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Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category

Exmouth C.C.’s Buzzer Tournament 2014.

Exmouth Chess Club’s traditional season-starter has, for several decades been its “Buzzer” Tournament. This comprises a small battery-powered device that emits an audible buzz every 10 seconds. This was cobbled together c. 30 years ago by Fred Hodge, and is kept in a small cigar box. Each player has to move on the sound, if it is their move. It’s an all-play-all event involving anyone and everyone who turns up on the night.

It involves a peculiar manifestation of the relativity of time. At the start of each game, the 10 seconds thinking time seems like an eternity, but within 10 moves that same time seems like one second and towards the end it’s like a nano-second as one’s brain struggles to sort the almighty mess one has got into.

Last year’s winner, Meyrick Shaw, started badly with a loss to Malcolm Belt, but thereafter conceded only a single draw. 

The results were as follows:

  Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 total Pos.
1 Bob Jones X ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0  
2 Fred Hodge ½ X 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 3  
3 Chris Scott 1 1 X 1 1 0 1 0 1 6 2nd
4 Malcolm Belt 1 1 0 X 1 ½ 0 1 0 4½ 4th=
5 Tom Badlan 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0  
6 Simon Blake ½ 0 1 ½ 1 X 0 0 ½ 3½  
7 Oliver Wensley 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 0 ½ 5½ 3rd
8 Meyrick Shaw ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 1 6½ 1st
9 Steve Murray 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 X 4½ 4th=

Exmouth’s New Grades July 2014

1 129415F G Abbott, Mark V 173 +1   167 -9
2 242270A B Badlan, Tom W 82 +3   78 -2
3 173289E B Belt, Malcolm 128 -1   124  
4 286681L B Blake, Simon 102 -2   91 +1
5 214854H B Derrick, Ken W 197 -7      
6 111446D G Gosling, Brian GE 153 +1      
7 181711F B Grist, Ivor G 108 +3   88 -2
8 140874E B Hodge, Fred R 97 +1      
9 266234G S Hurst, Kevin J 191 +9   157 0
10 181711F B Grist, Ivor G 108 +3   88 -2
11 113895K S Jones, Robert H 129 -3   147 -1
12 116002D B Murray, J Stephen 138 -3   140 0
13 118154D S Rogers, David R 158 +12      
14 248908K B Scott, Chris J 157 +12   157 +6
15 290163J G Shaw, Meyrick 170 -6   167 -7
16 155629A S Stephens, John KF 194 +8   178 -2
17 242384E G Toms, David A 151 +9      
18 242283K B Underwood, Jon 179 +8      
19 285021H S Wensley, Oliver E 149 -8   151 +3

After the false start a little while ago, having confused a June re-adjustment with the new list, here is the new, definitive  grading list as it applies to anyone who has played in or for the Exmouth teams during the past season.

Top improvers are Chris Scott, who did extremely well in both internal and external tournaments throughout the season, and Dave Rogers who did equally well in congresses, winning a number of prizes en route. Not far behind are Kevin Hurst, John Stephens, and Drs. Toms & Underwood, all of whom went up significantly.

Jones has slipped 3 points to 129, his consolation being that he will now be automatic top grade in any U-130 tournaments, like the new Thynne section of the 5 Rd. Morning tournament at Paignton, coming up in just over 4 weeks time. 1st prize £300 – no pressure there, then.

WECU Championship & Congress – Easter 2014 – Day 1

This year the venue had to be moved from the Royal Beacon Hotel, where the event had been held for the previous15 years, on account of a wedding having been booked for our usualk playing hall. So the nearby Manor Hotel, kindly moved in and made an offer we couldn’t refuse, and for the past year this has been the focus of attention – new circumstances, new staff, what can possibly go wrong etc.

However, this did not prevent a number of players booking their accommodation at the Beacon. One of them, who shall be nameless, expressed the hope that the wedding festivities would not prove too noisy for other guests, only to be told the wedding had long since been cancelled!

The Manor’s function room, although somewhat smaller than the Beacon’s, managed to accommodate all the games asked of it, the entry being a little down on recent years and probably just as well in the circumstances.

