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Exmouth Stagger Over the Line (23.03.2014.)

Exmouth’s penultimate game in Devon’s senior club championship was at home against Teignmouth. Although missing a number of their top players, Exmouth still outgraded the visitors by 115 points, and on paper it looked a relatively easy challenge, except that at this level nothing can be taken for granted. Pre-match chat before the kick-off revealed, for example, that Graham Bramley (109) had already beaten and drawn with Alan Brusey (181) in club games, and Stormin’ Norman Tidy was sweeping all before him in 2014, including having won his section in the recent E. Devon Congress. And that was only on the bottom boards, while the top 3 consisted of the regular triumvirate of Brusey, Ingham and the British U-150 champion, John Gorodi, all capable of beating anyone at any time. So this was clearly not going to an easy task.

And sure enough, Tidy swept away Oliver Wensley, (who won the E. Devon Premier 2 years ago) in short order, after a quick draw on Bd. 2, leaving Teignmouth needing only 1½ points from the last 4 games to spoil the party for the home team. However, John Ariss had left himself very weak on the white squares around his king, and Gosling was not slow to extract full advantage. Playing a Closed Sicilian, Steve Martin managed to open lines to Gorodi’s king, especially down the h-file, and again extracted maximum advantage with a quick, sharp attack. Chris Scott played steadily, gradually putting a positional squeeze on his opponent, eventually getting adjacent central pawns on the 6th rank that couldn’t be stopped. This win secured the 3½ points required. But the Bd. 1 game went the full distance, with Shaw winning a piece and having a positional advantage, but shortage of time meant he lost his way, losing a piece back, and with it the game. Fortunately, in the circumstances it didn’t matter as the match was already won.

The games are all accessible on the chessdevon website.

The win puts Exmouth in top spot, a point clear of the holders, Newton Abbot, the teams to meet in what will now be the deciding match in April. Unlike last year, game points won’t be a factor as it’s impossible for teams to tie at the top on the same number of match points.

  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 M. Shaw 176 0 1 A. W. Brusey 181
2 Dr. J. Underwood 171 ½ ½ W. H. Ingham 160
3 S. Martin 165 1 0 J. G. Gorodi 159
4 O. E. Wensley 157 0 1 N. F. Tidy 123
5 B. G. Gosling 152 1 0 J. A. Ariss 119
6 C. J. Scott 145 1 0 G. Bramley 109
  Totals 966   851

 

The Exmouth team (facing)

Arkell Wins European Title (22..03.2014.)

On Monday, Paignton’s resident Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, won the European Championship for Seniors over 50, the first English player to win a European title since Jovanka Houska became Girls’ U-20 Champion in 2000.

At Oporto, Portugal, Keith went through undefeated, finishing with 7/9 points. He is expert at the long drawn out endgame, but here is his quickest win.

White: K. C. Arkell (2448). Black: D. Kurka GER. (2045).

Queen’s Gambit  [D37]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 c6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Qc2 0–0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Nf8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.b4 a6 13.a4 g6 14.b5 a5 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.Ne2 Bd7 17.Rab1 Be7 18.Ne5 Rc8 19.Rb7 Bd6 20.Nxd7 Nxd7 21.Qb3 Re7 22.g3 Bb4 23.Qc2 c5 24.dxc5 Rxc5 25.Qd1 Ne5 26.Rxe7 Qxe7 27.Nf4 Nc4 28.Qe2 Nb6 29.Bb5 Qe4 30.Rd1 Rc2 31.Qg4 Nc4 At this point Black has 2 isolated pawns as opposed to White’s 1, but with bishops of opposite colour this might not be enough to win. White needs something extra…. 32.Nxd5! leaving his queen unprotected yet winning a vital pawn. 32…Qxg4 33.Nf6+ Kg7 34.Nxg4 h5 The knight has nowhere to go, so… 35.Bxc4 Rxc4 36.Ne5 Re4 37.Nf3 Rc4 38.Rd7 Kf6 39.h4 Ba3 40.Rxf7+ Black falls for the same trick again.1-0 If 40…Kxf7 41.Ne5+. White’s 2 extra pawns are now enough for an easy win for someone of Arkell’s expertise.

