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Michael Ashworth Is Top WECU JUnior

The West of England Junior Championships were held at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon earlier this year. The age-group champions were as follows:

U-18: Michael Ashworth (Glos/Wilts).

U-16: Robert Ashworth (Glos/Wilts).

U-14: Charlie McLaren (Glos/Wilts).

U-14 Girls: Sophie Cottle (Wilts). U-12: Ben Headlong (Wilts). U-12 Girls: Georgia Headlong (Wilts). U-10: Samir Khan. U-10 Girls: Fiona Thet (Somerset).

U-9: Siddharth Venkatanarayana. (Wilts).

U-8: Matthew Timbrell (Somerset). U-8 Girls: Zohar Ashraf & Kaia Bhatoolaul (both Wilts).

Recently, an inter-county girls match was held in Swindon, involving teams of 12 players from Wiltshire, Somerset and Oxfordshire, playing 2 rounds. The latter were out-classed, but the overall win went down to the last 2 games to finish. 1st Wiltshire 17½ pts.; 2nd Somerset 13½ and 3rd Oxford 5. Somerset’s Team Managers, Chris Strong and Fenella Headlong, reported that the whole match was played in a very friendly atmosphere and many new friends were made, both within and between the teams.
St. Petroc’s, Cornwall’s charity that raises funds and takes action for the homeless in the county, is running an informal chess competition on

Saturday May 21st at Saint Augustine’s Church, St. Austell – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to all, young and old, novices to experts. Previously, the youngest was at primary school, the eldest was 70+, and the strongest was International Master Andrew Greet, who was born in the town. Entries to Jackie Davis email:Jackie.Davis@stpetrocs.org.uk.

Entry fee is £10 (pay on the day), which includes lunch, so you must enter before the event so the lunch numbers can be calculated!

Here is a win by M. Ashworth from last year’s Chess Challenge Terafinal.

White: J. Boswell. Black: M. Ashworth Sicilian Defence [B27]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.c4 The Maroczy Bind, deterring …d5, which is a freeing move for Black. It is often said that if Black can get in …d5 without suffering any weakness elsewhere, he will have achieved at least parity. 5…Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0–0 10.Qd2 a5 Black is seeking ways to undermine the “Bind” simply by circumventing it. 11.0–0 a4 12.Rad1 Qa5 13.Bd4 Be6 14.f3 Rfc8 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.cxd5 Qxd2 17.Rxd2 Nd7 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.b4 axb3 20.axb3 Rc3 21.Rb2 Ra3 22.b4 Nb6 23.Bb5 Kf6 24.f4 Rab3 25.Rbb1 Rxb1 26.Rxb1 Re3 White’s pawn centre will now crumble. 27.Kf2 Rxe4 28.g3 Nxd5 29.Be2?? Black spots the terminal error. 29…Rxe2+! 30.Kxe2 Nc3+ forking king and rook. 0–1

Last week’s position ended after 1…Rf1+ when White must lose his queen to either 2.Kg3 exposing his queen to the rook or 2.BxR Ne4+ forking king & queen.

This position is very near the end of the game Joe Gallagher (W) vs Gary Lane in 1990. How did White finish quickly?

White to play and win

WECU Championship 2016 – Fourth & Final Day

The Final round began at 10 am on Easter Monday. After his gentle draw against Rudd in the previous round Arkell was not inclined to offer any more, lest he be caught, so steered through to a risk-free win against Fallowfield. On Bd. 2 Broek played an Evans Gambit against Rudd, and the two rattled out the opening 12 moves in just a few minutes, at which point Broek forced the win of the exchange, and it was game on. The price the Dutchman paid for that was having his queen trapped in a corner for 22 moves, but held his nerve and eventually won more material, until Black resigned a whole rook down.

