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Archive for August, 2013

Paington Approaches (31.08.13)

The Paignton Congress starts tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Livermead House Hotel, Torquay, TQ2 6QJ. Currently, the top seeds in the Premier are this year’s and last year’s West of England Champions, Dominic Mackle and Keith Arkell, together with Steve Berry, while Devon schoolboys John Fraser and Theo Slade will be making their first appearance in that section, and it will be interesting to see how they fare at this level. Their grades are almost level (162/3), but both are on a steep upward curve.

They played this game at the West of England Congress last Easter.

White: T. Slade. Black: J. Fraser. Trompovsky Opening [D03].

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 The signature move of this opening, named after Octavio Trompovsky, a one-time Brazilian Champion. It helps White avoid many of Black’s most popular and analysed replies to 1.d4. 2…e6 3.e4! is the move that makes 2…e6 generally unpopular. 3.Nf3 Be7 4.e3 d5 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nbd7 7.Nbd2 h6 8.Bh4 0–0 9.0–0 a6 10.Qe2 c4 11.Bc2 b5 12.Ne5 Bb7 12…Nxe5 would seem to be preferable in view of White’s next move. 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.f4. 13.f4 Sealing control of e5. 13…Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.g4 Rfd8 17.Qg2 threatening to win the e4 pawn. 17…f5 18.gxf5 exf5 19.b3 Now seeking to find space on the queenside, where the ultimate breakthrough will be made. 19…Rac8 20.bxc4 bxc4 opening the b-file. 21.Rab1 Bd5 22.Ba4 threatening to win the exchange. 22…Nf6 23.Rb6 Rd6 24.Rfb1 Ba8 25.Qg6 Correctly committing everything to the attack. 25…Qc7 26.Rxd6 Qxd6 The end comes surprisingly quickly. 27.Bd7 Neither of Black’s pieces can take the invading bishop 27…Rb8 28.Be6+ 1–0. If 28…Qxe6 29.Rxb8+ and Black will lose all his pieces.

Taunton resident, Michael Adams, is enjoying a purple patch at the moment, having had excellent results recently, culminating with 1st place ahead of a strong field at Dortmund earlier this month. Currently, he’s involved in the FIDE World Cup in Tromsǿ, Norway, in which 128 players are playing on a knock-out basis, until just 2 will be left to contest the final, both of whom will qualify for the Candidates stage of the World Championship cycle 2012-2014.

In last week’s position, Black may have had his reasons for playing 1…h5, but it merely trapped his own king, allowing 2.Ng6 mate.

Alekhine once quipped “Nobody ever won by resigning”. In this game Black resigned, assuming he was about to lose his triple-attacked bishop. Was he being over-pessimistic?

Should Black resign or play on?

British Chess Championships (10.08.2013.)

The British Championships at Torquay finished last night, and the prizegiving will be held this morning. At the time of going to press, it looked very much as if David Howell was going to reclaim the title he first won in 2009 when the event was last held at the Riviera Centre. With 2 rounds still to play, he stands on 8 points, one point clear of his nearest rival.

One local success was John Gorodi of Newton Abbot winning the British U-150 title. He is 87 and one evening he crashed his car on the way home, but discharged himself from hospital the following morning in order to play his penultimate game, and finished win/win to clinch the title.

Also, Giles Body of Lympstone won a difficult problem-solving competition.

The response to this 100th Championship has been tremendous; the previous record of 1,009 at Edinburgh in 2003, was totally smashed with 1,200 entries in all.

This bright game came from Rd. 7 of the Championship. Neil Carr had won the Game of the Day in the previous round, and then came up with this offering.

White: J. Reid (2151). Black: N. L. Carr (2290).

