Archive for October, 2015
Making a living was very hard work for a chess professional throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, whether they be World Champion or journeyman grandmaster. Writing was hard work for little return and prize money was generally pitiful. One way of securing some quick funds was to organise country-wide tours, squeezing in as many simultaneous displays as possible, and no-one considered themselves to be above it.
World Champion (1886-’94) Steinitz, for example, had a phenomenal work ethic but still died penniless. His successor Emanuel Lasker (1894 – 1921) spent years of his life simply going from town to town playing anyone who would pay a small amount for the privilege of crossing swords with the champion in a simultaneous display. In 1898 his UK tour took in Cheltenham, Bristol, Plymouth and Falmouth. A decade later, his next tour took in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester, Bristol and Totnes.
Succeeding World Champions, Capablanca (1921–’26) and Alekhine (1926–’45) both took on world tours, taking on between 20 and 40 opponents at each stop-over.
Usually they all found it politic to offer a draw to some young schoolboy or pretty lady, or even lose a game to the local organiser, knowing this would be good publicity. Sure enough, the Chess Editor of the day would generally publish only the games of the local winners. The downside of this practice was that a modern day collection of their simultaneous games, mainly culled from newspaper archives, makes them look full-time losers. Take this example from his visit to Totnes Grammar School on 5th March 1908, against James Eccles Dimond Moysey, a 25 yr old farmer from Dartington. To be fair he was later described by Mieses as one of the foremost English amateurs, though this might have been overstating it a bit.
White: E. Lasker. Black: J. E. D. Moysey.
Falkbeer Counter Gambit [C32]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d4 Nf6 5.c4 c6 6.dxc6 Nxc6 7.d5 If 7.Be3 Ng4 7…Bc5 8.Nc3 If 8.dxc6 Bf2+ 9.Ke2 Bg4+ 10.Nf3 exf3+ 11.gxf3 Bxf3+ winning the queen. 8…Qb6 9.Nh3 If 9.Na4 Bf2+ 10.Kd2 Qd4+ and White must lose his queen to either 11.Ke2 Bg4+ or 11.Kc2 Nb4+ 9…Bxh3 10.gxh3 Bf2+ 11.Ke2 e3 This blocks his own queen and bishop, and loses his knight. 11…Bh4 threatening Qf2 mate, seems at first sight a strong continuation, for if 12.Be3 Qxb2+ 13.Bd2 Nd4+ 14.Ke3 Nc2+ and Black wins. 12.dxc6 Qc5 threatening Qh5+ 13.Bg2 Rd8 14.Qa4 0–0 15.Qb5 Qd4 16.Rd1 Qxf4 17.cxb7 Qxh2 18.Qc6 Nh5 19.Bxe3 Bxe3 20.Rxd8 Rxd8 21.Kxe3?? (see diagram)
An unfortunate oversight. Black now announced a mate in 4, although it can actually be done in 3 moves. Can you work it out?
In last week’s position, Alekhine won in style with the forcing sequence1.Rxf7+ Rxf7 2.Bxg6+ Kxg6 3.Qd3+ Kg5 4.Bc1+ Rf4 5.Qf5 mate.
|EXMOUTH SENIORS CONGRESS– Entries as at 31.10.’15|
NB: David Toms Entry now confirmed. Dinah Norman originally entered, then withdrew for health reasons, but is now feeling much better so is back in. Alan Brusey has had to withdraw due to a family berievement.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their club, Plymouth organised a big congress in 1938, with the top section consisting of 8 invitees, including both current world champions, Alekhine and Vera Menchick. Alekhine was accompanied by his 3rd wife, Grace (née Wishaar), a competent player in her own right and an accomplished artist.
The fast-approaching war treated them both badly. Alekhine found himself exiled in neutral Portugal and died there in 1945, reportedly choking on a salt beef sandwich, alone in his hotel room. Meanwhile, the Nazis commandeered Grace’s opulent chateau at Saint Aubin-le-Cauf, near Dieppe, stripping it of her collection of paintings.
For a decade after the war she made repeated extended visits to west Cornwall, even becoming a member of the West Penwith Chess Club based at Lelant, near St. Ives. However, the reason for her presence probably had more to do with her interest in the St. Ives school of artists, centered around Ben Nicholson and his wife Barbara Hepworth, and included rising stars like Patrick Heron and Terry Frost. Grace may have been happy just to rub shoulders with them, to join with them in painting or even to buy their works to replace those stolen from her.