The full results were as follows:-

69th WECU Congress 2016:  25th – 28th March  -  Exmouth.
Winners’ List
Name Rating Club score £
Open
1st K. C. Arkell 2451 Cheddleton 400
2nd R. J. McMichael 2189 King’s Head 6 200
3rd= J. R. Fallowfeld 2112 Stourbridge 25
A. P. Smith 2127 Bourne End 25
T. Broek 2180 Wisver Turen ND 25
S. P. Dilleigh 2072 Horfield 25
GP J. F. S. Menadue 2021 Truro 30
Arkell receives  WECU Championship Cup.   Menadue receives the British Championship QP
Major (U-1950)
1st I. S. Annetts 1875 Tiverton 200
2nd= J. McDonnell 1942 Streatham 5 75
J. Forster 1809 Southbourne 5 75
GP J. Nyman 1794 King’s Head 30
Junior Prize L. Hafsted 1413 Exeter Juniors 4 30
Minor  (U-135 ECF)
1st J. Stone 100e Horley 7 50
2nd R. Whittington 132 Exeter Juniors 5 100
3rd= K. Alexander 131 Seaton 25
M. Roberts 132 Holmes Chapel 25
N. Dicker 128 Glastonbury 25
G. Taylor 128 Gloucester 25
G. Neil 124 Nomads 25
P. Foster 123 Medway 25
V. Jamroz 123 Kent Juniors 25
G. Parfett 119 Athenaeum 25
GP A. Richards 121 Cheltenham 4 30

WECU Treasurer, Oliver Wensley, presents Jacqui Barber-Lafon with the Ladies Championship Cup.

The Ladies Champion presents Keith Arkell with the main trophy.

Richard McMichael - clear 2nd

The ungraded J. Stone, won the Minor - the only player to score 7/7.

WECU Championship Day 3 – Rds 5 & 6

As the rounds went on, so the number of draws increased, as one would expect, but not to the point where interest in the eventual outcome waned. Arkell did win a difficult endgame with Black against McMichael in the morning, though when he found he was Black again in the afternoon, it left him inclined to agree a short draw against his nearest-rated opponent, Jack Rudd.

Rd. 5              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 McMichael (3½) 0 1 Arkell (4)
2 James (3) 0 1 Rudd (3)
3 Fallowfield (2½) 1 0 Smith (3)
4 Bass (2) 0 1 De Coverley (2)
5 Littlejohns (2) ½ ½ Jamroz (2)
6 Wilson (2) 0 1 Dilleigh (2)
7 Gamble (½) 1 0 Shaw (1)
8 Snook-Lumb (2) 0 1 Menadue (2)
9 Woodward (2½) 0 1 Broek (2½)
10 Bartlett (2) ½ ½ Benson (1½)
11 French (1) ½ ½ Wensley (1)
12 Hickman (0) ½ ½ Burton (½)
13 Bolt (2½) ½ bye

McMichael vs Arkell - a hard-fought win for Black.

Rd. 5: Hickman vs Burton (nearest) & French vs Wensley.

Rd. 5: top boards in the Major. 1.McDonnell vs Forster. 2. Robertson vs Morgan & Schulte vs Sellwood

Rd. 6              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 Rudd (3½) ½ ½ Arkell (5)
2 McMichael (3½) 1 0 James (3½)
3 Broek (3½) 0 1 Fallowfield (3½)
4 Menadue (3) ½ ½ Smith (3)
5 De Coverley (3) ½ ½ Bolt (3)
6 Jamroz (2½) ½ ½ Woodward (2½)
7 Dilleigh (3) 1 0 Bartlett (2½)
8 Littlejohns (2½) ½ ½ Bass (2½)
9 Wensley (1½) 1 0 Wilson (2)
10 Gamble (1½) 0 1 French (½)
11 Shaw (1) 0 1 Hickman (1½)
12 Benson (2) 1 0 Snook-Lumb (2)
13 Burton (0) ½ bye

WECU Championship 2016 – Day 2 – Rds 3 & 4

Keith Arkell continued his forward progress, finishing the day on a perfect 4/4, a half point clear of his nearest rival, McMichael and a full point clear of Rudd, James & Smith.

