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Archive for January, 2018

Devon’s Annual Graded Jamboree (15.01.2018.)

Devon’s annual jamboree took place at the Isca Centre in Exeter, involving teams from three quarters of the county. The East comprised players from clubs in the Exeter & District League, though not all clubs were represented. Similarly, the South team was made up of players from clubs involved in the Torbay League, while the West team drew from a solitary club, Plymouth, and a population base probably greater than either of the other two areas.

The team grade limit of 1,650 made it an average of 137 per player, with no player being allowed to be lower than 100. The East succeeded in getting closest to that maximum, with the South & West both c.35 points lower.

As there were 3 teams, players were paired on the Hutton pairing formula, which ensures that each team has six Whites, upfloats and opponents from the other two teams.

Two charts are needed to make full sense of the outcome. The first shows exactly who played who, and the result.

The 2nd shows each team’s total.

Bd White Black
1 Thynne, T. F. 170 S1 ½ ½ O’Neill, P 188 E1
2 Scott, C. J. 160 E2 ½ ½ O’Brien, M 159 W1
3 Schofield, J. 156 W1 0 1 Wilson, M 161 S2
4 Brusey. A. W. 158 S3 ½ ½ Stinton- M 154 W3
5 Butland, N 150 W4 1 0 Hafstad, L 159 E3
6 Ang, S. A. 139 E4 ½ ½ Kinder, A 147 S4
7 Quinn, M 146 W5 0 1 Blackmore, J 143 S5
8 Taylor, W 136 S6 0 1 Dean, A 140 E5
9 Southall, C 135 E6 1 0 Wilby, R. G. 140 W6
10 Hart-Davis, A 135 W7 1 0 Marjoram, W 128 E7
11 Jones, R. H. 128 E8 0 1 Allen, J. E. 134 S7
12 Cockerton, M 125 S8 ½ ½ McConnell, P 128 W8
13 Bacon, N 124 E9 1 0 Tatam, T 114 W9
14 Dean, J 112 W10 0 1 Ariss, J 115 S9
15 Sturt, B 116 S10 1 0 Palmer, E 129 E10
16 Scholes, R 112 E11 1 0 Tidy, N. F. 101 S11
17 Kennedy- I 100 S12 ½ ½ Crickmore, A. E. 108 W11
18 Proudfoot, A 106 W12 1 0 Aldwin, B 100 E12
East South West
1 P. O’Neill 188 ½ T. F. Thynne 170 ½ M. O’Brien 159 ½
2 C. J. Scott 160 ½ M. Wilson 161 1 J. Schofield 156 0
3 L. Hafstad 159 0 A. W. Brusey 158 ½ M. Stinton- 154 ½
4 S-A. Ang 139 ½ A. Kinder 147 ½ N. J. Butland 150 1
5 A. Dean 140 1 J. Blackmore 143 1 M. Quinn 146 0
6 C. Southall 135 1 W. Taylor 136 0 R. G. Wilby 140 0
7 W. Marjoram 128 0 J. E. Allen 134 1 A. Hart-Davis 135 1
8 R. H. Jones 128 0 M. Cockerton 125 ½ P. McConnell 128 ½
9 N. Bacon 124 1 J. Ariss 115 1 A. Tatam 114 0
10 E. Palmer 129 0 B. Sturt 116 1 J. E. Dean 112 0
11 R. Scholes 112 1 N. F. Tidy 101 0 E. A. Crickmore 108 ½
12 B. Aldwin 100 0 I. Kennedy 100 ½ A. Proudfoot 106 1
1642 1606 1608 5

Most years, the result is a close one, a triple-tie being recorded more than once. This time, however, the South (Torbay) won by a clear 2 points, losing only 2 games in the process.

Listening to the opening remarks and welcome by the host, Dr. Tim Paulden.

The game on Board 1 featured Trefor Thynne (W) and Paul O'Neill - game drawn.

General view of the higher boards - nearest is Mike Stinton-Brownbridge making a move against Alan Brusey.

Another view of the higher boards - Sara-Ann Ang in play against the Torbay Captain, Andrew Kinder.

Nearest is Phil McConnell facing Mark Cockerton on Bd. 12.

The victorious Torbay team, with team captain, Andrew Kinder, holding the trophy.

Hastings Winners (13.01.2018.) 968

Wise Men from the East arrived in Bethlehem shortly after Christmas bringing a gift of gold, so perhaps it was appropriate that they did well at the Hastings Christmas Congress, not bringing but taking much gold back with them in the form of prize money.

Indian GM Deep Sengupta and Chinese IM Yiping Lou, tied for 1st prize on 7 points, each receiving £1,600 and being jointly awarded the Golombek Trophy.  Third prize was shared between Uzbek GM Jahongir Vakhidov and two Indian IMs Stany and Das on 6½ points. Then came the English brigade in 6th place, Danny Gormally, Mark Hebden, Keith Arkell and Steve Mannion, with Iranian Borna Derakhshani and Norwegian Pal Royset all on 6 points.

A bright spot came with the award of the Best Game prize to Danny Gormally for his Rd. 6 game against Alexandr Fier, the tournament 2nd seed from Brazil.