King’s Indian Defence  [E90]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0–0 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 Better is to continue developing with 10.0–0.  10…f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 fxe4 13.Nxe4 If 13.Bxh3 then Bxh3 prevents castling for a while. 13…Bf5 14.Ng4 h5 15.Nh6+ Bxh6 16.Bxh6 rather than move his rook with 16…Rf7 he plays 16…Bxe4 hitting both f2 and the bishop on g2 17.f3 Black is not backing down. 17…Bxf3 18.Bxf3 e4 19.Bg2 Now the threat that has been veiled for several moves can be played. 19…Nf2 forking queen and rook. 20.Qd4 A counter-threat of mate on g7. 20…Nd3+ preventing castling. 21.Kd2 Rf2+ 22.Ke3 Qf7 both covering the mate on g2 and adding to the pressure down the f-file – attack and defence in one move. 23.Raf1 Nd7 24.Bxe4 If 24.Rxf2?? Qxf2+. 24…N7c5 25.b4 Re8 with a threat of mate that White doesn’t spot. 26.bxc5?? Qf3# the bishop is pinned. 0–1

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Nc6+ Ka6 2.Qa5 mate.

One of the special events at the British Championships is a problem-solving competition, where 10 positions are posted in shop windows around the town. They are relatively easy and meant to be solvable by everyone.

This is one of the ten. White is a pawn down, but can win if he plays the right move. What is that?

White to play and win.

British Chess Championships (03.08.2013.)

The 100th British Championships at Torquay reach the half-way stage this afternoon. In the main tournament there is a record 106 players of all ages and depths of experience, but by this stage it is the Grandmasters and International Masters who are gathering together to form a leading group. For each of the 11 rounds there is a Game of the Day award, determined by Andrew Martin, for which there is a small prize, always welcomed by cash-strapped chess professionals. In Rd. 1 it went to the defending champion, Gawain Jones for this sparkling win.

 White: G. Jones (2643). Black: J. Reid (2151).

Sicilian Defence.

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bd3 g6 5.dxc5 dxc5 6.e5 Nh5 7.h3 Nc6 8.Nf3 Qc7 9.0–0 Bd7 It’s suicide to try and win the e-pawn viz. 9…Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Qxd7# 10.Qe2 h6 11.e6 Bxe6 12.Bxg6 Ng7 If 12…fxg6 13.Qxe6 threatening a powerful check on g6. 13.Be4 0–0–0 Now White must attack the enemy king a.s.a.p.  14.Na3 Bd5 15.Nb5 Qb6 16.Bxd5 Rxd5 17.c4 Both attacking and defending – the best kind of move. 17…Rd8 18.b4 White is seeking to open lines that his pieces can utilise before Black has a chance to complete his development. 18…Ne6 19.bxc5 Qa5 If 19…Nxc5 20.Rb1 creates threats. 20.Rb1 Bg7 21.Qc2 Rd7 22.Bd2 Qa6 23.Rb3 Ncd4 24.Nfxd4 Nxd4 25.Nxd4 Bxd4 26.Rfb1 Qc6 27.Bf4 e5 28.Bg3 e4 29.Qc1 e3 30.Rxe3 Bxc5 White’s offer of the exchange is declined. It could have gone thus: 30…Bxe3 31.Qxe3 Rg8 32.Qf4 threatening mate on b8. 31.Rf3 Qg6 32.Rb5 b6 33.Rxc5+! bxc5 34.Qb2 1–0 White is the exchange down, but, thanks to the long open lines and diagonals he has played for, he is threatening mate on b8 and the rook on h8.

Most of the top games can be followed live each day on the event website www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk which also contains all results and many downloadable games from completed rounds. Also, there is a front page link to keverelchess,com which covers other aspects of the fortnight, including many of the special events, such as the Bullet Chess Challenge, the 9 player simultaneous and the Chess on the Big Wheel.

Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Qb4! threatening 2.Qd4 and Black’s 7 tries to avoid it merely allow other mates.

This one should be a little easier, although White is in danger of losing his knight. How should he respond?

White to pllay & mate in 2

When Paignton Moved to Torquay (24.08.13.)