Rd. 3              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 Broek (2) 0 1 Arkell (2)
2 Rudd (2) 0 1 McMichael (2)
3 Littlejohns (1½) 0 1 James (2)
4 Smith (1) 1 0 Dilleigh (1½)
5 Snook-Lumb (1) 0 1 de Coverley (1)
6 Jamroz (1) 1 0 Menadue (½)
7 Bass (1) 1 0 Wensley (½)
8 French (½) ½ ½ Shaw (½)
9 Bolt (1) 1 0 Wilson (1)
10 Littlejohns (1½) 0 1 James (2)
11 Gamble (0) 0 1 Woodward (0)
12 Bass (1) 1 0 Wensley (1)
13 Benson (0) 1 0 Burton (0)
14 Bartlett (1) ½ bye
Rd. 4              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 Arkell (3) 1 0 James (3)
2 De Coverley (2) 1 0 Rudd (2)
3 McMichael (3) ½ ½ Broek (2)
4 Jamroz (2) 0 1 Smith (2)
5 Fallowfield (2) ½ ½ Bass (2)
6 Dilleigh (1½) ½ ½ Bolt (2)
7 Bartlett (1½) ½ ½ Littlejohns (1½)
8 Shaw (1) 0 1 Woodward (1½)
9 Menadue (1) 1 0 French (1)
10 Wensley (1) 0 1 Snook-Lumb (1)
11 Wilson (1) 1 0 Hickman (0)
12 Burton (0) ½ ½ Gamble (0)
13 Benson (1) ½ Bye

Rd. 3: Rudd vs McMichael

Rd. 3: French vs Shaw (nearest) & Bolt vs Wilson.

Rd. 4: de Coverley vs Rudd

Rd. 4 - Minor Section: Hazel Welch vs Martin Maber & Wendy Carr vs Marian Cox

WECU Championship 2016 Rd. 2

The opening round having gone mostly according to the form book, Rd. 2 commenced in the afternoon. Again, no major surprises with the top 5 seeds all winning; only 6th seed Andrew Smith lost, having had to meet Keith Arkell so early on. Thomas Broek, having announced his presence with a very quick win in Rd. 1, won again, but from a very interesting position that had problem-like qualities to it.

Here are the results:-

Rd. 2              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 Arkell (1) 1 0 Smith (1)
2 Fallowfield (1) 0 1 Rudd (1)
3 McMichael (1) 1 0 Bass (1)
4 De Coverley (1) 0 1 Broek (1)
5 James (1) 1 0 Snook-Lumb (1)
6 Dilleigh (1) ½ ½ Jamroz (½)
7 Shaw (0) ½ ½ Bartlett (½)
8 Burton (0) 0 1 Bolt (½)
9 Menadue (0) 1 0 Hickman (0)
10 French (½) 0 1 Littlejohns (½)
11 Wilson (0) 1 0 Gamble (0)
12 Wensley (0) 1 0 Benson (0)
13 Woodward (0) ½ bye

McMichael vs Bass (nearest) & de Coverley vs Broek.

de Coverley vs Broek ending. Black to play and win.

Fallowfield vs Rudd (nearest) & Arkell vs Smith.

Bottom boards in the Minor, with Geoff Taylor between Hazel Welch and Marian Cox. Geoff qualified for the British Championship from the Open a few years ago. |Ill health has subsequently affected his form but not his keenness to keep playing.

West of England Chess Championship 016 – Rd. 1

88 players foregathered at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth on Good Friday for the annual WECU Congress. A new development this year was in extending the FIDE rating rules to the Major as well as the Open, and using the latest digital clocks for both sections, which added a 30 second increment each time a move was made.

Many of the faces were returnees, familiar with the town, the venue and the congress routine. However, it’s always good to have a few new people around, if only to add interest to the mix. One such in the Open was Thomas Broek from the Wisver Turen club in the Netherlands, while at the other end of the scale, John Stone from Horley, with an estimated grade of 100, entered the Minor.

Both gave a statement of intent from the off, when Broek beat a local player, Oliver Wensley, in just 12 moves, Wensley having been joint winner of the East Devon Open just a couple of years before. Stone not only won his Rd. 1 game but went on to carve up the field with 7 straight wins, making him the only one to score a maximum, and casting some doubt on the accuracy of his grade estimate.

