the then youngest West of England Champion in 1961. He was also British Universities Champion and played in six Anglo-Dutch matches scoring 7½ / 12. Although the nature of his boarding education meant that he could take little part in Somerset’s domestic tournaments, he played in their correspondence teams from an early age. 

His first teaching post was at St. Andrews University before moving to Keble College, Oxford, where he lectured in Classics from 1967 until his retirement in 2008. He wrote books on the Roman poet Ovid and became a Fellow of his College. However, the twin calls of academic and family life (he had married Margaret and had daughters) soon led him to abandon any serious ambitions in over-the-board play and to concentrate instead on postal play from 1965. Ironically, his retirement from this stage of his chess career coincided with the award of International Master. 

However, he was destined for even greater recognition when he became England’s 6th Grandmaster in 1976, for postal play, when he got his final GM norm in the Potter Memorial Tournament. 

After retirement he returned to his Somerset roots in Wells.

World Championship Candidates Tourney (23.03.2013.)

The brightest of Devon’s ten wins against Gloucestershire in their recent match was this one from Board 3.

White: S. J. Homer (183). Black: S. J. Waterfield (178).

Sicilian Defence – Dragon Variation [B72]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nb3 Nf6 7.Be2 0–0 8.Be3 d6 Black has transposed into a classic Sicilian Dragon formation… 9.g4 … and White responds accordingly with a quick kingside attack. 9…Be6 10.g5 Nd7 11.h4 Nce5 12.h5 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Bxc4 14.Bd4 Ne5 15.f4 Bxb3 16.axb3 Nf3+ 17.Qxf3 Bxd4 18.0–0–0 Gaining a vital tempo, which allows White’s attack to continue. 18…Bg7 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Qh3 Kf7 21.f5 Not 21.Qxh7?? which loses the queen to 21…Rh8. 21…Rh8 22.Rdf1 Ke8 23.fxg6 hxg6 24.Qxh8+! 1–0 Black resigned, as he would lose a piece after 24…Bxh8 25.Rxh8+ Kd7 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8.  Another attacking possibility would have been 24.Qe6 Rxh1 25.Rxh1 Bf8 26.Nd5 Qc8 27.Qxg6+ Kd7 28.Rh3 and White would again win material.

Today marks the half-way stage (the 7th of 14 rounds) of the World Championship Candidates tournament currently being held at 2, Savoy Place, London, the strongest tournament of its kind in history. Eight of the world’s chess elite will play each of their opponents twice, the winner earning the right to challenge the World Champion, Vishi Anand of India.

The favourite is the former child prodigy, 22 year old Magnus Carlsen of Norway. Not only is he the highest rated of the contestants, he is the only one not from a former Soviet bloc country. It’s strange that neither China, India nor the Americas, with all their many millions of players, could produce just one person between them good enough to claim a place at this “high table”.

Today Carlsen is due to play Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. The final round is on 1st April, with the next day reserved for a possible play-off. Anand, for one, will be watching developments closely.

Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Bf6! after which Black has 4 “tries”, each of which is answered with a different mate, viz 1…Ne3 2.Qxd6#. 1…Ne4 2.fxe4#. 1…Ne1 Rh4# and 1…Nc4 2.Qd4#.

This position is from an earlier game by Carlsen. How did he break through Black’s defences to record a win in 6 more moves?

White to play and win

Exmouth To Retain Newman Cup?

Exmouth put themselves in pole position to retain Devon’s RapidPlay League, the Newman Cup, after a comfortable away win over Seaton, last evening.

Exmouth won the toss (for a change) and opted for white on the odd-numbered boards in Rd. 1.  It’s of less significance in a 2 round match like this, but if it helps to build a lead by half time, it can’t be too bad. In fact, Exmouth white players both recorded quick wins. Hazel Welch overlooked the fact that after an exchange of pieces her opponent could grab her b-pawn without any of the risks that usually attend the snaffling of a knight’s pawn, and it rather went downhill from then on. Simon Blake ran out of time, and Shaw was involved in a desperate finish in which he allowed his opponent counter-play. However, with seconds left, Alexander missed the best line and time ran out for him too. 3-1 at the break.

