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West of England Congress – Latest Entries as at 27.03.2018.

West of England Congress    30.03.– 02.04 — 2018
Entries as at Tues. 27th March 2018
Name Club Rating ECF Bye?
OPEN   SECTION
1 K. C.  Arkell Cheddleton, Staffs 2413 237 0
R. McMichael Kings Head 2232 204 0
2 D. Mackle Torquay 2164 196 0
3 A. Nielsen Alta – Norway 2158 0
4 W. Braun Exmouth 2152 197 0
5 M. Waddington Dorchester 2091 196 0
6 M. Lewis Brown Jack – Wilts 2079 195 1
7 S. Dilleigh Horfield – Bristol 2070 191 0
8 J. K. Stephens Exmouth 189 4
9 J. F. Menadue Carrick – Cornwall 2055 185 0
10 G. Bolt Exeter 2016 188 5
11 A. Crombleholme Staffs 1991 168 0
12 D. Littlejohns Taunton 1981 178 1
13 R. De Coverley Bourne End 1953 179 0
14 C. James Dunbar 1876 4
15 L. Hafstad Exeter Juniors 1799 164 0
16 A. Gorgun Brown Jack 1617 174 0
MAJOR SECTION
1 T. F. Thynne Newton Abbot 1924 174 0
2 R. Burton Weymouth 1920 158 6
3 T. Woodward Trowbridge 1914 148 0
4 R. Gamble Derby – Spondon 1904 152 0
5 I. S. Annetts Tiverton 1885 150 5
6 Y. Wang Plymouth / Xiamen 1885 158 0
7 Y. Tello Wimbledon 1884 159 3&5
8 J. Morgan Cornwall 1848 149 0
9 G. Brown Folkestone 1847 178 0
10 M. Wilson Teignmouth 1830 157 0
11 J. Forster Southbourne 1812 167 0
12 J. Nyman 1801 153 0
13 M. Page Insurance 1795 155 0
14 P. A. Jackson Bournemouth 1795 146 1
15 P. G. Jackson Coulsdon 1781 160 0
16 C. Sellwood Camborne 1781 149 0
17 A. Hibbitt Banbury 1768 153 0
18 A. Price Leamington 1747 151 0
19 P. T. Foley Upminster 1717 140 0
20 P. Dimond Bath 1705 134 0
21 D. Watson Bourne End 1703 145 0
22 F. Headlong Brown Jack – Wilts 1683 131 4
23 J. Robertson East Kilbride 1650 144 0
24 M. Roberts Holmes Chapel 1629 134 0
25 B. Halvorsen Tromso – Norway 1594 0
26 T. Greenaway Torquay 1517 137 0
27 P. Grant-Ross King’s Head 127 0
MINOR SECTION
1 R. Hunt E. Devon 129 5
2 K. Alexander East Budleigh 128 0
3 P. Foster Medway – Kent 128 6
4 I. Blencowe Gloucester 126 0
5 E. Fierek Gloucester 126 0
6 P. Errington Bournemouth 124 1
7 G. Parfett Athenaeum 119 6
8 G. Headlong Brown Jack – Wilts 116 0
9 J. Harris Forest of Dean 114 0
10 A. Proudfoot Plymouth 112 0
11 R. Waters Taunton 109 0
12 J. Dean Plymouth 108 0
13 K, Markey Glos. 105 4
14 J. Wallman 105 0
15 A. Davies S. Hams 103 1
16 J. Carr Hants 100 0
17 C. Gardiner Carrick – Cornwall 100 0
18 H. Welch Seaton 88 0
19 S. E. Lee Liskeard 78 0
20 E. Holiday 77 0
21 W. Carr Hants 33 0

West of England Junior Winners. (24.03.2018.) 978

One of the largest events in the Westcountry is the Junior Championships held annually in Swindon. These were this year’s West of England Junior Champions in the various age groups.