Following close on the 100th British Championship comes the 63rd  Paignton Congress which starts a week tomorrow. It will be a bit different this year as for the first time it’s not being held in Oldway Mansion, nor even in Paignton as it’s moving to the Livermead House Hotel, not far from Torquay’s Riviera Centre. This is because Oldway is currently being redeveloped by the Akkeron Group. Although this bonanza of chess is a feast for locals, the proximity of the two events is bound to affect the inclination of players from further afield to make the long trip twice in a month. So it seems likely that in spite of the usual late influx, entries may be down on a typical year. Enquiries about late enquiries should go to Linda Crickmore on 01752 768206 or plymouthchess@btinternet.com.

Here is a game from the Paignton Premier of 1957. Bonham was blind and would sit fingering his special board before announcing his move, and checking his clock with its markers outside the glass face. He was awarded a Grandmaster title in 1972.

White: F. Kitto. Black: R. Bonham.

Sicilian Defence – Margate Variation  [B62]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.0–0 Qa5 Black is presumably eyeing up the undefended bishop on g5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Qf3 Qe5 12.Rad1 Rb8 13.Rfe1 Be7 Black resists the temptation of the b2 pawn, but White quickly withdraws the offer anyway. If 13…Rxb2 14.Qd3 Be7 15.Qa6 c5 16.Nde2 c4 17.Rb1 Rxb1 18.Rxb1 Qc5 19.Rb7 Bc8 20.Qa4+ Kf8 21.Rxa7. 14.b3 c5 15.Nde2 Bc6 16.Qe3 Qg5 17.f4 Qg7 18.Ng3 h5 Black decides to keep his king in the centre and go for an all-out kingside attack. 19.f5 h4 20.Nge2 Rg8 21.Qf2 exf5 22.Nf4 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Kf8 24.Nxd6 threatening 25.Nf5 24…Bxd6 25.Rxd6. Now Black’s c-pawn is at risk with the threat of a discovered check to follow. 25…Bxg2. The position is lost, but least worst was probably 25…Qxg2+ 26.Nxg2 Rxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 26.Rd8+! and mates in 2 1–0

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qc2! Only the Black king can move, to either Ka3 (2.Qb3 mate) or Ka1 (2.Qa4 mate).

This position arose in a Rd. 9 game in the recent British Championship. Black has no pieces left, but his 3 pawns are all connected and can be shepherded forwarded by his king. He also knows that if he can manage to swap off 2 pawns each then White cannot win, but he must first get those pawns moving, as White will want to leave his where they are. To this end he plays …h5. Good or bad?

Black plays ...h5. How should White reply?

British Championship Prizewinners

There were a number of outstanding achievements by Westcountry players at the recent British Championships in Torquay. Grandmaster Keith Arkell of Paignton set a world record for the number of games completed in 1 hour. This was 37, all against Gary Lane, a Paigntonian by birth. Arkell also won the prize for the greatest number of points scored in all tournaments. He was greatly helped in this quest by having notched up 22 wins in the above bullet chess challenge before anyone else had started, as it was the opening event.

Alex ter Hark of Bristol became British U-120 Champion, while Torquay schoolboy, John Fraser, did well enough to gain automatic qualification for next year’s British Championship in Aberystwyth.

Another local player, Dom Mackle of Newton Abbot, won a grading prize in the main championship for his excellent score of 6/11 points. In this game from Round 5 he plays former Commonwealth and Australian Champion, Gary Lane. 

White: G. W. Lane (2401). Black: D. Mackle (2216).

Notes based on those by the winner.