After a few words of welcome, White clocks were started at exactly 10.00. Rd. 1 results were as follows;-

  WECU Championship 2014 Open Rd. 1
Brd White Result Black
1 Bolt, Graham 177 (0) 0 – 1 Mcmichael, Richard J 213 (0)
2 Boyne, Andrew K 196 (0) 1 – 0 Shaw, Meyrick 176 (0)
3 Thompson, Robert 176 (0) ½ – ½ Clark, Ian C 193 (0)
4 Simons, Martin J 191 (0) ½ – ½ Bartlett, Simon 175 (0)
5 Slade, Theo 173 (0) ½ – ½ Stephens, John K 186 (0)
6 Paulden, Tim 184 (0) 1 – 0 Stephenson, David W 159 (0)
7 Toms, David A 142 (0) ½ – ½ Fraser, John 180 (0)
8 Regis, David 180 (0) 1 – 0      
9 Littlejohns, David P 182 (0) ½ – 0      

 

  WECU Congress     2014 Major (U-175) Rd.1    
Brd White Grd     Black Grd  
101 Ingham, H William 169 (0) 1 – 0 Harris, Martyn J 152 (0)
102 Morton, Peter S 149 (0) 0 – 1 Bass, John W 168 (0)
103 Brusey, Alan  167 (0) 1 – 0 Moore, Gillian A 147 (0)
104 Morgan, Jamie 147 (0) 0 – 1 Page, Martin C 167 (0)
105 Thynne, Trefor F 166 (0) 1 – 0 Rogers, David R 146 (0)
106 Dimond, Peter D 145 (0) 0 – 1 O’Gorman, Brendan 164 (0)
107 Gamble, Raymond J 163 (0) 1 – 0 Taylor, Geoffrey P 145 (0)
108 Tew, Paul 145 (0) 0 – 1 Dean, Steve K 161 (0)
109 Nyman, John C 161 (0) ½ – ½ Roberts, Malcolm A 144 (0)
110 Lawrence, David 137 (0) ½ – ½ Burton, Ronnie 159 (0)
111 Sellwood, Colin 157 (0) ½ – ½ Chapman, Timoth 135 (0)
112 Robertson, Jim 134 (0) ½ – ½ Wensley, Oliver E 157 (0)
113 Price, Andrew 155 (0) ½ – ½ Hamilton, Selwyn  133 (0)
114 Worrall, Martin C 133 (0) 0 – 1 Annetts, Ivor S 152 (0)
115 Gosling, Brian G 152 (0) 1 – 0 Mills, Nigel 122 (0)
116 Woodward, Tim F 153 (0) ½ – 0      

 

  WECU Congress     2014 Minor (U-140) Rd. 1    
Brd White Grd     Black Grd  
201 Spooner, Keith C 119 (0) ½ – ½ Sandercock, E Barry 137 (0)
202 Wilby, Robert G 137 (0) 0 – 1 Whittington, Reece  119 (0)
203 Gardiner, Colin J 116 (0) 0 – 1 Barber-Lafon, Jacquie 135 (0)
204 Dicker, Nigel 135 (0) ½ – ½ Waters, Roger G 116 (0)
205 Dean, John E 115 (0) 0 – 1 Foster, Paul 134 (0)
206 Blencowe, Ian P 129 (0) 1 – 0 Burt, David F 114 (0)
207 Bailey, Gregory L 112 (0) 1 – 0 Allen, Timothy S 127 (0)
208 Jackson, Paul A 127 (0) 1 – 0 Fraser, Alan R 112 (0)
209 Welch, Hazel 109 (0) 0 – 1 Errington, Paul T 126 (0)
210 Alexander, Ken  126 (0) ½ – ½ Maber, Martyn J 93* (0)
211 Kelly, Edmund 104 (0) 0 – 1 Hunt, Ray K 125 (0)
212 Tidy, Norman F 124 (0) 0 – 1 Dengler, Terry 95 (0)
213 Cox, Reg E 87 (0) 0 – 1 Parfett, Gerald F 121 (0)
214 Gilbert, David J 138 (0) ½ – 0      

 Round 1 was completed by 2 p.m. and 90 minutes was allowed between rounds, the afternoon rounds all starting at 3.30. However, it became apparent that modern arbiters are now so efficient at making the draws using specialised software, that this task could easily be done in an hour, making it possible to re-start at 3 p.m. Although it’s too late to change for this year, the committee will certainly be considering this change for next year. 