U-18: Zoe Varney (178 – Millfield). U-16: Aliriza Gorgon (174 – Swindon). U-14: Chirag Hosdurga (164 – Bristol). U-14 Girls: Mansa Chandar (79 – Chandler’s Ford). U-12: Adam Hussain (150 – Carrick). U-12 Girls: Melissa Hamilton (113 – Portsmouth). U-10: Kandara Acharya (96 – Bristol). U-9: Daniel Shek (114 – Yately Manor). U-8: Mayank Palav (UG – Wilts). U-8 Girls: Jessica White (UG – Wilts).

The re-arranged 1st team match between Devon and Cornwall takes place tomorrow at the Plymouth Bridge Club, and the West of England Championship and general Congress starts the following Friday at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, and lasts throughout the Easter weekend. Details may be found on-line.

The 1st West of England Championship was held over the Easter weekend 1946 in the clubroom of the Bristol & Clifton Chess Club, where it was won by its club champion at the time, 23 year old Henry Vickers Trevenen. He was born in Penzance, the son of a stonemason, and as WWII robbed him of his formative years so mental illness later took away his prime, but in the immediate post war years he was almost unbeatable, becoming West of England Champion three times out of the first four.

This was one of his wins from the 2nd WECU Championship in 1947. His opponent, Ron Slade, had to wait another decade until he won the title.

White: R. A. Slade. – Black: H. V. Trevenen.

Pirc Defence  [B07]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 Black has adopted a Pirc Defence formation, first popularised in the mid-’40s. 4.Bd3 Bg7 5.h3 Nbd7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 h6 Black will not be able to castle without losing his h-pawn as long as White’s pieces are lined up against h3. 8.Nge2 e5 9.0-0 exd4 10.Nxd4 Nc5 11.Rae1 Nxd3 12.cxd3 Bd7 13.f4 0-0 Black doesn’t hesitate to get castled. 14.f5 Kh7 15.Nce2 c5 16.Nf3 c4 17.fxg6+ fxg6 18.Ng3 cxd3 19.e5 Not 19.Qxd3? Bb5 19…Nd5 20.Qxd3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Leaving Black with the bishop pair against two knights. 21…Bb5 22.Rf2 dxe5 23.Nxe5 Rxf2

Slightly better was 23…Qh4 24.Rc2 Rae8. 24.Qxf2 Qd5 25.Ng4 While the knights are almost sidelined, the bishops cut swathes across the board. 25…Bc6 26.Re7 Rf8 27.Qe2 h5 28.Nh2 and now Black delivers a two-move knockout blow. 28…Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Rf2 Resigned because of the devastating fork between queen and h2. e.g. 30.Qe3 Qxe3 31.Rxe3 Rxg2 32.Ne4 Rxb2 and White’s problems are too many to repair. 0-1.

In last week’s problem, Owen Hindle won after 1.QxP!  and Black’s queen cannot retake because of Rxh7 #, so 1…Rg8 2.Qh5 and mate is inevitable.

In this position, White has his king tucked away and is all set to harass Black’s king. But it’s not his move. Does that matter?

Black to play

You-Tube Student (24.03.2018.) 977

Cornwall’s Championship and general congress took place last weekend at Carnon Downs Village Hall. James Hooker was unable to defend his title due to illness which left ten players to fight it out over 5 rounds. Going into the final game, the clear leader was Mark Watkins who faced top seed Jeremy Menadue, the latter emerging triumphant and winning the Emigrant Cup for the 5th time. Rodrigo continued his recent improvement by winning the U-150 Grading Prize in his first appearance in this section.

Details kindly supplied by Ian George: 1st Jeremy Menadue (185 – Carrick) 4/5. 2nd= David Saqui (170 – Penwith); Gary Trudeau (151 – Liskeard) & Mark Watkins (172 – Penwith) 3½. 5th Jan Rodrigo (140 – Penwith) 2. 6th= Percy Gill (143 – Penwith); Grant Healey (Carrick) & Colin Sellwood (149 – Camborne) 2. 9th Adam Hussain (150 – Carrick) 1½. 10th David J. Jenkins (144 – Penwith) 1.

