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British Championships on the horizon (29.06.2013.)

The British Championships start in Torquay 4 weeks tomorrow, with an unprecedented number of Devon players in the top section. At the time of going to press, of the 48 entrants 9 are either resident in, or born in the county. These are: Keith Arkell and Gary Lane (both Paignton); Alan Brusey, Dom Mackle, Steve Homer & Robert Thompson (all Newton Abbot); Jack Rudd (Bideford) and John Stephens (Exmouth). Steve Dilleigh is Plymouth-born but has been a Bristol resident for many years, as is Dave Collier, Tyson Mordue and Simon Greely, all playing in the top section.

However, the chances are that Gawain Jones will retain his title. This won last year’s Best Game prize.

White: G. Jones (2655).           Black: J. Hawkins (2499).

Nimzo-Indian Defence – Reshevsky Variation [E46].

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0–0 5.Nge2 Reshevsky’s plan to counter Black’s dangerous opening line. 5…d5 6.a3 Be7 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nf4 c6 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Bd6 11.f3 Qc7 12.Qd2 This looks odd as it blocks in his own bishop, but he is actually preparing to play e4 without moving his knight on f4. 12…Bxf4 13.exf4 b6 14.b4 White wishes to preserve his bishop pair, and fears …Ba6. 14…Ba6 15.b5 cxb5 16.Nxb5 Qd7 17.a4 Nc6 18.Rb1 Na5 19.f5 Nc4 20.Qf2 h6 21.g4 Committing to a pawn storm. 21…Nh7 22.Bf4 Na3 23.Rb3 Nc4 24.h4 Rac8 25.g5 h5 26.Kh2 Opening up the g-file. There is no hurry to press the attack as Black has no counter-play. 26…Rc6 27.f6 g6 28.Rbb1 Nf8 29.Rfe1 Rxe1 30.Rxe1 Ne6 31.Bg3 Nd6 32.Re5 Very strong was 32.Bxd6! after which there follows 32…Bxb5 33.axb5 Qxd6+ 34.Qg3 Qxg3+ 35.Kxg3 Rc3 36.Bxg6 and Black can’t retake with 36…Nxd4 because of 37.Re8#. 32…Nc4 33.Re2 Nd6 34.Re5 Nc4 35.Re2 Nd6 36.Qe1 Nf5 37.Bxf5 gxf5 38.Qb1 Rc4 39.Qxf5 Rxa4 40.g6 Bxb5 41.Qxh5 fxg6 42.Qxg6+ Kf8 43.Bf4! Nxf4 Black is now 2 pieces up with a check on h3 threatened, but it’s White’s move. If 43…Bxe2 44.Bh6+ Ng7 45.Bxg7+ Kg8 46.Bh6+ Kh8 47.f7 Qc7+ 48.f4. 44.Re8+! Black is forced to take the rook, an act that merely prevents his king’s escape route. 44…Qxe8 45.Qg7# 1–0

In last week’s position, White won a pawn after 1.Bxh7+ Kxh7 2.Qd3+ winning one of Black’s bishops, a net gain of one pawn – not much, but enough to lead to a win.

This position was reached by Cornishman Andrew Greet in a 2008 rapidplay game. He actually played 1.g3? which lost to 1…Qc2. Afterwards, he found the winning move he should have played. Can you spot something better than 1.g3?

Find a winning combination for White.

John Doidge (1935 – 2013)


John Edward Doidge 1935 – 2013:

John Doidge passed away recently at the age of 78, his funeral service being held at Torquay on 26th June.

He was born in Tavistock, the 3rd son of Edith and Charles Doidge, who themselves had been born in the town. The older brother died in infancy and John was brought up with his brother Bill. A fourth boy, David, appeared nine years later, about nine months after a family holiday to Falmouth.

John went to Tavistock Grammar School, where he won school colours at football, hockey, athletics, cricket (at which he was vice captain) and becoming school cross-country champion.

