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Teignmouth RapidPlay 2017.

The Teignmouth Club has had its problems in recent years, mainly due to the ill-health of several senior members, and this has forced other members, perhaps less experienced in the administrational and organisational side of chess, to step up to the plate and ensure this popular event stayed on the road. This they did, and the event went ahead successfully on April Fools’ Day at its usual venue, Trinity School.

The table below lists all the prizewinners. All scores out of 6, and rapidplay grades are given, current preferably or failing that last year’s. Where no rapidplay is given on the ECF website, the current standardPlay grade is given.

There were no major speedkings this year – no Jack Rudd (playing in Jersey) or Keith Arkell, but this just seemed to make the Open all the more competitive, as any one of the top 6 had a chance of 1st prize. In the final round, Bd. 1 consisted of top seed Paul Hampton (Seaton/Exmouth – 193) vs Hartmann which went right down to the wire, with, at the end, both players making c. 20 moves instantaneously, until Hampton’s clock ran out when Hartmann had just 4 seconds left. Bd. 2 consisted of John Fraser, whose loyalties this season have switched from Newton Abbot to Exeter University, vs 2nd seed Jonathan Underwood (Seaton/Exmouth – 185) and this game went to Fraser who thus came 2nd=. He was matched by Oliver Wensley who beat Exeter’s Graham Bolt in their last game.

The details were:-

Teignmouth RapidPlay     01.04.2017.
Open
Name Club Grd /6
1st Lorenz Hartmann Exeter University 179 5
2nd= Oliver Wensley Exmouth 160
John Fraser Exeter University 178
U-166 Steve Dean Seaton 154
U-151 Alan Dean Exmouth 141
Graded Section (U-137)
1st Duncan Macarthur Keynsham 139
2nd Reece Whittington Exeter 136 5
U-122 Macey Rickard Teignmouth 111 4
Graham Mill-Wilson Yate & Sodbury 113 4
John Constable Bude 121 4
Gregor Fotheringam Tiverton 121 4
Zoe Strong Clevedon 121 4
U-111 Nicholas Cunliffe Wells 98 4
David Thomson Exmouth 99 4
Christine Constable Bude 106 4
U-94 Peter Strong Exeter University 4
Team Exeter University
Hartmann
Fraser
P. Strong  (14/18)
Juniors
U-16 John Skeen Churchill Academy 110
U-14 Max Walker Churchill Academy 126

General view of the Open Section, Wensley vs Hartmann nearest.

General view of the Minor Section (top bds nearest)

Oliver Wensley vs Lorenz Hartmann with Bolt vs Fraser in background.

Top seed Paul Hampton (193) White - starts a last round game that finished in a nerve-shredding finale. Fraser vs Underwood in the background.

Wensley on his way to a win against Graham Bolt to take 2nd=.

Lorenz Hartmann - clear 1st - with trophy & cheque.

John Fraser receives his 2nd= prize from Congress Director, Mark Cockerton.

Oliver Wensley radiates pleasure at his 2nd prize.

Regular Bristolian visitor, Duncan Macarthur, wins the Minor.

Reece Whittington took clear 2nd prize in the Minor.

Winners of the Team Prize l-r Peter Strong, Lorenz Hartmann & John Fraser.

WECU Congress 2017 – entries as at Mon. 27th March

WECU  CONGRESS  2017  ENTRIES

As at Mon. 27th March

(17 days to go)

