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So Near – So Far For Devon U-180 Team

Having got through the Quarter- & Semi-Finals of the National U-180 Inter-County Championships, Devon met Middlesex in the final at Warwick yesterday, and a tense affair it proved to be.

Team Captain, Brian Hewson, tells the story of the afternoon thus:- 

Unfortunately Devon lost 7.5-8.5. We were outgraded on the bottom 6 boards and half way through the match we looked like losing by more. We were 2 down with half the games complete; draws from Annetts, Ingham, myself, Shaw, Scott and Underwood but losses for Atkins and Wensley. Then Steve Martin won, Dean and Stinton-Brownbridge drew and Paul Brooks won. So we were level with 4 to play. Unfortunately boards 2,3 and 12 looked dodgy and Mark Abbott was in an intense battle despite being a piece up as his opponent had a pawn on the 7th. However Dave Regis pulled off a draw but then Alan Brusey lost. That left us with the prospect that if Mark won and Nick Butland drew we would win 8-8 on board count. Unfortunately Nick, despite a valiant effort, could not hold his game. Mark eventually won his tough game with a throng of players onlooking.  

I was able to present the Team’s Best Board Trophy for the season as a whole to Jonathan Underwood at the event. Jonathan travelled a long way for every match, showing great commitment and achieved a very good 6.5/8 in the season, with no losses, on the high boards. 

I would like all those who played and endured the long journey to Warwick and a very long tiring day.

Details of individual results at the end of this report.

Brian Hewson (r) presents DCCA's Best Player trophy to Dr. Jonathan Underwood before the match.

Underwood (l) gets down to some serious thought.


The details were as follows:

    DEVON  Grd Score   Score MIDDLESEX Grd
1 B Underwood, Jon 180 ½   ½ Tasker, Michael 187
2 W Regis, David 181 ½   ½ Nettleton, Charlie 169
3 B Brusey, Alan W 181 0   1 Chan, Nevil 179
4 W Hewson, Brian 176 ½   ½ Calvert, D Ian 176
5 B Martin, Steven 175 1   0 Crichton, Martin 176
6 W Abbott, Mark V 171 1   0 Mackenzie, Colin 175
7 B Shaw, Meyrick 173 ½   ½ Kane, Robert 173
8 W Ingham,  William 168 ½   ½ Taylor, William J 173
9 B Stinton-B, Michael 168 ½   ½ Dydak, Mateusz 170
10 W Dean, Steve K 167 ½   ½ Dickson, George 167
11 B Atkins, Keith P 160 0   1 Fulton, Anthony 173
12 W Butland, Nick J 158 0   1 Fincham, Leon 166
13 B Annetts, Ivor S 157 ½   ½ White, David J 165
14 W Wensley, Oliver 151 0   1 Kreuzer, Chris 167
15 B Scott, Chris J 154 ½   ½ Kay, Jonathan 160
16 W Brooks, Paul 152 1   0 Boy Lazoni, Victor 159

Keith Arkell Simul. (10.06.2015.)

Grandmaster Keith Arkell visited the fledgling chess club at East Budleigh at the weekend. Popular though the hard-working GM is, attendance was affected by the fact that, quite by chance,  there were a number of other activities that weekend, not least the WECU Council Meeting at Ilminster and Devon were due to play Lancashire in the Semi-Final of the National Stages. Wives will only permit so much chess activity in any one weekend. That was bad luck on the Organiser and founder of the new club, Brian Gosling. 

Nevertheless, it was a most enjoyable session. Keith took on all-comers, playing everyone twice, and afterwards going through the games from memory, giving advice on the run of play. He picked out the 2 games that gave him the most trouble and they were awarded book prizes. These were Malcolm Belt and Chris Scott of the Exmouth Club, and their prizes, suitable inscribed, were presented to them at their Club in the Royal Beacon Hotel. Keith had analysed their games, the scores of which were posted on the ECF website together with an account of the occasion.

Arkell in action: Belt nearest and Scott furthest.