On leaving school he joined the South West Electricity Board as a junior clerk, and on subsequently being called up to do National Service he opted for the R.A.F. where he greatly enjoyed the opportunities this offered. At the end of the 2 years he was offered a commission by the R.A.F. but his parents could not afford the expenses involved, so he had to return to his job at SWEB.

At this time he became an expert at English country dancing and was recognised as a teacher of the art by the County Council.

At the age of 21, he was appointed Assistant Manager of a Tavistock firm of coal merchants. The manager was a keen chess player and introduced John to the game and the town club that met at Perraton’s Café in The Square. The members included an extraordinary trio of elderly siblings originally from the West Midlands, George Hadgkiss and his two spinster sisters, all of whom were strong players and lived together. Tavistock teams at this time often consisted of the three Hadgkisses, John and any one other. By 1960, John had succeeded D. H. Treloar, as club secretary.

In 1966 he left the coal business and returned to the Tavistock branch of SWEB, staying with them until his retirement in 1990. He had married for the first time in 1962 and a son, Stephen, was born the following year.

Alongside his chess, he continued to play cricket and was at times secretary, treasurer and chairman of the Whitchurch Wayfarers club, situated in the grounds of Whitchurch House, near Tavistock, and was secretary of the Tavistock Cricket Club from 1972 – 76. During this period he was largely responsible for getting the Gloucestershire team to play at the club. In one particular match, he was picked to play against a representative XI and, when the legendary Ken Barrington came in to bat, (131 innings for England at an average nearly 60), John dropped him first ball. He consoled himself with the knowledge that the crowd had come to see Barrington bat, not hole out in the deep.

John was made Manager of the Tavistock branch of SWEB and, such was the esteem in which he was held by the community, was invited to apply to become a magistrate. He was not selected but at the same time he was invited to join the Board of Visitors at Dartmoor Prison. This was an independent body reporting directly to the Home Secretary, and with a magisterial function within the prison. The prison had an almost legendary status in the national consciousness in general and the criminal fraternity in particular, although at this time it had been downgraded to a Category B institution, one level down from the very hardest regime. During his 13 years in this role, he became very involved not only in the magisterial side of the job, but also the parole side and other committees set up by the Home Office. In 1990 he was invited by Kenneth Baker, the then Home Secretary, to become Chairman of the Board, a position he held until he retired in 1993.

During his first week as Chairman, he was phoned by the prison governor to say prisoners were staging a sit-in in the exercise yard. John came in and prepared a report for the Home Office on how it was being dealt with. There is no suggestion that the protests were anything to do with John’s appointment, but 8 weeks later a full scale riot broke out, and John and his colleagues spent many weeks monitoring the situation and making recommendations to the Government. Eventually, he was called to give evidence to the Lord Justice Wolfe Inquiry that was looking into the prison unrest of the time, including those in Manchester Strangeways.

In 1984 his marriage broke up after 25 years, a period of great sadness, brought to a sudden end the following year when he met Elizabeth whom he married in 1986. Incidentally, Elizabeth was a twin, one of 5 sets of twins all on the roll at the small Kingsteignton Primary School, a fact that excited a certain amount of interest in the national press at the time. Another set was the identical Les and John Nicks, well-known to the writer.

After this marriage he was offered the managership at Paignton SWEB. In 1990 they made him a retirement offer he couldn’t refuse, as it enabled him to take on the onerous Dartmoor job. Later in the1990s he started to get heart problems, with a heart attack in 1997 and another in 1999. Even with a pacemaker fitted in 2000 he had to take it easy.

However, he couldn’t stay inactive for long and in 2005 the Newton Abbot Chess Club was revived after many years and his former interest was rekindled. In no time at all he was elected the Club’s Competition Secretary and Secretary of the Torbay League. He wrote a monthly chess column for the Torbay Herald, and when the British Championships came to Torquay in 2009, he cooperated with the events Publicity Officer in filing a daily article for the paper. In 2011 he became Competition Secretary of the Devon County Chess Association.