In Rd. 2, Stephens agreed a quick draw. The position in Jones’ game was much more blocked than in their first encounter, but he eventually found the space for his pieces (Q + 2R) while Hazel’s were trapped behind her own pawns, and he managed to break through. Blake, meanwhile, was having his game of the season so far, winning material left and right, and rightly giving some of it back in order to simplify out to a win. Ken Alexander showed his skill by beating his opponent, winner of the recent Kingsbridge RapidPlay.

It only remains for the return match to be played. Exmouth may be in pole position, but nothing will be, nor can be, taken for granted. This game has a nasty habit of biting you on the b-t-m. 

  Newman Cup             RapidPlay League  
  Seaton   Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth  
1 S. K. Dean 152 0 ½   1 ½ J. K. F. Stephens 184
2 K. Alexander 129 0 1   1 0 M. Shaw 164
3 H. Welch 116 0 0   1 1 R. H. Jones 148
4 A. Dowse 131 1 0   0 1 S. Blake   96
    528 1   3   592
               

 

WECU Ladies Champion, Hazel Welch patiently waiting for the photographer to finish.

Seaton Captain, Steve Dean (W), on his way to an excellent draw in Rd. 2

Ken Alexander (B) on his way to an excellent win against Shaw.

 

Simon Blake (nearest) playing his game of the season, so far.

Exmouth’s First Loss of the Season.

Tiverton vs Exmouth – Mamhead Cup Div. 2  – 16.03.2012.

Saturday Afternoon At The Tomato doesn’t have quite the same ring about it as the mid-70s classic jazz-fused song “Midnight At The Oasis”, but there was at least a tiny bit of Tiverton chess history involved as it was their first match at this experimental venue. “Tomato” is the striking title of a tapas bar, near the town centre in Tiverton, with a spacious room upstairs, which the owner lets free of charge, provided all the refreshments are purchased at the bar downstairs.

This was Exmouth’s 7th match of the season, and were so far undefeated, but any temptation to say they wanted to squash their opponents was firmly resisted. Just as well, too, because any squashing was done by the home team.

It all started so well, too, as John Stephens ended with a pretty finish in a pawn ending. At the other end, Simon Blake was the exchange up going into the endgame – a rook + 2 minor pieces vs 3 minor pieces. However, these included two knights, and these can become very slippery if given half a chance, and a knight check won a bishop, and it was downhill from thereon in. But at least the other two games looked solid enough, giving reasonable expectations  of yet another drawn match. Gosling agreed a draw, which left Shaw wondering whether to also settle for a draw or try and for a win in order to win the match. But it was one of those positions in which whoever tries to push for win, usually ends up losing, and this is what happened, giving Tiverton the match.

             
Bd. Tiverton Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 B. W. R. Hewson 174 0 1 J. K. F. Stephens 192
2 S. Bartlett 164 1 0 M. Shaw 166
3 I. S. Annetts 152 ½ ½ B. G. E. Gosling 164
4 J. Knowles 128 1 0 S. Blake   96
    618       618
         

 

The Exmouth line-up (Bd. 4 nearest)

 Dramatic Spanish decor throughout.

Tiverton line-up with bovine backdrop.

Devon vs Glos & Cornwall vs Somerset (16.03.2013.)