Belt & Scott play through one of the games, with their book prizes on show.


They found a better move - but too late!

Gold Coins Raining Down (16.05.2015.)

Cornwall’s venture into the National Stages of the Inter-County Championship ended at the first hurdle when they lost to Bedfordshire 5-11 at Weston-Super-Mare. They were outgraded on every board bar one, but not greatly so. In any case, they cannot but be delighted with their overall performance this season. Cornish names 1st in each pairing:- 1. Andrew Greet (229) 1–0 C. Ross (201). 2. Jeremy Menadue (190) ½-½ S. Ledger (195). 3. Theo Slade (178) ½-½ G. Kenworthy (190). 4. Mark Hassall (173) 0-1 A. Elwin (184). 5. Grant Healey (176) 0–1 P. Habershon (182). 6. David Saqui (170) 0-1 G. Borrowdale (181). 7. Robin Kneebone (173) 0-1 R. Freeman (178). 8. Simon Bartlett (168) 0-1 K. Williamson (177). 9. Lloyd Retallick (167) 1-0 M. Botteley (176). 10. Colin Sellwood (153) 0–1 S. Pike (176). 11. Gary Trudeau (157) 1-0 B. Valentine (166). 12. John Wilman (150) 0-1 N. Collacott (165). 13. Jeff Nicholas (150) ½-½ A. Matthews (160). 14. Richard Smith (147) ½-½ T. Lawson (154). 15. David R Jenkins (127) 0-1 C. Sollaway (140). 16. Richard Stephens U/G 0-1 B. Pike (92).

Referring back to their historic win against Devon in March and the game M. Shaw vs Wilman, given earlier, in which Black’s winning move was described by Jeremy Menadue as “what they used to call ‘a gold coins on the board moment’”. Where did that saying come from?

Apparently, it derives from the 1912 game S. Lewitzky vs Frank Marshall at Breslau. In his “autobiography”, ghosted by Reinfeld, Marshall introduces it thus:- “Perhaps you have heard about this game which so excited the spectators that they showered me with gold pieces! I have often been asked whether this really happened. The answer is – yes, that is what happened, literally”. Here is the game, shorn of most of his analysis.

White: S. Lewitzky. Black F. J. Marshall

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Bg5 0–0 9.dxc5 Be6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bg4 Qd6 13.Bh3 Rae8 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Qe2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rxd5 Nd4 20.Qh5 Ref8 21.Re5 Rh6 22.Qg5 Rxh3 23.Rc5 Qg3!! (see diagram)

Black's gold coin moment?


The gold coin moment. “The most elegant move I have ever played!” wrote Marshall.” The queen is offered 3 ways and White cannot accept the offer in any form. (a) If 24.hxg3 Ne2 mate. (b) If 24.fxg3 Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Rxf1 mate, and (c) if 24.Qxg3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxg3+ 26.Kg1 Nxf1 and Black will be a piece up”.

However, a number of authorities are unsure as to the truth of the story. Golombek, in his A History of Chess, casts doubt on it, as does Edward Winter in his Chess Notes. Did the citizens of Breslau in 1912 really have gold coins jangling in their pockets in case they felt a sudden urge to shower them on folk, however deserving? The Cornish certainly didn’t.

Dave Howard’s 2-mover last week was solved by 1.Ne4!

National Success for Devon Club (18.04.2015.)

Devon had a club success at national level for the first time in a number of years last weekend when Newton Abbot won the Major Section of the newly-reformatted National Club Championships. Their Club Secretary, Trefor Thynne reports:-

Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport, 11th -12th April 2015

A Newton Abbot Perspective:    

Newton Abbot Chess Club scored a notable success for Devon chess when they won, at their first attempt, the MAJOR Section (U-175 grade average)  at the revamped National Club Championships held in Birmingham over the weekend of  11th – 12th April. The Club’s 1st team was as surprised as anyone by the ease of their victory as they won all four of their matches and finished 3 points clear of the runners-up. Not only that, but the Club’s 2nd team did very well in coming 3rd out of 10 teams in the INTERMEDIATE Section (U-150 grade average).

