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Archive for December, 2013

Hants Beat Dorset (21.12.2013.)

Last season, the Hampshire and Dorset teams didn’t get together because of a misunderstanding over the start time. This season they got it right and Dorset fell to their opponents by 5–11. Hants names first:-  1.D. Thompson 0-1 M. Littleton. 2.B. Cooke 1-0 G. Searing. 3.S. Smith 1-0 J. Cherryson. 4.C. Priest 1-0 D. Aldwinckle. 5.Miss G. Moore 1-0 J. Balem. 6.B. Kocan ½-½ P. Brackner. 7.S. LeFevre ½-½ I. Willis. 8.J. Young ½-½ P. Errington. 9.R. Devonport ½-½ P. Bland. 10.T. Chapman ½-½ P. Jackson. 11.J. Watts 0-1 F. Fallon. 12. R. Ashman 1-0 J. Kelly. 13.A. Syed 1-0 K. Spooner. 14.K. Steele ½-½ M. Rogan. 15.P. Gething 1-0 M. Kaye. 16.S. Murphy 1-0 Mrs. M. Cox.

NB: Marian Cox had only turned up with her husband, Reg, to watch the match, but as Dorset turned up a player short, she was asked to put in a guest appearance for them.

The premier tournament of the 5th London Classic, the Super Sixteen Rapidplay Knockout was won by the American Hiraku Nakamura. The best British performance was by Michael Adams who reached the Semi-Final by beating Peter Svidler 2-0.

White: M. Adams. Black: P. Svidler.

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.a4 Be6 9.Be2 h6 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.h3 Be7 12.Nh2 0–0 13.Ng4 Qc6 14.Qd3 Rfc8 15.Rfd1 Adding pressure to the d-file. In this opening, Black usually hopes to get in …d4 thus freeing up his position. Here he fails to do so and pays the price. 15…Rab8 16.a5 Nc5 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 Allowing White to win the d-pawn and control of the d-file. 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Be7 20.Rd2 Bg5 21.Bxg5 hxg5 22.Bg4 b5 23.axb6 Rxb6 24.Nd5! The bishop is pinned. 24…Rb7 25.f3 Rcb8 26.b4 1-0. If 26…Bxd5 27.Rxd5 Ne6 28.Bxe6 fxe6 Black would have 2 sets of doubled pawns, which in a rook ending is not worth wasting energy on when there is a return game to be played soon after. Play might continue 29.Rd6 Rxb4 30.Raxa6 Rc4 31.Rxe6 g4 32.hxg4 Rxc2 33.Rxe5 Rbb2 34.Kh2 Rxg2+ 35.Kh3 and White is 2 pawns up.

The solution to last week’s world premier problem was 1.Nde6! Black’s tries are answered thus: 1…Nxc4 2.Qa8#; 1…Qxc4 2.Qd7# and either 1…Qxg5 or 1…Qxh1 are both answered by 2.Nc7#.

Anyone with more than a few spare minutes over Christmas may like to try this one by Devon’s own “Genius of the Two-Mover”, Comins Mansfield (1896 – 1984). He composed this one in 1930 as a 50th birthday present to his mentor, the American philanthropist, Alain White. It was included in a collection of 185 problems from around the world published under the title Problems By My Friends.

White to mate in 2

London Chess Classic Line-up (14.12.2013.)

The 5th London Chess Classic has been running all this week and finishes tomorrow. The main event is the ‘Super Sixteen’ Rapidplay featuring the world’s elite and the Best of British. Local interest centres on Westcountryman Michael Adams who is joined by Nigel Short, David Howell, Gawain Jones, Luke McShane, Matthew Sadler and Jonathan Rowson, while the elite consists of  Fabiano Caruana, Boris Gelfand, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, Boris Gelfand, Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar and the recently defeated World Champion Vishy Anand. His victor, Magnus Carlsen, is resting after his exertions.

