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Archive for November 26th, 2015

Devonian Progress at the World Seniors.

There were 3 adopted Devonians at the World Seniors Championship being held in Italy.

Mark Jordon posted this report on Rds. 7 & 8 on the ECF website.

Meyrick Shaw at the World Seniors – Rounds 7 & 8

 Meyrick Shaw cropped

In the last installment we reported that Keith Arkell had reached 5/6 in the 50+ and was about to face GM Mohr (2443) in Round 7. Unfortunately for his hopes of at least repeating the success of his Silver medal last time, Arkell lost against a player who is clearly on form. Therefore, to keep his chances of a medal alive, Arkell needed a win in Round 8. This was not to be, and he suffered another loss, this time at the hands of GM Ivanov (2506). If he finishes strongly he still has a chance of a medal but this is a big ask given his present position in the rankings and with only three rounds to go. If he doesn’t win a medal he at least has some compensation in the form of a win, on a tiebreak with Mohr, in the Seniors Blitz event which took place on the first rest day. 

The battle for the first is proving very competitive with no-one managing to break clear of the pack. After round 8 Nikolic, tournament favourite and former World Championship Candidate, is in the lead on 6.5/8 with GMs Rosentalis, Ivanov and Mohr in hot pursuit on 6/8. Of the other English participants, Meyrick Shaw is having a very good tournament with a performance well above his current rating and a score of 4.5/8. Brian Hewson is on 3.5/8 and Owen Phillips 3/8.

His final report included this para:

Meyrick Shaw, as mentioned in previous articles, had a very good tournament, defeating IM Smolin (2295) and achieving draws against GM Kristiensen (2420) and IM Soylu (2377) along the way, and ended with a score of 6/11 and an 80 point boost to his Elo. The other English participants were Brian Hewson 5.5/11 and Owen Phillips 5/11, both of whom performed creditably.

Now that the event is over, here is a preview of the Western Morning News column for Saturday, which takes the story a little further…

Acqui Terme, midway between Genoa and Turin, is said to be one of the prettiest towns in Italy, and for most of November has been hosting the World Seniors Chess Championships. The bulk of the English entry in the one hundred strong 50–65 yrs section, was made up of three adopted Devonians; Keith Arkell (Paignton), who came 1st= last year, Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth) and Brian Hewson (Tiverton). This time, however, Arkell (4th seed) couldn’t quite maintain his previous form and finished 12th= on 7/11 points, and not very far behind him were Shaw (60th seed) 30th= on 6 pts and Hewson (53rd seed), 45th= on 5½, which made Shaw’s the stand-out performance. In Rd. 1 he was paired against a Grandmaster.

White: M. Shaw (2020). Black: GM Jens  Kristianson (2420).

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 4.Nbd2 Bb7 5.c3 Be7 6.Qc2 c5 7.e4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Normally one would retake towards the centre with  8.cxd4 but the text is slightly better. 8…Nc6 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.Rd1 0–0 11.Bd3 Nh5 12.Bg3 h6 13.Nc4 Nxg3 14.hxg3 This time it’s appropriate to take towards the centre as it opens the h-file, allowing the rook to focus on the enemy king’s position. 14…Qc7 15.f4 d6 16.Ne3 Bringing forces over to the kingside. 16…Rad8 17.Qe2 Qb7 18.Ng4 Rfe8 The critical position 19.Rd2? White missed the chance of a possible win if he had proceeded with his sacrificial attack immediately.19…e5 Black would like to bring his bishop to g5 with the dual purposes of shoring up his defences and attacking along the dark diagonal. 20.Nxh6+! gxh6 21.Qg4+ Kh7 22.Qf5+ The king must remain in contact with his h-pawn. For example, if 22…Kg7 22…Kg8 23.Rxh6 and White has a number of different mating combinations. 23.Qg4+ Kh7 24.Qf5+ Drawn by forced repetition of moves. A good start in the tournament for the club player.   His Rd. 7 game went like this:

White: M. Shaw (2020). Black: Brian McLaren (2176)

Dutch Defence [A80]

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.c4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 0–0 9.Qb3 d6 10.c5 Bd5 11.c4 Be4 12.cxd6 cxd6 13.Be2 Nc6 14.Qa3 A double hit on d6. 14…e5 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Black has lost a pawn so far in these exchanges and seeks to catch up, but there’s an old adage about the danger of snatching at knights’ pawns. 17…Bxg2 18.Rg1 Bc6 19.Rd1 Suddenly all White’s pieces have long files and diagonals to exploit. 19…Qc8 20.Qd6 Ne8 21.Qh6! piling on the pressure. 21…Qb7 22.Bh5 Qe7 23.Qxc6 Qxe5 24.Qxa8 Qxh2 25.Rh1 1-0 Black is a whole rook down with no compensation.

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