Archive for the ‘Exeter & District League’ Category
Devon’s premier team tournament, the Bremridge Cup was inaugurated in 1902, with a cup donated by the newly-created DCCA’s then secretary, the Rev. Henry Bremridge, and has been competed for ever since.
For many decades the tournament was a battle between Plymouth and Exeter. This was not surprising as Plymouth had by far the largest population base from which to draw players (c. ¼ million) and the club was led from the front by the charismatic Ron Bruce. This was off-set by Exeter having the University and a number of establishments of higher education, all providing a shifting population of young talents passing through.
From time to time, other clubs were allowed their moment in the sun, as, for example, when a young Gary Lane emerged in Paignton, a star collecting around him a small constellation of aspirants. The University were immensely strong in the ‘60s and ‘70s, while Barnstaple once had enough talents to form a strong team of 6, winning in 1991 and 1992.
But by the 1990s things were waning. Ron and Rowena Bruce and their generation had passed away or moved on, and the Plymouth Club had no appetite at all for weekend chess. Exeter, too, failed to identify a strong leader who could forge the city’s talents into a regularly competitive team. The University club folded altogether as students were left more and more to their own devices. Gary Lane grew up, moved on, and the Paignton Club folded. Teignmouth, an ever-present club in the tournament seized their chance, claiming their only win in 2001.
While everyone was delighted at this well-deserved success, the DCCA could see that the tournament was on the slide. In the centenary 2001-02 season, only two clubs had entered the Bremridge Cup and there were no clubs at all in the Mamhead Cup (Div. 2). In order to try and address this alarming decline, the Association agreed that clubs could become more pro-active in their search for strong players willing to commit their Saturday afternoons.
In this recruitment drive Exmouth were first off the mark. Ken Derrick, a 200 grade player formerly from Bristol, was discovered living quietly in an East Devon village, hitherto unknown to mainstream Devon chess. Likewise with Mike Cox, who lived nearby. Trefor Thynne, a former Exmouth Champion who had been inactive in recent years was also invited to join the party. This surge attracted Ivor Annetts and Brian Hewson from the Tiverton area where there was no top level chess at that time.
In no time at all, Exmouth, who had only very rarely entered the Bremridge in its 100 years, became Devon champions 6 times in the 8 years from 2002, seemingly before other clubs had twigged what the secret was. This was only the short-term effect; Trefor Thynne’s interest was thereby re-awakened, and he went on to form the Newton Abbot Club, while Annetts and Hewson started doing the same for Tiverton as Exmouth had done. The result being 3 strong teams where none had existed before.
This renaissance came to head this season with 5 teams entering the 1st division. Exeter had entered early, but when the familiar problem arose of needing a captain to organise things, and it looked as if they would have to withdraw, the day was saved by Dave Regis who stepped in after Christmas.
So, with at least 4 teams at full strength, it was clear that every team was capable of beating the other 4. And so it proved.
When the day of the final match arrived (Tiverton vs Exmouth), there were still three possible outcomes. (a) If Tiverton won 6-0 they would win the cup; (b) If Exmouth won or only drew 3-3, they would win the cup and if Tiverton won by 3½-2½ or slightly better, Newton Abbot would win. Trefor Thynne, as Newton Abbot captain and a (very) interested party came along to witness fair play and to present the Cup to either club.
Things had not gone well for the Exmouth Club, whose absentees were strong and plentiful enough to form a Bremridge team on their own, whereas Brian Hewson drove for 4 hours from Kent to arrive minutes before kick-off time, mentally and physically exhausted but determined not to miss the occasion. Also, the sounds of music and merriment, wafting upstairs from the bar below throughout, seemed to affect the visitors more than their opponents, and when Tiverton got to 3½-1½ with a game to go, it was clear neither was going to win the cup, and Trefor Thynne took it back with him, to hold for a 4th successive year. After he left, Underwood scored a fine endgame win to make the final score a tantalising half point short of Exmouth’s required draw.
|1||B. Edgell||199||1||0||J. K. F. Stephens||192|
|2||D. Littlejohns||180||½||½||A. Archer-Lock||192|
|3||M. Richardt||177||0||1||Dr. J. W. R. Underwood||171|
|4||B. W. R. Hewson||174||0||1||M. Shaw||166|
|5||S. Bartlett||164||1||0||B. G. E. Gosling||164|
|6||I. S. Annetts||152||1||0||R. H. Jones||130|
The Exeter & Dist. League’s annual prizegiving was held on Tuesday 4th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the owners.