The final scheduled round of the Inter-County competition was held on Saturday. Devon managed to get out a strong side and cruised past Gloucestershire at West Buckland, winning 11½-4½. The details were as follows (Devon names first):-

1. D. Mackle 0-1 J. Stewart; 2. J. K. Stephens 1-0 D.Lambourne; 3. S. J. Homer 1-0 J. Waterfield; 4. D. Regis 1-0 J. Jenkins; 5. P. Medina 1-0 P. J. Meade; 6. J. Leung ½-½ P. Dodwell; 7. K. J. Hurst 1-0 P. Denison; 8. A. W. Brusey ½-½ A. N. Walker; 9. B.W. Hewson ½-½ M. J. Ashworth; 10. J. Underwood 1-0 B. Whitelaw; 11. M. V. Abbott 0-1 G. A. Brown; 12. O. Wensley 1-0 R. J. Dixon; 13. A. S. Kinder 1- 0 M. Claypole; 14. M. Shaw 1-0 A. Richards; 15. W. H. Ingham 0-1 P. Baker; 16. B. G. Gosling 1-0 P. R. Bending.

Meanwhile, knowing their opponents are capable of unexpected wins against any team that under-estimates them, Somerset took no chances against Cornwall and fielded a strong side at Exminster, eventually winning 9-3 over a 12 board match. The details were as follows (Cornish players 1st):- 1. J. F. Menadue 0-1 J. Rudd. 2. M. I. Hassal 1-0 P. Krzyzanowski. 3. R. Kneebone ½-½ D. LIttlejohns. 4. S. Bartlett ½-½ A. V. Wong. 5. J. Wilman 0-1 P. Chaplin. 6. G. Trudeau 0-1 A. Footner. 7. C. Sellwood 0-1 D. Painter. 8. 8. D. J. Jenkins ½-½ C. Purry. 9. M. Hill 0-1 J. E. Fewkes. 10. D. R. Jenkins ½-½ N. Senior. 11. C. Long 0-1 G. N. Jepps. 12. P. Spargo ½-½ D. Peters.

Apparently, the Hants vs Dorset match was not played due to a misunderstanding over the start time – another disruption to this season’s carefully planned programme of matches.

(Since going to press, it’s emerged that the Dorset team turned up at the venue for a 1 p.m. start, as defined in an e-mail, by the Dorset captain. As no Hants players had shown by 2 p.m. Dorset left for home. 5 minutes later, Hants players started arriving for a 2.30 start. Sodd’s Law, once again demonstrating that if a thing can go wrong, it probably will.) 

The West of England Congress at Exmouth starts a week on Friday and the entry limit is almost reached. Enquiries about late entries to Alan Crickmore on 01752-768206 or e-mail plymouthchess@btinternet.com.

Last week’s problem was solved by under-promoting the pawn to a bishop, forcing Black’s king to d8 and then Rd4 is mate.

The British Solving Championship was held recently at Eton College, and was won by Colin McNab ahead of the usual winners, Nunn and Mestel. Paignton’s Jon Lawrence came a respectable 13th out of 35 competitors. This one, by Charles Kemp, was one of the three 2-movers in the competition, worth 5 points each. It was first published in Plymouth’s Western Daily Mercury in 1919.

White to mate in 2.

Newman Cup vs Tiverton (13.03.2013.)

This was the key match in this year’s Newman Cup, Devon’s RapidPlay League. As last year, it was a 3-way tie between Tiverton, Exmouth and Seaton, with home and away matches. Earlier in the season, Exmouth, the current holders, drew 2-2 away to Tiverton, and needed a result in this home leg, to stand any chance of retaining the cup.

The visitors were a little shy of the maximum permitted team grade total of 599, Exmouth gambling on playing a low-graded player on Bd. 4 in order to fit in their best 3 players. In this respect, Grist’s two losses were the key to the eventual win.

Stephens, playing Black in Rd. 1. got his last pieces trapped behind his own pawns, and lost, but he hit back in the next game, forcing a mate in the corner. Shaw always seemed to have a solid position in both games, tempering the creation of threats with a solid defence. Wensley, also, was never seriously threatened by Aldwin, but was always behind on the clock and needed to be careful to keep time in hand.

The 5-3 win gives Exmouth a good chance of retaining the trophy, though they still have to play Seaton twice.