The idea of entering teams for this event had come about when several of the club’s members decided to do something different from the usual run of local league competitions. The National Club Championships, formerly run like the FA Cup with a season-long knock-out campaign (although with the addition of a Plate competition for Rd. 1 losers) had somewhat lost its cachet with the expansion of the 4NCL, and in 2014 the ECF decided to reinvent the competition as a weekend congress at High Wycombe for club teams. Each team would consist of 4 players and would play 4 matches over the weekend. This year the event switched to the conveniently central location of Birmingham and attracted an increased entry into its 4 sections (Open, Major, Intermediate and Minor).

The Newton Abbot club (which incidentally celebrates its 10th birthday this year) entered two teams whose members were:

MAJOR:   Stephen Homer (184); John Fraser (175); Trefor Thynne (168); Matthew Wilson (157). (av. 171)

INTERMEDIATE: Andrew Kinder (146); Wilf Taylor (142); Vignesh Ramesh (138); Jacquie Barber-Lafon (121). (av. 136).

It was noteworthy that each of the two teams contained one of Devon’s best junior players: 17 yr- old John Fraser, already an England international, in the Major team and 14 yr -old Vignesh Ramesh in the Intermediate, both products of Torquay Boys’ Grammar School.


Rd. 1:  Newton Abbot (171) 2½ – 1½ Wanstead and Woodford (173).

(Homer 1; Fraser ½; Wilson 0; Thynne 1)                                       

Rd. 2:  Newton Abbot 2½ – 1½ DHSS (167).

(Homer ½; Fraser 1; Wilson ½; Thynne ½)

Rd. 3: Newton Abbot 3 -1  GLCC (173).

(Homer 1; Fraser ½; Thynne ½; Wilson 1).

Rd. 4: Newton Abbot 2½ – 1½ Solihull  (169).

(Homer 0; Fraser 1; Thynne ½; Wilson 1).

Individual scores: Homer 2½ Fraser 3 Thynne 2½ Wilson 2½


1st Newton Abbot 8:   2nd Wanstead and Woodford 5:        3rd Drunken Knights                         

4th Solihull 3:              5th  DHSS 2:                                                   6th  GLCC 2.


Rd. 1:  Newton Abbot (136) 1-3  Leamington (125).

(Kinder 0; Taylor 0; Ramesh 0; Barber-Lafon 1).

Rd. 2: Newton Abbot  3 -1 Redditch  (135).

(Kinder 1; Taylor ½; Ramesh 1; Barber-Lafon ½).

Rd. 3:  Newton Abbot  2½ – 1½ Wanstead & Woodford  (144).

(Kinder ½; Taylor 1; Ramesh 0; Barber-Lafon 1)

Rd. 4: Newton Abbot 2 – 2 Sutton Coldfield (144).

(Kinder 0; Taylor 0; Ramesh 1; Barber-Lafon 1).

Individual scores: Kinder 1½; Taylor 1½;  Ramesh 2;  Barber-Lafon 3½).


1st Sutton Coldfield 7;                 2nd Braille Chess Association 6;        3rd Newton Abbot 5;                             4th Newport (Salop)  5;          5th Leamington 4;                              6th Warley Quinborne 4;          7th Redditch 4;                                          8th Wanstead & Woodford 2;             9th Wolverhampton 2;            10th  GLCC 1:

The pleasing thing about the performance of the Newton Abbot 1st team was the consistency over all 4 boards with no weak link. Each player scored vital wins in closely-fought matches. Considering that the majority of previous winners of this event have come from the powerful south-east of England, this victory is a notable triumph for Westcountry chess (one leading ECF officer present actually asked me after the prize-giving “Where exactly is Newton Abbot? “ I was pleased to reassure him that yes, good chess was played in the far south-west and no, we did not have straw sticking out of our ears!

The club’s second team also exceeded expectations since they had the 3rd lowest average grade of the 10 teams. All four team members contributed wins at vital moments but the outstanding score (3 ½) was that of Devon and West of England Ladies’ Champion on Bd 4, Jacquie Barber-Lafon.