This year was marked by having all the cups available at the same time for presentation. This was due entirely to the efforts of League President, Brian Aldwin and Secretary Tim Paulden, who have invested considerable time and energy in getting all the existing trophies engraved up-to-date, plus the purchase of 2 new trophies to replace lost ones. The reduction in the number of leagues from 4 to 2, has been compensated for by having extra prizes in the new divisions – the equivalent of grading prizes in a congress.
The first business of the evening was to present the 6 cups. Photographs below
This was followed by the now-traditional match between the league clubs situated on the coast (Exmouth, Sidmouth & Seaton) and those inland (Exeter, Exeter Juniors, Tiverton & the Met Office), nicknamed the Coast V Country match. After a couple of last minute tweaks, two 18 player teams of very similar strength were produced, and battle commenced.
The Coast went into a 9-5 at one stage, on the verge of victory, but the Country got 2.5 pts from the last 4 games to finish, to haul back 1 point of the deficit. The final scores were as follows:
|1||J. K. Stephens||191||Exmouth||1||0||Dr. D. Regis||181||Exeter|
|2||K. J. Hurst||174||Sidmouth||1||0||Dr. T. Paulden||177||Exeter|
|3||Dr. D. A. Toms||161||Sidmouth||0||1||G. Body||162||Exeter|
|4||B. G. Gosling||154||Exmouth||1||0||J. Duckham||155||Tiverton|
|5||S. Martin||152||Sidmouth||0||1||I. S. Annetts||152||Tiverton|
|6||T. Bons||135e||½||½||W. Marjoram||146||Exeter|
|7||C. J. Scott||135||Exmouth||1||0||l. Ten Holter||100||Exeter|
|8||M. Belt||136||Exmouth||1||0||J. Knowles||128||Tiverton|
|9||R. H. Jones||128||Exmouth||0||1||E. Palmer||126||Exeter|
|10||A. Dowse||123||Seaton||½||½||J. Waley||123||Exeter|
|11||G. Susevee||121||Sidmouth||1||0||G. J. Jenkins||118||Exeter|
|12||F. R. Hodge||108||Exmouth||1||0||R. Scholes||109||Exeter|
|13||Mrs. H. Welch||104||Seaton||0||1||R. Whittington||106||Exeter|
|14||S. Blake||100||Exmouth||½||½||R. Player||100||Exeter|
|15||M. Haines||96||Seaton||½||½||T. Finch||98||Exeter|
|16||T. Badlan||88||Exmouth||½||½||A. Brinkley||85||Tiverton|
|17||G. Susevee||89||Sidmouth||1||0||J. Wheadon||83|
|18||T. Murray||70||0||1||B. Aldwin||100||Exeter|
The games scores will shortly become avaiable on the League section of the Exeter Club website.
The Newman Cup is DCCA’s RapidPlay trophy. As in recent years, the only entries were Exmouth, Tiverton and Seaton, playing each other at home and away. Last Wednesday evening was Exmouth’s last match, entertaining Seaton at their Age Concern Day Centre in New Street. Having beaten and drawn against Tiverton, and beaten Seaton away, and knowing that Seaton had beaten Tiverton in their first encounter, the title was Exmouth’s to lose. Not that anything was to be taken for granted as Seaton were able to field a much stronger team for this 2nd match.
In fact, after losing the toss and having Black on Bds. 1 & 3 Seaton won the first round. With colours reversed the crucial moment came after Stephens and Wensley won on Bds 1 & 2. Jones was locked into a rook and pawn ending against the dangerous M. Adams (Martyn, not Mickey). With two minutes left each, the play was getting wild, and although Jones had what was probably a winning position – with best play - anything could go wrong, and knowing that a draw would ensure at least a drawn match, and with it, the title, offered a draw which was quickly accepted. Another factor in his offer, was that Blake was winning on Bd. 4. but in the last few seconds the win evaporated, and the match was, in fact, drawn.
Exmouth thus finished this tournament with a win and draw against both opponents.
|Exmouth||Grd||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Seaton||Grd|
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||184||1||1||0||0||S. K. Dean||152|
|2||O. E. Wensley||136||0||1||1||0||K. Alexander||129|
|3||R. H. Jones||148||½||½||½||½||M. Adams||127|
|4||S. Blake||96||0||0||1||1||A. Dowse||110|
The Exeter & District League’s annual “Coast vs Country” match took place on Tuesday 12th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the Management. This event started in 2003 as a celebration of the League’s 50 years’ existence and has been held ever since. The Coast team comprises players from the clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton, while players from Exeter and Tiverton make up the Country team. There is always a problem equalising the numbers in both teams and there has to be a bit of flexibility, with one or two players helping out the opposition, but the matches are usually very closely fought.