At this time he found he had developed cancer of the oesophagus, untreatable because of his other conditions, an illness bravely borne.

All his chess activities were characterised by his conscientiousness in wanting to do a thoroughly good job of the task in hand, and I suspect his many other roles were done to exactly the same level.

John Doidge (l) receiving a trophy for his club at the Devon AGM 2010

The Bremridge Cup – a brief history.

Devon’s premier team tournament, the Bremridge Cup was inaugurated in 1902, with a cup donated by the newly-created DCCA’s then secretary, the Rev. Henry Bremridge, and has been competed for ever since. 

For many decades the tournament was a battle between Plymouth and Exeter. This was not surprising as Plymouth had by far the largest population base from which to draw players (c. ¼ million) and the club was led from the front by the charismatic Ron Bruce. This was off-set by Exeter having the University and a number of establishments of higher education, all providing a shifting population of young talents passing through. 

From time to time, other clubs were allowed their moment in the sun, as, for example, when a young Gary Lane emerged in Paignton, a star collecting around him a small constellation of aspirants. The University were immensely strong in the ‘60s and ‘70s, while Barnstaple once had enough talents to form a strong team of 6, winning in 1991 and 1992. 

But by the 1990s things were waning. Ron and Rowena Bruce and their generation had passed away or moved on, and the Plymouth Club had no appetite at all for weekend chess. Exeter, too, failed to identify a strong leader who could forge the city’s talents into a regularly competitive team. The University club folded altogether as students were left more and more to their own devices. Gary Lane grew up, moved on, and the Paignton Club folded. Teignmouth, an ever-present club in the tournament seized their chance, claiming their only win in 2001. 

While everyone was delighted at this well-deserved success, the DCCA could see that the tournament was on the slide. In the centenary 2001-02 season, only two clubs had entered the Bremridge Cup and there were no clubs at all in the Mamhead Cup (Div. 2). In order to try and address this alarming decline, the Association agreed that clubs could become more pro-active in their search for strong players willing to commit their Saturday afternoons. 

In this recruitment drive Exmouth were first off the mark. Ken Derrick, a 200 grade player formerly from Bristol, was discovered living quietly in an East Devon village, hitherto unknown to mainstream Devon chess. Likewise with Mike Cox, who lived nearby. Trefor Thynne, a former Exmouth Champion who had been inactive in recent years was also invited to join the party. This surge attracted Ivor Annetts and Brian Hewson from the Tiverton area where there was no top level chess at that time. 

In no time at all, Exmouth, who had only very rarely entered the Bremridge in its 100 years, became Devon champions 6 times in the 8 years from 2002, seemingly before other clubs had twigged what the secret was. This was only the short-term effect; Trefor Thynne’s interest was thereby re-awakened, and he went on to form the Newton Abbot Club, while Annetts and Hewson started doing the same for Tiverton as Exmouth had done. The result being 3 strong teams where none had existed before. 

This renaissance came to head this season with 5 teams entering the 1st division. Exeter had entered early, but when the familiar problem arose of needing a captain to organise things, and it looked as if they would have to withdraw, the day was saved by Dave Regis who stepped in after Christmas.

So, with at least 4 teams at full strength, it was clear that every team was capable of beating the other 4. And so it proved. 

When the day of the final match arrived (Tiverton vs Exmouth), there were still three possible outcomes. (a) If Tiverton won 6-0 they would win the cup; (b) If Exmouth won or only drew 3-3, they would win the cup and if Tiverton won by 3½-2½ or slightly better, Newton Abbot would win. Trefor Thynne, as Newton Abbot captain and a (very) interested party came along to witness fair play and to present the Cup to either club. 