To conclude, the experiment of entering this new-style event can be called a resounding success and it perhaps paves the way for other Devon clubs in the future. Certainly the format was much appreciated by all teams who competed in an enjoyable atmosphere of friendly rivalry. Accommodation (discounted rates on offer for chess players) in the Holiday Inn was excellent, as were the playing conditions in the hotel.

Newton Abbot Chess Club members look forward to defending their title in 2016. Let us hope to see other Devon clubs also take up the challenge of competing on the national stage.

Trefor Thynne.

NB: Wilson finished early and left for home, thereby missing the team’s photo opportunity, but the organisers insisted on 4 players being present, so Andrew Kinder appears in both teams below.

1st Team: (l-r) Alex Holowczak (organiser); Thynne; Homer; Fraser & Kinder.

2nd Team: (l-r) Ramesh; Taylor; Kinder & Barber-Lafon.

West of England Championship & Congress – Day 2

 The results of the morning games, with its 5 draws,  led to a certain bunching up of scores, behind the sole leader, Keith Arkell. In the last game to finish, Slade pushed Mackle to the limit, but with only a few minutes of extra time left, a draw was agreed, with Slade having the only piece on the board. The withdrawal of Fallowfield jr. meant that a bye was created and this fell to Maurice Staples. He got the full point, but had a meaningful game against a player with a bye  in the Minor. By chance (no pun intended), this happened to be Hazel Welch, which meant that a former WECU Champion was playing a former WECU Ladies Champion, and that doesn’t happen often.

  Open – Rd. 3            
1 Arkell, Keith CC 2493 (2) ½ – ½ Rudd, Jack 2251 (1½)
2 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (1½) ½ – ½ Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (1½)
3 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (1½) ½ – ½ Bolt, Graham 1989 (1)
4 Mackle, Dominic 2248 (1) ½ – ½ Slade, Theo 1962 (1)
5 Bartlett, Simon 1961 (1) 0 – 1 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (1)
6 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (1) ½ – ½ Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (1)
7 Bass, John W 2013 (1) 0 – 1 Thompson, Robert 1995 (½)
8 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (½) 1 – 0 Savory, Richard J 2100 (½)
9 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (½) 1 –      

The afternoon saw 5 wins, with the 3 titled players starting to edge ahead, while Brusey and Bolt continued their good run of form.

  Open Rd. 4              
1 Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (2) 0 – 1 Arkell, Keith C 2493 (2½) 1
2 Rudd, Jack 2251 (2) 1 – 0 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (2) 17
3 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (1½) 0 – 1 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (2) 5
4 Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (1½) ½ – ½ Mackle, Dominic 2248 (1½) 3
5 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (2) 1 – 0 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (1½) 15
6 Thompson, Robert 1995 (1½) 0 – 1 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (1½) 13
7 Bolt, Graham 1989 (1½) 1 – 0 Bartlett, Simon 1961 (1) 19
8 Savory, Richard J 2100 (½) ½ – ½ Bass, John W 2013 (1) 10
9 Slade, Theo 1962 (1½) 1 –        

West of England Championship & Congress – Day 1

 After a few words of welcome by the Union’s out-going General Secretary, the show got on the road at exacty 10 a.m.  There had been a few late entries balanced by 4 even later withdrawals. The average grade of the 18 entries in the Open was 190 (ECF) which made this the strongest Open section for many years. There were 4 former champions involved, Arkell, Rudd and Mackle, of course, from recent years, but they were joined by Maurice Staples who had played in the event 18 times several decades ago, and became WECU Champion in 1979.

This overall strength was borne out when Rd. 1, usually the occasion for much bloodshed in any Swiss event,  ended with only 3 wins. The surprise of the round was prbably Alan Brusey’s win over McMichael.

