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Archive for the ‘Current season news’ Category

Exmouth Open Account in Div. 2

Exmouth’s first match in the Devon Leagues involved the longest trip of the season, to Barnstaple, where they expected to be facing a team headed up by IM Jack Rudd or Theo Slade – or both. As it turned out, neither was available, for reasons that will become apparent. So the home team’s strength was somewhat below what was expected.

The Barnstaple captain, Steve Clarke, got into terrible trouble in the opening and faced with two ways of losing material, he prevented both with a move that allowed mate on move 13. That’s the problem with being a playing home captain - one’s head is full of potential problems e.g. is the premises going to be unlocked; is everyone going to turn up; are the refreshments organised etc. So much so that once play starts one’s head is elsewhere.

In the Scott-Oughton game, a lot of material came off the board early on, and with no discernable advantage to either side a draw was agreed. On Board 3, team captain Oliver Wensley secured Black’s d- and e-pawns and was able to force the issue down those central files with his extra pawn, backed by rooks, advancing with unanswerable threats. Malcolm Belt, usually a buccaneering cut & thrust merchant, found himself in a long attritional game in which, python-like, he gradually deprived his opponent of the oxygen of space, and kept him restricted to his back 2 ranks until the win was secured.

It may have been a relief not to be facing Rudd and/or Slade, but the reason for their absence was that, aparently, they were playing for Tiverton in the Bremridge Cup Div. 1, which is not such good news for Exmouth’s 1st team later in the season. Tiverton’s team list that day can only be wondered at.

  Mamhead Cup Div 2     08.11.2014  
  Barnstaple Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Clarke 133 0 1 Meyrick Shaw 170
2 Rob Oughton 131 ½ ½ Chris Scott 157
3 Jon Munsey 128 0 1 Oliver Wensley 149
4 Mike Dow 115 0 1 Malcolm Belt 128
  totals 507 ½   604

Historic First – Exmouth Lose to Seaton (27.10.2014.)

Exmouth started the day as County champions at all forms of the over-the-board game – Standard play, RapidPlay and Blitz. But chess has a way of bringing any individual or group getting delusions of grandeur down to earth with a bump. So it was with Exmouth when they finished the day by losing to Seaton for the first time in many encounters in Devon’s RapidPlay League – the Newman Cup.

Last year, Seaton improved their chances by bringing in Steve Martin, and this year added Dr. Jonathan Underwood, which tipped the balance altogether. Seaton won both rounds 2.5 – 1.5  and finished 5-3 winners. Chris Scott maintained his continuing improvement by winning his individual encounter against Martin, while Jones managed to stem early aggression from Adams and may have had very slight advantages in both games but with time running out offered draws, which  Adams was minded to accept. But Underwood was clearly fired up after winning 6 Blitz games eight days earlier and the combination of his endgame technique and speed of move proved too much for the Exmouth captain. Blake had a won position in Rd. 1 but ran very low on time and Dowse kindly offered a draw when he could have won on time.

Exmouth have started with a loss several times before in this competition, but managed to make up lost ground. In this case, this seems less likely than hitherto, and Seaton must be considered serious contenders for the title.

  RapidPlay League             27.10.2014  
  Seaton Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Jon Underwood 179 1 1   0 0 Mark Abbott 167
2 Steve Martin 172 ½ 0   ½ 1 Chris Scott 157
3 Martyn Adams 133 ½ ½   ½ ½ Bob Jones 147
4 Alan Dowse 111 ½ 1   ½ 0 Simon Blake   91
           
    595             562
        5   3      

 

Seaton players facing camera: Underwood, Martin (shaking hands), Adams (purple shirt) and Dowse.

 

Martin (l) vs Scott (nearest) & Underwood vs Abbott.

Unique Start to the 2014-2015 Season

The start of Exmouth’s league season was a unique event in the history of the club. For the first time ever, they had entered two teams in the Exeter & District League Division 1, and the league rules rightly state that any club with 2 teams in the same division must make that their first match, to avoid any possible suspicion that, should they meet in a later round, one team might voluntarily lose in order for the other to win the cup.  Not that they would, of course, but any team so edged out couldn’t help but wonder…..

Not that there would be any danger of that happening in this case, as, given the club’s relatively limited playing resources, both teams were likely to be well short of the maximum team grade total of 640, unless they acquire some strong new members from somewhere. But the club are treating it as a fun event with no high expectations of ultimate glory.

On the night, blunders abounded; one player tore his scoresheet up in disgust while another didn’t submit his scoresheet at all - all good fun. At the end of night it was the Elephants that got trampled while the Eagles soared above.

Bd Exmouth Elephants Grd     Exmouth Eagles Grd
1 S. J. Murray 138 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 157
2 D. Thomson 134 ½ ½ R. H. Jones 129
3 F. R. Hodge   97 0 1 M. Belt 128
4 T. Badlan   82 0 1 S. Blake 102
    451 1 3   516

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.