Things had not gone well for the Exmouth Club, whose absentees were strong and plentiful enough to form a Bremridge team on their own, whereas Brian Hewson drove for 4 hours from Kent to arrive minutes before kick-off time, mentally and physically exhausted but determined not to miss the occasion. Also, the sounds of music and merriment, wafting upstairs from the bar below throughout, seemed to affect the visitors more than their opponents, and when Tiverton got to 3½-1½ with a game to go, it was clear neither was going to win the cup, and Trefor Thynne took it back with him, to hold for a 4th successive year. After he left, Underwood scored a fine endgame win to make the final score a tantalising half point short of Exmouth’s required draw.

  Bremridge Cup       15.06.2013.  
Bd Tiverton Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 B. Edgell 199 1 0 J. K. F. Stephens 192
2 D. Littlejohns 180 ½ ½ A. Archer-Lock 192
3 M. Richardt 177 0 1 Dr. J. W. R. Underwood 171
4 B. W. R. Hewson 174 0 1 M. Shaw 166
5 S. Bartlett 164 1 0 B. G. E. Gosling 164
6 I. S. Annetts 152 1 0 R. H. Jones 130
    1,046   1,015


  Club P W D L F A Pts
1st= Newton Abbot 4 2 1 1 15 9 5
1st= Exmouth 4 2 1 1 14 10 5
1st= Tiverton 4 2 1 1 13 11 5
1st= Exeter 4 2 1 1 13 11 5
5th Teignmouth 4 0 0 4 5 19 0


Tiverton (l-r) seated: Dave Littlejohns; Brian Hewson; Ivor Annetts; 2nd row: Ben Edgell; Mike Richardt; Simon Bartlett.

Exmouth (l-r) seated: Meyrick Shaw; John Stephens; Bob Jones; standing: Jonathan Underwood; Brian Gosling; Adrian Archer-Lock.

Littlejohns v Archer-Lock wait for the "off".

Ready to lock horns! To get into the spirit of things, Bd. 2 played the Spanish Opening.

Shaw looks like he fancies his chances as his opponent's so tired.

Ron Powis 1926 – 2013 (22.06.2013.)

The death was announced this week of Ron Powis of Stroud, aged 87, one of the great servants of Westcountry chess over the past 60 years. He twice won the Gloucestershire Championship and had played for his county every year for decades but was chiefly remembered for his tireless work as an organiser in many different capacities. He was chess columnist of the Gloucester Citizen for 35 years up to 1990 and acted as Arbiter at many westcountry congresses. His best win was against the great C. H. O’D Alexander, a game I hope to have shortly.

This was the last round game that clinched the West of England Championship for the winner at Easter. The analysis by John Stephens is taken from the event bulletin (£6 post free), available from me at e-mail –

White: Dominic Mackle (214). Black: Andrew Smith (180).

Benoni Defence  [A61]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nf3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bf4 Be7 A strange square for the bishop given that g6 has been played. Black may have been worried about his d6 pawn; however, there are a few ways to indirectly defend d6. 7…a6 8.a4 Bg7 9.e4 Bg4 10.Be2 0–0 11.0–0 Re8 12.Nd2 Bxe2 13.Qxe2 Nh5 14.Be3 Nd7 15.a5 Bd4 is considered the main line. 8.h3 0–0 9.e4 Qa5 10.Qd2 a6 11.Bd3 b5 12.0–0 b4 Black risks over-extending his pawns. 13.Nd1 c4 14.Bxc4 Nxe4 It looks appealing for Black to swap his c-pawn for White’s e-pawn, but the loss of time incurred gives White a clear advantage. 15.Qe2 f5 16.Nd2 g5 17.Be3 Nxd2? Black needs to develop his queenside. e.g. 17…Nd7 18.Nxe4 fxe4 19.Bd4 Bf6 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.Ne3 is still better for White, but the game is very much alive. 18.Bxd2 Bf6 19.a3 Qd8 20.axb4. More forcing for White was 20.Bxb4 a5 21.Bc3 Bxc3 22.Nxc3 with an overwhelming position. 20…Ra7 21.Ra3 f4 22.Re1 Re7 23.Qf1 Rfe8 24.Rxe7 Qxe7 25.Bc3 Bb7 26.b5 axb5 27.Bxb5 Rc8 28.Ra7 Bxc3 29.Nxc3 A pawn up with the more active pieces, White is more than happy to exchange material. 29…Rc7 30.Qd1 Nd7 31.Qd4 Qe1+ 32.Kh2 Ne5 1–0. Black lost on time, but Qb6 next move would have been crushing.