Everything went according to form, as the day finished with the 5 top seeds in the Open, being the only ones on 2/2 – Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd, Richard McMichael, Thomas Broek and Russell James.

Details:-

White Black
1 Bolt, Graham 2028 0 1 Arkell, Keith 2451
2 Rudd, Jack 2263 1 0 Menadue, Jeremy 2021
3 Gamble, Raymond 1996 0 1 McMichael, Richard 2189
4 Broek, Thomas 2180 1 0 Wensley, Oliver 1983
5 Woodward, Tim 1975 0 1 James, Russell 2168
6 Smith, Andrew 2127 1 0 Burton, Ronnie 1952
7 Hickman, John 1920 0 1 De Coverley, Roger 2075
8 Jamroz, Krzysztof 2073 ½ ½ French, Max 1857
9 Benson, Sean 1779 0 1 Dilleigh, Steve 2072
10 Bass, John 2035 1 0 Wilson, Matthew 1754
11 Snook-Lumb, Chris 1741 1 0 Shaw, Meyrick 2031
12 Fallowfield, Jeremy 2112 1 0 Bye
13 Littlejohns, Dave 1998 ½ - Bye
14 Bartlett, Simon 1953 ½ - Bye

General view of the playing hall from the stage.

General view from the other end.

Gamble vs McMichael (nearest) and Broek (W) about to record a quick win against Wensley.

West of England Congress 25th – 28th March 2016. Entries as at 16.03.2016.

  Open FIDE ECF Club
1 Keith Arkell 2451 243 Paignton
2 Richard McMichael 2189 207 King’s Head
3 Thomas Broek 2180 197 Wisver Turen
4 Russell James 2168 197 Solihull
5 Andrew Smith 2127 196 Bourne End
6 Roger de Coverley 2075 184 Bourne End
7 Krzysztof Jamroz 2073 180 Petts Wood
8 Steve Dilleigh 2072 186 Horfield
9 John Bass 2035 182 Richmond
10 Graham Bolt 2028 187 Railways
11 Jeremy Menadue 2021 187 Truro
12 Dave Littlejohns 1998 182 Taunton
13 Raymond Gamble 1996 158 Derby
14 Oliver Wensley 1983 171 Exmouth
15 Tim Woodward 1975 156 Trowbridge
16 Simon Bartlett 1953 165 Newquay
17 Ronnie Burton 1952 161 Weymouth
18 John Hickman 1920 172  
19 Max French 1857 164 Frome
20 Matthew Wilson 1754 155 Newton Abbot
         
         
         
  Major (U-170)      
1 James McDonald 1942 173 Streatham
2 Jamie Morgan 1930 164 Penwith
3 Steve Dean 1923 163 Seaton
4 Bill Ingham 1908 161 Teignmouth
5 Joseph Skielnik 1907 157 Battersea
6 Ivor Annetts 1873 151 Tiverton
7 Brian Gosling 1870 157 E. Budleigh
8 Colin Sellwood 1863 155 Camborne
9 Roger Hutchings 1841 164 Woodpushers
10 Andrew Price 1830 159 Leamington
11 Martin Page 1815 146 Insurance
12 Peter Wood 1805 148  
13 John Nyman 1794 169 Kings Head
14 Philip Walters 1773 143 Carslisle
15 Richard Wiltshire 1765 142 Rushall
16 Phil Foley 1691 147 Upminster
17 David Lawrence 1678 120 Kings Head
18 Jim Robertson 1660 139 E. Kilbride
19 Martin Worrall 1604 139 Taunton
20        
         