FIDE ECF OPEN CLUB
1 2408 240 K. C. Arkell Cheddleton
2 2160 212 W. Braun Exmouth
3 2098 186 P. Helbig S. Bristol
4 2072 194 J. Menadue Truro
5 2066 197 G. Bolt Railways
6 2061 186 M. Waddington Dorchester
7 2041 185 S. Dilleigh Horfield
8 2030 166 J. W. Bass Richmond
9 1997 175 D. Littlejohns Taunton
10 1994 183 R. Bryant Oswestry
11 1979 184 R. de Coverley Bourne End
12 1975 165 T. F. Thynne N. Abbot
13 1885 179 M. French Frome
14 1798 168 O. Wensley Exmouth
MAJOR U-1950
1 1927 167 R. Burton Weymouth
2 1897 169 J. Hickman None
3 1884 142 I. S. Annetts Tiverton
4 1876 163 J. Morgan Exeter
5 1860 165 W. H. Ingham Teignmouth
5 1855 164 J. McDonnell Streatham
6 1840 159 S. K. Dean Seaton
7 1821 159 B. G. Gosling E. Budleigh
8 1794 150 M. Page Insurance
9 1791 156 A. Price Leamington
10 1790 165 P. G. Jackson Coulsdon
11 1777 167 J. Nyman Kings Head
12 1738 153 A. Hibbitt Banbury
13 1716 147 P. Foley Upminster
14 1705 134 P. Jackson Bournemouth
15 1690 132 I. Blencowe Gloucester
16 1675 130 C. Brown Bath
17 1670 132 G. Parfett Athenaeumn
18 1668 155 C. Sellwood Camborne
19 1653 133 D. Lawrence Kings Head
20 1647 132 J. Robertson E. Kilbride
21 1644 137 M. Roberts Holmes Chapel
22 1614 133 L. Hafsted Exeter Juniors
23 1519 133 D. J. Adams Exmouth
24 134 P. A. Jackson Bournemouth
25 138 P. Foster Medway
26 137 D. R. Rogers Exmouth
MINOR U-130
1 128 P. Wood Hastings
2 128 J. Barber-Lafon N. Abbott
3 125 S. Barry Battersea
4 123 R. Hunt
5 123 P. Errington Bournemouth
6 119 R. Waters Taunton
7 119 N. Tidy Teignmouth
8 116 J. Dean Plymouth
9 107 A. Fraser Beckenham
10 104 D. Burt Bournemouth
11 93 H. Welch Seaton
12 93 John Carr —-
13 92 A. Davies S. Hams
14 89 M. Cox Southampton
15 81 R. E. Cox Southampton
16 71 B. Lockett N. Abbot
17 36 Wendy Carr —–
57 TOTAL ENTRIES

East Devon Congress – Out For A Duck! (14.03.2017.)

In his Encyclopaedia of Chess Variants, David Pritchard records that one of the most creative inventors of chess variants was Vernon Rylands Parton (1897 – 1974) whose most lasting invention was Alice Chess, based on Alice in Wonderland.

Vernon’s father ran a small private school in Cannock, Staffordshire. Both father and son and the school itself, referred to in the town simply as “Parton’s”, are described by a former pupil, Arthur Hopcraft in his autobiography, “The Great Apple Raid” (Heinemann – 1970 – pp113-116). My father also attended the school and got his taste for chess directly from Vernon c. 1917, and passed it on to me in the early 1950s. Like many others, my father and I both found bog standard chess enough to be going on with, without complicating it further.

Not so with Congress Secretary, Dr. Tim Paulden, who is himself entering the crazy world of Parton, not only embracing existing variants but inventing his own. He used the occasion of this year’s congress to launch Duck Chess on an unsuspecting world. The game requires a standard chess set, plus a duck! Tim researched the market for suitable ducks, testing their dimensions and quackability. Having found one, he order a significant number in small plastic bags together with an explanatory card, which reads thus:

Duck Chess is an exciting and absorbing new chess variant invented in 2016 by Dr. Tim Paulden (Exeter Chess Club).

The basic principle of the game is simple: in addition to the usual pieces, the two players have joint control of a small rubber duck which acts as a “blocker (i.e. nothing can move onto or through it). A player’s turn always consists of two actions (a) making a standard chess move and (b) moving the duck to any empty square on the board. There is no concept of “check” or “checkmate” – you must capture the enemy king to win!

For full rules and examples of play, go to www.duckchess.com.

Tim (left) shows Jack Rudd how it all works.

Tim makes a telling move before moving the duck with a hiss and a quack.

Max French of Millfield School takes over and a small and curious crowd starts to build up.

E. Devon Congress 2017 – The Endgame

Nunn's quick draw guaranteed him at least a share of 1st prize, but none could catch him. He has now entered the event twice - in 1979 and 2017, a mere 38 years apart, and each time he won with 4.5/5 ahead of a competitive field. He was happy to be photographed with the Steve Boniface Cup, but as his trophy cabinet at home is already full to overflowing, he regretfully had to leave it with the Committee.