The solution to Dave Howard’s problem last week was 1.Bc2! threatening 2.Re4 mate and attempts to avert this will only lead to other mates.

This position arose in a game between Bristolians Tyson Mordue (W) and Steve Dilleigh. How did Mordue win a vital pawn?

Mordue vs Dilleigh: How does White start on the road to victory?

Ron Powis (1926 – 2013)

Ron Powis of Stroud, Gloucestershire, died peacefully on 11th June, aged 87.

In 1988 he was granted the President’s Award for Services to Chess, in only its fifth year of existence of existence, alongside another two luminaries, P. E. Morrish and P. E. Gibbs. His citation is a good summary of his activities up to that time, although that was a quarter of a century ago, and several of the the records quoted there were subsequently to be greatly exceeded.

It reads thus:- “Ron Powis has served chess at local, County, Union and National level for any years. Most players will know him as a Controller and organiser of Congress chess and he is a Senior Arbiter of the Federation. Events at which he has controlled include the B.C.F. Annual Congress ten times, from 1973 to 1983; the West of England Congress eight times and organised and controlled the Cotswold Congress since 1969″ (2013 was the 1st year he had not officiated at this event)

“At Union level he has been Congress Secretary since 1983 and President of WECU in 1984 – 86, besides representing his county numerous occasions at their meetings. However, it is for the benefit of his county that Ron Powis has also used his adminstrative skill. He has been Secretary of the Gloucestershire County Chess Association since 1956 and the North Gloucestershire League Secretary since 1980. In addition, he has held various other posts on the County Executive, including President, and Correspondence Chess Secretary. He is a member and match captain of the Stroud Club and for 5 years has been President of the North Gloucestershire Primary Schools Association.

Ron Powis is also the chess correspondent for the Gloucester Citizen and has written nearly 1,2000 columns over the past 23 years.

As a player, Ron Powis has been County Champion twice and North Gloucestershire Champion nine times. and his best win was in a local league match against the late C. H. O’D Alexander. In the last 32 years he has only missed one game for his county team, a truly remakable record, which only emphasises his loyalty to his county.

Through his contribution as Arbiter and Administrator Ron Powis has enabled many to enjoy playing chess and this award is in recogntion of his efforts”.

His son, Mike, adds that he had been Secretary of the North  Gloucestershire Chess Association up to 1991, making 35 years in all. He had also arbited at many other events, such as the Stroud RapidPlay, Bristol Manor Tyres, Yeovil, Weymouth, Hereford.

1958: WECU Congress at Newquay. Ron is standing immediately in fron of the man in the back row smoking a pipe (I. T. Sifton). He was playing in the Championship, coming 9th= with 2.5 pts.


Detail of above


Boniface Memorial Tournament (15.06.2013.)

The 7th Steve Boniface Memorial Congress took place in the Holiday Inn, Bristol, at the weekend. The winners were as follows (club and grade follow each name, and all scores out of 5):

Open Section: 1st = David Buckley (Bath – 218) & Lewis Martin (Bristol Uni. – 187) 4 pts. 3rd=  and U-187 grading prize combined. Chris Beaumont (Clifton – 208); Robert Thompson (Bristol Uni. – 180); John Waterfield (Clifton – 178) & David Sully (Penarth – 189) all 3½.