French Defence – Tarrasch Var. [C04]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Be2 Be7 7.Nf1 0–0 8.Ne3 Black needs to challenge the pawn on e5 or else his q-side pieces risk becoming trapped. 8…f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0–0 Bd6 11.c4 b6 12.b3 Bb7 13.Bb2 Bf4 14.Rc1 Ne4 15.a3 Ne7 16.Rc2 Bxe3 17.fxe3 Nf5 18.Bc1 dxc4 19.Bxc4 Bd5 20.Ne5 Qg5 21.Qg4 Qxg4 Black had toyed with the speculative queen sacrifice 21…Nxe3 22.Qxg5 Bxc4 but the problem was that after 23.Re1 Nxg5 and the more or less forced sequence 24.Bxe3 Bxb3 25.Rc3 Black simply ends up a piece down. 22.Nxg4 c5 23.dxc5 bxc5 24.Rf4 Nfd6 25.Ne5 g5 26.Rxf8+ Rxf8 27.Bb2 Bxc4 28.Nxc4 Nf5 29.g3 However, as played, his active knights and freer rook make the endgame easier to play for Black.  29…Rb8 30.Kg2 Rxb3 31.Kf3 Ned6 32.Nxd6 Nxd6 33.Be5 Nf5 34.Rxc5 Nxe3 35.Ke4 Rxa3 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Rc7+ Kg6 38.Rg7+ Kh6 39.Re7 Ng4 40.Bd4 e5 41.Bxa7 Nxh2 42.Bf2 Ng4 43.Be1 Kg6 44.Re6+ Kh5 45.Bb4 Rxg3 46.Ra6 Re3+ 47.Kf5 Rf3+ 0–1. If 48.Ke6 Rf6+ wins the rook or 48.Ke4 Rf4+ wins the bishop.

In last week’s position, White won by 1.h6 g7xh6 He must take or be taken, then 2.f6 and White queens in 2.

This 2-mover was one of 6 used in an evening problem-solving competition at the British Championships in Torquay, won by Giles Body of Lympstone.

pieces risk becoming trapped. 8…f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0–0 Bd6 11.c4 b6 12.b3 Bb7 13.Bb2 Bf4 14.Rc1 Ne4 15.a3 Ne7 16.Rc2 Bxe3 17.fxe3 Nf5 18.Bc1 dxc4 19.Bxc4 Bd5 20.Ne5 Qg5 21.Qg4 Qxg4 Black had toyed with the speculative queen sacrifice 21…Nxe3 22.Qxg5 Bxc4 but the problem was that after 23.Re1 Nxg5 and the more or less forced sequence 24.Bxe3 Bxb3 25.Rc3 Black simply ends up a piece down. 22.Nxg4 c5 23.dxc5 bxc5 24.Rf4 Nfd6 25.Ne5 g5 26.Rxf8+ Rxf8 27.Bb2 Bxc4 28.Nxc4 Nf5 29.g3 However, as played, his active knights and freer rook make the endgame easier to play for Black.  29…Rb8 30.Kg2 Rxb3 31.Kf3 Ned6 32.Nxd6 Nxd6 33.Be5 Nf5 34.Rxc5 Nxe3 35.Ke4 Rxa3 36.Rc8+ Kf7 37.Rc7+ Kg6 38.Rg7+ Kh6 39.Re7 Ng4 40.Bd4 e5 41.Bxa7 Nxh2 42.Bf2 Ng4 43.Be1 Kg6 44.Re6+ Kh5 45.Bb4 Rxg3 46.Ra6 Re3+ 47.Kf5 Rf3+ 0–1. If 48.Ke6 Rf6+ wins the rook or 48.Ke4 Rf4+ wins the bishop.

In last week’s position, White won by 1.h6 g7xh6 He must take or be taken, then 2.f6 and White queens in 2.

This 2-mover was one of 6 used in an evening problem-solving competition at the British Championships in Torquay, won by Giles Body of Lympstone.

White to play and mate in 2

100th British – Prizegiving.

With all play finishing by the Friday evening, the prizegiving ceremony took place promptly at 09.30 the next morning.

The Chairman of the Torbay Coucil, Cllr. Julien Parrott, and the Lib. Dem. MP for Torbay, Adrian Saunders, were in the platform party and both had encouraging words for the assembled audience, and after a few words from the ECF President, Roger Edwards, they handed out the many trophies beautifully arrayed on the front table.