Arthur Hibbert (W) in action against 7th seed, David Archer (S. Hams), the winner to take the trophy.

.... and David Archer came out on top, clear 1st in the Major Section.

Grant Daly of the Bristol Club, Downend & Fishponds, and 19th seed in his section, won the Minor, with a handsome trophy to go with it.

E. Devon Congress 2017 – Final Day (12.03.2017.)

By the end of Rd. 4, the Open Section had developed into a mini tournament between the titled players just playing among themselves. Top seed, Arkell had had a dodgy game against his former pupil, Rudd and dropped a half point, but Nunn’s scorecard was unblemished, while, the Spanish IM, Simon, the Austrian FM, Braun, and Tournament Secretary,Tim Paulden himself, were never far away.

A few scenes from the end of Rd. 4: Brian Gosling (E. Budleigh & Exmouth) plays Stephen Homer (Newton Abbot), while next door, Dave Littlejohns (Taunton) plays Adam Woodruff, formerly of Exmouth.

Jamie Morgan (Exeter) in action against Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth)

At the top of the Minor Section, Paul Errington faces Joy, one of the Fursman sisters, in front of Martin Maber against Ken Alexander

The 5th & final round gets under way with a handshake between John Nunn (4/4) and Jack Rudd. The prospect of a bright and breezy game in the usual Rudd style pleased the neutrals, but the game ended with a quick & quiet draw in 10 moves. There might have been an element of disappointment in the hall, but then, if John Nunn offered you a draw, wouldn't you accept?! It guaranteed Nunn at least a share of 1st prize.

David Pardo Simon kicks off against Keith Arkell. Both knew from early on that a win would catch Nunn in 1st place, but they could only manage a draw, Arkell having to draw on all his endgame powers to achieve that.

Walter Braun kicks off against Tim Paulden, who, in spite of the heavy organisational load in this his first year in charge, had an excellent tournament. The game finished as a draw, with only a knight and less than a handful of pawns each. It was good to have a fresh face featuring among the regulars, and he hopes to be on the local scene for the foreseeable future.

East Devon Congress 2017 – Day 2

As you may have seen from the official event website, it will display, (a) the pairings for each round; (b) the results of every game played in all 3 sections and (c) images of both scoresheets for every game played. These will be posted very quickly after each round. That will leave this site able to concentrate on pictures and stories that may emerge from the event. Comedy and tragedy – all will be ruthlessly unearthed and displayed for all to see.

Anthony Higgs is keen to set the ball rolling in his Rd. 2 against Arkell, but still lost in the end.

"Dr. Nunn, I presume". Dr. & double GM, John Nunn, starts off against Congress Secretary, Dr. Tim Paulden, who, at this point, thought it best to play his regular, favourite defence. Bill Ingham, winner of the Exmouth Seniors' Congress in November, looks on.

North vs South: Plymouth-born Candidate Master, John Wheeler, gets started against Bideford-based IM Jack Rudd.

Graham Bolt (in blue) recently captained Exeter's winning team against Exmouth (the current holders) in Devon's top team tournament, the Bremridge Cup. However, Exmouth are biting back, as Graham lost his Rd. 1 game against Paul Hampton and was kept to a draw in this next game against Meyrick Shaw.

In the "middle tier" of the Open. Bill Adaway considers his options against Chris Lowe, a lecturer at Exeter University, but formerly, back in the day, a member of the team of precocious juniors called Paignton Palace, headed by Gary Lane. Committee member, Mark Abbott, looks on

In the Minor Section, two Tiverton club members were paired in Rd. 2: Brian Aldwin, President of the Exeter & District Chess League, plays Dr. Honeyball, (facing) formerly lecturer in Law at Exeter University.

Nunn vs Paulden - the final throes: the game finished minutes after this. Afterwards, Tim observed "I played my favourite defence, but he just kept making all the right moves". Well, Tim, that's what Grandmasters do. Watching the last rites is surprise entry, Austrian FM, Walter Braun, while Dominic Mackle keeps an eye on Arkell's game. As No. 5 seed, Mackle has had an indifferent start to the tournament, but his class will surely tell in the end.