Grading prizes: U-177: Raymond  Ilett (Peterborough – 167) 2½. U-165 1st=  Dominic Bennett (Clifton – 159) & Lynda Roberts (Thornbury – 159) 2½.

Major  (U-155): 1st= Harvey Atkinson (Horfield – 154); Roger Hardy (Grendel – 144) & Richard George (Cirencester – 141) all 4pts.

Grading prizes: U-147:  Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury) 3½. U-141:  Paul Gillett (Cirencester) 3½. U-131:  Peter Dimond (Bath) 2½ .

Minor (U-125): 1st Lee Bullock (London – 118) 4½. 2nd = Laurence Paynter (Bristol Cabot – 121) & Daniel Rowan (Banbury 115) both 4.

Grading prizes: U-115: Alex Ter Hark  (Clifton – 109) 3½. U-109: Shaun Walsh (Downend – 75) 3½.

This was a most entertaining and instructive game from Round 3. Last year Musson won the Bristol League’s prize for the most attacking game of the season. Playing through this, one can see why.

White: Lynda Roberts (159). Black: Adam Musson (179).

Bird’s Opening – From Gambit. [A02]

1.f4 An opening devised by H. E. Bird (1830 – 1908) who had a penchant for the unorthodox. 1…e5 A gambit popularised by the Dane, Martin From (1828-95), widely regarded as Black’s most aggressive reply. 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 Black has invested a solitary pawn to reach this position; compare Black’s open lines for rapid piece development with White’s, where nothing on the board has moved. 4.Nf3 virtually forced. If, for example, 4.Nc3 retribution would be swift. 4…Qh4+ 5.g3 Bxg3+ 6.hxg3 Qxg3 mate 4…Bg4 5.g3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Qe7 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.d4 0–0–0 9.Nb5? White must continue to develop pieces e.g. 9.0–0. 9…Bc5 10.c3 a6 11.Na3 Rhe8 12.Nc4?? The 4th move for this one piece in this razor sharp opening. 12.Nc2!? would have been better. Black is now poised to strike. 12…Bxd4! 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Rxd4 15.Qc2 Qxe2+ 16.Qxe2 Rxe2+ 17.Kf1 Rd1# 0-1 The unmoved bishop cuts off any defence.

This 2-mover is another first-time publication kindly sent in by Dave Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2.

Cotswold Congress Prizelist (08.06.2013.)

The 45th Cotswold Congress was held in Cheltenham over the bank holiday weekend. The winners were as follows (all points out of 6):

Open: 1st C. Beaumont (5). 2nd= S. Berry & H. Lamb (4½). Grading prize: J. Jenkins (4).

Major Section (U-160): 1st T. Slade (5); 2nd= L. Roberts, M. Ashworth, P. Wood & R. Weston (4½). Grading prizes: A. 1st= A. Farthing & E. Varley (3½). B. 1st= T. McLaren & M. Forknall (3).

Minor Section (U-120): 1st= S. Crockett, C. Mace, M. Schroeder, K. Hapeshi & D. Archer (4½). Grading prizes: (A). 1st= S. Rees, R. Waters, C. Smith & B. Headlong (3½). (B) 1st= S. Calderbank, N. Purry, R. Buxton & C. Vernon (2½).

This was Theo Slade’s best win, with his own notes.

White: T. Slade (157). Black: B. O’Gorman (155).

