Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category
Jim O’Grady, who passed away shortly before Christmas at the age of 74, had been a member of both Exmouth and Newton Abbot Chess Clubs.
He was of working class Liverpool Irish origins, and on leaving school without any qualifications, started work as a bus conductor. At some point he decided to rejoin the educational trail, determined to do better the second time around. Starting from scratch, he eventually graduated and became a teacher. Continuing this upward path through the educational hierarchy he finished up as the Head of a large comprehensive school in Birmingham, a big enough challenge for anyone.
For health reasons he was forced to retire early, and moved to Exmouth where he was a member of the Chess Club for about 2 years. However, for family reasons he had to relocate to South Wales for a number of years. He then returned to Devon, settling in Ipplepen and joining the Newton Abbot Club.
He took his chess very seriously, playing with a modest grade over the board ( c. 130 at his best) , but at a much higher level in correspondence play – at near Master level he claimed, though this was possibly as much to do with the excellence of his computer program as his innate skill.
A requiem Mass was held on 8th January at St. Joseph’s Church, Newton Abbot, with a number of his fellow chess club members in attendance, and Trefor Thynne representing the DCCA.
Having lost at home to Tiverton in Rd. 1, a trip to Newton Abbot for our 2nd match on Feb 1st 2014, was not a prospect to be relished. With a grading ceiling of 639 both teams had opted to keep as close as possible to the average of 160 per player, rather than playing a 190+ player on Bd. 1 in the hope of a sure win, while hoping the 120+ on Bd. 4 might be able to scrape a result.
The first game to finish by a considerable margin was that involving the Ajerbaizani ex-pat, Rahimili, who seems to share with Jack Rudd the inability to play at a speed less than that of an express train throughout any game. His game lasted a little less than half of the allocated 4 hours, most of which ws taken up by his opponent. Scott blundered a piece away entering the endgame, yet within a few moves, Rahimili had blundered not only a piece back but most of his pawns as well, with no counterplay.
Brian Gosling won the exchange and maintained a strong grip on the position, managing to win further material and the game. 2-0 up but the other two faced strong opposition. Shaw blundered a piece in the endgame but hung on to see how his neighbour would fare in a very tight N+P endgame. When Wensley offered and got a draw when 2 pawns up, Shaw resigned immediately, as the match was won.
|1||John Fraser||167||1||0||Meyrick Shaw||172|
|2||Paul Brooks||167||½||½||Oliver Wensley||157|
|3||Nijad Rahimili||162||0||1||Chris Scott||142|
|4||Wilf Taylor||136||0||1||Brian Gosling||151|
Having been the first of the 5 teams involved to have a bye, Exmouth’s first match in the Bremridge Cup (Div. 1) did not come till after Christmas, when they hosted Tiverton. The whole story was one of near disaster from beginning to end. The Tiverton team was already weakened when their Bd. 1 player, Dave Littlejohns, suddenly discovered there were no trains between Taunton and Exeter that day due to major works on the track and he wouldn’t be able to make alternative arrangements. Brian Hewson phoned back to offer a lift, but there was no reply from the land line and he had no mobile number. In the end he went to the house in the hope that Littlejohns would be there, which he was, and the pair arrived in Exmouth shortly before the 2.30 start, with jangling nerves.
Meanwhile, Bob Jones, ever-cautious, had arrived at the club room an hour early, only to find the usual playing room had been double-booked and a full scale lecture was going on. After going into panic mode for 5 minutes, he worked out that the match could be held in the day-room using arm chairs to sit in, with extra cushions if needed. It was a little cramped for space but was workable. Once play started it was utterly quiet and neither group impinged on the other.