E. Devon Congress 2017 – Exeter – Rd. 1 (10.03.2017.)

This event started back in 1976 in a relatively small way, but 3 years later, with the benefit of local sponsorship, the entries shot up to 219. That year it was won by John Nunn ahead of a chasing pack that included Dave Rumens, Plaskett, Blackstock, Franklin and Peter Sowray – quite an array of up-and coming players of the time.

Since those heady days, the numbers have slipped, especially in recent years, but this year, for no obvious reason, the entry went right back up to the 150s, with a late influx of titled players. Devon residents Keith Arkell and Jack Rudd, were present, as one might expect, of course, but there were new names like IM David Pardo Simon, a Spanish student at the University, and an Austrian FM, Walter Braun, who had turned up to live in Exmouth only a few days earlier. Oh, and someone called John Nunn, making his first appearance here since 1979. His appearance could be a factor in the increased interest this year, but also there was an unparalelled entry of 12 from the University.

This year’s 42nd East Devon Congress got under way this evening in Exeter’s commodious Corn Hall, with words of welcome from Congress Secretary, Dr. Tim Paulden, whose energy in creating a new website for the event, with facilities for easy on-line entry, could be a 3rd factor.

The pictures set the scene and tell the story:-

Petra & John Nunn after checking the pairings for Rd. 1

Roger Hutchings (W), formerly of Barnstaple, takes on Keith Arkell on top board, but gets his queen trapped after 16 moves. David Pardo Simon, a Spanish student currently studying at Exeter University, looks on.

Austrian FM, Walter Braun (W) enjoyed a quick win against John Bass. Braun won their game in 8 moves, one of the shortest games in the Open in its 42 year history.

Former Scottish Junior International, Paul Hampton, faces Graham Bolt, and wins in c. 28 moves. Next to Bolt is Bill Adaway, who once got a draw against Portisch in a big London Open.

The diminutive figure that looks, at first glance across a crowded room, like a primary school pupil, is in fact Miss Ang from Singapore, currently a student at Exeter University.

... and she's giving congress regular, Brendan O'Gorman, quite a lot to think about.

Top board in the Minor: Christine Constable vs Ken Alexander. Christine's husband, John, is helping out as an arbiter in the absence through illness of Tony Tatam, while Ken is Secretary of the Torbay Congress and delivered the new, multi-coloured entry forms.

Dr. David Anthony Toms 1937 – 2017 (04.03.2017.)

David Anthony Toms 1937 – 2017

Dr. David Anthony Toms, a member of Sidmouth and Exmouth Chess Clubs, passed away on 15th February 2017, aged 80. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday 14th March at St. Leonard’s Church, Exeter, starting at 13.30 hrs. Any donations will go towards St. Leonard’s Church and the Kairos Prison Ministry, a world-wide organisation dedicated to supporting prisoners and their families.

David’s father and grandfather before him, both called Arthur, ran a meat pie and live & jellied eel  shop at 84, Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, Hackney. The road was originally constructed on virgin land in c. 1869, and was built especially straight and wide so as to allow for shops and a weekly market with stalls on either side of the road. Economic activity was stimulated in that area with the opening of Clapton station in 1872 and the arrival of the tram system. It is quite possible that the Toms family had lived in that road from the start, and this photograph of the Toms shop front suggests the Victorian era. 1

The Toms family business: Meat Pies & Live Eels

Below: Typical scene of Chatsworth Road, Clapham, at about the time of David’s birth. 2

Chatsworth Street, Clapham in the 1930s

Today one is more likely to find kebab shops and pizza parlours than jellied eel emporia, but the area is currently undergoing a Notting Hill-like process of gentrification, and a lively cross-cultural ethos is much in evidence around Chatsworth Road.

David attended the local primary school and might have succeeded to the eel empire, but he proved very bright and academic, and won a scholarship to Bancrofts School, a direct grant grammar school in leafy Woodford Green. Bancroft’s was very supportive of chess as a valuable extra-curricular activity. Not only David but several of his contemporaries were also successful as promising juniors, including R. Jessop.

1954 was his annus mirabilis on the chessboard. In January he won the London Boys’ Championship ahead of Michael Macdonald-Ross, thus joining the ranks of former winners like Harry Golombek (1929 – son of Polish-Jewish refugees) and Leonard Barden (1946 – son of a dustman), who both went on to become legends in the chess world.