As is traditional, the final words came from the newly-crowned British Champion, David Howell, who had secured the prize with a round to spare. The 22 year-old’s relaxed and modest demeanour throughout the fortnight and making this closing speech, a nerve-wracking prospect for most, was all the more remarkable for the full circumstances. His father, who had taught him the game since the age of 5 and worked hard to get him to many events both at home and abroad, died three months ago. and David, who is reading philosophy and English at Cardiff University, was allowed to defer his 2nd Year exams until the middle of August. This meant that while others were preparing like mad for their next opponent, David was having to prepare like mad for his exams, finishing assignments and revising. However, he did not let this side-track him, as he was determined to win for his father’s sake. The remarkable victory was dedicated to him.

David with proud Mum & sister.

Granny & Uncle wanted to be included - and why not - this one's for the family!

Sarah Hegarty was declared Ladies' Champion, seen here with all their glittering prizes.

If the main trophies seen here look especially sparkling, that’s because they are. Over recent years they have looked increasingly fragile and time-worn, but they have had a fundamental make-over; polishing, fixing bits from dropping off etc., with the result that’s all too plain to see.

Sara Hegarty, 1999 Girls' U-10 Champion, finally gets to the top of the tree.

Akshaya Kalaiyala tied with Sarah for the British Ladies Championship but missed the trophy on tie-break. However, her time will surely come.

Multiple prizewinner Akshaya Kalaiyala; U-12 Champion / U-18 Girls' Champion & English Womens' Champion (jt)

Mark Hebden; Grand Prix winners and 2nd= in the Championship.

4th= were (l-r) Lalic (checking the cheque is for the right amount - £250); Arkell, Wells, Zhou & Gormally.

Yang-fan Zhou - British U-21 Champion.

1st in the Major Open, Matthew Dignam recieves his prize/s.

Matthew Dignam with the Dundee Trophy and a bound copy of the 2012 BCM.

Stewart Reuben with the Boxall Salver for services to the Congress.

Joint winners of the Seniors' Championship; Paul Timson, Graham Chesters, David Friedgood & Roger Emerson.

Seniors' Ladies Champions (jt.) Dinah Norman & Gillian Moore, with a small piece of history - an actual trophy (the Gibraltar Cup).

100th British – 11th & Final Day.

The top end of the Championship Rd. 11 draw looks like this.

  White       Black  
1 Howell (9) ½  ½  Jones (7½)
2 Wells (7)  ½  ½ Hebden (7½)
3 Gordon (7)  1 Meszaros (7)
4 Zhou (7)  ½  ½ Gormally (7)
5 Lalic (7)  ½  ½ Arkell (7)
6 Palliser (6½)  ½  ½ Flear (7)

The afternoon started with the presentation of the Rd. 10 Game of the Day to GM Glenn Flear.

l-r: Glenn Flear; Lara Barnes & John Edwards.

So, Mr. Jones - we meet at last!

Much interest shown in the start on Bd. 1

Wells v Hebden

Gordon v Meszaros.

Zhou v Gormally.

Lalic v Arkell

Sarah Hegarty - Ladies Champion candidate.

There was bound to be an element of anti-climax at the start of the round, knowing that the big prize had already been decided, but this didn’t prevent a large crowd of spectators and photographers gathering around the top board. In fact, if Jones had been able to spring a surprise, it would undoubtedly have take a little of the shine off Howell’s prize, so there was no sign that he was in danger of resting on his laurels. The others, too, were fighting amongst themselves for a place on the prizelist. In spite of the fact there were draws a-plenty, they were mostly hard-fought – only Lalic and Arkell settled for a quick draw.

The fact is that Howell likes Torquay. He won there in 2009, and nowhere else. When I first did the publicity job, at Torquay in 1997, I was asked by the local TV company to obtain the oldest player in the building to act out a short encounter with the youngest. I located an old gent, while a colleague, Victor Cross, brought along a 5 year old boy, who quickly outplayed his vastly senior opponent while the camera rolled. The boy was called David – David Howell.

100th British – Day 10

Junior Prizewinners:

Here are some pleased-looking winners at their presentation last week.

Srinidhi Dwaraknathan: British Girls' U-8 Champion.