Round 2 saw McMichael, a last minute entry, moving into the sole lead , with 4 players a half point behind. Perhaps the most remarkable of these is the veteran David Toms, who has been in declining health for a number of years, yet opted for the Open as he thought “It might be my last congress and I might as well give it a go”. He’s certainly doing that.

  WECU Open   2014   Round  2  Results    
Bd. White Grd     Black Grd  
1 McMichael, Richard J 213 (1) 1 – 0 Paulden, Tim 184 (1)
2 Regis, David 180 (1) ½ – ½ Boyne, Andrew K 196 (1)
3 Clark, Ian C 193 (½) ½ – ½ Slade, Theo 173 (½)
4 Littlejohns, David P 182 (½) ½ – ½ Simons, Martin J 191 (½)
5 Stephens, John K 186 (½) 0 – 1 Thompson, Robert 176 (½)
6 Bartlett, Simon 175 (½) 0 – 1 Toms, David A 142 (½)
7 Fraser, John 180 (½) 0 – 1 Bolt, Graham 177 (0)
8 Shaw, Meyrick 176 (0) ½ – ½ Stephenson, David W 159 (0)

 

  WECU   Major   2014   Round  2  Results    
Bd. White Grd     Black Grd  
101 O’Gorman, Brendan 164 (1) ½ – ½ Ingham, H William 169 (1)
102 Bass, John W 168 (1) ½ – ½ Gamble, Raymond  163 (1)
103 Page, Martin C 167 (1) 1 – 0 Gosling, Brian G 152 (1)
104 Dean, Steve K 161 (1) ½ – ½ Brusey, Alan W 167 (1)
105 Annetts, Ivor S 152 (1) 0 – 1 Thynne, Trefor F 166 (1)
106 Hamilton, Selwyn 133 (½) ½ – ½ Nyman, John C 161 (½)
107 Burton, Ronnie 159 (½) 1 – 0 Robertson, Jim 134 (½)
108 Roberts, Malcolm A 144 (½) 1 – 0 Sellwood, Colin 157 (½)
109 Wensley, Oliver E 157 (½) 1 – 0 Lawrence, David J 137 (½)
110 Chapman, Timothy  135 (½) ½ – ½ Price, Andrew 155 (½)
111 Woodward, Tim F 153 (½) ½ – ½ Morgan, Jamie 147 (0)
112 Harris, Martyn J 152 (0) 1 – 0 Tew, Paul 145 (0)
113 Taylor, Geoffrey P 145 (0) ½ – ½ Morton, Peter S 149 (0)
114 Moore, Gillian A 147 (0) ½ – ½ Dimond, Peter D 145 (0)
115 Rogers, David R 146 (0) ½ – ½ Worrall, Martin C 133 (0)

   

  WECU    Minor   2014   Round 2  Results    
Bd. White Grd     Black Grd  
201 Barber-Lafon, Jacquie 135 (1) 1 – 0 Hunt, Ray K 125 (1)
202 Foster, Paul 134 (1) ½ – ½ Parfett, Gerald F 121 (1)
203 Whittington, Reece  119 (1) ½ – ½ Blencowe, Ian P 129 (1)
204 Dengler, Terry   95 (1) 0 – 1 Jackson, Paul A 127 (1)
205 Errington, Paul T 126 (1) ½ – ½ Bailey, Gregory L 112 (1)
206 Gilbert, David J 138 (½) ½ – ½ Spooner, Keith C 119 (½)
207 Sandercock, E Barry 137 (½) ½ – ½ Alexander, Ken  126 (½)
208 Maber, Martyn J  93* (½) 0 – 1 Dicker, Nigel 135 (½)
209 Waters, Roger G 116 (½) 0 – 1 Dean, John E 115 (0)
210 Burt, David F 114 (0) 0 – 1 Wilby, Robert G 137 (0)
211 Allen, Timothy  127 (0) 1 – 0 Welch, Hazel 109 (0)
212 Fraser, Alan R 112 (0) 0 – 1 Tidy, Norman F 124 (0)
213 Mills, Nigel 122 (0) 1 – 0 Kelly, Edmund 104 (0)
214 Cox, Reg E   87 (0) 0 – 1 Gardiner, Colin J 116 (0)

Rd. 1 The top players' side - Simons vs Bartlett nearest.