The Falmouth Cup for those graded U-146 was contested by 18 players one of whom was a complete novice, Toby Willis, who made the most interesting story of the day. Toby is a 1st Year student at the Penryn Campus of Exeter University, and before the weekend had never played before in public, having taught himself the game entirely via the chess materials on YouTube. However, far from being an innocent thrown to the wild beasts, he won every game and came clear 1st. Definitely one to watch.

Details: 1st T. Willis (UG – Carrick) 5. 2nd= Keith Brewer (UG – Liskeard); Jason Henderson (124 – Lerryn) & Bryan Jones (103 – Carrick). Here is one of the games from the top section involving 3 queens on the board at the same time.

White: G. Trudeau. Black: J. Rodrigo.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Be3 e5 5.d5 Be7 6.Be2 c6 7.f4 Qa5 threatening 8…Nxe4 8.Qd2 Qb4 9.Bf3 This time ignoring the threat. 9…Qxb2 Black’s acceptance of the b-pawn is double-edged: on the one hand he later gets a 2nd queen in that corner, but on the other he is neglecting normal piece development. 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Nge2 Qa5 12.0–0 a6 13.Ng3 g6 14.Kh1 c5 15.f5 b5 16.Bh6 Bf8 17.Be3 Bg7 18.h4 Nb6 19.Be2 b4 20.Nd1 gxf5 21.Bh6 Rg8 22.exf5 Nbxd5 23.Bc4 Bb7 24.Bg5 Qc7 25.h5 h6 26.Bh4 Qc6 27.Be2 Qa4 28.Bf3 b3 29.Bxf6 Bxf6 30.Ne4 bxa2 31.Rxb7 a1Q 32.Qxd5 Taking stock, Black has a queen & 2 pawns for 2 knights, but his king is trapped in the centre and his rooks are disconnected, whereas White has queen, rook & knight in threatening positions. 32…Q1a2 33.Qxf7+? The obvious move is 33.Nxf6+! and if 33…Kd8 34.Qxd6+ Kc8 35.Qc7#; or 33…Kf8 34.Rxf7# 33…Qxf7 34.Nxd6+ Kd8 35.Nxf7+ Kc8 36.Nd6+ Kd8 37.Ne4 Rg7 38.Ndc3 Qc6 39.Rd1+ Kc8 1-0 Resigned in view of 40.Rxg7 Bxg7 41.Nd6+ winning the queen.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.QxP+ PxQ 2.Bishop moves = mate.

This position is taken from the 6 nation international Clare Benedict Tournament of 1963, where, in Rd. 2, Owen Hindle (W) was the only winner, enabling England to beat Spain 2½-1½. How did he do that from this position?

White to play and win.

The Bird Has Flown: (10.03.2018.) 976

After Jack Rudd’s apparently easy progress through the recent E. Devon Congress, it was found that not all games were quite that straightforward. This one from Round 1, for example, could have been an upset.

Notes by Hampton and Tim Paulden

White: Paul Hampton (175). Black: J. Rudd (225)

Bird’s Opening [A03]