What I don’t know is where she actually lived at these times. Did she rent a different house each summer, or purchase a semi-permanent home nearby which she could use both as a studio and a meeting house for like-minded artists? Also, in trying to trace her through electoral rolls or chess club minutes, what surname did she use? She’d been married four times, so had five names to choose from, including Wishaar, Eisler, Peeke, Freeman and Alekhine. She was undoubtedly proud of the Alekhine name but may have wished for something a little less obvious. If anyone can cast a little light on this question of her time in Cornwall I’d be most grateful. Please get in touch via e-mail (email@example.com).
On Sunday, 10 teams of 4 players competed in Devon’s team blitz chess tournament at the Newton Abbot club. Exmouth Eagles retained the Thomas Cup, with their Board 2, Dr. Jonathan Underwood winning a trophy for being the top individual scorer of the afternoon, on tie-break from Josh Blackmore (Bd. 4 of Newton Abbot A), both with 5½/6 points. The cup for teams with a total grade of Under-600 was won by Exeter A, while that for U-450 grades was won by Exeter B. The Junior Cup for school or junior teams was won by Torquay Boys’ G.S. Full details of every team and player’s performance and 10 photographs may be found on keverelchess.com/blog.
Michael Adams won last week’s game after 1.Rxd6 Nxd6 (if 1…Qxd6 2.Nf7+ wins the queen). 2.Nc6 White needs e5 for his queen. Qf7 3.Qe5+ forcing the return of the exchange. 3…Rg7 4.Nxg7 Qxg7 5.Qxe6 and White’s queen has control of the board.
In this game from 1916 how did Alekhine smash open the Black king’s position?
Ten teams of 4 players of all ages gathered at the Newton Abbot Chess Club on Sunday afternoon for DCCA’s annual team Blitz. This was 2 more teams than last year, but still far short of the days of yore when over 20 teams would assemble at either Oldway Mansion, Paignton or the Pretoria Hotel, Okehampton. To encourage more participation the number of trophies has now risen to five; the original Thomas Cup for the team scoring the most game points over 6 rounds. There’s another prize for the individual highest scorer; where scores are equal the points scored on the higher board are the tie-break. In addition, there are cups for the team whose total grade is U-600 and one for U-450, and not forgetting the Cup for the best score by a teamof juniors. So there was plenty to play for.
Exmouth Eagles had an even stronger team than last year in a bid to retain the main trophy, but so had Tiverton, while Exeter had two teams that fitted neatly into the grade limits for the minor cups. With 8 teams last year, by having an extra round (7) it was possible to have an all-play-all format, but this was clearly not possible with 10 teams and a creaky Swiss sytem had to be used.
The event’s convenor, Trefor Thynne, acted as Arbiter, and did well to keep track of the pairings, the incoming results and the charts. Refreshments were available throughout the afternoon organised by Jacqui Barber-Lafon and her team.
At the end of an afternoon of breathless excitement and tension, the final scores went more or less to form. The top 3 graded teams did indeed finish in that order, with Exeter B equalling their senior partners, both teams winning a Graded Cup. Torquay Tigers just pipped Sidmouth Juniors by a half point for the Junior Cup.
Here are the full details, with some pictures to follow:
|1||Exmouth Eagles||736||4||7½||10½||12½||16½||20½||1st||Thomas Cup|
|3||Exeter A||598||4||4½||7||8½||11½||14½||3rd=||U-600 Cup|
|4||Exeter B||442||2||5||6||7½||10½||14½||3rd=||U-450 Cup|
|5||Newton Abbot A||552||3||5||8||10||11||14||5th|
|7||Torquay B. G.S.||426||2||3||5||9||9||9½||7th||Junior Cup|
|8||Newton Abbot B||348||0||1||5||7||8||9||8th =|
|9||Sidmouth Juniors||383||0||3||5||7||8||9||8th =|
|1||Exmouth Eagles||1||J. K. Stephens||196||1||1||0||1||1||1||5|
|4||O. E. Wensley||170||1||1||1||0||1||1||5|
|2||Tiverton Titans||1||M. Richardt||187||1||0||1||1||1||1||5|
|2||K. J. Hurst||183||1||1||0||1||1||1||5|
|4||I. S. Annetts||151||1||0||0||0||1||1||3|
|3||Exeter A||1||T. J. Paulden||185||1||0||1||0||1||0||3|
|4||Exeter B||1||J. Chan||140||0||1||½||0||1||1||3½|
|3||G. J. Jenkins||101||0||1||0||0||1||1||3|
|5||Newton Abbot A||1||A. W. Brusey||184||1||1||½||0||½||1||4|
|6||Exmouth Egrets||1||C. J. Scott||149||0||1||0||1||1||0||3|
|3||R. H. Jones||118||0||1||1||1||1||0||4|
|7||Torquay B.G.S.||1||V. Ramesh||143||1||0||1||1||0||0||3|
|8||Newton Abbot B||1||N. Narayanan||109||0||0||1||½||0||1||2½|
|9||Sidmouth Juniors||1||G. Susevee||131||0||0||0||½||0||0||½|
|10||Exeter School||1||L. Hafstad||130||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
A small number of local players are participating in the top section at Guernsey . Today (Tues.) is Rd. 3 and both Brian Hewson (Tiverton) and Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth are on maximum 2/2 so cannot avoid the big boys any longer. Hewson is on top board taday facing GM Mark Hebden, while Shaw is on Bd. 3 facing the Bulgar, GM Marian Petrov.