After drawing with the eventual Champions, Somerset, and beating Hants, Cornwall finished their season in style with a comfortable 9½ – 6½ win over Gloucestershire at Exminster Village Hall. In fact, it went according to form as they outgraded their opponents by about 100 points and lost only 2 of the 16 games. Cornish names first in each pairing:- 1.J. Menadue 1-0 D. Lambourne. 2.M. Hassall ½-½ J. Jenkins. 3.D. Saqui ½-½ J. Waterfield. 4.S. Bartlett 0-1 M. Ashworth. 5.T. Slade 1-0 P. Kirby. 6.R. Kneebone ½-½ P. Meade. 7.G. Healey 1-0 P.  Denison. 8.M. Csuri ½-½ B. Whitelaw. 9.J. Hooker ½-½ P. Dodwell. 10.G. Trudeau ½-½ A. Walker. 11.C. Sellwood 1-0 P. Baker. 12.J. Nicholas 0-1 G. Taylor. 13.J. Wilman ½-½ R. Ashworth. 14.R. Smith ½-½ A. Richards. 15.M. Hill 1-0 J. Caterer. 16.D. R. Jenkins ½-½ P. Bending.

Meanwhile, Somerset overcame Hampshire by 8½-6½, even though their top 5 boards could only muster 1½ points. This made them Div. 1 winners.

In last week’s position, only Black’s bishop prevented White from playing 1.Qf6 and mating on g7, so White can afford to sacrifice his rook by taking it with 1.Rxe5! and there is nothing Black can do.

Here is an original 3-mover from the fertile mind of Dave Howard of East Harptree. Don’t forget Black’s pawns are ready to queen.

Devon v Dorset (15.03.2014.)

Luppitt Village Hall is the traditional venue for the Devon vs Dorset U-160 match. Although Dorset had suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Somerset in an earlier round and were not expected to win here, they were always in the match and it was only a few late wins for Devon that made the score 10-6. The result meant that Devon have won the Wayling Cup for 2nd teams for the 16th consecutive year. Dorset names 1st in each pairing: 1.M. Littleton 1-0 O.Wensley. 2. W. Legg 0-1 M. Stinton-Brownbridge. 3.G. Searing 1-0 P. Halmkin. 4.J. Cherryson 0-1 I. Annetts. 5.D. Aldwinckle 0-1 B. G.Gosling. 6.P. Brackner ½-½ A. Kinder 7. C. Winch 0-1 A. Frangleton. 8. I. Willis 0-1 C. J. Scott. 9.P. Errington 0-1 K. Atkins. 10.T.Lundin 1-0 R.Wilby. 11.A. Young ½-½ W. Taylor. 12.P. Jackson ½-½ P. Dobber. 13.M. Rogan ½-½ N. Mills.14.J. Kelly ½-½ Jacquie Barber-Lafon. 15. K. Spooner ½-½ R. Jones. 16.S. Jones 0-1 N. Tidy.

In this game, White missed a combination known as the Windmill, or see-saw, first played by Torre to defeat Lasker at Moscow 1925. (Notes kindly supplied by the winner).

White: B. Gosling (152). Black: D. Aldwinckle (133).

Sicilian Defence  [B40]