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

Devon vs Hants (08.02.2014.)

Devon have experienced several defeats at the hands of Hampshire in recent years, so it was of some interest to see whether changing the venue from Wincanton to the old Roman town of Ilchester might have some effect on the eventual outcome. Ilchester, the only Roman town in Somerset apart from Aqua Sullis, situated as it is beside the old Fosse Way at its junction with the A303, seems to have changed little since its historic heyday, with the Town Hall probably built on the site of the Roman Forum. 

The playing room is comfortable, warm and well-lit, with a small analysis area and kitchen adjacent. The only disadvantage was that it was an upstairs room, making the carrying of equipment somewhat more onerous.

The first result in was a quick draw between former colleagues Regis and Bellers, but closely followed by a win for Jonathan Underwood, and Devon were never headed from then on, although never by more than 1 or 2 points. Eventually, with the last game in progress, Devon led 8-7, but with Stephens down to his last 2 minutes, abandoning his recording and having to move almost instantly in a complex unclear position. Yet somehow he managed to coordinate his remaining 3 pieces, Queen, rook and a knight had hadn’t moved for 44 moves, into a mating net. Match won 9-7.

  Devon 1st       Hampshire 1st  
1 S. J. Homer 189 ½ ½ I. D. Thompson 217
2 J. K. Stephens 186 1 0 W. M. McDougall 192
3 P. D. Sivrev 183 ½ ½ D. R. Tunks 188
4 Dr. D. Regis 180 ½ ½ C. J. V. Bellers 186
5 J. Fraser 180 ½ ½ P. F. Cooper 182
6 B. W. R. Hewson 179 0 1 D. W. Fowler 181
7 J. F. Wheeler 176 ½ ½ A. McDougall 173
8 A. W. Brusey 167 ½ ½ F. N. McLeod 168
9 M. Shaw 176 ½ ½ S. W. Knox 167
10 Dr. J. Underwood 171 1 0 D. F. Thompson 160
11 T. F. Thynne 166 0 1 C. P. A. Priest 158
12 W. H. Ingham 169 1 0 S. J. Smith 158
13 P. Brooks 163 ½ ½ G. A. Jones 158
14 S. Martin 166 1 0 Miss G. A. Moore 147
15 M. Stinton-Brown. 155 0 1 B. A. Kocan 146
16 N. Rahimili 148 1 0 J. I. Chilton 139
      9 7    
             
  Devon 2nd       Hampshire 2nd  
1 O. E. Wensley 157 ½ ½ T. J. Chapman 135
2 B. G. E. Gosling 152 ½ ½ K. G. Steele 134
3 A. S. Kinder 152 ½ ½ J. G. Young 133
4 C. J. Scott 145 ½ ½ D. Culliford 131
      8 0 Defaults  
      10 2    
             

 

Here are some views of the match in progress.

General view of the Main Hall

General view of the top boards

Top 4 games - Bellers V Regis nearest.

Boards 9 - 12 (nearest)

Bd. 16 Chilton V Rahimili nearest.

Amaurosis Scachistica Outbreak In Exmouth (12.05.2013.)

The term Amaurosis scachistica is an ailment diagnosed in some detail by the physician, Tarrasch, the main symptom being the making of obvious but uncharateristic blunders, better known in English as Chess Blindness. Tarrasch claimed there was no sure preventative treatment and he had some evidence that it may actually be infectious, calling this amaurosis scachistica chronica communis.

After Exmouth’s final home match of the season yesterday, against Teignmouth in a Division 2 match, we have further evidence to support the infection theory. In a small room with just 8 players, it can be deadly, spreading like wildfire in a very short time, each blunder more profound than the one commited just minutes earlier.

It all started on Bd. 3, where White, tempted by a hot pawn on the other side of the board, took it with his queen, thereby abandoning her protection of a rook that was being eyed up by the Black queen.  There swiftly followed …QxR+ and the game was over. The stars on top board seemed to have some natural immunity to this craziness, and Stephens, having recently realised that his strength might lie in rook+pawn endgames, true to his instincts quickly reached such a position and ran his a-pawn to queen, forcing a win. Exmouth at this stage were 2 up with 2 to play, but the infection was spreading rapidly.

On Bd. 4, the Teignmouth player attacked the enemy queen with a bishop. White responded by advancing a pawn, discovering a check by the queen. What a blunder – but instead of taking the queen, Black simply moved his king aside. Both players obviously badly infected and the outcome clearly impossible to predict. Teignmouth reduced the arrears by winning this game, but at least the Bd. 2 game was safe, where the home player was never seriously troubled and the game seemed to be heading for at least the draw required to win the match. They had got down to rook + bishop vs rook + knight, where the former had the positional advantage. But you know what knights are like……  The knight checked on a square where it could be taken by the bishop, the perpetrator fully expecting an exchange of the minor pieces. White saw the check, but not the fact that it also forked his rook. As on Bd. 4 earlier, he moved his king away and was amazed to see his rook snaffled. End of game – end of match. Exmouth had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.