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 0–0 6.Be2 c5 7.0–0 cxd4 8.exd4 Nc6 9.Re1 Nh5! 10.c4 Nf4 11.c5? Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2 Bg4 13.Rd1 Re8? 13…e5! 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Nxd4 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 e5 16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Bxe5 17…Rxe5! doesn’t look natural but actually keeps Black’s advantage. 18.Nc3 Qa5 19.Rac1 Bxc3 In hindsight 19…d4 would have been better. The text move presents White with a small advantage. 20.Qxc3 Qxa2 21.Rxd5 Rad8? The decisive error which makes White’s task easier. 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Ra1 Rd3 This move must be tried, but unfortunately White wins after 24.Qf6! Qxb3 25.Rxa7 Qd1+ 26.Kh2 Rd8 27.Rxb7 27…Rf8 28.c6 Qd5 29.Rd7 Qb5 30.Rd8 Qb6 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Qd6+ Kg7 33.Qe5+ Kh6 34.c7 Qc6 35.Qe7 1-0

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qa5+ threatening 2.Nb3 mate.

This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2013-14 British Solving Championship. Work out White’s only move (the key) that leaves Black unable to avoid mate next move. Send the solution to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, together with a cheque or postal order for £3 made payable to the British Chess Problem Society. Please provide an e-mail address if you have one. All entries should be postmarked no later than 31st July 2013. Don’t forget to mention that you saw the position in this paper. After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution and a free copy of The Problemist. Those who got the correct solution will also receive the Postal Round, comprising 8 positions of slightly greater difficulty and variety. In due course, the best competitors from the postal round will be invited to the Final at Eton College in February.

British Solving Championship 2014 - Starter problem - a 2-mover.

E. Devon League Prizegiving & Match

The Exeter & Dist. League’s annual prizegiving was held on Tuesday 4th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the owners.

This year was marked by having all the cups available at the same time for presentation. This was due entirely to the efforts of League President, Brian Aldwin and Secretary Tim Paulden, who have invested considerable time and energy in getting all the existing trophies engraved up-to-date, plus the purchase of 2 new trophies to replace lost ones. The reduction in the number of leagues from 4 to 2, has been compensated for by having extra prizes  in the new divisions – the equivalent of grading prizes in a congress.

The first business of the evening was to present the 6 cups. Photographs below

This was followed by the now-traditional match between the league clubs situated on the coast (Exmouth, Sidmouth & Seaton) and those inland (Exeter, Exeter Juniors, Tiverton & the Met Office), nicknamed the Coast V Country match. After a couple of last minute tweaks, two 18 player teams of very similar strength were produced, and battle commenced.

The Coast went into a 9-5 at one stage, on the verge of victory, but the Country got 2.5 pts from the last 4 games to finish, to haul back 1 point of the deficit. The final scores were as follows:

Bd. Coast Grd Club Country Grd Club
1 J. K. Stephens 191 Exmouth 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 181 Exeter
2 K. J. Hurst 174 Sidmouth 1 0 Dr. T. Paulden 177 Exeter
3 Dr. D. A. Toms 161 Sidmouth 0 1 G. Body 162 Exeter
4 B. G. Gosling 154 Exmouth 1 0 J. Duckham 155 Tiverton
5 S. Martin 152 Sidmouth 0 1 I. S. Annetts 152 Tiverton
6 T. Bons 135e   ½ ½ W. Marjoram 146 Exeter
7 C. J. Scott 135 Exmouth 1 0 l. Ten Holter 100 Exeter
8 M. Belt 136 Exmouth 1 0 J. Knowles 128 Tiverton
9 R. H. Jones 128 Exmouth 0 1 E. Palmer 126 Exeter
10 A. Dowse 123 Seaton ½ ½ J. Waley 123 Exeter
11 G. Susevee 121 Sidmouth 1 0 G. J. Jenkins 118 Exeter
12 F. R. Hodge 108 Exmouth 1 0 R. Scholes 109 Exeter
13 Mrs. H. Welch 104 Seaton 0 1 R. Whittington 106 Exeter
14 S. Blake 100 Exmouth ½ ½ R. Player 100 Exeter
15 M. Haines   96 Seaton ½ ½ T. Finch   98 Exeter
16 T. Badlan   88 Exmouth ½ ½ A. Brinkley   85 Tiverton
17 G. Susevee   89 Sidmouth 1 0 J. Wheadon   83  
18 T. Murray   70   0 1 B. Aldwin 100 Exeter
  Totals 2265   10½   2249  

The games scores will shortly become avaiable on the League section of the Exeter Club website.

