Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category
This was the key match in this year’s Newman Cup, Devon’s RapidPlay League. As last year, it was a 3-way tie between Tiverton, Exmouth and Seaton, with home and away matches. Earlier in the season, Exmouth, the current holders, drew 2-2 away to Tiverton, and needed a result in this home leg, to stand any chance of retaining the cup.
The visitors were a little shy of the maximum permitted team grade total of 599, Exmouth gambling on playing a low-graded player on Bd. 4 in order to fit in their best 3 players. In this respect, Grist’s two losses were the key to the eventual win.
Stephens, playing Black in Rd. 1. got his last pieces trapped behind his own pawns, and lost, but he hit back in the next game, forcing a mate in the corner. Shaw always seemed to have a solid position in both games, tempering the creation of threats with a solid defence. Wensley, also, was never seriously threatened by Aldwin, but was always behind on the clock and needed to be careful to keep time in hand.
The 5-3 win gives Exmouth a good chance of retaining the trophy, though they still have to play Seaton twice.
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||184||0||1||1||0||B. W. R. Hewson||174|
|2||M. Shaw||164||1||1||0||0||I. S. Annetts||151|
|3||O. E. Wensley||136||1||1||0||0||B. Aldwin||122|
|4||I. G. Grist||96||0||0||1||1||J. Knowles||113|
Alison is not interested in the match but is reading a chess book.
A look at the team lists before the match started would suggest that Exmouth could anticipate being in for a relatively easy afternoon. A look at the completed result chart would suggest that that is exactly how it turned out, especially after John Stephens on Bd. 1 had a quick, 18 move win, to put the visitors 1-0 up.
How wrong can one be. The remaining 5 games were all tense affairs right up to the fourth hour of play, and at one stage it looked as if Exmouth could lose the match. The Gorodi-Hurst match was unclear for most of the time until Hurst finally broke through, while Wensley never had any advantage against Peter Halmkin and went on to lose his last piece and with it the game. Norman Tidy had much freedon in the centre of the board to deploy his queen and rooks, and Shaw had to defend very carefully. Eventually Shaw broke through to record a hard-earned point.
Ariss played in his usual aggressive way, and Gosling countered well, but used much time to find the right moves which put the pressure on. With a minute or two left on White’s clock a draw was agreed, securing the necessary 3.5 points for an Exmouth win.
Meanwhile, Abbott had entered a long endgame with Q+N vs Q+R, but found a clever resource to win the exchange back. But Black’s queen had many checks available and drove his opponent’s king to the opposite side of the board. With seconds of extra time left, Abbott managed to force the queens off, leaving him with c. 25 seconds to queen his 2 pawns and mate his opponent. He managed it with 5 seconds left.
It was all very hard work, especially watching it from the sidelines.
|1||A. W. Brusey||174||0||1||J. K. Stephens||192|
|2||H. W. Ingham||158||0||1||M. V. Abbott||167|
|3||J. G. Gorodi||148||0||1||K. J. Hurst||176|
|4||P. E. Halmkin||140||1||0||O. E. Wensley||172|
|5||N. F. Tidy||119||0||1||M. Shaw||166|
|6||J. A. Ariss||120||½||½||B. G. Gosling||164|
All 6 games here ▼
The League rules state that 1st division teams must not exceed a total grade of 640 (as distinct from Under-640, as in DCCA’s Div. 2). For this match, on Wednesday 13th February 2013, both captains were quietly pleased to have assembled a team of maximum strength, only revealed when team lists were exchanged. No pressure, then.
Exmouth won the toss and took white on Bd. 1. Shaw on Bd. 3 built up his position slowly at first, but opened it up with a couple of pawn captures and mated on move 24. This inevitably put pressure on the other Exeter players, but no clear advantages were perceptable for some time on the other boards. The Amos-Hodge game proceeded to a roughly equal B vs N endgame, but Hodge’s knight was eventually pushed to the back rank, while the king invaded his pawns and he had to resign – all square.
