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Arkell Wins European Title (22..03.2014.)

On Monday, Paignton’s resident Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, won the European Championship for Seniors over 50, the first English player to win a European title since Jovanka Houska became Girls’ U-20 Champion in 2000.

At Oporto, Portugal, Keith went through undefeated, finishing with 7/9 points. He is expert at the long drawn out endgame, but here is his quickest win.

White: K. C. Arkell (2448). Black: D. Kurka GER. (2045).

Queen’s Gambit  [D37]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 c6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Qc2 0–0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Nf8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.b4 a6 13.a4 g6 14.b5 a5 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.Ne2 Bd7 17.Rab1 Be7 18.Ne5 Rc8 19.Rb7 Bd6 20.Nxd7 Nxd7 21.Qb3 Re7 22.g3 Bb4 23.Qc2 c5 24.dxc5 Rxc5 25.Qd1 Ne5 26.Rxe7 Qxe7 27.Nf4 Nc4 28.Qe2 Nb6 29.Bb5 Qe4 30.Rd1 Rc2 31.Qg4 Nc4 At this point Black has 2 isolated pawns as opposed to White’s 1, but with bishops of opposite colour this might not be enough to win. White needs something extra…. 32.Nxd5! leaving his queen unprotected yet winning a vital pawn. 32…Qxg4 33.Nf6+ Kg7 34.Nxg4 h5 The knight has nowhere to go, so… 35.Bxc4 Rxc4 36.Ne5 Re4 37.Nf3 Rc4 38.Rd7 Kf6 39.h4 Ba3 40.Rxf7+ Black falls for the same trick again.1-0 If 40…Kxf7 41.Ne5+. White’s 2 extra pawns are now enough for an easy win for someone of Arkell’s expertise.

After drawing with the eventual Champions, Somerset, and beating Hants, Cornwall finished their season in style with a comfortable 9½ – 6½ win over Gloucestershire at Exminster Village Hall. In fact, it went according to form as they outgraded their opponents by about 100 points and lost only 2 of the 16 games. Cornish names first in each pairing:- 1.J. Menadue 1-0 D. Lambourne. 2.M. Hassall ½-½ J. Jenkins. 3.D. Saqui ½-½ J. Waterfield. 4.S. Bartlett 0-1 M. Ashworth. 5.T. Slade 1-0 P. Kirby. 6.R. Kneebone ½-½ P. Meade. 7.G. Healey 1-0 P.  Denison. 8.M. Csuri ½-½ B. Whitelaw. 9.J. Hooker ½-½ P. Dodwell. 10.G. Trudeau ½-½ A. Walker. 11.C. Sellwood 1-0 P. Baker. 12.J. Nicholas 0-1 G. Taylor. 13.J. Wilman ½-½ R. Ashworth. 14.R. Smith ½-½ A. Richards. 15.M. Hill 1-0 J. Caterer. 16.D. R. Jenkins ½-½ P. Bending.

Meanwhile, Somerset overcame Hampshire by 8½-6½, even though their top 5 boards could only muster 1½ points. This made them Div. 1 winners.

In last week’s position, only Black’s bishop prevented White from playing 1.Qf6 and mating on g7, so White can afford to sacrifice his rook by taking it with 1.Rxe5! and there is nothing Black can do.

Here is an original 3-mover from the fertile mind of Dave Howard of East Harptree. Don’t forget Black’s pawns are ready to queen.

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