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Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category

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.

Jim O’Grady 1939 – 2013

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.

Jim on graduation

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.

Exmouth vs Newton Abbott (Mamhead Cup – Div 2)

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.

  Newton Abbot Grd     Exmouth Grd
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
    632   622

 

General view of the match - Taylor-Gosling nearest.

General view of ther match - Scott-Rahimili nearest.

Bd. 1 Shaw vs Fraser.

Bd. 2 - Brooks vs Wensley

 

Bd. 4 Taylor-Gosling

Exmouth’s 1st Bremridge Match 2013-14

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.

  Exmouth Grd     Tiverton Grd
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
    992 3 3   947

Exmouth Edge It – Again. 1st Newman Cup Win (05.12.2013.)

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.

  Newman Cup             05.12.2013.  
  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
    531 1   3   564
               

Mamhead Cup – Div. 2 Exmouth vs Tiverton (09.11.2013.)

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  
          09.11.2013.  
  Exmouth Grd     Tiverton Grd
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
  Totals 636 1 3   637

 

Bartlett - Shaw (nearest)

The Tiverton team (facing)

Heads down for a battle of wits.

100th British – Rd. 9

Extra Commemorations:

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

"British" logos on the front: l-r: Peter Nickels; Devdoot Barman; Kevin Sweeny; Phillip Staniland; Mark "Grace" Murrell & Mike Walden.

..... and Wanstead logos on the 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.

In 1st place were Oops! consisting of Steven Jones & Robert Thompson (l). 2nd were Disaster Squad consisting of Andrew Horton (in yellow) & Paul Talbot. The four framed by Alex Holowczak (l) & Stewart Reuben.

3rd ere Chocolate Tournament comprising Adam C Taylor & Akito Ogama. 4th were the Wild Hackers comprising Jamie Horton (in red) & Phil Olbison.

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.

Howell v Gormally.

Lalic v Hebdon

Jones v Ghasi

Gordon v Palliser

Bd. 5: Meszaros v Williams

Chapman v Hegarty - both norm-seekers.

Newton Abbot clubmates paired together; Steve Homer & Robert Thompson

 

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:-

Bd White       Black  
1 Howell (7) 1 0 Gormally (6)
2 Lalic (6) ½ ½ Hebden (6½)
3 Jones (6) ½ ½ Ghasi (6)
4 Gordon (6) ½ ½ Palliser (6)
5 Meszaros (5½) 1 0 Williams (5½)
6 Wells (5½) ½ ½ Flear (5½)
7 Zhou (5½) 1 0 Carr (5½)
8 Arkell (5½) 1 0 Mackle (5)

Exmouth’s Latest Grades – July 2013

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.

Ref Name Standard Previous Rapidplay Previous
129415F Abbott, Mark V 156 X 172 A 159 E 164 E
247351D Archer-Lock, Adrian 188 C 192 A 180 D 180 C
242270A Badlan, Tom W 80 C 88 C 83 E    
173289E Belt, Malcolm 134 C 136 B        
286681L Blake, Simon 100 D 100 D        
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        
248908K Scott, Chris 142 D 135 E 154 E    
290163J Shaw, Meyrick 172 X 168 A 167 A 164 E
155629A Stephens, John KF 190 X 191 A 187 B 186 D
242384E Toms, David A 150 B 161 B        
242283K Underwood, Jonathan 172 D            
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:

Ref Name Standard Rapidplay
214854H Derrick, Ken W 206 C    
155629A Stephens, John KF 190 X 187 B
247351D Archer-Lock, Adrian 188 C 180 D
266234G Hurst, Kevin J 184 A 150 E
290163J Shaw, Meyrick 172 X 167 A
242283K Underwood, Jonathan 172 D    
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    
248908K Scott, Chris 142 D 154 E
173289E Belt, Malcolm 134 C    
113895K Jones, Robert H 133 A 150 B
271080J Waley, Jonathan 126 D    
181711F Grist, Ivor G 103 C    
140874E Hodge, Fred R 101 C 121 E
286681L Blake, Simon 100 D    
242270A Badlan, Tom W 80 C 83 E

Exmouth Player Stars At Sunningdale

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.

Meyrick Shaw in the WECU Championship - Easter 2013

Northcote House, the Sunningdale venue.

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.

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