Martin Simons waits patiently on Bd. 4

Nearest: Jim Robertson of E. Kilbride, the furthest travellor to the event.

Former Junior International, David Toms, plays current Junior international John Fraser. Game drawn.

Rd 2 - Bd 4: Littlejohns vs Simons

Minor Section Rd. 2: Top 3 boards.

Barnstaple Win Mamhead Cup Div. 2 (12.04.2014.)

Barnstaple made the long trip to Exmouth knowing that a drawn match would secure them the Div. 2 championship. With International Master Jack Rudd and England Junior International Theo Slade on board, this was always a distinct possibility. However, in any grade-limited tournament like this one (639 max) the price has to be paid on the lower boards where players of a more modest grade have to be played. On this occasion, Exmouth chose to play 4 middle-range grades in the hope that 2 points could be rescued on Bds. 3 & 4. And this is exactly how it played out, although all 4 games were tense and well-contested affairs by both players.

On Bd. 1 the position soon developed into a complex one with pieces of both colours all over the board, but with only 3 pawns each. Rudd, of course, is known to play only at express speed, and he made his 35 moves in 35 minutes, but such were the comlications that Shaw ran out of time and his flag fell 5 moves short.

On Bd. 2 Oliver Wensley orchestrated a kingside attack based on the rock of having a knight posted immovably on his 5th rank. However, his massed pieces left the other wing vulnerable, and Slade countered down the a-file with doubled rooks. This won material and with it the game.

Gosling’s position looked relatively even until Smith put his king into trouble and lost out to a Q+K fork, and resigned on move 28.

Scott won a piece in a series of exchanges around move 30, but still had the tricky job of finding the best lines to exploit this advantage to a winning one. A Q+R knight fork settled the outcome.

Thus the drawn match was what Barnstaple came for and they were duly delighted, whereas Exmouth had nothing to play for in this tournament except pride in a good perfomance on the day, and this they achieved.

The games may be found on the chessdevon website.

  Exmouth Grd     Barnstaple  Grd
1 Meyrick Shaw 172 0 1 Jack Rudd 219
2 Oliver E. Wensley 157 0 1 Theo Slade 162
3 Brian G. Gosling 151 1 0 Richard Smith 139
4 Chris J. Scott 142 1 0 Michael Dow 115
    622 2 2   635

 

General view of the match - Exmouth on the right.

Exmouth settle into the match - Shaw; Wensley; Gosling & Scott.

Rudd (nearest); Slade; Smith & Dow.

Exmouth Stagger Over the Line (23.03.2014.)

Exmouth’s penultimate game in Devon’s senior club championship was at home against Teignmouth. Although missing a number of their top players, Exmouth still outgraded the visitors by 115 points, and on paper it looked a relatively easy challenge, except that at this level nothing can be taken for granted. Pre-match chat before the kick-off revealed, for example, that Graham Bramley (109) had already beaten and drawn with Alan Brusey (181) in club games, and Stormin’ Norman Tidy was sweeping all before him in 2014, including having won his section in the recent E. Devon Congress. And that was only on the bottom boards, while the top 3 consisted of the regular triumvirate of Brusey, Ingham and the British U-150 champion, John Gorodi, all capable of beating anyone at any time. So this was clearly not going to an easy task.

And sure enough, Tidy swept away Oliver Wensley, (who won the E. Devon Premier 2 years ago) in short order, after a quick draw on Bd. 2, leaving Teignmouth needing only 1½ points from the last 4 games to spoil the party for the home team. However, John Ariss had left himself very weak on the white squares around his king, and Gosling was not slow to extract full advantage. Playing a Closed Sicilian, Steve Martin managed to open lines to Gorodi’s king, especially down the h-file, and again extracted maximum advantage with a quick, sharp attack. Chris Scott played steadily, gradually putting a positional squeeze on his opponent, eventually getting adjacent central pawns on the 6th rank that couldn’t be stopped. This win secured the 3½ points required. But the Bd. 1 game went the full distance, with Shaw winning a piece and having a positional advantage, but shortage of time meant he lost his way, losing a piece back, and with it the game. Fortunately, in the circumstances it didn’t matter as the match was already won.