1.f4 Much favoured by Henry Edward Bird (1830-1908) who, after a lengthy absence from the game, found “it led to highly interesting games out of the usual groove and I became partial to it.” Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.d3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.Be2 0–0 6.0–0 c5 7.Qe1 Nc6 8.c3 d4 9.cxd4 cxd4 10.e4 Black has planned to exploit the weak d3 pawn, but now White has a solid centre on which to base a kingside attack, which will be all out for mate, giving little regard for any queenside activity. 10…b6 11.Na3 a5 12.Bd2 Ba6 13.Rc1 Rc8 14.Nc4 Nd7 Black brings more pieces to pressurise the d3 pawn, but the knight on f6 is a key defensive piece so h7 is now White’s target. 15.Qh4 Nc5 16.f5 Nb4 17.Bh6 f6 Black is finally forced to weaken his position to counter the threat of Ng5. 18.Nce5! Turning the game in White’s favour. 18…Nbxd3 If 18…fxe5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Rxc5 bxc5 21.Ng5 and Black has to give up his queen to avoid mate e.g. 21…gxf5 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.Nxg6 Nxc1 21.Bxa6 Nxa6 22.Nfe5? White missed the subtlety of Black’s knight check putting his king in the corner. Also, post-congress analysis has uncovered the continuation… 22.Bxg7! Kxg7 23.Qg4! From this point on, all lines are winning for White, and although with best play Black can avoid any forced mates, White will hoover up material.  Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Kh7 25.Nfh4 d3 26.Nf5 Rc7 27.Nf4 threatening mate on g7. 27…Ng3+ 28.hxg3 e5 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Nh6+ Kg7 31.Ne6+ forking K, Q & 2 rooks. 31…Kh8 32.Nf7+ double check. 32…Kg8 33.Qg6 mate But it’s a highly complex position and difficult to see every possibility in the heat of battle. 22…Ne2+ 23.Kh1 fxe5 24.Nxf8 Qxf8 25.Rxf8+ Rxf8 Now the importance of the N-check is clear: if Black did not threaten mate then White could exchange bishops and fork K & N. But the chance of an upset has gone, as the lone queen is not enough to combat a rook & 2 knights. 26.g4 Bxh6 27.Qxh6 Rf6 28.Qg5+ Kf7 29.Qxe5 Nc5 30.Qh5+ Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.e5 Ne4 33.Qh4 Rf1+ 34.Kg2 Rf2+ 35.Kh1 Nf4 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.Kg1 Rg2+ 38.Kf1 Nd2+ 39.Ke1 Nf3+ 40.Kf1 Nxh2+ 41.Ke1 Nxg4 42.Qh7+ Ke6 43.Qg8+ Kxe5 44.Qg5+ Ke4 45.Qxe7+ Kf3 46.Qb7+ Kg3 47.b4 Nd3+ 0–1

Last week’s position by Sam Loyd was taken from the collection entitled Roi acculé aux angles (Paris – 1905), White could play 1.Qa8! and if the Black queen moves there will be mate on a8 or if Black’s pawn moves 2.Rh6 mate. Here is another from that book, composed by Lilian Baird (1881 – 1977), the young daughter of Edith (née Winter-Wood), the queen of the problem world. Lilian was indeed a prodigy, with compositions published at the age of 8 but didn’t keep it up to the extent her mother did.

A prodigy's problem: White to move & mate in 2

West of England Congress 2018 – Latest Entries

Here are the entries currently recived for th WECU Congress over the Easter Weekend.

WECU Congress — Easter Weekend 2018.

Current Entries

OPEN FIDE ECF Club
1 GM Keith Arkell 2411 240 Cheddelton
2 FM Walter Braun 2152 197 Exmouth
3 Andre Neilsen 2145 Norway
4 Steve Dilleigh 2070 191 Horfield
5 Graham Bolt 2053 188 Exeter
6 Alan Crombleholme 2002 188
7 Dave Littlejohns 1986 178 Taunton
8 Roger De Coverley 1953 179 Bourne End
9 Chris James 1876 Dunbar
10 Leif Hafstad 1799 164 Exeter
11
12
MAJOR
1 Tim Woodward 1914 148 Trowbridge
2 Ivor Annetts 1885 150 Tiverton
3 James Forster 1812 167 Southbourne
4 Matthew Wilson 1808 157 Teignmouth
5 Paul Jackson 1807 160 Coulsdon
6 Martin Page 1795 155 Insurance
7 Paul Jackson 1747 146 Bournemouth
8 Andrew Price 1747 151 Leamington
9 Phil Foley 1717 140 Upminster
10 Fenella Headlong 1683 131 Brown Jack
11 Jim Robertson 1679 144 E. Kilbride
12 Malcolm Roberts 1629 134 Holmes Chapel
13 Benjamin Halvorsen 1594 Norway
14
15
16
MINOR (U-130)
1 Ken Alexander 128 E. Budleigh
2 Paul Foster 128 Medway
3 Ian Blencowe 126 Gloucester
4 Paul Errington 124 Bournemouth
5 Georgia Headlong 118 Brown Jack
6 Andy Proudfoot 112 Plymouth
7 Roger Waters 109 Taunton
8 David Burt 108 Bournemouth
9 John Dean 108 Plymouth
10 Kevin Markey 105
11 James Wallman 105
12 John Carr 100 Portsmouth
13 Hazel Welch 88 Seaton
14 Wendy Carr 63 Portsmouth
15
16

