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The West of England Chess Union’s Council Meeting (or AGM) was held at the Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster on Saturday 4th June, with President, Brian Hewson, in the chair and Roger Morgan taking notes.
It was mostly routine, but essential stuff. There was some discussion as to the best way of determining the Ladies Champion in the annual WECU Congress. As things stand at the moment, getting 4/7 points in the Minor Section beats getting 3.5 in the Open, but which is the better performance? Several possible alternatives were mentioned, from maintaining the status quo to abolishing the Ladies trophy altogether, and several in between; e.g. tournament grade and, most radical of all, asking the ladies their opinion.
The role of presidential succssion usually takes up a fair amount of time each year, both at and before the meeting. Brian Hewson (Devon) was due to complete his second year in the Chair, with a Deputy President stepping up to the plate. Except that, in the previous 12 months, no Deputy had been identified/persuaded to take this on. Apparently, Robin Kneebone had toyed with the idea, but eventually decided that he was so fully committed to Cornish chess and keeping that particular boat afloat, that he wouldn’t be able to do justice to the Union role. Former President, Fenella Headlong, had also been approached, but the combination of work and family commitments made it very difficult for her to accept. In the end, former President , Gerry Jepps (Somerset), was persuaded to reprise the role. He tried to protest that the art of chairmanship was not his greatest skill, but the room was convinced that his great experience as a successful organiser over many years far outweighed this, and he was readily voted in, and will take the chair at the 2017 Executive Meeting. All other officers were re-elected en bloc.
Both trophies were available for presentation, the Harold Meek Cup for the 1st team competition and the Wayling Cup for the 2nd team. Normally, the President will hand each cup to the delegate of the winning county, but this was complicated by the fact that the President was also the match captain of both teams. So the Fixtures Secretary, Phil Mead, readily stepped in to the breach.
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?
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.|
|1st||K. C. Arkell||2451||Cheddleton||6½||400|
|2nd||R. J. McMichael||2189||King’s Head||6||200|
|3rd=||J. R. Fallowfeld||2112||Stourbridge||4½||25|
|A. P. Smith||2127||Bourne End||4½||25|
|T. Broek||2180||Wisver Turen ND||4½||25|
|S. P. Dilleigh||2072||Horfield||4½||25|
|GP||J. F. S. Menadue||2021||Truro||4½||30|
|Arkell receives WECU Championship Cup. Menadue receives the British Championship QP|
|1st||I. S. Annetts||1875||Tiverton||5½||200|
|GP||J. Nyman||1794||King’s Head||4½||30|
|Junior Prize||L. Hafsted||1413||Exeter Juniors||4||30|
|Minor (U-135 ECF)|
|2nd||R. Whittington||132||Exeter Juniors||5||100|
|M. Roberts||132||Holmes Chapel||4½||25|
|V. Jamroz||123||Kent Juniors||4½||25|
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|
|Rd. 6 WECU Open 2016|
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|
|Rd. 4 WECU Open 2016|
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|
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.
|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|
|2||Richard McMichael||2189||207||King’s Head|
|3||Thomas Broek||2180||197||Wisver Turen|
|5||Andrew Smith||2127||196||Bourne End|
|6||Roger de Coverley||2075||184||Bourne End|
|7||Krzysztof Jamroz||2073||180||Petts Wood|
|20||Matthew Wilson||1754||155||Newton Abbot|
|7||Brian Gosling||1870||157||E. Budleigh|
|13||John Nyman||1794||169||Kings Head|
|17||David Lawrence||1678||120||Kings Head|
|18||Jim Robertson||1660||139||E. Kilbride|
|3||Malcolm Roberts||132||Holmes Chapel|
|9||Tim Crouch||128||King’s Head|
|12||Jacquie Barber-Lafon||123||Newton Abbot|
|14||Viktor Jamroz||123||Kent Juniors|
|18||Joshua Blackmore||120||Newton Abbot|
|27||Peter Hughes||101||Mutual Circle|
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|
|OPEN||1st=||Keith Arkell (GM)||Cheddleton||4½||170.00|
|1st=||Jack Rudd (IM)||Barnstaple||4½||170.00|
|3||Andrew Smith||Bourne End||4||80.00|
|Grading <180||Dave Regis||Exeter||3½||40.00|
|Grading <164||Andrew Waters||Rainham||3||40.00|
|MAJOR U-155||1st||Martin Harris||Newcastle-u-Lyme||4½||160.00|
|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|
|1st||Alex Poyser||Exeter Uni.||5||160.00|
|2nd=||Josh Blackmore||Newton Abbot||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|
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.
|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|
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.