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Arkell Sets The Pace at Paignton. (08.10.2018.) 1002

The 68th Paignton Congress finishes this afternoon after 7 strenuous rounds. In the early stages, local Grandmaster Keith Arkell with 4 wins out of 4, looked to be well on course to repeat his achievements of numerous previous years in coming clear 1st in the Premier Section. The full prizelist will appear next week.

This game of his from Rd. 2 was his favourite of the 4 played so far.

White: K. C. Arkell. Black. D. B. Rosen.

1.d4 f5 the Dutch Defence, an opening that has retained its popularity since the 19th century. 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 d5 5.Bg2 c6 6.0–0 Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 0–0 9.Nbd2 Ne4 10.Qc2 Nd7 11.e3 Ndf6 12.Ne5 Both players have developed quickly and without bloodshed – so far. 12…Nxd2 13.Qxd2 Bd7 14.a4 Rab8 15.Qc1 Rfc8 16.Ba3 c5 17.Qb2 cxd4 18.exd4 dxc4 19.bxc4 Bxa3 20.Rxa3 Bc6 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.Nxc6! Cleverly spotting the fact that Black’s rook on c1 is overloaded; If, for example, 22…Rxb2?? 23.Nxe7+ wins a rook; and if 22…Rxc6?? 23.Qxb8+ also wins a rook. 22.Qb7 Qxb7 Rxb7 24.Ne5 Nd7 25.Nf3 Rxc4 26.Re1 Nf8 27.Re5 h6 28.d5 exd5 29.Rxd5 f4 30.Rd8 fxg3 31.hxg3 Rc1+ 32.Kg2 Kf7 33.Re3 Ng6 34.Rd6 Rcc7 35.Ree6 Nf8 36.Ne5+ Kg8 37.Rd8 Re7 38.Rxe7 Rxe7 39.Ng6 Rf7 40.f4 Rf6 41.f5 Rf7 Not 41…Rxf5?? as 42.Ne7+ wins the rook. So Black’s rook is now reduced to moving back and forth one square, and its king cannot even do that. Meanwhile, White’s other pieces can creep up the board to add their own weight to the proceedings, unafraid of being attacked themselves. 42.g4 Rf6 43.Kg3 Rf7 44.a5 Rf6 45.Kf4 Rf7 46.Ke5 Rf6 47.a6 1-0

Two pieces of news hot off the presses. Firstly, the 2019 British Championships are returning to the Riviera Centre, Torquay next July. The two previous occasions were 2013 and 2009, when David Howell was the winner each time. Is this an omen?

Also, a number of changes are afoot for next year’s Cornish Championship Congress. (a) It’s moving from winter to summer, i.e. the weekend of 3rd – 5th May. (b) It’s moving to the Terrace Rooms of the prestigious Falmouth Hotel; (c) the new organisers will be Colin & Rebecca Gardiner, who have organised similar events in other parts of the country, and (d) Instead of being a “closed” event, it will be open to any player in the country. The caveat is that while any player is eligible to win the cash prizes, the Cornish championship trophy itself, the Emigrant Cup, may only be won by someone resident in, born in, working in or attending an educational establishment within the county borderline.

In this position, Black has 4 pieces in attack in contrast to White’s pair of knights which don’t look to have much threat beyond a possible check. Anyway, it’s Black to move, so should he protect against the knights or simply ignore them and go for it?

Black to play and win in 2

Paignton is here!….. in Torquay, that is. (01.09.2018) 1,001

The 68th Paignton Congress starts at 1.45 p.m. tomorrow at the Livermead House Hotel. At the time of going to print there were 33 entries for the 5 round morning sections and 68 for the 7 round afternoon sections, but more will be coming in every day. The Premier Section has 16 entries of whom Paignton resident, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, is by some margin the favourite to win, though strong challengers may yet emerge from the shadows.

Here is one of Keith’s games from the recent British Championship.

White: David Zakarian (213). Black: Keith Arkell (235)

1.e4 e6 Black tries for the French Defence, but White has no intention of  getting sucked into the usual lines, so goes for something quite different. 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4 A most unusual response. 4…cxb4 5.a3 bxa3 6.c3 Nc6 7.d4 White has given up pawns in order to establish a strong central pawn formation. 7…Nh6 8.Bd3 Nf5 9.0–0 h5 10.Nxa3 Be7 11.Re1 a6 12.Bb2 g6 13.Nc2 Na5 14.Ne3 b5 15.Bxf5 gxf5 16.Nd2 Bb7 17.Qf3 Rb8 18.Qg3 Looking to invade on g7 18…Kf8 19.Ba3 Bxa3 20.Rxa3 Nc4 21.Ra2 Rg8 22.Qf4 Qg5 23.Qxg5 Rxg5 24.f4 Rg8 25.Nb3 Ke7 26.Nc5 Rgc8 27.Kf2 h4 28.Rb1 Nxe3 29.Kxe3 Rc6 Both kings now set off on an odyssey across the board to where the game will ultimately be decided. 30.Kd3 Bc8 31.Kc2 Kd8 32.Kb3 Kc7 33.Kb4 Kb6 There now follows some jousting as both sides look for an opening. 34.Rf1 Ra8 35.Ra5 Bb7 36.Rf3 Rh8 37.Ra2 Rc7 38.Rff2 Ra8 39.Ra5 Rac8 40.Rfa2 The position is now blocked and neither player can make much headway. Time, perhaps, for something radical. 40…Rxc5! A sacrifice, which subsequent computer analysis shows is the best move. 41.dxc5+ Rxc5 Black now has a bishop and 2 pawns for the rook, so it’s relatively risk-free. 42.g3 Rc4+ 43.Kb3 d4 44.cxd4 Rxd4 45.Kc3 Rc4+ 46.Kd3 hxg3 47.hxg3 Rc8 48.Ra1 Rg8 White can’t defend this pawn as his rooks are locked together. 49.Kd4 Rxg3

Black has now broken through, with free-moving pieces and a menacing pair of united passed pawns. 50.R5a3 Rg4 51.Rf1 b4 52.Ra2 a5 53.Rb2 Bd5 54.Rh2 Rg3 55.Rh8 Rc3 56.Rb8+ Bb7 57.Rf8 Rc7 58.Rb1 Rd7+ 59.Ke3 Kb5 0-1 Resigns, as it’s just a matter of time now. Black’s 2 pieces have the run of the board; White’s rooks are disconnected and ineffective, and the passed pawns will rumble forward with the full support of Black’s king and heavy artillery.

The solution to last week’s M-shaped 2-mover was 1.Be5! and if 1…KxN 2.Bb4#; or 1…PxN 2.Re7# or 1…PxB 2.Nf4#.

This is the starter problem to the British Solving Championship, given earlier. Two readers got it right, so for the rest, here is the correct solution.

1. Qf7! with the threat of 2. Qf1 mate.

Black had 4 unsuccessful tries to avoid this fate, namely:-

1…Qb8+     2. a x b8 = Q mate.

1…Qb2       2. Rc1 mate.

1…Q x c2   2. Qb7 mate.

1…c x d3    2. Q x b3 mate.

White to mate in 2