White: D. Gormally (2477). Black: A. Fier (2576)

Torre Attack [A48]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 The signature move of the Torre Attack, named after the Mexican player Carlos Torre (1905-78) Bg7 4.Nbd2 0–0 5.e4 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Nb3 a5 8.a4 h6 9.Bd2 Nc6 10.Bb5 Ncb4 11.c3 c6 12.Be2 Na6 13.0–0 b6 14.Re1 c5 15.Bd3 cxd4 16.Nbxd4 Nc5 17.Bc2 Bb7 18.Ne5 All White’s minor pieces are bearing down on the enemy king’s position, with the queen able to support, leaving Black with choices to make. 18…Rc8 18…e6 would have given his queen a route out, eg 19.Ng4 Qh4. 19.Ng4! hitting h6. 19…Kh7 Not good enough is 19…h5 20.Nh6+ Kh8 21.Nxf7+ Rxf7 22.Bxg6 Rf6 23.Qxh5+ Kg8 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Bh6 Bxh6 26.Qxh6+ Kg8 27.Qh7+ Kf8 28.Qh8#. 20.Nxh6 Nf6 If 20…Bxh6 21.Qh5 winning the bishop. 21.Nhf5 21.Ng4 was also good for White. e.g. 21…Qd5 22.Nxf6+ Bxf6 23.Qg4 Qd7 24.Qf4 Qc7 25.Qh6+ Kg8 26.Bg5 Bxg5 27.Qxg5 e6. 21…gxf5 22.Nxf5 e6 23.Nxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bh6+ Kg8 24…Kxh6 25.Qc1+ Kg7 26.Qg5+ Kh8 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.Re3; If 24…Kxh6? 25.Qc1+ and White has several mating lines. 25.Qc1 Qd5 Black has his own mating threat, but it’s easily dealt with. 26.f3 Nh5 If Black tries to save his rook with 26…Rfd8 there would follow 27.Qf4 and Black’s king is quite trapped and vulnerable. 27.Bxf8 Kxf8 28.Qh6+ Ng7 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qxg7 Qd2 31.Rac1 Rd8 32.Qg3 Rd5 33.Qf2 Qh6 34.Rcd1 Rh5 35.Qd2 1-0 forcing off the queens, otherwise there might follow 35…Rxh2 36.Qd6+ Kf6 37.Qd4+ Kg5 38.Qd8+ and White has a number of mating lines.

Tomorrow, 3 teams of 12, from the East, West & South of Devon compete in a Jamboree at the Isca Centre, Exeter. Full details next week.

In last week’s position, it wasn’t hard for White to see 1.QxR! and if 1…QxQ 2.Re8+. The power of the e7 pawn was unanswerable.

This position arose recently in which Keith Arkell was White, who could doubtless see that his pieces had greater mobility than his opponent’s. How did he quickly profit from this slight advantage?

White to Play

Poor Blackburne (06.01.2018.) 967

The 93rd Hastings Congress finished yesterday evening, too late to report on today, but after 7 of the scheduled 9 rounds Keith Arkell was well placed at 3rd=. There was a prize fund of £5,250 to be shared between the top 7 players.

Meanwhile, the World RapidPlay Championship was taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where a 1st prize of £186,000 awaited the winner, who proved to be Vishi Anand of India. The World Blitz Championship also took place there, won by Magnus Carlsen (Norway), 2nd Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and 3rd Vishi Anand, with similar rewards.

All of which would suggest that the world’s top players today can make a reasonable living out of chess. But it was not always so. For example, Britain’s top player for decades was Joseph H. Blackburne (1841 – 1924). He became a chess professional in 1862 after having decided a career in a Manchester office was not for him.

He won the 2nd British Championship in 1869 after a tie-break against the holder, Cecil De Vere, and played all over Europe, 53 major tournaments in as many years, getting many prizes and winning so many games he was nicknamed “The Black Death”.

To keep up his income, in winter months he participated in long series of simultaneous matches all over the country – there can hardly have been a club in the kingdom not to have been visited by him at some point. On tours of the Westcountry, for example, he visited Plymouth in 1888 where he played members simultaneously and blindfold. He returned in 1891 playing 8 club members blindfold one evening and 37 members simultaneously the next. Later, he visited Redruth (10 opponents) and Truro. It was a precarious living for one so talented, and he never enjoyed the best of health throughout his life, so in 1911 the BCF launched a testimonial appeal, which raised £800 and suitably invested guaranteed Blackburne an income of £2 per week, which doubtless helped keep a roof over his head.

What would he think of today’s rewards?

Here is a game he played at Bristol in 1875 against an opponent who went on to become a Ladies World Champion. Blackburne was without sight of the board and playing nine others at the same time.

White: Blackburne. Black: Mary Rudge.

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Nf3 h6 6.0–0 d6 7.Nxc3 Nf6 8.Bf4 Be7 9.Qd2 Ng4 10.Rad1 Nge5 11.Bxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.Qe2 Bd6 14.f4 0–0 15.f5 Qg5 16.Rf3 Qh5 17.Nd5 Kh7 18.Qd3 f6 19.Rg3 Miss Rudge has played very carefully, and though her game is cramped she here makes an ingenious attempt to win. 19…Bxf5 20.exf5 e4 21.Rh3 Qxf5 22.Qe2 Qe5 23.Ne3 c6 24.Ng4 Bc5+ 25.Kh1 Qg5 26.Rh5 Qxh5 27.Nxf6+ winning the queen. 1–0

The solution to last week’s NF letter problem was 1.Nc3! If 1…KxR 2.b7 discovered mate. If 1…e2 2. Qf2 mate or any other move 2.Rc4 mate.

This position arose during last year’s Hastings. White to play and win by force.

White to play