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Archive for May 12th, 2013

Amaurosis Scachistica Outbreak In Exmouth (12.05.2013.)

The term Amaurosis scachistica is an ailment diagnosed in some detail by the physician, Tarrasch, the main symptom being the making of obvious but uncharateristic blunders, better known in English as Chess Blindness. Tarrasch claimed there was no sure preventative treatment and he had some evidence that it may actually be infectious, calling this amaurosis scachistica chronica communis.

After Exmouth’s final home match of the season yesterday, against Teignmouth in a Division 2 match, we have further evidence to support the infection theory. In a small room with just 8 players, it can be deadly, spreading like wildfire in a very short time, each blunder more profound than the one commited just minutes earlier.

It all started on Bd. 3, where White, tempted by a hot pawn on the other side of the board, took it with his queen, thereby abandoning her protection of a rook that was being eyed up by the Black queen.  There swiftly followed …QxR+ and the game was over. The stars on top board seemed to have some natural immunity to this craziness, and Stephens, having recently realised that his strength might lie in rook+pawn endgames, true to his instincts quickly reached such a position and ran his a-pawn to queen, forcing a win. Exmouth at this stage were 2 up with 2 to play, but the infection was spreading rapidly.

On Bd. 4, the Teignmouth player attacked the enemy queen with a bishop. White responded by advancing a pawn, discovering a check by the queen. What a blunder – but instead of taking the queen, Black simply moved his king aside. Both players obviously badly infected and the outcome clearly impossible to predict. Teignmouth reduced the arrears by winning this game, but at least the Bd. 2 game was safe, where the home player was never seriously troubled and the game seemed to be heading for at least the draw required to win the match. They had got down to rook + bishop vs rook + knight, where the former had the positional advantage. But you know what knights are like……  The knight checked on a square where it could be taken by the bishop, the perpetrator fully expecting an exchange of the minor pieces. White saw the check, but not the fact that it also forked his rook. As on Bd. 4 earlier, he moved his king away and was amazed to see his rook snaffled. End of game – end of match. Exmouth had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.

Several players considered calling in to the local A & E Dept. on the way home, but it would have done no good. As Tarrasch correctly predicted, there is no known cure.

  Mamhead Cup       11.05.2013.  
  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 J. K. F. Stephens 192 1 0 A. W. Brusey 174
2 M. Shaw 166 0 1 J. G. Gorodi 148
3 Dr. D. A.Toms 159 1 0 N. F. Tidy 119
4 I. G. Grist   96 0 1 J. Ariss 120
    613 2 2   561


An Exmouth team confident of victory.

The Teignmouth team.

View from the other end.

The first victim of amaurosis scachistica - but not the last.

2nd Grand Bournemouth Congress (11.05.2013.)

The 2nd Grand Bournemouth Congress took place recently with one of the largest prize funds on the local circuit. The main prizewinners were as follows:

Open: 1st GM Nick Pert (£1,000). 2nd= Zhuo Lim; IM Robert Bellin; FM Tony Corkett; Steve Homer (Exminster) & Roger de Coverley (£120 each). De Coverley and Homer got the British Championship qualifying places.

Challengers (U-160): 1st Brendan O’Gorman (£300). 2nd= Armel Collard & Barry Sandercock (£100 each).

Intermediate (U-130): 1st= Ian Blencowe (Gloucester) & Patrick Reid (£187 each).

Minor (U-110): 1st Tony Tatam (Plymouth – £200).

Here are a couple of instructive miniatures from the Open Section. Over-hasty attacks before piece development is completed can often rebound on the aggressor, as here.

White: Ray Gamble (167). Black: Ian Clarke (179).

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nbd2 Nbd7 4.e4 e5 5.Bc4 Be7 Almost universal here is 6.c3 but White chances his arm for short-term gain. 6.Bxf7+ 6…Kxf7 7.Ng5+ Kg8 8.Ne6 Qe8 9.Nxc7 Qg6 10.Nxa8 exd4 11.Nc7 Ne5 12.Rg1 Nxe4 13.Nd5 Bh4 14.Qe2 By now, White must be regretting his earlier foray. 14…Nxd2. If 14…Bg4?? 15.Qxe4; 14…Nxf2? is answered by 15.g3; If 14…Bxf2+?? 15.Qxf2 Nxf2 16.Ne7+ Kf7 17.Nxg6 Kxg6 18.Kxf2 and White is a rook up. 15.Kxd2 Bg4 16.f3 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Qxg1 18.c4 Be1+ 19.Kd1 19.Kc2 d3+ wins the queen. 19…Ba5+ wins it anyway. 0–1.

White: M. Clancy (175). Black: K. Goater (191).

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.a3 Ne7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 a6 7.Bd3 d6 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.0–0 g5 10.Bg3 Bg7 11.Bc4 Ng6 12.Re1 g4 13.Nd2 h5 threatening 15…h4 winning the bishop. 14.f4 giving the bishop a flight square at the cost of his d-pawn. 14…Bxd4+ 15.Kf1 h4 16.Qxg4 White might have tried 16.Bf2 Bxf2 17.Kxf2 g3+ 18.Kg1 Nxf4 but things are little better. 19.Qg4 gxh2+ 20.Kxh2 Ng6 21.Nf3 h3 22.Qg3 (22.gxh3 Nde5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Qg7 Qh4). 16…hxg3 17.Qxg3 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qf6 0–1 White is a piece down and facing a strong attack.

In last week’s position, Adams won by playing 1…QxR+! 2.RxQ NxB 3.RxR+ RxR and White cannot both save his queen and avoid mate on e1.

Magnus Carlsen won the recent Candidates’ Tournament for the right to challenge for the World Champion, Vishy Anand, a match that will take place later this year. Here is a game he lost when still a child prodigy, aged 13. How did White end the game at a stroke?

White to play and win.