  Newman Cup             13.03.2013.  
  Exmouth Grd Rd1 Rd2   Rd1 Rd2 Tiverton Grd
1 J. K. F. Stephens 184 0 1   1 0 B. W. R. Hewson 174
2 M. Shaw 164 1 1   0 0 I. S. Annetts 151
3 O. E. Wensley 136 1 1   0 0 B. Aldwin 122
4 I. G. Grist   96 0 0   1 1 J. Knowles 113
    580 2 3   2 1   560
        5     3    

 

The match gets under way - Shaw vs Annetts nearest.

Grist VS Knowles nearest.

Hewson Vs Stephens (l) & Shaw Vs Annetts.

Alison is not interested in the match but is reading a chess book.

E. Devon Congress Results 2013

The East Devon Congress finished on Sunday with the following among the prizewinners. Open Section: 1st R. de Coverly (Bourne End). 2nd= D. Mackle (Newton Abbot) & P. Helbig (Bristol). Grading prize (U-179) M. V. Abbott (Exmouth). (U-162) G. Jepps (Frome). Major: 1st= C. Sellwood (Camborne) & J. Nielsen (Wimborne). Grading prizes: (U-140) D. Jenkins (Camborne) & C. Strong (Cardiff). (U-136) P. Brackner (Wimborne).

Minor: 1st G. Mill-Wilson (Yate). 2nd= N. Tidy (Teignmouth), P. Errington (Bournemouth) & R. Fursman. Grading prizes: (U-113) R. Hood (Exeter). (U-101) P. Carrick (Norton Radstock).

In the fifth and final round, de Coverly led by half a point, and local player, Steve Homer, needed to win to deny him 1st place. At first, things seemed to be going well for him, until Black’s queenside pawns started to march forward. 

White: S. Homer (183). Black: R. de Coverly (184)

Ruy Lopez – Anti-Marshall Var. [C90]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.d3 d6 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Nbd2 Re8 12.d4 Bf8 13.d5 g6 14.Nf1 Bg7 15.a4 inviting an exchange of pawns, but Black sidesteps the offer and the a-pawn later becomes vulnerable. 15…b4 16.Ne3 Rf8 17.Nd2 Ne8 18.cxb4 cxb4 19.Nec4 f5 20.Nxa5 Qxa5 21.Nb3 Qc7 22.Bd2 a5 23.Rc1 Qf7 24.Be3 Nf6 25.f3 fxe4 26.Bxe4 Bd7 27.Rc7 Qe8 28.Qd3 Nxe4 29.fxe4 Bxa4 Black wins the a-pawn which proves critical. 30.Rec1 Bb5 31.Qc2 Now the a-pawn is ready to advance. 31…a4 32.Nd2 a3 33.bxa3 bxa3 34.Bg5 a2 From now on, all White’s energies will be devoted to blocking the a-pawn, abandoning all thought of attack.  35.Ra1 Qb8 36.Kh1 Ba4 37.Qc3 Qb1+ 38.Qc1 If 38.Nxb1?? Rf1# 38…Qxc1+ 39.Rcxc1 Rfc8 40.Nf3 Bc2 41.Re1 Bb1 42.Nd2 Bd3 43.h3 h6 44.Be3 g5 45.Kh2 Bf6 46.Kg3 Bd8 47.Kg4 Kg7 48.h4 gxh4 49.Nf3 Rc2 50.Nd2 Ba5 White’s defences are rapidly unravelling. 51.Nf3 Rxg2+ 52.Kxh4 Bxe1+ 53.Nxe1 Re2 54.Nxd3 Rxe3 0–1 White must lose even more material.

Photographs of the prizewinners and other results may be found on keverelchess.com.

In last week’s position, Woodruff simply played 1.RxN and his own exposed queen cannot be taken because of 2.Re8 mate.

What part can the pawn play in mating Black in just two moves?

White to mate in 2