Chris Tombolis: British U-8 Champion (Joint)

Haolin Zhao; British U-8 Champion (Joint).

William Golding; British U-8 Champion (Joint).

Ranesh Ratnesan: British U-8 Champion (Joint)

Start of Rd. 10:

Winner of the Rd. 9 Game of the Day, Jonathan Hawkins gets his prize from Dave Clayton. Paul Talbot (r) approves.

Ghasi - Howell

Hebden - Zhou

Palliser - Jones

Arkell - Gordon

Meszaros - Lalic

Crowds watching the end of the Howell and Hebden games.

These games ended with the following results:-

  White       Black  
1 Ghasi (6½) 0 1 Howell (8)
2 Hebden (7) ½ ½ Zhou (6½)
3 Palliser (6½) 0 1 Jones (6½)
4 Arkell (6½) ½ ½ Gordon (6½)
5 Meszaros (6½) ½ ½ Lalic (6½)
6 Flear (6) 1 0 Hawkins (6)
7 Gomally (6) 1 0 Tambini (6)
8 Fernandez (6) 0 1 Wells (6)

 

Pos. Standings Tot
1st Howell 9
2nd= Jones
  Hebden
4th= Arkell 7
  Gordon 7
  Meszaros 7
  Lalic 7
  Flear 7
  Gormally 7
  Wells 7

All this means that David Howell has won the British Championship with a round to spare. In the final round the two top seeds meetat last, but it is too late for Jones to do anything about it. On the other hand, there should be quite a struggle among the other 7-pointers for a share of the prizemoney.

Now she knows there's a new trophy for the Senior Ladies, a cheeky smile from Dinah Norman suggests she might have a trick or two up her sleeve.

100th British – Rd. 9

Extra Commemorations:

The Essex ckub, Wanstead & Woodford, have extra reasons to be in a commemorative mood, for not only is it the 100th British Championship, but it is also their Club’s 70th anniversary and several of their members played in the Essex U-160 team.

To this end they had special T-shirts printed and are wearing them around the Centre. Here they are – front and back

"British" logos on the front: l-r: Peter Nickels; Devdoot Barman; Kevin Sweeny; Phillip Staniland; Mark "Grace" Murrell & Mike Walden.

..... and Wanstead logos on the back.

Blitz Pairs Championship:

Last evening the special event to be held was a blitz pairs competition. 15 teams of 2 entered, the team members alternating the move but not consulting, and having 15 minutes for all moves.

In 1st place were Oops! consisting of Steven Jones & Robert Thompson (l). 2nd were Disaster Squad consisting of Andrew Horton (in yellow) & Paul Talbot. The four framed by Alex Holowczak (l) & Stewart Reuben.

3rd ere Chocolate Tournament comprising Adam C Taylor & Akito Ogama. 4th were the Wild Hackers comprising Jamie Horton (in red) & Phil Olbison.

Both pictures courtesy of Chris Kreuzer of the Richmond Reivers team 

Ladies Seniors’ Championship Cup:

Just a few minutes ago, (6.00 p.m.) it was agreed that an offer to create a new category and to donate a trophy for it, should be accepted. This will be for a Ladies’ Seniors’ Championship, and a trophy will be donated by the Gibraltar Tourist Office, and will be known as the Gibraltar Cup. Mrs. Whatley will expedite matters with such speed that the cup will be available, fully engraved, for presentation on Saturday morning.  The Federation is grateful to her and the GTO for their generosity.

It all started at the Grand Dinner on Saturday evening, when Mrs Whatley and her immediate neighbour at the table, former British Ladies Champion, Dinah Norman, were talking about the number of trophies available to all the junior girls, and the lack of them for older ladies. She was shocked when Dinah told her there was no prize at all for the best perfomance by a lady player in the Seniors’ Championship. Next morning she got straight on the phone to a Gibraltarian Government Minister and asked whether they could donate a special cup. As they were already sponsoring her son, Stephen Whatley, to play throughout the whole fortnight, the cost of a cup would be no problem.    And so, within a matter of hours, the whole thing was agreed.