         
  Minor  (U-135)      
1 Peter Dimond   134 Bath
2 Ian Blencowe   133 Gloucester
3 Malcolm Roberts   132 Holmes Chapel
4 Paul Jackson   131 Bournemouth
5 Ken Alexander   131 Seaton
6 Ray Hunt   130  
7 Nigel Dicker   128 Glastonbury
8 Geoff Taylor   128 Gloucester
9 Tim Crouch   128 King’s Head
10 Tim Allen   126 Battersea
11 Graham Neil   124 Nottingham
12 Jacquie Barber-Lafon   123 Newton Abbot
13 Paul Foster   123 Medway
14 Viktor Jamroz   123 Kent Juniors
15 Paul Errington   122 Bournemouth
16 Alun Richards   121 Cheltenham
17 John Dean   120 Plymouth
18 Joshua Blackmore   120 Newton Abbot
19 Gerald Parfett   119 Athenaeum
20 Norman Tidy   119 Teignmouth
21 Michael Ingram   116 Peterborough
22 Keith Spooner   112 Wimborne
23 Barry Childs   112 Lerryn
24 Roger Waters   107 Taunton
25 Alan Fraser   106 Beckenham
26 Martyn Maber   104 Taunton
27 Peter Hughes   101 Mutual Circle
28 Dave Burt   101 Bournemouth
29 John Carr   100 Portsmouth
30 Hazel Welch   99 Seaton
31 Reg Cox   86  
32 Wendy Carr   47  
33        
34        
35        
         

East Devon Congress – 3rd & Final Day.

The final round found 3 players in the joint lead on 3.5/4. Arkell’s draw had been at the expense of John Wheeler, and Rudd’s was due to requesting a bye in order to play for his county on Saturday afternoon. However, the computer draw dictated that they should not not meet, and Arkell was paired against local player Graham Bolt, while Rudd faced the enigmatic Russian, Andrei Rozanov. Both won their games, and the two ECF titled players, master and pupil, shared the honours.

Andrew Smith, who had surprisingly lost his 1st Rd. game, came through with 4 straight wins to finish clear 3rd. Exeter player, Dr. Dave Regis secured the U-180 Grading Prize, and Andrew Waters (Rainham) won the U-164 prize. 

The full prize list as supplied by Sean Pope is as follows.

EAST DEVON CHESS CONGRESS 2016 PRIZE LIST
           
Section Position Name Club Points Prize (£)
           
OPEN 1st= Keith Arkell (GM) Cheddleton 170.00
  1st= Jack Rudd (IM) Barnstaple 170.00
  3 Andrew Smith Bourne End 4 80.00
  Grading <180 Dave Regis Exeter 40.00
  Grading <164 Andrew Waters Rainham 3 40.00
           
MAJOR U-155 1st Martin Harris Newcastle-u-Lyme 160.00
  2nd= Matthew Best Exeter 4 90.00
  2nd= Stuart Ross Newport 4 90.00
  Grading <142 Robert Wilby Plymouth 3 10.00
  Grading <142 David Rogers Exmouth 3 10.00
  Grading <142 Jorgen Nielsen Wimborne 3 10.00
  Grading <142 Leif Hafstad Exeter School 3 10.00
  Grading <131 Eddy Palmer Exeter 3 40.00
           
MINOR U-125          
  1st Alex Poyser Exeter Uni. 5 160.00
  2nd= Alan Stonebridge Wellington 4 45.00
  2nd= Norman Tidy Teignmouth 4 45.00
  2nd= Josh Blackmore Newton Abbot 4 45.00
  2nd= Richard Scholes Exeter 4 45.00
  Grading <111 David Burt Bournemouth 3 14.00
  Grading <111 Kevin Huntley Salisbury 3 14.00
  Grading <111 Alan Fraser Beckenham 3 14.00
  Grading <99 Christine Constable Bude 3 20.00
  Grading <99 Gary Behan Plymouth 3 20.00
           
  Team Prize   Exeter Uni. A 15½ 40.00
           
TOTAL         1382.00
           
 

 

Final round: Bd. 1 - Graham Bolt vs Keith Arkell

Bd. 2: Rozanov vs Rudd.

Top game in the Major, won by Harris (Black)

 

Top game in the Minor, won by Alex Poyser (W) the only player with a maximum 5/5 pts.

East Devon Congress 2016 – Day 2

Rd. 2 started with Keith Arkell down among the pack, after his draw against John Wheeler, and due to face Stephen Appleby. Steve knew this in advance and collared me to ensure that when Keith came in, a little late as per usual, I would be present to take a commemorative snap. This was duly done (see below). Several new faces appeared, those who’d taken a Friday evening bye.

