Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category
Barnstaple made the long trip to Exmouth knowing that a drawn match would secure them the Div. 2 championship. With International Master Jack Rudd and England Junior International Theo Slade on board, this was always a distinct possibility. However, in any grade-limited tournament like this one (639 max) the price has to be paid on the lower boards where players of a more modest grade have to be played. On this occasion, Exmouth chose to play 4 middle-range grades in the hope that 2 points could be rescued on Bds. 3 & 4. And this is exactly how it played out, although all 4 games were tense and well-contested affairs by both players.
On Bd. 1 the position soon developed into a complex one with pieces of both colours all over the board, but with only 3 pawns each. Rudd, of course, is known to play only at express speed, and he made his 35 moves in 35 minutes, but such were the comlications that Shaw ran out of time and his flag fell 5 moves short.
On Bd. 2 Oliver Wensley orchestrated a kingside attack based on the rock of having a knight posted immovably on his 5th rank. However, his massed pieces left the other wing vulnerable, and Slade countered down the a-file with doubled rooks. This won material and with it the game.
Gosling’s position looked relatively even until Smith put his king into trouble and lost out to a Q+K fork, and resigned on move 28.
Scott won a piece in a series of exchanges around move 30, but still had the tricky job of finding the best lines to exploit this advantage to a winning one. A Q+R knight fork settled the outcome.
Thus the drawn match was what Barnstaple came for and they were duly delighted, whereas Exmouth had nothing to play for in this tournament except pride in a good perfomance on the day, and this they achieved.
The games may be found on the chessdevon website.
|1||Meyrick Shaw||172||0||1||Jack Rudd||219|
|2||Oliver E. Wensley||157||0||1||Theo Slade||162|
|3||Brian G. Gosling||151||1||0||Richard Smith||139|
|4||Chris J. Scott||142||1||0||Michael Dow||115|
Exmouth’s penultimate game in Devon’s senior club championship was at home against Teignmouth. Although missing a number of their top players, Exmouth still outgraded the visitors by 115 points, and on paper it looked a relatively easy challenge, except that at this level nothing can be taken for granted. Pre-match chat before the kick-off revealed, for example, that Graham Bramley (109) had already beaten and drawn with Alan Brusey (181) in club games, and Stormin’ Norman Tidy was sweeping all before him in 2014, including having won his section in the recent E. Devon Congress. And that was only on the bottom boards, while the top 3 consisted of the regular triumvirate of Brusey, Ingham and the British U-150 champion, John Gorodi, all capable of beating anyone at any time. So this was clearly not going to an easy task.
And sure enough, Tidy swept away Oliver Wensley, (who won the E. Devon Premier 2 years ago) in short order, after a quick draw on Bd. 2, leaving Teignmouth needing only 1½ points from the last 4 games to spoil the party for the home team. However, John Ariss had left himself very weak on the white squares around his king, and Gosling was not slow to extract full advantage. Playing a Closed Sicilian, Steve Martin managed to open lines to Gorodi’s king, especially down the h-file, and again extracted maximum advantage with a quick, sharp attack. Chris Scott played steadily, gradually putting a positional squeeze on his opponent, eventually getting adjacent central pawns on the 6th rank that couldn’t be stopped. This win secured the 3½ points required. But the Bd. 1 game went the full distance, with Shaw winning a piece and having a positional advantage, but shortage of time meant he lost his way, losing a piece back, and with it the game. Fortunately, in the circumstances it didn’t matter as the match was already won.
The games are all accessible on the chessdevon website.
The win puts Exmouth in top spot, a point clear of the holders, Newton Abbot, the teams to meet in what will now be the deciding match in April. Unlike last year, game points won’t be a factor as it’s impossible for teams to tie at the top on the same number of match points.
|1||M. Shaw||176||0||1||A. W. Brusey||181|
|2||Dr. J. Underwood||171||½||½||W. H. Ingham||160|
|3||S. Martin||165||1||0||J. G. Gorodi||159|
|4||O. E. Wensley||157||0||1||N. F. Tidy||123|
|5||B. G. Gosling||152||1||0||J. A. Ariss||119|
|6||C. J. Scott||145||1||0||G. Bramley||109|
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.
The rivalry between these neighbouring clubs is rarely greater than in the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s premier inter-club tournament, and after their reverse at the hands of Teignmouth the previous Saturday in a Div. 2 match, Exmouth approached this particular encounter knowing anything was possible. Both teams were well below full strength and a major factor in the eventual outcome was clearly going to be the depth of the reserve pool. In this respect, it seems Exmouth were slightly better off.