The Paulden-Abbott game proceeded to an endgame, without a clear advantage to either side, and as White’s time ran to the last minute of extra time, a draw was agreed.
In the top game, Black allowed his pieces to become constricted on the queenside, which allowed White to probe for openings on the undefended king’s wing. There was just enough time for the h-pawn to run through for a 2nd queen, forcing Black to give up a rook for it.
|1||John Stephens||192||1||0||Dr. Dave Regis||179|
|2||Mark Abbott||167||½||½||Dr. Tim Paulden||177|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||166||1||0||Dr. Charlie Keen||155|
|4||Fred Hodge||115||0||1||Jeremy Amos||129|
Saturday was a beautiful cloudless day with the air like wine and the prospect of a trip across Devon, from the south to north coast for a chess match excited the sense of anticipation. All 8 people involved were experienced players and organisers, and although it was only a 2nd division match, it involved an International Master, 2 qualifiers for this year’s British Championship, 2 former and one current contender for British junior titles and a former World record holder – so what could possibly go wrong!?
Well, quite a lot actually. 30 minutes before I set off, the Home captain phoned to say he’d just realised he’d assembled a team whose total grade came to 640, when the rules clearly stated it should be Under 640. He wasn’t sure what to do about it at that late juncture, and I left him worrying about who, if anyone, he could call in and who should be left out at such short notice.
Minutes later, my two passengers arrived and we set off, heading north. Almost immediately one passenger was taken violently ill (nothing to do with my driving, I hasten to add) and we had to turn back and take him home, which, at best, left us having to play a strong team with only three players.
Once in Barnstaple, we parked and arrived at the venue with 10 minutes to spare, only to find that the home team were locked out of their room. A local friend of the club usually arrives with a key, opens up and provides the refreshments, but he was nowhere to be seen. Their Plan B is to have a player with a spare key. In this case, he arrived only to find he’d left his key at home, and had to drive all the way back to Bideford to get it.
At 3 p.m. after half an hour waiting, someone came down from upstairs and said he had a key and would let us in, which he did, but then no-one had the key to the equipment cupboard, so we were little better off. We could at least now have tea or coffee, but someone had forgotten the biscuits. To fill the time, the captains tossed for colours; Barnstaple won and naturally took the two whites on 1 and 3, with Bd. 4 already in the bag.
Eventually, the second keyholder arrived from Bideford and a silence descended as play started about 45minutes late. However, it was not long before a security van drew up outside and its uniformed driver came in wanting to know who had set off the alarm. No alarm had been heard, but the system was wired up to the firm’s offices and it went off silently, so as not to scare off any intruder. It took him a half hour to satisfy himself that nothing untoward had occurred, but on leaving, warned us all, loudly, to watch out for possible trouble.
It wasn’t long thereafter before John Stephens fell to ‘Jumping’ Jack Rudd. Stephens, playing an opening he knows well, played his 10th move too quickly, getting the move order mixed up. Jack pounced and it was soon over. He played 34 moves in 11 minutes’ thinking time, at a rate of 19 seconds per move, quite usual for him. Quite apart from whatever’s happening on the board, this inevitably puts time pressure on all his opponents, as a scheduled 4 hour game isn’t going to last much longer than half that time at most, with the opponent’s clock running most of that time.
So it was 2-0 and any hope of a miracle win flown out of the window. Fortunately Jones, playing against the English Opening (which he hates), had managed to turn round an early reverse, and was finding the greater freedom for his pieces, with probing threats on both sides of the board, and eventually, his opponent resigned.
Meanwhile, Meyrick Shaw was having to cope with the dangerous Theo Slade, currently in the England Junior squad. Slade played the French Defence, and White managed to set up a strong early kingside attack, Black having to sacrifice the exchange in order stay in the game. This allowed Shaw the luxury of being able to sacrifice material back in order to continue his winning attack. leaving the match drawn. The captains reflected afterwards that after all that had gone before, probably neither side deserved to win.