These games may be watched live on http://www.guernseychessclub.org.gg/festival/festival.htm
Thanks are due to Ivor Annetts (Tiverton) for the tip-off.
As reported last week, I came 2nd= in the Minor section of the Bude Rapidplay and received £10 for my efforts, an event as rare as it was pleasing. After all, that’s as much as the great English player J. H. Blackburne won at the super-strong Hastings tournament in 1895. Yet the vast majority of chessplayers don’t play for money, but for the adrenalin rush as an unexpected win comes into view.
Bobby Fischer went some way to correcting this amateur outlook as he fought for vastly increased prize-money and public recognition and consideration for chessplayers. At the time it was, in some quarters, considered somewhat vulgar, but by 1972 he had certainly succeeded in his aims.
Now another American is pushing the cause even further. This is Maurice Ashley, the first African-American Grandmaster, with the support of Amy Lee, an entrepreneur from Vancouver, whose PokerStars company ran its first tournament with a $1,000,000 prizefund in Las Vegas last year, where probably the only UK participant was Exeter’s Tim Paulden who won £1,000 for his efforts. However, his entry fee, or “buy-in”, as they call it, was $1,000.
Last week, they launched into Britain when the prizefund of £35,000 attracted many of Europe’s top players to the PokerStars Isle of Man Tournament, making it probably the UK’s strongest-ever Open International. It finished last weekend in a 3-way tie on 7/11 points between Pentala Harikrishna (India), Laurent Fressinet, (France) and Gabriel Sargissian, (Armenia). After various tie-rules were invoked and win-bonuses added in, Harikrisha got the title and £16,000, while Fressinet got £11,000 and Sargissian £9,000.
Ashley’s argument is that only big money prizes in chess will grab the world-wide general public’s attention. Bude still has some way to go – not that anyone’s worried about that.
In last week’s position White could have won by 1.Rxh7+ Kxh7 2.Rf7+ Kh8 2. Qg6 and Qh7mate cannot be prevented. But he missed it and eventually lost.
In 1996 Michael Adams was invited to take part in the New York Chess-In-The-Schools Tournament, which he won easily. He reported it in British Chess Magazine, noting (a) that the commentary room was full of inner-city children before whom each player had to go through their game afterwards and (b) all players had to wear a suit and tie throughout; (now there’s an idea). He didn’t mention this Rd. 8 game, but the sharp finish does appear in chess literature.
White: M. Adams (2660). Black: Joel Benjamin (2570).
Sicilian Defence – Alapin Variation. [B22]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 b6 7.Bc4 Ba6 8.Bxa6 Nxa6 9.0–0 Be7 10.Nbd2 0–0 11.Ne4 Nac7 12.Bg5 f6 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Rc1 d5 16.Ng3 Qd7 17.Nh4 Bd6 18.f4 f5 19.Nh5 Qf7 20.Rf3 Kh8 21.Rh3 Rg8 22.Nf3 Qe7 23.Qe2 Ne8 24.Rc6 Qd7 25.Ne5 Qe7 which brings us to this week’s position. How did Adams now demolish the American Grandmaster?