In August he went on to play in the British Boys’ Championship, beginning a long association with Nottingham. He came 10th= scoring 6/11 points, a creditable total but not quite headline-making. However, on the strength of these two results he was invited to join a team of English U-18 juniors to tour Holland in which they played 4 teams of Dutch juniors, beating them all. David scored 2½/4 points.

In September, he played in the 3rd Paignton Congress, coming 2nd in the Premier Reserves C Section behind Peter C. Gibbs of Bradford. He didn’t play at Paignton again until 2009, when he took part in one of the last of the series before it was forced to move out of the famous Oldway Mansion.

Suddenly school days were over and he went to medical school, specialising in mental health and graduated with an MB. He followed a career in psychiatry, becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians and later elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He was a Director of a group of psychiatrists based in Regent Street, Nottingham. His impressive title by this time was Dr. Consulting Psychiatrist David A. Toms  MB; MRCP; FRCPsych.

With this demanding career and a growing family of four children (2 sons & 2 daughters), there was no time for chess tournaments or weekend congresses, so he took to correspondence chess, carrying a small cardboard folding chessboard in his jacket pocket, for any opportune moment to analyse his current games.

Eventually he retired to the small village of Tipton St. John and joined the nearby Sidmouth Chess Club. At that time, the majority of members were happy to play only within their club, but several of the more able players joined the nearby Exmouth Chess Club in order to get games at the weekends in Devon’s 1st division, the Bremridge Cup, and David followed this path, contributing to them winning the title 9 times between 2002 – 2016. He was meticulous in recording in his scorebook not just his own game but the names of all players involved in the match and their individual scores and the team totals.

Dr. Toms in action against Dr. Peter Hempson at Paignton 2015.

He was elected President of the Devon County Chess Association in 2012.

When illness started to take its toll, he was not averse to telling friends what was wrong and how he was advising his own GP the best course of treatment.

Whenever his health allowed, he continued to play until very near the end.

Both his career and life generally were underpinned by his strong Christian faith.

R. H. Jones.

Credits:

  1. This silk screen print, adapted from an old photograph, was made by Hackney artist Richard Roberts, and is available from his website Roberts Print.
  2. 2.The street views may be found, along with many others of historical interest, on the Yeah! Hackney website.
  3. Photo by R. H. Jones.

Simon Bartlett – 1954-2017

Simon Bartlett’s funeral was held yesterday (08.02.2017.) and his great friend, Ivor Annetts, has compiled these facts and memories of Simon, and invited anyone to make use of them.

He writes as follows:

Simon was born, brought up and educated, in Paignton.  He attended a boys’ school and did extremely well, gaining admittance to Bristol University to read law.  After a time he decided that this was not for him, and he took a year off in Morocco.  He then returned to Bristol University to read chemistry and was awarded a degree in that subject.  Apart from a brief period with another company, the whole of his working life was spent with a chemical company in Cornwall called Key Organics.  At its peak, Simon led a team of seven researchers.  Their task was to produce organic chemical compounds with particular properties as requested by the company’s customers.  During the 90s, China began to be able to do this much more cheaply and this led to Simon eventually being the sole researcher for Key Organics.  He told me on more than one occasion that he still got a kick out of doing his job.  Simon eventually retired at the age of 58 and gave every indication that he was thoroughly enjoying his new life.

I first met Simon around 28 years ago at Tor Abbey.  It was a unique chess occasion, as the West of England Championship was held at that prestigious venue.  Brian Boomsma was also a competitor and he and Simon were already friends.  Years later Simon was to become the godfather of Brian’s new son.  At Tor Abbey, Brian introduced me to this 35 years old confident upstart, then graded at something like 125, and over the next few years the three of us, all very different from each other, became close friends.

During the chess year we would enter anything up to half a dozen or more congresses across the west country.  It became traditional for the three of us, frequently joined by Brian’s partner Lynda, to meet up for an Indian meal on the Saturday night.  Fueled by too many bottles of house red, the conversation would flow, arguments would sometimes be intense, and occasionally when Brian and I took opposing views, Simon would remain the calm, objective and rational one.  And now I realize that throughout all of the intervening years, I have never seen Simon angry or, apart from his final few months, emotionally disturbed in any way.

