Archive for the ‘Current season news’ Category
Exmouth had their first home match of the season when they entertained old rivals Teignmouth to the town. It was not quite a home match as the Club’s new base, the Royal Beacon Hotel, had a Christmas party booked. But the Manor Hotel, just down the road, on the Beacon, came to the rescue and offered their small “Writing Room” as a suitable area. They also had a function booked, the annual meeting of the local Euchre League (don’t ask – it’s a strange American card game that has survived in Exmouth for generations). But both activities were ‘low maintenance’ and didn’t interfere with each other. It must be said that over the past 2 decades the managements of both hotels have been very good to the chess community, both local and national, and it is hoped will continue as it’s of mutual benefit.
After c. 90 minutes play, the match seemed to be going the visitors’ way, as Boards 1 and 4 were definitely looking bad for Exmouth, but two blunders in those games came to the rescue and turned what could have been a 3-1 defeat into a 3-1 victory.
|Mamhead Cup||Div 2||29.11.2014|
|1||John Stephens||194||1||0||Bill Ingham||176|
|2||Jon Underwood||179||½||½||Alan Brusey||176|
|3||Oliver Wensley||149||½||½||Kevin Hindom||145|
|4||Simon Blake||102||1||0||Norman Tidy||137|
Two turning points from the match:
Above: Black has just played …h5, possibly expecting the g-pawn to move, but f5! wins immediately as Black can’t prevent a passed pawn being created.
Below: White has been asking all the questions so far in the game, and has just played Rd7, threatening Black’s f-pawn and possibly with thoughts of doubling his rooks on the open file at some point. But …Bc8 wins a piece and Black’s bishop pair boss the game from then on.
Exmouth now have to face Tiverton (A) and Newton Abbot (H) in this league in the New Year.
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|
|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|
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.
|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|
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|
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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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)|
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|
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.
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|
|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|
Here are some views of the match in progress.
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.
|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|
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|