The games are all accessible on the chessdevon website.

The win puts Exmouth in top spot, a point clear of the holders, Newton Abbot, the teams to meet in what will now be the deciding match in April. Unlike last year, game points won’t be a factor as it’s impossible for teams to tie at the top on the same number of match points.

  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 M. Shaw 176 0 1 A. W. Brusey 181
2 Dr. J. Underwood 171 ½ ½ W. H. Ingham 160
3 S. Martin 165 1 0 J. G. Gorodi 159
4 O. E. Wensley 157 0 1 N. F. Tidy 123
5 B. G. Gosling 152 1 0 J. A. Ariss 119
6 C. J. Scott 145 1 0 G. Bramley 109
  Totals 966   851

 

The Exmouth team (facing)

Devon vs Dorset (08.03.2014.)

Luppitt Village Hall, tucked away in a hidden valley, high in the Blackdown Hills, is the traditional venue for this annual match. This year, like most, the sky was clear and bright, and both sides looked forward to an entertaining afternoon.

Although Dorset had received a real trouncing at the hands of Somerset in an earlier round and were not expected to win here, they were always in the match and it was only a few late wins for Devon that made the score look respectable to Devon eyes.

The result meant that Devon had won the Wayling Cup for 2nd teams for the 16th consecutive year.

Bd DORSET U-160 Grd     DEVON U-160 Grd
1 Mark Littleton 160 1 0 Oliver Wensley 157
2 Warren Legg 150 0 1 Mike Stinton-Brownbridge 155
3 Geoff C Searing 146 1 0 Peter E Halmkin 155
4 Julian Cherryson 137 0 1 Ivor S Annetts 152
5 David Aldwinckle 133 0 1 Brian. G. Gosling 152
6 Paul Brackner 135 ½ ½ Andrew S. Kinder 152
7 Colin E Winch 130 0 1 Andrew Frangleton 152
8 Ivan J Willis 137 0 1 Chris J .Scott 145
9 Paul T Errington 126 0 1 Keith P. Atkins 142
10 Terje Lundin U/G 1 0 Robert G Wilby 137
11 Andrew Young 122 ½ ½ Wilfred R P Taylor 139
12 Paul A Jackson 127 ½ ½ Piet Dobber 135
13 Mick Rogan U/G ½ ½ Nathan Mills 135
14 John (W) Kelly 117 ½ ½ Jacquie Barber-Lafon 135
15 Keith C Spooner 119 ½ ½ Robert H Jones 132
16 Sidney A Jones 108 0 1 Norman F Tidy 124
      6 10    

 

The venue set in the Blackdowns

 

Oliver Wensley, whose paternal ancesters go back in Luppitt for several generations, moves on top board.

 

Bds 5 = 8

 

Willis v Scott on Bd. 8

 

A neat win by Tidy (Black) put Devon on the road to victory.

 

Bds. 13 - 16.

E. Devon Congress 2014 – Rd. 1

With only 6 days to the start of this year’s East Devon Congress, the new Entry Secretary, John Stephens, told me that, at 183, he was the 6th highest-graded player in the Open. It was accepted that very often the top players leave their entries to the last minute, and this was no exception. By the Friday evening, he had dropped to 10th, as a whole raft of top players had joined the fray, bringing the total to 43 and making this the strongest Exeter Open for many years. The top 20’s average grade was 188.

The overall entry was 125, bringing the event safely over the break-even point. As the regulars well know, the hall is spacious, with a waiting space and facilities for refreshment adjacent. In John Ariss and Tony Tatam they have excellent Arbiters, but the Committee has dropped to just three people, which is causing concern to them. The regulars are Mark Abbott and Sean Pope, while John Stephens has replaced Alan Maynard who moved to near Weston-Super-Mare. They have put out an appeal for at least 2 more local players to come forward and share the load, if the event is to continue satisfactorily.