Several players considered calling in to the local A & E Dept. on the way home, but it would have done no good. As Tarrasch correctly predicted, there is no known cure.

  Mamhead Cup       11.05.2013.  
  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 J. K. F. Stephens 192 1 0 A. W. Brusey 174
2 M. Shaw 166 0 1 J. G. Gorodi 148
3 Dr. D. A.Toms 159 1 0 N. F. Tidy 119
4 I. G. Grist   96 0 1 J. Ariss 120
    613 2 2   561

 

An Exmouth team confident of victory.

The Teignmouth team.

View from the other end.

The first victim of amaurosis scachistica - but not the last.

Exmouth To Retain Newman Cup?

Exmouth put themselves in pole position to retain Devon’s RapidPlay League, the Newman Cup, after a comfortable away win over Seaton, last evening.

Exmouth won the toss (for a change) and opted for white on the odd-numbered boards in Rd. 1.  It’s of less significance in a 2 round match like this, but if it helps to build a lead by half time, it can’t be too bad. In fact, Exmouth white players both recorded quick wins. Hazel Welch overlooked the fact that after an exchange of pieces her opponent could grab her b-pawn without any of the risks that usually attend the snaffling of a knight’s pawn, and it rather went downhill from then on. Simon Blake ran out of time, and Shaw was involved in a desperate finish in which he allowed his opponent counter-play. However, with seconds left, Alexander missed the best line and time ran out for him too. 3-1 at the break.

In Rd. 2, Stephens agreed a quick draw. The position in Jones’ game was much more blocked than in their first encounter, but he eventually found the space for his pieces (Q + 2R) while Hazel’s were trapped behind her own pawns, and he managed to break through. Blake, meanwhile, was having his game of the season so far, winning material left and right, and rightly giving some of it back in order to simplify out to a win. Ken Alexander showed his skill by beating his opponent, winner of the recent Kingsbridge RapidPlay.

It only remains for the return match to be played. Exmouth may be in pole position, but nothing will be, nor can be, taken for granted. This game has a nasty habit of biting you on the b-t-m. 

  Newman Cup             RapidPlay League  
  Seaton   Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth  
1 S. K. Dean 152 0 ½   1 ½ J. K. F. Stephens 184
2 K. Alexander 129 0 1   1 0 M. Shaw 164
3 H. Welch 116 0 0   1 1 R. H. Jones 148
4 A. Dowse 131 1 0   0 1 S. Blake   96
    528 1   3   592
               

 

WECU Ladies Champion, Hazel Welch patiently waiting for the photographer to finish.

Seaton Captain, Steve Dean (W), on his way to an excellent draw in Rd. 2

Ken Alexander (B) on his way to an excellent win against Shaw.

 

Simon Blake (nearest) playing his game of the season, so far.

Exmouth’s First Loss of the Season.

Tiverton vs Exmouth – Mamhead Cup Div. 2  – 16.03.2012.

Saturday Afternoon At The Tomato doesn’t have quite the same ring about it as the mid-70s classic jazz-fused song “Midnight At The Oasis”, but there was at least a tiny bit of Tiverton chess history involved as it was their first match at this experimental venue. “Tomato” is the striking title of a tapas bar, near the town centre in Tiverton, with a spacious room upstairs, which the owner lets free of charge, provided all the refreshments are purchased at the bar downstairs.

This was Exmouth’s 7th match of the season, and were so far undefeated, but any temptation to say they wanted to squash their opponents was firmly resisted. Just as well, too, because any squashing was done by the home team.

It all started so well, too, as John Stephens ended with a pretty finish in a pawn ending. At the other end, Simon Blake was the exchange up going into the endgame – a rook + 2 minor pieces vs 3 minor pieces. However, these included two knights, and these can become very slippery if given half a chance, and a knight check won a bishop, and it was downhill from thereon in. But at least the other two games looked solid enough, giving reasonable expectations  of yet another drawn match. Gosling agreed a draw, which left Shaw wondering whether to also settle for a draw or try and for a win in order to win the match. But it was one of those positions in which whoever tries to push for win, usually ends up losing, and this is what happened, giving Tiverton the match.

             
Bd. Tiverton Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 B. W. R. Hewson 174 0 1 J. K. F. Stephens 192
2 S. Bartlett 164 1 0 M. Shaw 166
3 I. S. Annetts 152 ½ ½ B. G. E. Gosling 164
4 J. Knowles 128 1 0 S. Blake   96
    618       618
         

 

The Exmouth line-up (Bd. 4 nearest)

 Dramatic Spanish decor throughout.

Tiverton line-up with bovine backdrop.

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