East Devon Congress 2018 Results. 03.03.2018.) 975

The East Devon Congress came to a successful end on Sunday evening. In the Open Section, Jack Rudd skittled his way through the first 4 rounds enabling him to agree a quick draw to ensure 1st prize, and his opponent, Dominic Mackle, clear 2nd.

The other winners were as follows:

3rd= Mike Waddington (Dorchester); Jeremy Fallowfield (Stourbridge); Oscar Garcia (Poole); Philip Tozer (Athenaeum); Steve Dilleigh (Bristol), Graham Bolt (Exeter) & John Stephens, (Exmouth) all 3½.

Grading prizes (U-186) Mike Duggan; Paul Helbig & Paul Hampton (Seaton) all 3½. (U-160) Yuyang Wang (Plymouth) .

Major Section (U-155): 1st David Archer (154 – S. Hams) 5 pts. 2nd= Matthew Read (152 – Shrewsbury); Colin Sellwood (149 – Camborne) & Mark Potter (154 – Dorchester) all 4 pts. GPs (U-146) Roy Shapland (Barnstaple).

(U-135) Nick Cunliffe (Wells).

Minor Section (U-125): 1st= Roy Greenhalgh 115 – S. Hams); James Wallman (105 – Dorset); Graham Hillman (114 – Wimbourne); Gary Loyden (113 – Swindon); Chris Smith (102 – Thornbury) & Peter Strong (92 – Clevedon) All 4 pts. Although the lowest graded in this 6-way tie, Strong won the Cup by virtue of his sum-of-opponents’ scores. GPs (U-106) Christine Constable (105 – Bude) & John Carr (100). (U-91) Elmira Walker (90-Downend); Brian Aldwin (87 – Exeter); Tim Roberts (87 – Exeter Uni.) & Ken Hayden-Sadler (66 – Teignmouth) all 2½.

This was Rudd’s 3rd round game, a crisp win against an opponent who nevertheless still finished in the prizelist.

White: P. Tozer (193). Black: J. Rudd. (226)

English Opening – Sicilian Variation.

1.c4 e5 The Sicilian Variation, generally regarded as the liveliest of Black’s responses, although Howard Staunton was of the opinion that “White would get a fine game”.  2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0–0 Be6 8.a3 a5 9.d3 Be7 10.Be3 0–0 11.Rc1 f5 Black wastes no time in starting a central attack. 12.Na4 e4 13.Ne1 Nd5 14.Bc5 e3 15.f4 The e-pawn cannot be taken because of 15…Nxe3 15…b6 16.Bxd5 Bxd5 White’s dominance of the white diagonal eventually proves the key to victory. 17.Bxe3 Bf6 Compare and contrast the positioning of each side’s minor pieces. 18.Nc3 Re8 19.Bf2 Bf7 20.Nf3 Nd4 21.Nxd4 Bxd4 22.Qd2 c5 23.e3 Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Qd5 25.g4 Qf3 26.gxf5 Bd5 Threatening mate on 2 squares. 27.e4 Black is not to be denied. 27…Rxe4! 28.Bg3 If 28.dxe4 and mate will follow. 28…Qxe4. 28…Re1 protecting Black’s queen by pinning its attacker and hence ensuring mate next move. 29.Rcxe1 Qg2# 0–1.

The “zinger” in last week’s position was 1.Rh6+! Kxh6 (1…Kf7 is no better) 2.Qf6+ Kh7 3.Rh1+ Kg8 4.Rh8 mate.