He was tremendously well-read, retained facts, and had a lively enquiring mind.  He was particularly knowledgeable on economics, his partner, Margaret having a degree in that subject.  I well remember his scary, penetrating analysis at the time of the financial crisis in 2008.

Ten years or so ago we discovered that we both had had experiences with the game of bridge, with Simon’s being rather more than an experience as he played regularly in a Camelford club.    We arranged to partner each other once per week as members of an online bridge club.  I vaguely remembered elements of the Acol and Blackwood bidding systems; Simon knew them inside out and tempted me towards something called a Precision Club(?) system.  He was also, to my eyes, extremely skilled at playing the cards.  After a time, this, with chess, was too much for me and so I pulled the plug on our bridge soirees.  Simon, true to his character, showed no concern at my decision.  It is extremely possible that he was secretly relieved at not having to continue to carry the burden of teaching a novice.  If so, he showed no sign of it.

I am also indebted to him for sharing his chess opening expertise with me.  Following explanations from Simon, I did at various times experiment with the Sveshnikov Sicilian – Simon insisting on calling it the Pelikan – the Grunfeld and the French Wing Gambit.  It soon became clear that Simon’s occasionally risky, tactical play was not consistent with my attempted cautious positional style.  I well remember him saying,

“The point about chess is that you are trying to have fun!”

Another Simon quote I remember is,

“People are passionate about all kinds of things throughout their lives.  With me it’s chess.”

Such was his passion for the game that some years ago he joined Tiverton Chess Club in order to strengthen the club’s team in Devon County team competitions.  At week-ends he would regularly play for Tiverton in the Bremridge (Div 1), Mamhead (Div 2) and the Rooke Cup.  On occasion he accepted my invitation to play in midweek Exeter & District League matches.  Every single game he played for Tiverton involved him in a 150 mile round trip from his home in Camelford.  For DCCA week-end home matches he would lunch with me and my partner, Yvonne, in Tiverton.  There were never any quiet moments during those lunches.  I came to believe that Simon possessed a restless mind; always thinking, always enquiring; always ready to discuss.  Yvonne tells me of how he was always able to answer her scientific queries and how he always replied to her enquiring emails accurately and concisely.

Shortly after the diagnosis of his condition, I stayed with him and Margaret overnight in Camelford and experienced the overwhelming attention of his Great Dane, Boris, and his Irish Wolf Hound, Maeve.  The contentment of Simon and Margaret, with their dogs and Margaret’s horses was clear.  He had often spoken to me of his joy in walking the dogs in the surrounding countryside.  Quite recently a fashion magazine had been shooting in the Camelford area and the photographer decided that he needed an Irish Wolf Hound to stand next to one of his wiry female models.  Enquiries led to Simon and Margaret’s door and I well remember the pleasure shown by Simon next time I saw him.  It wasn’t just the handsome fee that Maeve had earned for him.  He showed me the magazine, and the pride at having Maeve gracing the pages of an upmarket fashion mag. was clear to see.

On an earlier occasion he had found his dogs useful in a different way.  Noisy neighbours had moved in next door and repeated requests for the music to be turned down had had no effect.  A visit to the offenders with Boris and Maeve did the trick!

I have received many tributes to Simon from chess players across the West Country and beyond.  I end with one of them from Brendan O’Gorman, photographer for the ECF:

“Dreadful news but thanks for letting me know. I liked Simon. He had a sense of humour and, beyond the chess board, was smarter than your average chess player.

Simon Bartlett – Funeral Arrangements

Ivor Annetts has announced details of the funeral of Simon Bartlett, who passed away a few days ago.

He writes:-

Dear Chess Friends,

Margaret Wallace, Simon Bartlett’s partner, telephoned this evening with the details of Simon’s funeral:

Wednesday 15th February, 2.30 pm, at Glyn Valley Crematorium, Turfdown Road, Fletchers Bridge, Bodmin, PL30 4AP and afterwards at The Mason’s Arms, Market Place, Camelford, PL32 9PB

Please note that the Crematorium is on the Bodmin – Liskeard Road and not in Bodmin itself.

‘No flowers’ by request but donations may be made to Brain Tumour Research via    https://www.justgiving.com/braint

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