All of which proves the old saying – “If a thing can go wrong, it probably will”, and it certainly did for both sides on this particular Saturday afternoon.
|1||Jack Rudd||220||1||0||John Stephens||192|
|2||Theo Slade||145||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||166|
|3||Jon Munsey||135||0||1||Bob Jones||130|
|4||A. Rinvolucri||122||1||0||Fred Hodge (def)||115|
Exmouth’s first weekend match of the season was one of the toughest tasks they could expect – a Div. 1 Bremridge Cup encounter against the current holders, Newton Abbot. Before the visitors arrived, the home team would probably have settled for a draw, but a comparison of the team sheets showed that Exmouth actually outgraded their opponents on 5 of the 6 boards and made them wonder whether a win might be possible.
Exmouth lost the toss and took Black on odd-numbered boards. Stephens and Mackle set about each other like a hurricane, whipping out 20 moves in just 5 minutes each. Then, Mackle took 45 minutes for his 21st move as the position looked highly complex, with pieces hanging all over the board.
Meanwhile, 4 draws followed at a more sedate pace in the middle order. Hurst/Kinder was a 19 move draw, while Wensley had to rise from the dead to snatch a fortuitous draw from an opponent who was moving instantaneously in a rook & pawn endgame. Shaw and Gosling both had possible chances near the end but agreed draws as time started pressing around move 27.
As the Bd. 1 game approached its climax, Stephens was a rook up, but Mackle’s pieces excercised great threats and the utmost care was needed by both sides. Eventually, Black managed to ease the corset he had been strapped in for so long, and managed to start running his 3 united kingside pawns. This proved the decisive factor and he would have queened one of them had not Mackle resigned.
But just as a win seemed possible, David Toms lost on time in a complex position, leaving a drawn match.
|DCCA Div. 1|
|1||John Stephens||192||1||0||Dominic Mackle||202|
|2||Kevin Hurst||176||½||½||Andrew Kinder||162|
|3||Oliver Wensley||172||½||½||Nijad Rahimili||161|
|4||Meyrick Shaw||166||½||½||Trefor Thynne||158|
|5||Brian Gosling||164||½||½||Paul Brooks||157|
|6||David Toms||159||0||1||John Allen||149|
Exmouth Club Member, Obie Ebanks, was reported by his brother Kim, to have been killed in a traffic accident on Christmas Eve. This happened on the A30 near Honiton at 11.30 a.m. on the dangerous stretch of road between Rawridge and Monkton, when the car he was driving ran head-first into an articulated lorry coming up the hill. It took the emergency services 7 hours to remove his body from the car.
Obie had been a member of the Exmouth Club for about 2 years, after moving to the town from Leytonstone in East London. After a period of unemployment, he had recently got steady work as a hospital car driver for the South West Ambulance Service, and it may be that he was on one of these missions of mercy when the accident happened.
It comes as a surprise to many to learn that he would have been 60 in June.
His two abiding hobbies were chess and boxing. He had been a member of the Repton Club, England’s most famous training establishment, the base for many champions. Obie’s amateur career started well, winning his first 20 fights, but his 21st was his first taste of defeat and he retired from serious competition thereafter. However, he maintained a fitness regime for the rest of his life.
He leaves two sons, Obie jr. and Levy, his mother aged 78, and two sisters & 2 brothers, one of whom, Kim, lives in Exeter.
The funeral will be held at Exeter Crematorium on Thursday 10th January, starting at 2.00 p.m.
Buzzer Tournament – 2012.
It’s been a few years since the Club held what was at one time a regular pre-season informal get-together, but having now settled in at our new premises at the Age Concern premises in New St., June’s AGM agreed to revive it, and to be held on the last Wednesday in September.