General view from the stage.

Bd. 1 Open Section: Bolt v Rudd, both destined to finish 2nd =

Bd. 2: Dom Mackle v Simon Bartlett.

Rd. 1: Theo Slade vs Steve Dilleigh

Minor Section - Rd. 1: Graham Mill-Wilson vs Mike Kaye

Exeter vs Exmouth – Bremridge Cup (Div. 1)

The rivalry between these neighbouring clubs is rarely greater than in the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s premier inter-club tournament, and after their reverse at the hands of Teignmouth the previous Saturday in a Div. 2 match, Exmouth approached this particular encounter knowing anything was possible. Both teams were well below full strength and a major factor in the eventual outcome was clearly going to be the depth of the reserve pool. In this respect, it seems Exmouth were slightly better off.

Exmouth won the toss and chose to have White on Bds. 1, 3 & 5.  The Wensley-Marjoram game on Bd. 3 set off at a rate of knots with White trying a Scotch Gambit, which Black bought in to. This allowed a short-term bishop sacrifice on f7 and Black’s game, which featured a king stuck in the centre, quickly fell apart thereafter. 0-1

The Scott-Amos game featured a much steadier opening, though Black found himself a pawn up but his pieces somewhat pegged back behind his pawn shield. In giving up a pawn to free up his position, he also opened it up to his opponent’s benefit. Soon after, he blundered R & B and resigned immediately.0-2.

Bd. 6 featured a game between  13 yr old Taylor Finch and the vastly experienced Scot, Steve Murray. In a c3 Sicilian, Taylor pressed early on and was soon 2 passed pawns up, but in so doing, had helped Black by opening long lines for his rooks and bishops, while his own Kingside pieces remained untouched. The game turned on how long Black could frustrate his opponent’s development by creating threats. In this respect it was Black who succeeded, whose rook pair cut swathes across the board in the endgame. 0-3.

On Bd. 4 Brian Gosling had given up his queen for 3 pieces, but in a complex position could make no telling inroads into White’s defences, and he offered a draw. Palmer correctly consulted his captain as to whether he should accept. He returned to the board, shook hands and the match was won. ½-3½

Meanwhile, the games on the top 2 boards continued. On 2, a Black knight forked Q & R and Underwood resigned. 1½-3½.

On top board, Boyne played the French Winawer, which led to an increasingly complex postion that, nevertheless, remained in the book until move 20 when Black missed a trick.  He later sacrificed a knight in order to get in a back rank attack, but that fizzled out with Black a rook and bishop down. White had held out and  Black resigned as he could not assemble any more attacks and White could unscramble his heavy pieces. 1½-4½

  Bremridge Cup       22.02.2014.  
  Exeter  Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 A. B. Boyne 197 0 1 J. K. Stephens 186
2 Dr. D. Regis 176 1 0 Dr. J. Underwood 171
3 A. Marjoram 146 0 1 O. E. Wensley 157
4 E. Palmer 133 ½ ½ B. G. Gosling 152
5 J. Amos 129 0 1 C. J. Scott 145
6 T. Finch   87 0 1 S. Murray 141
    868       952

So it was the visitors’ greater strength and experience on the lower 3 boards that made the difference. Nevertheless, the score did not necessarily reflect the closeness of several of the games.

Stephens & Boyne lock horns in a complex French Winawer.

Clock ticking and White appears stumped for an opening move.

Wensley, with a sly grin, already eyeing up Bxf7+

 

Bds 4 - 6 in a separate room.

 

A battle of Youth vs Experience on Bd. 6

Exmouth Lose in Div. 2 …. again. (15.02.2014.)

Exmouth approached this match in bullish mood, on the backs of a win against Newton Abbot and a win and a draw against Tiverton, in 3 different competitions. However, there’s nothing like chess for bringing folk back down to earth again, and this was the case here.  

In the first game to finish, Abbott gave up a piece in order to try and get a stranglehold on White’s back rank with mating threats. Ingham had to be careful, and he was, managing to repeat moves 3 times. At this point, although Shaw’s position looked unclear, Wensley and Scott seemed to have their games under control. But as Shaw started to run out of time, Wensley lost his outside passed pawns and was suddenly on the back foot, while Scott missed a winning move and had to settle for a draw as Tidy was able to repeat moves. Shaw’s position collapsed under time pressure, leaving Wensley forced to try for a win in order to save the match, but with only pawns and opposite-coloured bishops left there was nothing he could do except agree a draw.  Full results below.