This year, the recipe was complicated somewhat, by a late influx of juniors, and after the teams were evened out, the even later withdrawal of John Morrison, left 11 yr old Guy Susevee without an opponent. Nevertheless, he ended up having probably more chess than anyone else in the room, as the early finishers gave him several friendly games.
Looking at the team lists on paper beforehand, the Coast team were bracing themselves for a sizeable loss, as they were outgraded by 6 points per board, on average, but it didn’t work out like that, with the Coast eventually winning by one of the bigger margins in the series 11.5 – 6.5. 9 year-old Reese Whittington set the ball rolling by beating his opponent in 8 moves, and it went on from there.
The final details were as follows:
|1||Stephens J. K.||175||Exmouth||½||½||Hewson, B. W.||186||Tiverton|
|2||Abbott M. V.||170||Exmouth||1||0||Annetts, I.S.||156||Tiverton|
|3||Wensley, O. E.||165||Exmouth||½||½||Keen, C||155||Exeter|
|4||Shaw, M||160||Exmouth||0||1||Duckham, J||155||Tiverton|
|5||Gosling, B. G.||159||Exmouth||½||½||Dobber, P||149||Exeter|
|6||Belt, M||131||Exmouth||1||0||Marjoram, W.||148||Exeter|
|7||Scott, C. J.||130||Exmouth||½||½||Atkins, K. P.||148||Tiverton|
|8||Jones, R. H.||131||Exmouth||½||½||Body, G||147||Exeter|
|9||Palmer, E||125||Exmouth||1||0||Waley, J||132||Exeter|
|10||Hodge, F. R.||122||Exmouth||0||1||Amos, J||130||Exeter|
|12||Ebanks, O||105||Exmouth||0||1||Maloney, J||120||Exeter|
|13||Blake, S||100||Exmouth||1||0||Scholes, R||114||Exeter|
|14||Porter, L||88||Seaton||0||1||Thomson, D||114||Exeter|
|15||Haines, M||88||Seaton||1||0||Maynard, A||100||Tiverton|
|16||Trott, T||92||Ex. Juniors||1||0||Aldwin, B||98||Tiverton|
|17||Whittington, R.||85||Ex. Juniors||1||0||Murray, T||80|
|18||Susevee, Greg||84||Sidmouth||1||0||Finch, T.||64|
In recent years this event has been combined with the presentation of trophies to teams who have won their leagues during the season. This year it was decided to hold that back until the AGM in September. However, one presentation was made; this was by Devon’s match captain, Brian Hewson, to his Player of the Year, Mark Abbott, who had won all his 5 games for the county during the season. As neither would be at Devon’s AGM on the following Friday, it seemed appropriate to take this opportunity.
Thirty-six league players of varying strength gathered at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth for the annual prizegiving, to be followed by an 18 board match between the clubs of the coastal towns against those situated inland.
First of all, John Stephens accepted the Division I Cup on behalf of the Exmouth Club, having won it the week before (see account). Jonathan Waley, as captain of the Exeter team was presented with the Div. II cup, followed by John Knowles who won Div III with the Tiverton Ravens. (See photographs below)
The match followed immediately and it wasn’t long before the Coast team established a small lead of 1 or 2 points as the results started to come in, with a good number of draws. Eventually, the Coast had a 2 point lead with 3 games still in progress, though Abbott and Rogers had their backs to the wall in losing endgames. So with one game still in play, the scores were level, and Obie Ebanks, a new arrival at the Exmouth Club, had a small advantage against schoolboy S. Keat, but was having to face a strong attack, when Keat’s flag fell but neither noticed in the excitement. With Keat’s clock 3 minutes past flag-fall, Ebanks forced the win of a rook and the game was up. Keat resigned not having realised he’d already technically lost minutes earlier, though, of course, the win has to be claimed.