  Open – Round 1            
1 Arkell, Keith C 2493 (0) 1 – 0 Bass, John W 2013 (0)
2 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (0) ½ – ½ Rudd, Jack 2251 (0)
3 Mackle, Dominic 2248 (0) ½ – ½ Thompson, Robert 1995 (0)
4 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (0) 1 – 0 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (0)
5 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (0) ½ – ½ Bolt, Graham 1989 (0)
6 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (0) ½ – ½ Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (0)
7 Fallowfield, Jeremy R 2072 (0) 0 – 1 Slade, Theo 1962 (0)
8 Bartlett, Simon 1961 (0) ½ – ½ Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (0)
9 Savory, Richard J 2100 (0) ½ -      
10 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (0) ½ -      

The afternoon round was preceded by a presentation to Jack Rudd of the handsome trophy awarded to Devon’s Champion of Champions. This is competed for, on a knock-out basis, by the Champions of each club affiliated to DCCA. Jack represented Barnstaple’s interests and the shield was handed over by Keith Arkell. (see photo below). This 2nd round proved different inasmuch as there were only 2 draws, and when play was over for the day, Arkell was left as the only one on 2/2 points.

  Open – Round 2            
1 Slade, Theo 1962 (1) 0 – 1 Arkell, Keith CC 2493 (1)
2 Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (½) 1 – 0 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (1)
3 Rudd, Jack 2251 (½) 1 – 0 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (½)
4 Bolt, Graham 1989 (½) ½ – ½ Mackle, Dominic 2248 (½)
5 Thompson, Robert 1995 (½) 0 – 1 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (½)
6 Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (½) ½ – ½ Bartlett, Simon 1961 (½)
7 Savory, Richard J 2100 (½) 0 – 1 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (½)
8 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (0) 1 – 0 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (½)
9 Bass, John W 2013 (0) 1 –      
10 Fallowfield, Jeremy R 2072 (0) ½ –      


General view of Rd. 1 in action

Rd. 1 - Bd. 1: Arkell vs Bass

3 Cornish players: Bartlett vs Menadue (nearest) & Slade vs Fallowfield (in blue).

Jack Rudd receives his Winter-Wood shield from Keith Arkell.

Arkell plays his much-favoured Caro-Kann against Theo Slade.

Congress Secretary, Meyrick Shaw, on his was to a Black win against Fallowfield.


Bds. 2 - 4: Menadue vs Brusey nearest.

Teignmouth RapidPlay 2015 Results

The prizewinners in the 34th Teignmouth Rapidplay Congress, played on Saturday 28th March,  were as follows:

  Open Grd Club Pts
1st Patryk Krzyzanowski 197 Yeovil 5
2nd= Jonathan Underwood 196 Seaton/Exmouth
  Steve Homer 194 Newton Abbot
GP (A) Meyrick Shaw 164 Exmouth 4
GP (B) Rob Wilby 142 Plymouth 3
  Steve Pollyn 143 Wimborne 3
U-14 Vignesh Ramish 161 Newton Abbot 3
  Graded Section      
1st= Paul Brackner 121 Bridport 5
  Duncan Macarthur 134 Keynsham 5
  Chris McKinley 123 Sedgemoor 5
GP (A) Kelvin Hunter 120 Tiverton  
GP (B) Gary Behan   99 Plymouth
U-14 Nandaja Narayanan   94 Newton Abbot 3
  Macey Rickard 103 Teignmouth 3

The cross tables, generated by Tournament Director, are here:-

NB    Index:
A = Player’s score
B = Number of graded games played
C = Total grading points
D = Performance Grade