Peter Clarke, the well-known chessplayer, columnist, author and bibliophile died last December after a long illness, and it was his family’s wish that an event of some sort should be held in his memory. It was decided that the scheduled 3rd Bude RapidPlay should be renamed the 1st Peter Clarke Memorial Tournament. This was held in Bude on Saturday, and the gathering of local players was joined by a number of the Clarke clan, including his wife, Peggy, her youngest brother, Philip Wood, two of their 3 daughters, Pennie and Salli and 3 grandchildren.
The winner of the Open Section was Steve Piper (Salisbury) whose chess career started as a junior at the Holsworthy Chess Club, founded by Peter, while the Runner-Up was Peter’s brother-in-law, Philip Wood.
The U-140 Section was won by Kelvin Hunter (Tiverton) and joint Runners-Up were Reece Whittington (Exeter), Steve Williams (Chester), Martin Jones (Newquay) & Robert Jones (Exmouth). Full details of all players’ results may be found on the keverelchess website.
Meanwhile, possibly the strongest International Open ever on British soil has been taking place this week on the Isle of Man, where 100 top players are fighting for a prize fund of £30,000 in the Masters Section alone. In Rd. 2 Devon resident GM Keith Arkell was paired with Cornish-born Michael Adams, which resulted in this tactically tricky game.
White: K. Arkell (241). Black: M. Adams (267).
Queen’s Gambit. [D02]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 c6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Bf5 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Bd6 11.0–0 0–0 12.Rab1 a5 13.Qc2 Re8 14.Rfe1 Qc8 15.Bg3 Bxg3 16.hxg3 Ne4 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Nd2 Nf6 Attention now turns to the queenside, where a tactical skirmish takes place. 19.b4 axb4 20.Rxb4 b5 21.a4 Nd5 22.Rb2 Rxa4 23.Nxe4 Qc7 24.Qd3 Qa5 25.Rc1 Ra3 26.Qb1 g6 27.Qc2 If 27.Rxc6 losing the queen. 27…Ra1. 27…b4 28.Nd6 Rc3 29.Qd1 Re7 30.Nc4 Qa6 31.Rxb4 Rcxe3 If now 31…Nxb4 32.Rxc3. 32.Rb8+ Draw agreed. A fine result for Arkell, but was followed in the next round by this nightmare.
White: D. Howell (274). Black: K. Arkell.
French Defence – Tarrasch Var. [C10]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bd7 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.0–0 Ngf6 8.Neg5 Bd6 9.Re1 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 h6 Intending to push the knight away, but it launches into a violent attack. 11.Nxe6! fxe6 12.Rxe6+ Kf7 13.Bc4 Kf8 14.Qf5 Nb6 15.Bb3 Be7 16.Bd2 c5 17.dxc5 Qxd2 18.cxb6 Qg5 19.Qf3 axb6 20.Rxe7 Kxe7 21.Qxb7+ Kd6 22.Qxb6+ Ke5 23.Qe6+ Kf4 24.g3+ Kf3 25.Bc4 Ne4 26.Be2+ Kxe2 27.Qxe4+ Kd2 28.Qd3# 1–0
Last week’s original 2-mover by Dave Howard was solved by 1.Na8! threatening 2.Nf3 mate. If the c-pawn takes the knight, 2.Rc4 mate follows.
This position arose in a Grandmaster rapidplay game earlier this year. What win did White miss before going on to lose the game?
After the well-known chessplayer, author, columnist, problemist and correspondence Grandmaster, Peter Hugh Clarke, died last December, it was his family’s wish that a tournament should be held in his memory, in his home area and involving both friends and family. It was eventually agreed that the scheduled 3rd Bude Rapidplay, organised by local residents, John & Christine Constable, should be dedicated to Peter’s memory, and if successful should become an annual event.
The venue, the New Life Centre in Bude, proved an ideal place for the event; just the right amount of playing space for the numbers involved, plentiful nearby parking and a beautiful setting (see below). The Open Section was headed by Stephen Piper who learned his chess in his youth at the Holsworthy Chess Club, which was founded by Peter when he lived in that area. The only half point he dropped was to Peter’s brother-in-law, Philip Wood, one of B. H. Wood’s 3 chess-playing sons. (Once upon a time, Sutton Colfield 1st team in the Birmingham League consisted of all 4 Woods). It was, perhaps, appropriate that, at the end of the day, these two should come clear 1st and 2nd.
