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Bournemouth Congress Results (28.04.2012.)

With a prize fund of £3,200 and an excellent venue at a 3-star hotel, the Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Congress last weekend attracted 170 entries overall and some top talent in the Open Section where there were 20 players graded over 190. After 5 rounds, it was David Howell who scooped the top prize of £1,000 with a 100% score. GM Alexander Cherniaev (229) and strong English junior, 15 year-old Peter Williams (224) shared second prize of £200 each with 4½/5. Clear 4th was GM Simon Williams (232) on 4 pts.

Challengers’ Section (U-155) 1st Roger Greatorex (Llangollen) 4½. Upper Minor (U-125) 1st Martin Pope (Camborne) 4½. Lower Minor (U-106) 1st Barry Childs (Cornwall) 4½

Here is Howell’s 1st Round game against the 2010 West of England Champion.

White: Paul Helbig (179). Black: David Howell (251).

Scotch Game [C47]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 The Scotch Game; White tries for an open, active position, rather than risk getting steamrollered. 3…exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Bd3 0–0 8.0–0 Re8 9.Re1 d6 10.Bd2 Ng4 11.h3 Ne5 This knight manoeuvre has only been seen once in on-line databases, but the knight exerts great influence on e5 and proves to be the killer piece. 12.Bf1 Qf6 13.Na4 Bxd2 14.Qxd2 g5 This looks risky as it weakens his own king’s position, but with White’s knight sidelined on the other wing, Black now has his queen and minor pieces all bearing down on the enemy king. 15.Re3 Kh8 16.Rg3 Rg8 17.Be2 Be6 18.Rf1 Rg6 19.f4 gxf4 20.Rxf4 Qg7 21.Rxg6 Qxg6 22.Kh1 Rg8 23.Bg4 Bxg4 24.hxg4 Qh6+ 25.Kg1 Rxg4 0–1. White must lose material after 26.Rf2 Nf3+ 27.Kf1 and now there are forced mating lines. 27…Nxd2+ 28.Rxd2 Qh1+ 29.Kf2 Qxg2+ 30.Ke1 Rxe4+ etc.

The next big event in the region is the 23rd Frome Congress which starts a week on Friday, 11th – 13th May at Oakfield School, a new venue for the event. Enquiries to Gerry Jepps on 01749-344191 or e-mail

Last week’s position was taken from the game Arkell-Holland at the recent High Wycombe tournament. White seemed to be in great trouble with both rooks attacked and a forced mate just 1 move away, but he found 1.Qd8! where it is undefended and can be taken by two pieces, but it is sufficient to unravel all Black’s threats. There’s a lot of play left, but White now has enough initiative to win in the end.

The Cornish problemist, Christopher Reeves, recently sent me a current copy of the excellent Serbian magazine Mat Plus, which contained a 10 page article by David Shire on Reeves’ 2-movers. Of his 120 published problems, this is one of the earliest from 1962.

White to mate in 2.

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