This loss rather undid the excellent win against Newton Abbot just two weeks earlier. We now await the visit of Barnstaple on 12th April, the final match in Division 2.  

General view of the Alice Cross Centre, Teignmouth.

Shaw vs Brusey nearest.

Ingham vs Abbott

Wensley vs Gorodi

Tidy vs Scott

  Mamhead Div. 2.       15.02.2014.  
  Teignmouth       Exmouth  
1 Alan Brusey    (B) 181 1 0 Meyrick Shaw 172
2 Bill Ingham     (W) 160 ½ ½ Mark Abbott 165
3 John Gorodi 159 ½ ½ Oliver Wensley 159
4 Norman Tidy 123 ½ ½ Christopher Scott 142
    623   638

Exmouth Retain Newman Cup (12.02.2014.)

Exmouth’s last match in Devon’s Newman Cup (for RapidPlay teams of 4 totalling U-600 grade) was against Tiverton and was effectively a cup final, with the winner taking all. However, Tiverton had a built-in edge as a 4-4 draw would give them the Cup on the 1st level of tie-break (game points). Before clocks were started, their captain explained that even if we had been level on game points, Exmouth would still have lost out due to having lost to Tiverton in Rd. 1, which led his opponent to quip “I see – even if we win we lose!” 

Round 1:

Tiverton won the toss and chose Black on Bd. 1. for the 1st round.  Simon Blake played forcefully and at one point was looking at the opportunity of possibly being able to sacrifice his queen for a back rank mate, but his opponent was alert to the risk. The game finished with opposite coloured bishops and level pawns all on squares that could not be attack by the enemy piece, amd a draw was agreed.

Oliver Wensley was happy to push all his pawns forward whenever he could, which Annetts avoided taking, so the endgame featured two long strings of pawns across the board, like WWI trench lines, except that Oliver was able to probe for weaknesses and eventually had 2 pawns that could run for the line. Annetts could only stop one by letting the other queen.

On Bd. 2 Mark Abbott started with some advantages in piece development but was unable to convert this into any other more practical advantage and the game slid into a R+5 vs R+4 endgame, and Atkin’s extra pawn was central, advanced and shepherded by his king. However, Abbott’s rook cleverly pecked away at the other pawns, won one back and the danger was over. Draw agreed.

The game on Bd. 1 was more difficult to assess by the spectator. Hewson had an attack down the open g-file against the enemy king involving Q, R + N, which White was managing to hold, while creating a passed pawn on the a-file that could not be ignored. The pressure built up as time started to press and it was Hewson that broke first.

Round 2:

Exmouth had to score a minimum of 4½ points to win the cup and a 3-1 lead from Rd. 1 was a healthy start, but this competition is notorious for the way in which the luck changes from one round to the next. For any one player, the hardest thing to do is to win both games outright, so nothing could be taken for granted. 

Sure enough, Blake’s position crumbled after overlooking a knight capture in the middle of the board and Exmouth started with a loss. This was evened up when Annetts overlooked a bishop skewering both rooks and getting out of that merely allowed a bishop to fork king and knight, and Wensley scored his 2nd win soon after.

Abbott’s endgame looked not unlike the first one in some respects, but this time Atkins did not let things slip and he evened up their personal scores.

In the top game, Shaw broke through against the enemy king using both bishops, a knight and his queen, which was enough to win, leaving the round a 2-2 draw, but 5-3 overall.

The competition overall has once again proved a close one, with all teams losing at least one match.

Bd Exmouth Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Tiverton Grd
1 M. Shaw 164 1 1   0 0 B. W. Hewson 184
2 M. V. Abbott 159 ½ 0   ½ 1 K. P. Atkins 139
3 O. E. Wensley 146 1 1   0 0 I. S. Annetts 140
4 S. Blake 100 ½ 0   ½ 1 J. Knowles 117
                   
  Totals 569 3 2   1 2   580
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