The rest of the Clarke players were in the U-140 section; daughters Salli and Pennie, and Grandson George. Detailed results were as follows:
|1st Peter Clarke Memorial RapidPlay – Bude – 3rd October 2015|
|10||Jenkins, David R||Liskeard||125||08||09||06||07||04||03||0||10th|
|1st Peter Clarke Memorial RapidPlay – Graded Section U-140|
|2||Jones, Robert H.||Exmouth||137||½bye||½9||18||11||13||04||4||2nd=|
The West of England Inter-County Jamboree took place on Sunday at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton, with 3 teams of 12 players contesting the top section. Somerset fielded the strongest team seen at the event for many years in a determined effort to wrest the trophy from the holders, Devon. Yet they managed only a single win, while Devon won on boards 10, 11 & 12 to retain the cup. Gloucestershire also had a strong team and finished just a half point behind Somerset.
1. J. K. Stephens ½-½ M. Turner (GM). 2. J. Rudd (IM) 1-0 J. Stuart. 3. M. Ashworth ½-½ L. Hartmann 4. J. Underwood ½-½ J. Jenkins. 5. N. Hosken ½-½ A. Wong. 6. T. Goldie ½-½ T. J. Paulden. 7. M. Hui ½-½ B. Edgell. 8. P. Krzyzanowski ½-½ P. Masters. 9. C. Jones (GM) ½-½ A. W. Brusey. 10. K. J. Hurst ½-½ M. Levene. 11. K. Wandowicz ½-½ M. Payne. 12. P. Chaplin ½-½ D. Regis. 13. M. V. Abbott ½-½ D. Littlejohns. 14. D. Painter ½-½ P. J. Meade. 15. R. Ashworth ½-½ J. F.Wheeler. 16. J. Fraser 1-0 B. Whitelaw. 17. A. Killey 1-0 G. N. Jepps. 18. A. Gregory 0-1 B. W. R. Hewson.
There were 4 teams in the grade-limited section, which finished:- 1st Somerset S&W (8/12 points). 2nd Torbay League (6). 3rd= Somerset N&E and Wiltshire (both 4½). Details of all individual players’ results and photographs are available on www.keverelchess.com/blog
This game proved to be a career-best performance for White.
White: John Stephens (196). Black: GM Matthew Turner (238).
Sicilian Defence – Maroczy Bind [B39]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 The Maroczy Bind, inhibiting Black from playing d5, which usually frees up his position. 3…Bg7 4.d4 White had decided that the best approach was to attack from the outset. 4…cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Ng4 8.Qxg4 Nxd4 9.Qd1 Ne6 10.Be2 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qa5 12.0–0 Qxc3 13.Qd5 0–0 14.Rfc1 Qb2 15.Bf3 d6 16.a4 Qe5 17.a5 a6 18.Rab1 Nd8 19.Bd4 Qe6 20.e5 dxe5 21.Qxe5 Qxe5 22.Bxe5 Bf5 23.Rb6 Rc8 24.Bxb7 Rc5 25.Bd4 Rxa5 Taking odd pawns away from the main scene of action can prove a costly waste of time; on the other hand to ignore them can be a decision that haunts you later in the game. It’s a matter of judgement. 26.Bxa6 Ne6 27.Be3 Bd3 28.Bb7 Nc5 29.Bxc5 Rxc5 30.Rc6 Ra5 31.h3 Rb8 32.Rc8+ Rxc8 33.Bxc8 Ra7 34.c5 Rc7 35.Bg4 e5 36.Rc3 e4 37.f3 f5 38.fxe4 Bxe4 39.Bf3 Bxf3 40.gxf3 Time for the kings to spring into life. 40…Kf7 41.Kf2 Ke6 42.Kg3 Ke5 43.c6 h6 44.Re3+ Kd5 45.Rd3+ Kxc6 46.Rd8 Rh7 47.Kf4! Although White has only 2 isolanis facing 3 connected pawns, the Black king is unable to join the fray, so a draw was agreed. If 47…Rd7 48.Rh8 Rd4+ 49.Kg3 h5 50.Rh6 Rd6 51.Kf4 and the pawns must come off. ½–½
(For more details refer to Blog section)
Last week’s problem involved another queen sacrifice; i.e. 1.QxB+ forcing 1…KxQ and then 2.Bg5 mate.
This week’s 2-mover is another world premier by local composer Dave Howard. White to play and mate in 2.
Entries are now coming in almost every day, for the 16th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress, which starts on Monday 2nd November at 1 p.m.
I hope to keep an up-to-date list of entries so far received, so that you can, perhaps, eye up the possible opposition.
|EXMOUTH SENIORS CONGRESS– Entries as at 15.10.’15|