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.g3 Bd6 6.Bg2 d4 7.0–0 e5 8.a4 Bg4 9.h3 Bh5 10.g4 Bg6 11.Nc4 f6 12.Nh4 Nge7 13.c3 Bf7 14.f4 Trying to unravel the pawn chain 14…Bxc4 15.dxc4 Qc7 16.f5 White keeps the centre closed and anticipates Black castling on the queenside. 16…0–0–0 17.Bd2 Kb8 18.Nf3 Nc8 White should press home an attack while Black’s pieces are still blocked in. 19.a5 Qf7 20.Qa4 a6 21.cxd4 exd4 22.e5 Nxe5 23.Nxe5 fxe5 24.Ra3 The idea is Ra1–a3-b3-b6 24…Qd7?? Both players miss the famous Windmill combination thus the ?? marks. 25.Qc2?? This comprises the nice 25.Rb3!! White temporarily offers his Queen but it can’t be accepted because if 25….Qxa4 26.Rxb7+ and White repeats the checking pattern and wins much material viz 26.Rxb7+ Ka8 27.Rxg7+ Kb8 28.Rb7+ Ka8 29.Rxh7+ Kb8 30.Rb7+ Ka8 31.Rb4+ Ka7 32.Rxa4 25…Ne7 26.Rb3 White threatens to win material with Rb3xb7. 26…Nc6 27.Rb6! Ka7 28.Qb3 Rb8 29.Qa4 Rhc8 30.Bd5 Rc7 31.f6 Rf8 32.f7 Nd8 33.Qb3 Be7?? 33…Nc6 was necessary. 34.Rxa6+! Kb8 35.Rb6 Ka7 36.a6! bxa6 37.Rxa6+!! 1–0

Pictures of the games in progress may be seen on keverelchess.com.

Meanwhile, Somerset overcame Hampshire to clinch the Div. 1 trophy.

The solution to last week’s was 1.Qh5!

Soon after an early retirement, Nick Arkell has returned to the game he first learned by playing hundreds of games with his brother, Keith. Here, however, in a recent game he loses to White’s next move.

White to play and win

Devon vs Dorset (08.03.2014.)

Luppitt Village Hall, tucked away in a hidden valley, high in the Blackdown Hills, is the traditional venue for this annual match. This year, like most, the sky was clear and bright, and both sides looked forward to an entertaining afternoon.

Although Dorset had received a real trouncing at the hands of Somerset in an earlier round and were not expected to win here, they were always in the match and it was only a few late wins for Devon that made the score look respectable to Devon eyes.

The result meant that Devon had won the Wayling Cup for 2nd teams for the 16th consecutive year.

Bd DORSET U-160 Grd     DEVON U-160 Grd
1 Mark Littleton 160 1 0 Oliver Wensley 157
2 Warren Legg 150 0 1 Mike Stinton-Brownbridge 155
3 Geoff C Searing 146 1 0 Peter E Halmkin 155
4 Julian Cherryson 137 0 1 Ivor S Annetts 152
5 David Aldwinckle 133 0 1 Brian. G. Gosling 152
6 Paul Brackner 135 ½ ½ Andrew S. Kinder 152
7 Colin E Winch 130 0 1 Andrew Frangleton 152
8 Ivan J Willis 137 0 1 Chris J .Scott 145
9 Paul T Errington 126 0 1 Keith P. Atkins 142
10 Terje Lundin U/G 1 0 Robert G Wilby 137
11 Andrew Young 122 ½ ½ Wilfred R P Taylor 139
12 Paul A Jackson 127 ½ ½ Piet Dobber 135
13 Mick Rogan U/G ½ ½ Nathan Mills 135
14 John (W) Kelly 117 ½ ½ Jacquie Barber-Lafon 135
15 Keith C Spooner 119 ½ ½ Robert H Jones 132
16 Sidney A Jones 108 0 1 Norman F Tidy 124
      6 10    

 

The venue set in the Blackdowns

 

Oliver Wensley, whose paternal ancesters go back in Luppitt for several generations, moves on top board.

 

Bds 5 = 8

 

Willis v Scott on Bd. 8

 

A neat win by Tidy (Black) put Devon on the road to victory.

 

Bds. 13 - 16.

E. Devon Congress 2014 – Rd. 1

With only 6 days to the start of this year’s East Devon Congress, the new Entry Secretary, John Stephens, told me that, at 183, he was the 6th highest-graded player in the Open. It was accepted that very often the top players leave their entries to the last minute, and this was no exception. By the Friday evening, he had dropped to 10th, as a whole raft of top players had joined the fray, bringing the total to 43 and making this the strongest Exeter Open for many years. The top 20’s average grade was 188.