|Bd.||Coast Team||Grd||Country Team||Grd|
|1||John Stephens||181||½||½||Tin Paulden||174|
|2||Mark Abbott||177||0||1||Dave Regis||166|
|3||David Toms||159||½||½||Sean Pope||159|
|4||Ray Shepherd||129||½||½||Peiter Dobber||158|
|5||Dave Rogers||150||0||1||Chris Southall||138|
|6||Steve Murray||143||½||½||Jon Waley||132|
|7||Giles Body||132||1||0||John Knowles||133|
|8||Oliver Wensley||130e||1||0||Charlie Keen||131|
|9||Alan Dowse||132||0||1||Will Marjoram||120|
|10||Bob Jones||138||0||1||John Maloney||120|
|11||Tom Badlan||120||1||0||Dave Nagy||80|
|12||Hazel Welch||115||½||½||Richard Scholes||108|
|13||Robert Ryan||114||½||½||Geoff Jenkins||100|
|14||Fred Hodge||111||½||½||Louis Ten-Holter||99e|
|15||Roy Curtis||101||½||½||Tomas Trott||96e|
|16||Obie Ebanks||100e||1||0||Sam Keat||90e|
|17||Les Porter||93||1||0||Chris Ebanks||95e|
|18||Dave Aramy-Bibby||78||½||½||Alan Brinkley||89|
Dominic Mackle had a fairly comfortable game against Dr. Adam Woodruff and his win took him to clear 3rd.
In the Major Section Jamie Morgan of Exeter came clear 1st. Although he lives in the city, he has yet to visit their club. He was born in Guernsey and learned his chess in the far west of Cornwall, and should now prove an asset to East Devon chess.
The Minor proved a triumph for Christine Constable, who, with her husband John, runs the bookstall and provided all the equipment. It was the first clear 1st in her chess career, and it is a moot point as to whether she is the first lady player to win outright any section at this event. Someone should consult the record books. Unfortunately, the trophy hadn’t been returned by its previous winner, (no names – no pack drill) so she, too, will have to wait until Easter to receive it.
The full details were:-
|East Devon||Congress||4th – 6th March||2011|
|M. V. Taylor||181||Crowthorne||4½||£170|
|3rd||D. Mackle||194||Newton Abbot||4||£80|
|GP: U-177||A. W. Brusey||175||Newton Abbot||3½||£30|
|J. G. Gorodi||150||Newton Abbot||3½||£14|
|GP: U-145||A. Farthing||144||Worcester||3||£15|
|2nd||J. Wallman||108||Isle of Wight||4||£100|
|T. Slade||103||N. Cornwall||3½||£14|
|GP: U-111||K. Sherlock||102||Yeovil||3½||£30|
Although the event passed pleasantly enough, there remains to question of falling numbers – a drop of c. 15 per year over the past few years is unsustainable without some adjustments to the formula. The Committee will be considering the possiblities – whether it be a new cheaper venue, an increase in entry fees, cutting out the Friday evening round, the formation of a Friends of the Congress fund, similar to Paignton, or a more rigorous “selling” of the event, if that is possible. They are not alone in this – many events are having to take stock in the wake of falling numbers.
Meanwhile, here are some scenes from the final round:-
After 3 rounds of the congress, only one player is left with a maximum score in the Open; Stephen Homer of Exminster. There are four players a half point behind – these are Alan Brusey, Steve Dilleigh, Mark Taylor and Jack Rudd, the latter two having drawn against each other in Rd. 3. Tomorrow’s winner must surely come from this group.
All five have a Devon connection in common: Brusey and Rudd live in the county, while Dilleigh was brought up in Plymouth and Taylor was a student at Exeter University.
The 36th East Devon Congress got under way at the appointed time of 7 p.m. tonight with a few words of welcome from the Secretary, Alan Maynard. The overall entry was 15 down on last year, which was, in turn, 15 down on 2009, a worrying trend for the Committee to consider at their post-congress meeting. Strangely, while the Open and Major sections held up well, it was numbers in the Minor Section that were down. By and large, most of the players here were familiar faces, the usual suspects, one might say; if the congress is to continue in its present form, it must attract many more newcomers.
Paul Helbig of Bristol returned to defend the trophy he won last year, hopes dented by the unexpected appearance of IM Jack Rudd, hot foot from the Brighton International that finished mid-week, and clear favourite here. Other contenders for a prize in the Open include John Wheeler, Graham Bolt and Dominic Mackle.
This annual event is scheduled for a Sunday in January, when teams of 12 players are invited from each of quarter of Devon. It usually involves three teams, but this year all areas were able to raise a side, and they met at Exeter, at the Isca Centre, a comfortably appointed indoor bowls and bridge club, recently built on the site of the old County Show Ground. The North team is drawn from the membership of Tiverton and Barnstaple, South comes from the various clubs in Torbay, while the East comprises clubs in the Exeter & District League and the West comes from the membership of the large Plymouth Club. The overall population base of each area is approximately equal at 250,000, so to that extent it tends to make for a close contest.
Players are matched according to the Hutton Pairing system, which ensures that although the teams are mixed up, the formula guarantees that, for example where 4 teams are involved, four players from any one team will play each of the other teams, and of those four, 2 will have the white pieces and the other two being black. And, where there is an even number of teams, all players will be matched with someone on the same board number as themselves. It’s complicated, but it works and it’s fair.