However, several byes were taken in the afternoon, mainly by the Cornish players involved, plus Jack Rudd, as Cornwall were due to play Somerset at Exminster, a couple of miles outside Exeter. This displayed an admirable loyalty to both their county team and the Congress, but did little for their form, as all three, Saqui, Sellwood and Constable, all lost, in a heavy defeat.

Bd SOMERSET  Grd     CORNWALL  Grd
1 Jack Rudd 215 1 0 Jeremy Menadue 187
2 Ben P Edgell 200 1 0 James Hooker 178
3 Patryk Krzyzanowski 199 0 1 Robin Kneebone 177
4 Stephen AJ  Whatley 195 1 0 David Saqui 175
5 James Byrne 178 1 0 Gary Trudeau 160
6 Andrew F Footner 174 1 0 Colin Sellwood 155
7 Andrew M Gregory 165 1 0 Richard Stephens 147
8 Darren Freeman 165 1 0 John Wilman 141
9 Barry Morris 163 1 0 Adam Hussain 130
10 Chris S Purry 154 ½ ½ David R Jenkins 119
11 Roger D Knight 153 1 0 John Constable 119
12 Lander Bedialauneta U/G 1 0 Barry Childs 112
13 Mark R Baker 151 0 1 Jason Henderson UG
14 Neville N Senior 151 1 0 Hugh Brown 94
15 Adrian W Champion 134 1 0 Gabriel Rusalowitz UG
16 Chris TJ McKinley 129 1 0 Chris Hussain UG
      13½    

One thing began to emerge during the day was the burgeoning strength of the Exeter University players. There were two University teams of 4 in for the Team Prize, and there were other players not included. Since the demise of the University Chess Club some decades ago, after an illustrious history, the number of notable players emerging from the campus to participate in local matches and tournaments, have been few and far between. Past efforts by Exmouth and Exeter club members to revive things on site have met with little positive response. These days, however, players are coming out of the University in significant numbers. Some are joining the local City Club to augment their teams, but there are surely enough to form their own University teams to particiapte in DCCA and Exeter & Dist. Leagues. It just needs a good student organiser to get a grip on things.

A special moment in the chess career of Stephen Appleby, though ultimately it didn't end well for him.

 

Rd. 2: Rudd vs Littlejohns & Regis vs the Russian Andrei Rozanov

 

Rd. 2 - Bd. 1 in the Major - Devon elder, Ivor Annetts vs Exeter School pupil, Leif Hafstad.

East Devon Congress 2016 Rd. 1

If ever a sign were needed of the enduring popularity of this Exeter-based event, in spite of its financial problems of recent years, the entry of 53 in the Open was surely it, in spite of the fact that the Committee always seem to issue their entry forms much later on than most congresses – often a matter of weeks rather than months. The list of entries, (see below) shows much more than the “usual suspects”, but an eclectic mix, with a good sprinkling of new faces. Russia and Norway appear in the Club column; there’s a significant Cornish contingent; Devon ex-pats returning to the fold (e.g. Piper – Holsworthy// Shapland & Hutchings – Barnstaple // Lowe – Paignton), not to forget former Kenyan Champion, Humphrey Andolo.

At the top of this exotic pile, by some margin, was Paignton-based GM Keith Arkell, fresh from his 1st= at Bristol the previous weekend. Just before the start, his Rd. 1 opponent, John Wheeler, was sitting patiently behind the black pieces awaiting his opponent’s arrival, and I jokingly warned him against trying the Caro-Kan as Keith was an acknowledged expert, which of course he already knew. But he needed no words of warning from me as he set about squeezing a draw from the game. In fact, at the beginning of  a double rook and pawns ending John was a pawn up. Keith was able to win it back but could make no further progress. and a draw was agreed.

The entry for the Open Section.

Arkell arrives a little late.

 

Bill Adadway moves against No. 2 seed, Jack Rudd.

 

General view of a well-filled playing hall.

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