The US millionaire Alain White (1880-1951) used to collect problems and each Christmas would reward those who sent him specimens with a small book. This was from his 1905 gift which contained 200 problems with a “king trapped in the corner” theme. This was No. 26, a 2-mover by his friend and mentor, Sam Loyd, a devilishly teasing composer.

White to play and mate in 2

Cornwall vs Devon Results (31.03.2018.) 979

The delayed Devon vs Cornwall match took place on Sunday at the Plymouth Bridge Club and resulted in a win for Devon by 12 points to 4. The details were as follows: (Devon names 1st in each pairing. 1.Dominic Mackle (196) 1-0 Jeremy Menadue (191). 2. Jonathan Underwood (191) ½-½ James Hooker (178). 3.John Stephens (189) 1-0 Lloyd Retallick (174). 4.Graham Bolt (188) 1-0 David Saqui (169). 5.John Wheeler (187) ½-½ Mark Hassall (168). 6.David Twine (182) 0-1 Robin Kneebone (164). 7. Brian Hewson (179) 1-0 Richard Stephens (160). 8. Chris Lowe (179) 1-0 Colin Sellwood (155). 9. Jos Haynes (176) 1-0 Richard Smith (153). 10.Paul Hampton (175) 1-0 Adam Hussain (145). 11.Dennis Cowley (175) 0-1 Gary Trudeau (148). 12. Trefor Thynne (174) ½-½  Jamie Morgan (146). 13           Vignesh Ramesh (164) 1-0 Jan Rodrigo (141). 14. Leif Hafstad (164) 1-0 Mick Hill (139) 15. Brian Gosling (160) ½-½ Toby Willis (135). 16. Mike Stinton-Brownbridge (158) 1-0 David Jenkins (121).

As reported, Toby Willis created great interest at the Cornish Congress recently by winning the Falmouth Cup with 5/5, only ever having learned to play via videos on YouTube. This was his first county match and he got a creditable draw against a highly experienced opponent.

Devon now go one to compete in the Minor Counties section of the National Stages and await to learn of their quarter-final opponents.

Here is one of the Cornish wins, with notes based on those by the winner. This and another game may be found on cornwallchess.org.uk.

White: G. Trudeau. Black: D. Cowley.    Alekhine’s Defence [B02]

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.Nc3 Nxc3 4.dxc3 Pawns usually seek to take towards the centre, but in this case after 4.bxc3 Black gets a comfortable game viz. 4…d6 5.Nf3 Bg4. 4…e6 More usual here is 4…d6 as it immediately asks a question. 5.Be3 b6 6.Nf3 Bb7 7.Be2 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qd2 d5 10.Rad1 c5 11.Ne1 preparing a kingside charge. 11…Qc7 12.f4 Nd7 13.Nf3 Rad8 14.Qe1 c4 15.Nd4 Nc5 16.Bf3 Qc8? 17.g4 f5? Black really needed to challenge White’s centre with 17…f6 18.gxf5 exf5 19.Qg3 Ne4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Rd2 g6 22.Rfd1 Playable was 22.Rg2 in keeping with his plan for a kingside attack, but White preferred to watch and wait. 22…Bc5 23.h4 Kf7? 24.Qg5 Be7 25.Qh6 Rg8 setting a trap. e.g. 26.Qxh7+ Rg7 27.Qh6 Rh8 winning White’s queen. Easily seen, so 26.e6+ Kf6 27.Qg5+ Kg7 28.Qxe7+ Kh6 29.Qf6 Rdf8 30.Nxf5+ 1–0 It’s mate next move.

This weekend the West of England Championships are being held at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, EX8 2AG, with rounds 3 and 4 taking place today, 5 & 6 are on Sunday and the final round is on Monday morning.

In last week’s position, Black could offer a pseudo sacrifice with 1…QxP+! And if 2.RxQ then Rc1+ is mate as the rook is pinned.

Here is a 2-mover by the pioneering composer and Westcountryman, John Brown (1827 – 1876), taken from Brian Gosling’s excellent biography.

White to mate in 2 moves