Bristol’s Spring Congress took place last weekend at Bristol Grammar School. The winners were as follows, with grade and club after each name:
Open Section: 1st= Keith Arkell (243- Paignton) & Ezra Kirk (225 – Cheddleton). 3rd Stephen Meek (185 – S. Bristol). Grading prize: Cherupali Ramprasad (110 – India). Major Section (U-155): 1st Chris Purry (154 – Frome). 2nd James Hennefeld (141 – Downend). 3rd Howard Millbank (125 – Horfield). Grading prize; Anthony Carver (129 – Hanham). Minor Section (U-125). 1st Jason Blaxill (117 – S. Bristol). 2nd David McGeeney (123 – Bristol Cabot). 3rd Geoff Ainsley (123 – Calderdale). Grading prize: Grant Daly (100 – Downend). Junior Prize: Max French: (164 – Millfield School).
Arkell did not have it all his own way, as he did last year, and had to fight hard in some endgames. But he made excellent use of his knights, as in this game from round 3.
White: Carl Bicknell (201). Black: Keith Arkell. (243) Caro-Kan Defence – Arkell/Khenkin Variation. [B12].
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 Signature move of this variation, much analysed by Arkell and the Russian-born Igor Khenkin, independently, in the 1980s and given their name by the magazine New In Chess. 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 Ba6 8.0–0 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 e6 10.c4 Ne7 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Be3 Nf5 13.Bc5 Bxc5 14.Qb5+ Qd7 15.Qxc5 Rc8 16.Qb4 Ne7 17.f4 0–0 18.Nc3 Rb8 19.Qa3 Nf5 20.Rac1 Ne3 21.Rf2 Nc4 Knight and rook combine to harass White’s queen. 22.Qa4 Qe7 23.b3 Rb4 24.Qa6 Rb6 25.Qa4 Ne3 26.Qd4 Nf5 27.Qd3 Rc6 28.Rcc2 If 28.Rfc2?! Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Ne3 30.Na4 (If 30.b4 for example, Qb6 31.Na4 Rxc2 32.Rxc2 Qxb4 33.Qxe3 Qxa4) 30…Qxc2!! 31.Rxc2 Rxc2 32.Qxe3 d4! 33.Qxd4 Rc1+ 34.Qg1 Rxg1+ 35.Kxg1 Rc8. Meanwhile, back to the game. 28…Qb7 29.h3 g6 30.Qb5 Rb6 31.Qd3 Rb4 32.Na4 Rd4 33.Qc3 Rd1+ 34.Kh2 d4 35.Qc6 Qe7 36.Nc5 Ne3! seriously embarrassing the white rooks. 37.Rfd2 If 37.Rb2 Ng4+ 38.Kg3 (not 38.hxg4?? Qh4#) 38…Nxf2 39.Rxf2 and Black is the exchange up with a very dangerous d-pawn waiting to charge forward. 37…Rxd2 38.Rxd2 Nf1+ forking king and rook 0–1.
This weekend the action moves to the East Devon Congress at the Corn Exchange, Exeter, which started yesterday evening and continues until Sunday afternoon. The Open Section has an unusually large entry this year, probably nearing 60 players, which should make for some interesting games.
In last week’s position, Alekhine beat Lasker after 1.Nf5+ forcing 1…Kh8 2.Qxg6 and if 2…PxQ 3.Rh3 mate.
This position was taken from actual play and appeared in Tattersall’s A Thousand Endgames Vol 1, published in 1901. White to move and should win, of course, but only if he makes the right moves, otherwise Black may be able to draw.