Bristol’s Winter Congress starts on Friday 17th January 2014 at the Holiday Inn, with three sections catering for all levels of player. The Open for the strongest players, the Major for good club players graded under155 and the Minor for those under 125. Further details may be obtained from Graham Mill-Wilson on 0779-0167415 or e-mail tugmw@blueyonder.co.uk.

The following game from Cornwall’s recent win against Hampshire may be found on their upgraded website cornwallchess.org.uk.

White: Jeremy Menadue (Truro – 180). Black: Tim Davies (170).

 Nimzo-Indian Defence – 3 Knights Variation.

(Notes adapted from those by the winner).

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 The key moves of the Nimzo-Indian Defence, one of Black’s most dangerous replies. 4.Nf3 b6 Black switches to a Queen’s Indian system. 5.Bg5 Bb7 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 d6 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Nd2 Bxc3 10.bxc3 c5 11.f4 Qc7 12.Rc1 Rfe8 13.Qe1 h6 14.Bh4 Rac8 White decides to change his plan of an attack down the f-file to one of a more general spatial advantage. 15.e4 e5 16.fxe5 dxe5 17.d5 Qd6 18.Rf3 Nh5 The idea is to get this knight to f5 via e3. 19.Nf1 Nf4 20.Bc2 Ba6 21.Ne3 g6 Denying f5 to the knight. 22.Rb1 Rf8 23.Kh1 Kh7 24.Qd2 g5? Vacating f5 and opening up the white-square diagonal. Better is 24…f6. 25.Bg3 White is now thinking about an attack based on the moves Nf5 – BxN – Rh3, bearing down on Black’s backward h-pawn. 25…Nf6? 26.Bxf4 Black finally cracks. exf4?? 27.e5+ winning the queen. 1–0. However, even if Black had played the alternative 26…gxf4 after 27.Rxf4 the pin prevents Black retaking Ng8 28.Nf5 etc. Black would still have struggled to save the game.

In last week’s column, the diagram was inadvertently repeated from the week before (in the paper) , but at least readers got the problem and the solution side by side.

Here is that promised new 2-mover by David Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2

Kaz Comes Clean (12.12.13.)

 The 5th London Chess Classic is on at Olympia all this week, with many of the world’s strongest players participating or simply hanging around, seeing who they can bump into.

Take Garry Kasparov, for instance, seen here left. He’s not here to play, but luckily he bumped into the Devon veteran player, Ivor Annetts of Tiverton, (seen here right) which gave Garry the chance to thank Ivor for all the help and encouragement he’d given him when young. He had to confess that without Ivor’s unfailing support and advice throughout the early years, he might not have gone on to win  all those World Championships. At least, that’s what Ivor tells me! You be the judge!

Kasparov meets Ivor The Terrible

Cornwall’s Inspirational Leadership (07.12.2013.)

Somerset have been in all-conquering form of recent years but on Saturday they were unable to overcome Cornwall, having to be satisfied with an 8-8 draw. The Cornish lost on the top 4 boards by 3-1 and the same on the bottom 4 boards, but remarkably  scored 6 of the 8 points available on boards 5 – 12, to level things up. The details were: (Somerset names first).

1. J. Rudd 1-0 M. Hassall.

2. P. Chaplin ½-½ J. Menadue.

3. D. Littlejohns 1-0 M. Csuri.

4. M. Richardt ½-½ S. Bartlett.

5. B. Morris 0-1 D. Saqui.

6. C. Purry ½-½ L. Retallick.

7. A. F. Footner 0-1 G. Healey.

8. D. Painter-Ko 0-1 T. Slade.

9. J. E. Fewkes 1-0 C. Sellwood.

10. G. N. Jepps 0-1 G. Trudeau.

11.A. Champion ½-½ J. Nicholas.

12.M. Baker 0-1 J. Wilman.

13.D. Freeman 1-0 R. Smith.