As they were considerably under-full strength themselves Exmouth were surprised to find themselves the stronger on paper by 45 grading points. First game to finish was Underwood-Bartlett, when White miscalulated a long series of exchanges to find himself a piece down with no compensation or counter-play. On Bd. 4, Club President, Mark Abbott, found himself with the only queen and attacking opportunities, but failed to make the best of it and was forced to trade the queen back. He ended up with R vs R+B but with a pair of united central pawns keen to queen, and he managed to win when one of them could not be stopped. Score level at 1-1. Then Shaw sacrificed a pawn in the opening and offered a second, which was declined. Eventually his opponent’s gifted pawn proved the deciding factor in a tight endgame. 2-1 to the visitors. Chris Scott, playing his first game in the Bremridge, sneaked home in another tight ending. His bishop, the only piece on the board, managed to hold back a pawn storm, first blocking them, allowing the king to gobble them up. 2-2.
Brian Gosling had struggled on for some time a piece down, and was able to make threats with his active queen, but eventually had to concede the game to Keith Atkins. This left the Bd. 1 game to decide things. Reaching the late endgame with a blocked position, Littlejohns found his pieces hemmed in to one corner, and Stephens was able to get a rook to invade the position, get behind the white pawns and start picking them off. Stephens had only seconds left but played at lightning speed to move his king and pawns forward. His win brought the score to 3-3 with no drawn games.
|1||John Stephens||190||1||0||Dave Littlejohns||186|
|2||Jonathan Underwood||172||0||1||Simon Bartlett||174|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||172||0||1||Brian Hewson||165|
|4||Mark Abbott||165||1||0||Ivor Annetts||152|
|5||Brian Gosling||151||0||1||Keith Atkins||142|
|6||Chris Scott||142||1||0||John Knowles||128|
The Newman Cup is Devon’s RapidPlay Tournament, held by Exmouth numerous times in recent years. Their defence started with a reverse at the hands of Tiverton last month, making their away match to Seaton a crucial one.
It is a commonplace that away matches to Seaton are held in the depths of winter, when the trip there has to be made during the rush hour, with a great wind blowing and rain thrashing down. Last night was no exception. Progress was slow and the venue was reached with only minutes to spare before the scheduled start of 7 p.m. However, on arrival, the venue was locked and the key-holder unobtainable as a group of chess-players and others huddled in the doorway. Eventually, she arrived and play started just a few minutes late.
Rd. 1 started well with Simon Blake winning quickly and Oliver Wensley getting a draw, but Chris Scott was overwhelmed by the very steady Steve Dean, and Meyrick Shaw’s position, playing a Closed Sicilian, ran short of time and came unstuck against Steve Martin. So Rd. 1 was lost 2.5 – 1.5.
Fortunately, in this competition there’s always a second bite of the cherry, which is where Exmouth often hit back after an early loss. So in this case, when Blake won again. Scott played quickly, leaving Dean to get behind on the clock and he cracked under the pressure. Shaw invited the Alekhine’s Defence, but Martin opted not to play 2.e5 but preferred 2.d3 and soon found himself on the back foot with his King’s position in a mess and pieces undeveloped. Shaw managed to maintain th einitiative and eventually got a 2nd queen, forcing resignation. the 3-0 lead ensured a won match, and it mattered not that Wensley ran out of time in a winning position.
|Seaton||Grd||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 1||Rd 2||Exmouth||Grd|
|1||Steve Martin||162||1||0||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||164|
|2||Steve Dean||148||1||0||0||1||Chris Scott||154|
|3||Alan Dowse||113||½||1||½||0||Oliver Wensley||146|
|4||Nicolas Bacon||108||0||0||1||1||Simon Blake||100|
Exmouth’s first match of the season was a home encounter vs Tiverton. It involves 4 players whose grades total U-640, and on this occasion the teams could hardly have been more closely matched.