Pos Name Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B C D
1 Krzyzanowski, Patryk 197C b6+ w5+ b10+ w4= w8= b2+ 5 6 1230 205
2 Homer, Stephen J 194C b21+ w20= b3+ w9+ b4+ w1- 6 1220 203
3 Underwood, Jonathan 196F w13+ b9= w2- b7+ w5+ b8+ 6 1175 196
4 Piper, Stephen J 185C w18+ b16+ w8+ b1= w2- b9= 4 6 1116 186
5 Shaw, Meyrick 164A w14+ b1- w11+ w17+ b3- w13+ 4 6 1146 191
6 Bartlett, Simon 156A w1- b18= w16+ b11+ b9= w10= 6 1065 178
7 Body, Giles 166A b8- w22= b12+ w3- b20+ w17+ 6 985 164
8 Lingham, Richard H 0 w7+ w17+ b4- w10+ b1= w3- 6 290 48
9 Richardt, Mike 184B b19+ w3= b20+ b2- w6= w4= 6 1071 179
10 Rossiter, Alex 173C w12+ b15+ w1- b8- w14+ b6= 6 995 166
11 Jaszkiwskyj, Peter 169B b16- w19+ b5- w6- b21+ w20+ 3 6 906 151
12 Pollyn, Stephen M 143F b10- b13= w7- w21+ b18+ w15= 3 6 979 163
13 Ramesh, Vignesh 161A b3- w12= b22+ w20= b17+ b5- 3 6 973 162
14 Wilby, Robert G 142A b5- w21+ b17- w19+ b10- w16+ 3 6 959 160
15 Fraser, John 174C b20- w10- b19= w22+ b16= b12= 6 842 140
16 Bowley, John R 142C w11+ w4- b6- b18= w15= b14- 2 6 874 146
17 Brusey, Alan W 181A w22+ b8- w14+ b5- w13- b7- 2 6 818 136
18 Dean, Steve K 151B b4- w6= b21= w16= w12- b19= 2 6 825 138
19 Keen, Charles E 145A w9- b11- w15= b14- b22+ w18= 2 6 864 144
20 Senior, Neville N 145C w15+ b2= w9- b13= w7- b11- 2 6 939 157
21 Annetts, Ivor S 154A w2- b14- w18= b12- w11- b22+ 6 793 132
22 Quinn, Martin 144D b17- b7= w13- b15- w19- w21- ½ 6 731 122


  Name Grade 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B C D
1 Brackner, Paul 121 w14= b16+ w13+ b17= w19+ b8+ 5 6 823 137
2 Macarthur, Duncan M 134 b11+ w28+ b8+ w4+ b5+ w3- 5 6 902 150
3 McKinley, Chris TJ 123 w20+ b13= w18= b7+ w17+ b2+ 5 6 864 144
4 Derrick, Neil D 137 w10+ b26+ w5= b2- w13+ b15+ 6 845 141
5 Hunter, Kelvin 120 b24+ w27+ b4= w6+ w2- b9+ 6 864 144
6 Wilson, Matthew R 134 w13- b24+ w16+ b5- w26+ b17+ 4 6 731 122
7 Alexander, Ken RD 128 b27- w22+ b10+ w3- b11= w20+ 6 687 115
8 Behan, Gary 99 w12+ b19+ w2- b18+ b9= w1- 6 775 129
9 Dicker, Nigel 122 w18- b20+ w26+ b15+ w8= w5- 6 696 116
10 George, John Michael 110 b4- w23+ w7- b30+ w12= b19+ 6 706 118
11 Jones, Sidney A 112 w2- b25= w30= b24+ w7= b16+ 6 655 109
12 Kelly, Edmund 123 b8- w29+ b28= w14= b10= w27+ 6 647 108
13 Maber, Martyn J 106 b6+ w3= b1- w21+ b4- w22+ 6 754 126
14 Blackmore, Joshua P 89 b1= b15= w19= b12= w16- b26+ 3 6 704 117
15 Doidge, Charles 121 b17= w14= b27+ w9- b18+ w4- 3 6 650 108
16 Dowse, Alan 113 bye+ w1- b6- w27+ b14+ w11- 3 5 511 102
17 Narayanan, Nandaja 94 w15= b30+ b21+ w1= b3- w6- 3 6 691 115
18 Rickard, Macey J 103 b9+ w21= b3= w8- w15- b25+ 3 6 644 107
19 McGeeney, David B 122 b22+ w8- b14= w28+ b1- w10- 6 562 94
20 Thorpe-Tracey, Stephen F 99 b3- w9- b23+ w25= b21+ b7- 6 557 93
21 Waters, Roger G 116 w29+ b18= w17- b13- w20- b24+ 6 510 85
22 Darlow, Paul 73 w19- b7- w25+ b26- w23+ b13- 2 6 402 67
23 Dyer, Jack 0 w26- b10- w20- b29+ b22- w28+ 2 6 138 23
24 Haines, Matthew A 82 w5- w6- b29+ w11- b28+ w21- 2 6 523 87
25 Hay, Curtis J 0 b28- w11= b22- b20= w29+ w18- 2 6 138 23
26 Hussey, Michael 104 b23+ w4- b9- w22+ b6- w14- 2 6 519 87
27 Mackie, Norman 105 w7+ b5- w15- b16- w30+ b12- 2 6 581 97
28 Welch, Hazel 111 w25+ b2- w12= b19- w24- b23- 6 453 76
29 Pollyn, William D 38 b21- b12- w24- w23- b25- b30+ 1 6 110 18
30 Webster, Alan F 76 b31= w17- b11= w10- b27- w29- 1 6 375 63
31 Tatam, Anthony 119A w30=           ½ 1 79 79