14.N. N. Senior ½-½ D. J. Jenkins.

15.R. Knight 1-0 M. Richards.

16.C. Strong ½-½ D. R. Jenkins.

Cornwall’s previous match, against Hampshire, resembled a comedy of errors. A combination of illness and misunderstandings led to them arriving without any chess clocks, and their opponents turned up so late they would have been defaulted had there been any clocks. Eventually, some clocks were acquired locally and after lengthy negotiations between the two captains a match was played over 12 boards, which Cornwall won 7-5. However, it took several weeks of protracted discussion between interested parties before the result was finally agreed.

The details were as follows (Cornwall names first):-

1. M. Hassall v D. Tunks (did not play).

2. J. Menadue 1-0 T. Davis.

3. R. Kneebone 0-1 D. Fowler.

4. S. Bartlett ½-½ G. Jones.

5. D. Saqui 1-0 C. Priest.

6. L. Retallick ½-½ A. Manning.

7. T. Slade ½-½ Miss G. Moore.

8. G. Healey 1-0 B. Kocan.

9. C. Sellwood ½-½ S. Le Fevre.

10.G. Trudeau 0-1 J. Young.

11. J. Nicholas 1-0 R. Ashmore.

12. R. Smith 1-0 J. Barnett.

13. D. Lucas 0-1 S. Murphy.

Cornwall’s website has been recently upgraded (cornwallchess.org.uk), and on it one can read, amongst other things, a fuller report on the match by their new match captain, Professor David Jenkins, together with his amusing and erudite Cornish chess adaptation of Henry V’s call to arms at the Battle of Agincourt, as imagined by Shakespeare. As Cornwall are doing so well lately, it must be working. Devon had better beware when they meet at Saltash in January.

In last week’s ending, White wins by force: i.e. 1.Rf8+ KxR. 2.Qf7 mate.

Here is a new 2-mover by David Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2 moves

Exmouth Edge It – Again. 1st Newman Cup Win (05.12.2013.)

The Newman Cup is Devon’s RapidPlay Tournament, held by Exmouth numerous times in recent years. Their defence started with a reverse at the hands of Tiverton last month, making their away match to Seaton a crucial one.

It is a commonplace that away matches to Seaton are held in the depths of winter, when the trip there has to be made during the rush hour, with a great wind blowing and rain thrashing down. Last night was no exception. Progress was slow and the venue was reached with only minutes to spare before the scheduled start of 7 p.m. However, on arrival, the venue was locked and the key-holder unobtainable as a group of chess-players and others huddled in the doorway. Eventually, she arrived and play started just a few minutes late.

Rd. 1 started well with Simon Blake winning quickly and Oliver Wensley getting a draw, but Chris Scott was overwhelmed by the very steady Steve Dean, and Meyrick Shaw’s position, playing a Closed Sicilian, ran short of time and came unstuck against Steve Martin. So Rd. 1 was lost 2.5 – 1.5.

Fortunately, in this competition there’s always a second bite of the cherry, which is where Exmouth often hit back after an early loss. So in this case, when Blake won again. Scott played quickly, leaving Dean to get behind on the clock and he cracked under the pressure. Shaw invited the Alekhine’s Defence, but Martin opted not to play 2.e5 but preferred 2.d3 and soon found himself on the back foot with his King’s position in a mess and pieces undeveloped. Shaw managed to maintain th einitiative and eventually got a 2nd queen, forcing resignation. the 3-0 lead ensured a won match, and it mattered not that Wensley ran out of time in a winning position.

  Newman Cup             05.12.2013.  
  Seaton Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Martin 162 1 0   0 1 Meyrick Shaw 164
2 Steve Dean 148 1 0   0 1 Chris Scott 154
3 Alan Dowse 113 ½ 1   ½ 0 Oliver Wensley 146
4 Nicolas Bacon 108 0 0   1 1 Simon Blake 100
    531 1   3   564