Exmouth lost the toss, and it went downhill from there on. First, Simon Bartlett, who has been having an excellent spell in recent months, overcame his opponent in 26 moves. Steve Murray lost a piece on move 15 and Duckham gradually got a stranglehold on the position, not allowing his opponent any counter-play. This left Abbott and Gosling trying to rescue the match without having any positional or material advantages, much too tall an order given the strength of the opposition. Eventually, both did well to hang on for a draw at about the 50-move mark.
|Devon Div. 2||Mamhead Cup|
|1||Meyrick Shaw||172||0||1||Simon Bartlett||174|
|2||Mark Abbott||165||½||½||Brian Hewson||165|
|3||Brian Gosling||151||½||½||Ivor Annetts||152|
|4||Steve Murray||148||0||1||Jon Duckham||146|
The Essex ckub, Wanstead & Woodford, have extra reasons to be in a commemorative mood, for not only is it the 100th British Championship, but it is also their Club’s 70th anniversary and several of their members played in the Essex U-160 team.
To this end they had special T-shirts printed and are wearing them around the Centre. Here they are – front and back
Blitz Pairs Championship:
Last evening the special event to be held was a blitz pairs competition. 15 teams of 2 entered, the team members alternating the move but not consulting, and having 15 minutes for all moves.
Both pictures courtesy of Chris Kreuzer of the Richmond Reivers team
Ladies Seniors’ Championship Cup:
Just a few minutes ago, (6.00 p.m.) it was agreed that an offer to create a new category and to donate a trophy for it, should be accepted. This will be for a Ladies’ Seniors’ Championship, and a trophy will be donated by the Gibraltar Tourist Office, and will be known as the Gibraltar Cup. Mrs. Whatley will expedite matters with such speed that the cup will be available, fully engraved, for presentation on Saturday morning. The Federation is grateful to her and the GTO for their generosity.
It all started at the Grand Dinner on Saturday evening, when Mrs Whatley and her immediate neighbour at the table, former British Ladies Champion, Dinah Norman, were talking about the number of trophies available to all the junior girls, and the lack of them for older ladies. She was shocked when Dinah told her there was no prize at all for the best perfomance by a lady player in the Seniors’ Championship. Next morning she got straight on the phone to a Gibraltarian Government Minister and asked whether they could donate a special cup. As they were already sponsoring her son, Stephen Whatley, to play throughout the whole fortnight, the cost of a cup would be no problem. And so, within a matter of hours, the whole thing was agreed.
This move can only serve to increase further the interest in Seniors chess, which is already apparent in the form of two new sections for seniors and the total entry of 108.
Start of Rd. 9
At the 2.30 start time, there was not a single player present at the top 5 boards, and it took 15 minutes ’till the last one arrived. Under FIDE rules they would have been defaulted, but we tend to take a more relaxed view on these things.
By the end of the round, David Howell had pulled even further ahead of the field, after his opponent, Gormally, walked into a mate, while the other 6-pointers all drew. The top boards finished as follows:-
The latest grading list is out this morning, and it shows Exmouth players as having drifted up or down to a greater or lesser extent.
Here is the table in full, and will remain in force until the next list is published in Jan. 2014.
|129415F||Abbott, Mark V||156||X||172||A||159||E||164||E|
|242270A||Badlan, Tom W||80||C||88||C||83||E|
|214854H||Derrick, Ken W||206||C||210||C|
|111446D||Gosling, Brian GE||151||A||154||A|
|181711F||Grist, Ivor G||103||C||104||C|
|140874E||Hodge, Fred R||101||C||108||C||121||E||123||D|
|266234G||Hurst, Kevin J||184||A||174||D||150||E|
|113895K||Jones, Robert H||133||A||128||A||150||B||149||D|
|116002D||Murray, J Stephen||148||C||144||B||133||E|
|118154D||Rogers, David R||149||A||135||A|
|155629A||Stephens, John KF||190||X||191||A||187||B||186||D|
|242384E||Toms, David A||150||B||161||B|
|285021H||Wensley, Oliver E||157||B||173||A||146||D||144||D|
Simplified a little and converted to standard grade order, it looks like this:
|214854H||Derrick, Ken W||206||C|
|155629A||Stephens, John KF||190||X||187||B|
|266234G||Hurst, Kevin J||184||A||150||E|
|285021H||Wensley, Oliver E||157||B||146||D|
|129415F||Abbott, Mark V||156||X||159||E|
|111446D||Gosling, Brian GE||151||A|
|242384E||Toms, David A||150||B|
|118154D||Rogers, David R||149||A|
|116002D||Murray, J Stephen||148||C|
|113895K||Jones, Robert H||133||A||150||B|
|181711F||Grist, Ivor G||103||C|
|140874E||Hodge, Fred R||101||C||121||E|
|242270A||Badlan, Tom W||80||C||83||E|
Last weekend, Exmouthian, Meyrick Shaw, shared 1st prize in the Major Section (U-175) of the prestigious e2-e4 chess congress at Northcote House, Sunningdale. He scored 4.5/5 points, as did the Nigerian Mustapha Othman, both sharing £450 in prizemoney. They drew in Rd. 4, having been in the sole lead, and went on to win their last round game. Meyrick’s tournament grade was 197 compared to his current standard grade of 168, which is surely bound to rise in the new list.