40th East Devon Congress – Final round.

Having played each other in the penultimate round, the two top grades, Jack Rudd and Dominic Mackle, had to face other opposition. Rudd was drawn against Alistair Hill of Battersea, while Mackle faced the perennially solid Steve Dilleigh, not someone you’d want to be playing if you needed a last round win. The Rudd-Hill was over in 90 minutes, making Jack the “leader in the clubhouse”, watching how the other game was going. Eventually Jack had to leave to catch his train home,  and it was soon after that Mackle started to turn the screws and got domination in the centre with free-moving pieces, while Dilleigh’s pieces were forced to edges of the board, from where they had no counter-play.

In the Major Section John Nyman of the famous King’s Head club in London won the Major Section (U-155) and with it the Ken Schofield Salver.

Chess-playing sisters are something of a rarety on the circuit. There are the Polgars, of course, and the Eagles from Liverpool, though they are now inactive because being MPs takes up so much of their time. After that, one might be a little stuck to come up with other names, but here we had the Westcountry Fursman girls; Lynne playing in the Major and Joy in the Minor (U-125). Lynne was a little off the pace in her section, but her sister was on Bd. 1 facing local player, Mark Cockerton of Torquay. She had White, played the Bird’s Opening and happily drew her game to clinch clear 1st and the grandest of the three trophies up for grabs. Joy was truly unconfined in the foyer afterwards, so pleased was she with her success. They were taught chess by their father, and now Joy is based in Clevedon, near Bristol, and Lynne in Tewkesbury.

Here is the full prizelist.

Section Position Name Club Points Prize (£)
Open 1st= Jack Rudd (IM) Barnstaple 170.00
    Dominic Mackle Newton Abbot 170.00
  3rd Lorenz Hartmann Exeter 4 80.00
  GP 169-181= Alan Brusey Teignmouth 14.00
    David Littlejohns Taunton 14.00
    Mark Abbott Exmouth 14.00
  GP <169= Robert Wright Bridport 3 20.00
  GP <169= Jamie Morgan Penwith 3 20.00
Major U-155 1st John Nyman King’s Head 160.00
     2nd= Ben Franklin Battersea 4 90.00
    Neville Senior Sedgemoor 4 90.00
  GP 133-147= John Morrison Tiverton 20.00
    Rob Wilby Plymouth 20.00
  GP <133 Lynne Fursman   3 40.00
Minor U-125 1st Joy Fursman   160.00
     2nd= Reece Whittington Exeter 4 45.00
    Nicky Bacon Sidmouth 4 45.00
    Mark Cockerton TorquayTeignmouth 4 45.00
    Terence Greenaway Torquay 4 45.00
  GP 102-110 James Wallman   4 40.00
  GP <102 Terry Dengler Truro 3 40.00
  Team Prize   Exeter A 14 40.00


The start of Rd. 5 - every table occupied.