Before the start, the organiser, Alan Maynard, was the only person to have seen all the team lists and ventured that the winners would be either East or West, but no-one was fooled by that prophesy as anything can happen in this kind of match – and usually does.
Certainly, the East started well, winning two of their 1st 3 games, while the West lost their 1st games, but from then on there was never more than a point between them. In the end, it came down to the very last game to finish, David Toms of the East against Richard Pollock of the West, Toms needing to win for East to share 1st place. In the early endgame, Toms had blundered away a bishop, having seen the trap in earlier analysis, but had two extra pawns for it. It came down to a bishop + 3 vs 5 pawns. Toms fought gamely to give himself a chance, and indeed both queened a pawn. But Pollock was able to force them both off immediately and was left with a solitary pawn free to get his 3rd queen. So the matter was settled by the last pawn in the last game to finish - it was that close.
|1||E1||J. Stephens||181||0||1||J. Duckham||165||N1|
|2||S1||A. Clarke||164||0||1||D. Twine||170||W1|
|3||N2||S. Bartlett||162||1||1||W. Ingham||164||S2|
|4||W2||R. Pollock||164||1||0||D. A. Toms||159||E2|
|5||E3||P. J. Kennedy||151||1||0||A. Billings||148||S3|
|6||N3||S. Clarke||155||½||½||M. Stinton-B||149||W3|
|7||S4||R. Wilby||133||0||1||I. Annetts||155||N4|
|8||S4||E. J. Smith||143||1||0||B. Gosling||156||E4|
|9||S5||J. E. Allen||140||1||0||J. Morrison||152||N5|
|10||E5||J. S. Murray||143||1||0||K. Bloodworth||122||W5|
|11||N6||J. Knowles||133||1||0||G. Body||140||E6|
|12||W6||A. Tatam||127||1||0||J. W. Clarke||129||S6|
|13||E7||R. H. Jones||138||1||0||R. Dooley||114||N7|
|14||S7||N. F. Tidy||129||0||1||R. Greenhalgh||117||W7|
|15||N8||S. T-Tracey||114||½||½||F. Sugden||127||S8|
|16||W8||C. Peach||114||0||1||O. Wensley||120||E8|
|17||E9||J. Dzenis||120||½||½||K. Hindon||124||S9|
|18||N9||B. Aldwin||111||0||1||J. Ariss||111||S9|
|19||W10||D. Scantlebury||112||1||0||B. Connor||88||N10|
|20||S10||G. Bramley||110||½||½||H. Welch||115||E10|
|21||S11||J. Doidge||106||1||0||J. Wheadon||88||N11|
|22||E11||F. R. Hodge||111||0||1||J. Dean||109||W11|
|23||N12||A. Barclay||35||0||1||W. Fairbairn||101||E12|
|24||W12||C. Zisimides||97||0||1||N. Mills||93||S12|
Exmouth’s 2nd match of the season and 1st at home was in Devon’s 3rd Division, the Schofield Cup, where their opponents again were Tiverton. In short they lost again by a similar margin to the 1st encounter in the Newman Cup.
|1||B. G. E. Gosling||156||0||1||I. S. Annetts||155|
|2||R. H. Jones||138||0||1||J. Morrison||152|
|3||J. Dzenis||120e||0||1||J. Knowles||133|
|4||O. E. Wensley||120e||1||0||E. A. Maynard||104|
Jones was the first to fall, blown away in 20 moves by a brilliant sacrificial attack. In the position below, Morrison (W) ignores the attack on his queen and plays 16.Nxe6. Probably Black’s best reply was 16…Qb6 (not spotted), covering the fork on c7 and leaving White with 2 pieces en pris. Black, in fact, played 16…Qxc3, causing White momentary panic before he found 17.Bxb5! threatening mate and there is little Black can do.
Oliver Wensley temporarily restored parity when his opponent had a senior moment in the following position. After a game in which both sides were level throughout, White played 36.Rf3?? thinking he was threating a back rank mate but missing the fact that his bishop is dropping.
Juris Dzenis got his Queen trapped in the centre and struggled on gamefully but Knowles was too canny to let things slip. At the very end, Brian Gosling found himself as White in this position, but desperately short of time. He played 30.Nd5? which releases the Black Queen to come to d3 forking rook and knight. In fact, 30.Qxa4 would have almost forced the exchange of queens and left him with 2 connected, passed pawns, enough to win the game, all other things being equal.