His games, together with all the others, are downloadable from the e2-e4 website.
The venue is Northcote House, an impressive neo-Georgian structure built in 1930, set in 65 acres of parkland.
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|
The 5 teams in Devon’s 1st Division, play each other once, giving a total of 4 matches. Both Exeter and Exmouth have been a little slow off the mark this season, for one reason or another, and this was the third match for each, with Exeter having won their 1st two matches, while Exmouth had won one and drawn one. So there was everything to play for.
Luck played a part in the team selection for both sides. Exmouth were lucky in that former player, Ken Derrick, had decided to play a more active part in Devon chess, playing both for the county and his old club of Exmouth. This, combined with Dr. Underwood’s recent return from a two year stint in Connecticut, enabled the home team to be at full strength. On the other hand, one Exeter player found himself in another country and had to be substituted at short notice.
The first game to finish was on Bd. 4 where Kevin Hurst gained the upper hand against Simon Waters in a Petroff Defence, and it was all over in 21 moves. This was balanced by a win for Dr. Paulden who broke through Dr. Underwood’s king’s position, utilising long open lines for his pieces, queen, rook and bishops. Then Exeter took the lead as Andy Boyne got a knight established on the 6th rank, and kept all his other pieces working harmoniously. At this point, 2-1 down, and two players a pawn down, for little obvious compensation, even a drawn match looked optimistic.
It was, in fact, like a match of two halves, with the first 3 games finishing in 21, 28 and 32 moves respectively, while the other three all went right down to the wire; in 59, 63 & 64 moves. The 6 free players and non-playing captain all looked on nervously as the games went into extra time and fortunes gradually swung around.
Mark Abbott had looked the only one with a superior position, but this was gradually whittled away until an ending was reached where he only had 3 pawns against a rook. Fortunately, his king was able to protect them as they shuffled forward, like a shepherd coralling his last 3 sheep. The rook alone could do little as his king was trying to catch up with the action. Abbott finished prettily, underpromoting a pawn to a knight with check, allowing a 2nd pawn to queen.
Now 2-all, and the other two games, in which both Exmouth players had been a pawn down, were gradually turning around. The Stephens/Regis game had been positionally congested with 13 pawns still on the board late on, but Stephens was able to grab an open file for his rook, before invading Black’s position to winning effect. The Pope/Shaw game came down to a N + B each with a scattering of pawns, when Shaw opted to swap his bad bishop for Pope’s good knight, after which he was able to grab a few pawns and ran his h-pawn forward to queen, which Pope was unable to prevent.
So it finished 4 – 2, which sounds a healthy margin, but the result was in doubt to the very end. It was unusual at this level to have all six games ending decisively, with no draws, indicative of how all 12 players were committed to the cause.
|1||K. W. Derrick||207||0||1||A. Boyne||195|
|2||J. K. F. Stephens||192||1||0||D. Regis||179|
|3||J. Underwood||177||0||1||T. Paulden||177|
|4||K. J. Hurst||176||1||0||S. R. Waters||168|
|5||M. Shaw||166||1||0||S. Pope||158|
|6||M. V. Abbott||167||1||0||P. Dobber||142|