The overall entry was 125, bringing the event safely over the break-even point. As the regulars well know, the hall is spacious, with a waiting space and facilities for refreshment adjacent. In John Ariss and Tony Tatam they have excellent Arbiters, but the Committee has dropped to just three people, which is causing concern to them. The regulars are Mark Abbott and Sean Pope, while John Stephens has replaced Alan Maynard who moved to near Weston-Super-Mare. They have put out an appeal for at least 2 more local players to come forward and share the load, if the event is to continue satisfactorily.

General view from the stage.

Bd. 1 Open Section: Bolt v Rudd, both destined to finish 2nd =

Bd. 2: Dom Mackle v Simon Bartlett.

Rd. 1: Theo Slade vs Steve Dilleigh

Minor Section - Rd. 1: Graham Mill-Wilson vs Mike Kaye

Penrose, Wade and the Scotch Gambit. (01.03.2014.)

The 10-times British Champion, Dr. Jonathan Penrose, was 80 in October. As a teenager he brought the Scotch Gambit back into popularity, and Bob Wade recommended it for White in his system called Method Chess, based on Penrose’s games.

It is indeed a dangerous weapon, as after 3.d4 White plans to open up the game early on and there are many ways Black can go wrong. This example arose in an inter-club match at the weekend.

White: O. Wensley (157). Black: W. Marjoram (146).

Scotch Gambit [C44]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bb4+ 5.c3 dxc3 6.bxc3 Bc5? Black already has things to think about, as White has several open lines to exploit. Best might be 6…Bd6. Too good a chance to pass up. 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qd5+ Ke8 9.Qxc5 White could have added to the disruption with 9.Qh5+ Kf8 10.Qxc5+ d6. Or 9…g6 10.Qxc5 Qe7 11.Qe3 d6 12.0–0. 9…Qe7 10.Qc4 b5 11.Qe2 Nf6 12.0–0 Qxe4 13.Qxb5 with the threat of Re1 13…Kd8 14.Ng5 White can keep the niggling threats going. 14…Qg6 15.Ne6+! dxe6 Black had little choice, but his king is further exposed. 16.Qxc6 Rb8 17.Bf4 Nd5 18.Rd1 Bd7 19.Bxc7+ Ke7 If 19…Nxc7?? 20.Qxd7#; 19…Ke8 20.Qd6 Rb7 21.c4 Qc2 22.Na3 Qa4 23.cxd5; Possibly the least worst move is 19…Kc8 20.Qd6 Rb7 21.Ba5 Ba4 22.Re1 and Black does have activity while White still needs to complete development. 20.Qd6+ Kf7 21.Qxd7+ Kf6 22.Bxb8 Rxb8 23.Rxd5 Rxb1+ If 23…exd5?? 24.Qd6+ winning the rook. 24.Rd1 Rxa1 25.Rxa1 a5 26.Qd4+ Kf5 26…e5 27.Qd6+ Kf5 28.Qxg6+ hxg6. 27.Qd3+ Kf6 28.Qxg6+ Kxg6 29.Rd1 1–0

The British Chess Problem-Solving Championship was held at Eton College at the weekend. It is usually won by any combination of Jon Nunn, Jon Mestel and Colin McNab, whenever all three are free to enter. In 2012 it was McNab, Mestel and Nunn, in that order; last year it was McNab, Nunn and Mestel, and this year it was 1st Nunn, 2nd Mestel and 3rd McNab.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Na5+! Kd6 2.Rd5 mate or 1…Ke8 2.Rc8 mate.

Christopher Jones, Bristol’s own Grandmaster of chess composition, was on Channel 4’s Countdown programme recently, but he fell at the first hurdle. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on composing a form of problem called “helpmate” in which Black makes the first move and both sides conspire to mate Black in a specified number of moves. If that sounds complicated, it is. One of his earliest compositions was this standard 2-mover, published in 1987. This in itself is complicated enough to hint at the route he would subsequently take. Clue: think sacrifice.

White to mate in 2