Unusually, a full set of trophies.

Ivor Annetts receiving the Championship trophy, the Cottew Cup; the 1st time Tiverton have ever won it.

The old 2nd Div. trophy, the Turner Cup, now used as a grading prize in Div. 1, won by Sidmouth City, captained by team captain, Kevin Hurst.

Seaton won Div. 2 (the Championship), the Polsloe Cup here collected by Hazel Welch.

British Championshipships Looming (01.06.2013.)

The arrival of June brings the British Championships that bit closer, as they return to the Westcountry next month, starting at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, on 28th July. The fact that this will be the 100th championship makes it that bit more special, and extra events have been organised to help mark the occasion, several of them quite unusual. For example, Gary Lane and Keith Arkell, past and present Paignton residents, will try to set a record for the greatest number of games played in 1 hour. The rate of moves is 1 minute per player per game, called “bullet chess”. Then 9 players will take part in an all-play-all simultaneous match, using 36 boards and there will be a prize for the player gaining the highest points total in all the tournaments he/she plays in, which, in theory, could be considerable.

Peter Chaplin of Weston-Super-Mare was Somerset’s only winner in their recent match against Lancashire.

White: P. Chaplin (187). Black: P. Almond (180).

Sicilian Defence – Close Variation [B50]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.0–0 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.d3 e6 9.Re1 Be7 10.Be3 0–0 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.g4 Bg6 13.Nh2 Rad8 14.f4 d5 15.exd5 If 15.f5 d4 16.Bf4 dxc3 17.bxc3 e5 18.Bg3. 15…exd5 16.Bf2 d4 17.Ne2 h6 18.f5 This lock-out of the bishop is a major factor in the eventual win. 18…Bh7 19.Bg3 Bd6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.Qf4 Qd7 22.Ng3 Nb4 23.Re2 Nbd5 24.Qf3 g6 25.Re5 Rfe8 26.Rae1 Rxe5 27.Rxe5 Qd6 28.Re1 Ne3 29.Nhf1 Nxc2 30.Re2 Ne3 31.Nxe3 dxe3 32.Ne4 Nxe4 33.dxe4 Qd1+ 34.Bf1 Rd2 After the next skirmish, the weakness of Black’s bishop becomes more apparent.  35.Qxe3 Rxe2 36.Qxe2 Qxe2 37.Bxe2 gxf5 38.exf5 f6 39.Kf2 Kf8 40.Bc4 Ke7. If 40…b5 41.Be6 Ke7 and Black’s bishop is blocked out of the game.  42.Kf3 Kd6 43.Ke4. 41.Ke3 h5 42.Be6 hxg4 43.hxg4 b5 44.b3 a5 45.Bd5 If 45.a4 bxa4 46.bxa4 Kd6 47.Kf4 and Black hasn’t got a positive move on the board. 45…Kd6 46.Ke4 Kc7 47.Bf7 Kd6 48.Be8 Bg8 Finally the bishop is out, but still powerless. 49.Bxb5 Bd5+ 50.Kf4 Bg2 51.Bc4 Bc6 52.g5 fxg5+ 53.Kxg5 Ke7 54.f6+ Kf8 Bishop and pawn combine to keep the Black king on the back foot.  55.Kf4 a4 56.Ke5 axb3 57.axb3 1–0 Black resigns as his last pawn must fall.

Dave Howard’s problem last week was solved by 1.Be8! after which Black has 3 moves, all answered by a rook mate viz.  1…Kb5 2.Rd5#; 1…f4 2.Rh5# and 1…b5 2.Rc2#.

This 2-mover won 1st prize in the Uzbekistan Sport Committee Tourney 1947.

White to mate in 2.