In the event, no less than 12 players turned up to participate in what is essentially a bit of nonsense, enjoyable as long as one doesn’t take it too seriously. Apart from regular members who new this was planned, there were surprise visits by one-time member, Luke Venton, who happened to be back in his home town on a week’s holiday. Also, Ivor Grist made an unexpected visit, having recently moved to Exmouth from the Bath area, having been a member of both Bath and Norton Radstock.
Particpants can arrive or leave at any time as necessary. On arrival, they add their name to the chart and play anyone who is free to play. Key to the event is a small device, originally made by Fred Hodge, that emits a “buzzing” sound every 10 seconds, though in reality it’s more of a piercing squeak. The player whose turn it is to move, must move on the sound.
It’s almost weird how, at the start of every game, the 10 seconds feels like an eternity as one trots out one’s favourite opening moves, but as the position inevitably becomes complex, that same 10 seconds feels like the blinking of an eye, and many crass blunders are made as a result as threats are overlooked.
However, the deserved winner on the night was Club President, Mark Abbott, who arrived last but proceeded to carve up the field like a hot knife through butter, playing faultlessly throughout to record a 100% performance.
1. On arrival, check whether your name is on the chart. If not, fill it in.
2. Find an opponent, toss for colour and start the game in time with the buzzer. Move alternately on the buzzer.
3. Fill in the result on the chart and find another opponent.
4. Illegal move = loss of game.
Meyrick Shaw had recently had a birthday, and brought his cake down for members to enjoy a slice.
The ECF’s latest grading list is now out and here are Exmouth’s details.
As ever, it’s a tale of ups & downs, but this time considerably more up than down, as can be seen from the chart below. Congratulations to all those who’ve worked hard to get their performances up this season.
Let’s not forget the work of the Devon graders, Sean Pope and Ray Chubb, in getting this all done in good time.
|July ‘12||Last Yr.||+||-|
Peter Norman, who died earlier this year, was a member of the Club for several seasons in the mid-1990s, after his retirement and subsequent move to Budleigh Salterton.
Chess was one of his many interests, one that he shared with his younger son, Robert.
He stopped coming in 1996 after his neighbour, Peter Carter, with whom he came to the club, moved away.
Peter Norman was born in Wellingborough, Northants, and graduated from Birmingham University in 1948. While there he had contracted polio which necessitated a break from his studies and left him with a limp. He then joined Standard Telephones & Cables and stayed with them for the whole of his 37 year career. In 1961 his design for transistor blocking oscillators was patented. In 1969 he came up with a design for a much improved transistorised repeater which enabled 2,700 telephone conversations simultaneously on existing co-axial cable links. For this, STC won the Queen’s Award to Industry.
That Autumn he found even wider fame as the family appeared on the television quiz show “Ask The Family”, winning the whole series after a series of knockout programmes.
After retirement, he moved to Budleigh Salterton in 1989-90, where he was able to indulge his many interests, including radio, astronomy, computers, chess and gardening.
In 1996 tragedy struck when his son, now Dr. Robert, died aged 40. The stress seems to have set off on a downward path Peter’s polio, which had been relatively stable for over 40 years, and he became immobile without the mobility scooter he nicknamed “Bruno”.
Robert had been captain of his school chess team, but his bequest to the chess world is this strange problem, published in Chess in 1988, which seems to defy the Laws of Chess.
At the time this was composed, Article 9.1 of the Laws of Chess stated that “the king is in check if it is attacked by one or two of the opponent’s pieces”. Article 9.2 states that “the check must be parried by the move immediately following”.
On this basis, the solution is 1.g6 Nd7+ forking king & rook. 2.Kf7+ NxQ+ 3. g7+ The point of this is that the White king is now attacked by three pieces and so is not in check as defined by the Laws as they then stood, which can only be 1 or 2 pieces. There now follows 3…Kh7 4. g8=Q Kh6 5.Qg7 mate
As a result of this problem, in 1992 FIDE amended the Laws to “…one or more pieces” to cover all eventualities.
It is also interesting in that it involves just one of each kind of piece, Kings excepted. A remarkable novelty.