Top games: Hill vs Rudd & Mackle vs Dilleigh.

Paulden vs Wensley

Top game in the Major: Nyman vs Neville Senior.

Joy Fursman in pole position at the start of the round.

Apart from Joy Fursman, there were 4 other ladies in the Minor. Here are Frances Brightman (in blue), Hazel Welch (red) and Helen Archer-Lock.

Jack Rudd guaranteed at least a share of the Nat West Cup.

Mackle later caught to add his name to the Nat West trophy.

John Nyman, clearly happy with his prize.

Joyful Joy, winner of the Minor trophy.

Lynne is just as pleased with her sister's success.

East Devon Congress Gets Under Way (27.02.2015.)

There had been a few question marks over the future of this event earlier earlier in the year, but the committee of 2 decided to go ahead anyway, and a late rush of entries took the total above the hundred mark.

By a quirk of fate, the funeral of the event’s first secretary 40 years ago, Guy Sparke, was held a few hours before the start of Rd. 1. and in the opening remarks from the stage, the players were reminded of his contribution to creating and establishing the event on the chess calendar.

There were about 30 byes being taken on the Friday evening, but there were enough present to give the large playing area a busy look.

Dominic Mackle and committee member Mark Abbott had a chance to catch up in the 2 minute wait between the end of the speeches and the 7 p.m. start.

.... and then it was time to shake hands and start the clocks.

General view of the hall.

Bill Adaway of Bridport (l) was a winner at the Exmouth Seniors' Congress in November and could figure in the prizelist here.


Simon Bartlett and Dr. Tim Paulden start their Rd. 1 game.


Somes games in the Minor Section.

A Problem for Alice (28.02.2015.)

Bristol’s Winter Congress ended on Sunday and the winner of the top section was Patryk Krzyzanowski (Yeovil) on 4/5 points, with a 5-way tie for 2nd. Theo Slade (Barnstaple) won the Grading Prize. I hope to have more details next week. Meanwhile, games may be found on the Bristol League website, chessit.co.uk.

In last week’s position, Black finished with the no-nonsense 1…Rg1+ 2.KxR Qh2+ 3.Kf1 Qh1 mate.

WMN reader Jonathan Brewer of St. Columb has written in to remind me that it’s 150 years since the first publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. There have been newspaper articles and commemorative stamps issued, so perhaps we should follow suit.

Carroll, or the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, to give him his full name, was a leading mathematician, lecturing in the subject at Oxford and with a dozen treatises to his credit; a pioneering photographer; an entertaining story-teller and a chess enthusiast.

Although in his first story, Alice encountered a kingdom of playing cards after falling down the rabbit hole, in the sequel, Through The Looking-Glass, she stepped through a mirror to find a new wonderland populated by anthropomorphic red and white chessmen.

The story was designed around a game of chess. This is made clear at the outset when the reader is confronted with a chess problem and the following note: “White Pawn (Alice) to play, and win in eleven moves.”

The following little sketch, which has had to be further foreshortened, is Mr. Brewer’s own commemorative offering.

“Alice and her older sister were trying to decide how to spend the afternoon. Alice was very tired because she had been up late trying to master her French homework. ‘Perhaps you would be content to pass an hour or two with a book, but I’m afraid you do find some books boring. Why don’t you have a quick look through Father’s books to see if you can find one you like, before we go outside. Some will surely be to your taste, Alice’, said the sister as she rose from the sofa, walking over to the standing bookcase that held so many books. Alice joined her and for the next few minutes both sisters browsed over the books in the study trying to find a good, hopefully engrossing, read. Alice spotted a dark blue covered volume entitled Chess Fun. Turning the crisp pages she came across a chess problem that caught her eye. After unsuccessfully trying to solve this tricky little puzzle Alice asked her sister if she could help, for you see the older sister was a far stronger player. After glancing at the problem she said mysteriously “Alice, maybe your French lessons yesterday could help you!”

Black to mate in 1. What did Alice’s sister mean?

Alice's problem - how does Black mate in 1?

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