This move can only serve to increase further the interest in Seniors chess, which is already apparent in the form of two new sections for seniors and the total entry of 108.

Start of Rd. 9

At the 2.30 start time, there was not a single player present at the top 5 boards, and it took 15 minutes ’till the last one arrived. Under FIDE rules they would have been defaulted, but we tend to take a more relaxed view on these things.

Howell v Gormally.

Lalic v Hebdon

Jones v Ghasi

Gordon v Palliser

Bd. 5: Meszaros v Williams

Chapman v Hegarty - both norm-seekers.

Newton Abbot clubmates paired together; Steve Homer & Robert Thompson

 

By the end of the round, David Howell had pulled even further ahead of the field, after his opponent, Gormally, walked into a mate, while the other 6-pointers all drew. The top boards finished as follows:-

Bd White       Black  
1 Howell (7) 1 0 Gormally (6)
2 Lalic (6) ½ ½ Hebden (6½)
3 Jones (6) ½ ½ Ghasi (6)
4 Gordon (6) ½ ½ Palliser (6)
5 Meszaros (5½) 1 0 Williams (5½)
6 Wells (5½) ½ ½ Flear (5½)
7 Zhou (5½) 1 0 Carr (5½)
8 Arkell (5½) 1 0 Mackle (5)

100th British – Rd. 8

Old entry records smashed!

Now well into the 2nd week and there will not be many last minute  entries coming in, so it’s a good moment to take stock of the overall response to this 100th Championship.

This is the 4th time since 1997 that Torquay’s Riviera Centre has been the venue, and in the past this has almost guaranteed a total entry of about 1,000, although the record is held by Edinburgh 2003 at 1,009 entries. Last year there were 854 at N.Shields and in 2011 there were 951 at Sheffield. However, these numbers pale before this year’s total of 1,200 – a new record that will surely stand for decades to come.

Looking at the Seniors’ entries alone, their total of 108 for the 3 sections is as high as the total entry for some of the early years – pre-WW1

No Play-off!

It has always been the rule that there can only be one name on the Championship trophy. In recent years, where this has been necessary, it has been held immediately after the prizegiving is over. Throughout the final round, organisers offer up silent prayers that there will not be any play-off to hold up their getaway, but if there has to be one, please let it be only between two players, as three or four would take up most of the day.

Right from the start, the tie between Napier and Atkins was settled by a 4 game play-off …. the following year! The only exception to the one-winner rule was at Nottingham 1954 when Barden and Alan Phillips could not be separated after 10 play-off games, so it was left at 5-5 and they shared the title.

This year, however, for the first time, there is no provision for a play-off, raising  the possibility of there being 2 or 3 champions. How will this affect the top players’ inclination to offer or accept a draw in the last round when it could guarantee at least a share in the title, as opposed to a place in a play-off? Time will tell.

Rd. 8 starts:

The afternoon session started with a total of 346 players sat at their boards.

Many-times opponents Hebden & Arkell share a joke before the start.

Gawain Jones joins in.

Did someone call my name? Yes - it's the Game of the Day anouncement (Wells v Arkell)

Williams v Howell.

A handshake starts it.

Ghasi v Zhou

Mackle v Jones

Top boards in the Seniors: Colin Davison vs Ken Norman & Terry Stuttard vs David Friedmann.

 

At the end of the day, there was evidence of great commitment to the cause with only a single draw among all those with 5 points or more. This is how they finished:

Bd White     Black  
1 Williams 0-1 Howell 6
2 Hebden 1-0 Arkell
3 Ghasi ½-½ Zhou 5
4 Mackle 5 0-1 Jones 5
5 Kosten 5 0-1 Gordon 5
6 Gormally 5 1-0 Ward 5
7 Fernandez 5 0-1 Lalic 5
8 Longson 0-1 Palliser 5

 

1st Howell 7
2nd Hebden
3rd= Ghasi 6
  Jones 6
  Gordon 6
  Gormally 6
  Lalic 6
  Palliser 6