Exmouth’s Bremridge Cup encounter against Teignmouth was their last match of the season, and there was nothing at stake, except, perhaps, the wooden spoon. Nevertheless, games were played with all seriousness, and although the final scoreline may sound like an end-of-term romp, this was certainly not the case.
Tindal played the White side of a Closed Sicilian very quickly and a rook & pawn ending was soon reached, with Jones 2 pawns up, but it needed careful play and in the end it boiled down to a single pawn that couldn’t be prevented from queening.
The Hurst-Ingham game involved a complex position, but Hurst managed to conclude matters in 19 moves. Hart entered the endgame on the back foot, but Hindom rather lost his way which enabled Hart to negate any serious threat and a draw was agreed. Gosling was the nearest to having a field day, as all his pieces had open lines bearing down on the enemy king, to which there was no adequate defence.
The most double-edged game was Halmkin-Wensley, in which the Teignmouth player got short of time at the sharp end of the game, and Wensley was offering pieces that couldn’t be taken without giving in to a mating attack. In the end he did find a way through to mate the White king.
This left Meyrick “The Python” Shaw with a tight control of the position, and a supported passed pawn on d6. However, to maximise this advantage he had to relax his grip and open the position up, which gave Gorodi scope to break out of the straight-jacket he was in, and make threats of his own. Shaw monitored all threats and with only BvsN it was the d6 pawn that won the day.
|Bremridge – Div.1||21.04.’12|
|1||Kevin Hurst||186||1||0||Bill Ingham||166|
|2||Oliver Wensley||164||1||0||Peter Halmkin||150|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||1||0||John Gorodi||149|
|4||Anthony Hart||145e||½||½||Kevin Hindom||135|
|5||Brian Gosling||150||1||0||Norman Tidy||130|
|6||Robert Jones||130||1||0||Bill Tindal||108|
So Exmouth thus won their first and last match in this premier tournament, losing to Newton Abbot and Tiverton in between – at least avoiding the wooden spoon.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Newton Abbot were playing Tiverton to determine top spot in the Bremridge Cup, and their captain, Trefor Thynne has kindly sent in his account of that match.
“The fixture list for this year’s Bremridge Cup threw up an extremely tasty last-round pairing with 2010 and 2011 holders Newton Abbot travelling to Blundell’s School to face Tiverton on 21st April, both sides having won all three of their matches to date. The visitors went into the match with the advantage of knowing that a 3-3 scoreline would be sufficient to retain the trophy since they had a favourable “goal difference”. However, the gradings of the two teams were likely to be close so a tough struggle was in prospect.
And so it turned out with hard-fought games on each board. The first three results were all draws, on Bds 4 (Thynne – Duckham), 5 (Kinder- Annetts) and 2 (Homer-Hewson). Only in the final hour, as the time control approached, did Newton Abbot’s players get on top, first on Bd 6 where Paul Brooks, playing an English Opening against Keith Atkins’ Dutch Defence, converted pressure into a material advantage. On Bd 3, perhaps the best game of the match, Alex Billings maintained his fine form this season and kept control in a complex position against Simon Bartlett. This settled the outcome of the match and a good day for the visitors was made better when Dominic Mackle showed exemplary endgame technique to defeat Ben Edgell on top board. So Newton Abbot retain the title of Devon’s top club. The league has been very interesting this year with 5 teams competing. It could be even better and more representative of all parts of the county if Plymouth (who certainly have the players on paper) and Barnstaple were to join in”.
|1||Ben Edgell||198||0||1||Dominic Mackle||204|
|2||Brian Hewson||186||½||½||Steve Homer||180|
|3||Simon Bartlett||165||0||1||Alex Billings||165|
|4||John Duckham||155||½||½||Trefor Thynne||161|
|5||Ivor Annetts||156||½||½||Andrew Kinder||157|
|6||Keith Atkins||146||0||1||Paul Brooks||160|