Exmouth won the toss and chose to have White on Bds. 1, 3 & 5. The Wensley-Marjoram game on Bd. 3 set off at a rate of knots with White trying a Scotch Gambit, which Black bought in to. This allowed a short-term bishop sacrifice on f7 and Black’s game, which featured a king stuck in the centre, quickly fell apart thereafter. 0-1
The Scott-Amos game featured a much steadier opening, though Black found himself a pawn up but his pieces somewhat pegged back behind his pawn shield. In giving up a pawn to free up his position, he also opened it up to his opponent’s benefit. Soon after, he blundered R & B and resigned immediately.0-2.
Bd. 6 featured a game between 13 yr old Taylor Finch and the vastly experienced Scot, Steve Murray. In a c3 Sicilian, Taylor pressed early on and was soon 2 passed pawns up, but in so doing, had helped Black by opening long lines for his rooks and bishops, while his own Kingside pieces remained untouched. The game turned on how long Black could frustrate his opponent’s development by creating threats. In this respect it was Black who succeeded, whose rook pair cut swathes across the board in the endgame. 0-3.
On Bd. 4 Brian Gosling had given up his queen for 3 pieces, but in a complex position could make no telling inroads into White’s defences, and he offered a draw. Palmer correctly consulted his captain as to whether he should accept. He returned to the board, shook hands and the match was won. ½-3½
Meanwhile, the games on the top 2 boards continued. On 2, a Black knight forked Q & R and Underwood resigned. 1½-3½.
On top board, Boyne played the French Winawer, which led to an increasingly complex postion that, nevertheless, remained in the book until move 20 when Black missed a trick. He later sacrificed a knight in order to get in a back rank attack, but that fizzled out with Black a rook and bishop down. White had held out and Black resigned as he could not assemble any more attacks and White could unscramble his heavy pieces. 1½-4½
|1||A. B. Boyne||197||0||1||J. K. Stephens||186|
|2||Dr. D. Regis||176||1||0||Dr. J. Underwood||171|
|3||A. Marjoram||146||0||1||O. E. Wensley||157|
|4||E. Palmer||133||½||½||B. G. Gosling||152|
|5||J. Amos||129||0||1||C. J. Scott||145|
|6||T. Finch||87||0||1||S. Murray||141|
So it was the visitors’ greater strength and experience on the lower 3 boards that made the difference. Nevertheless, the score did not necessarily reflect the closeness of several of the games.
Exmouth approached this match in bullish mood, on the backs of a win against Newton Abbot and a win and a draw against Tiverton, in 3 different competitions. However, there’s nothing like chess for bringing folk back down to earth again, and this was the case here.
In the first game to finish, Abbott gave up a piece in order to try and get a stranglehold on White’s back rank with mating threats. Ingham had to be careful, and he was, managing to repeat moves 3 times. At this point, although Shaw’s position looked unclear, Wensley and Scott seemed to have their games under control. But as Shaw started to run out of time, Wensley lost his outside passed pawns and was suddenly on the back foot, while Scott missed a winning move and had to settle for a draw as Tidy was able to repeat moves. Shaw’s position collapsed under time pressure, leaving Wensley forced to try for a win in order to save the match, but with only pawns and opposite-coloured bishops left there was nothing he could do except agree a draw. Full results below.
This loss rather undid the excellent win against Newton Abbot just two weeks earlier. We now await the visit of Barnstaple on 12th April, the final match in Division 2.
|Mamhead Div. 2.||15.02.2014.|
|1||Alan Brusey (B)||181||1||0||Meyrick Shaw||172|
|2||Bill Ingham (W)||160||½||½||Mark Abbott||165|
|3||John Gorodi||159||½||½||Oliver Wensley||159|
|4||Norman Tidy||123||½||½||Christopher Scott||142|
Exmouth’s last match in Devon’s Newman Cup (for RapidPlay teams of 4 totalling U-600 grade) was against Tiverton and was effectively a cup final, with the winner taking all. However, Tiverton had a built-in edge as a 4-4 draw would give them the Cup on the 1st level of tie-break (game points). Before clocks were started, their captain explained that even if we had been level on game points, Exmouth would still have lost out due to having lost to Tiverton in Rd. 1, which led his opponent to quip “I see – even if we win we lose!”
Tiverton won the toss and chose Black on Bd. 1. for the 1st round. Simon Blake played forcefully and at one point was looking at the opportunity of possibly being able to sacrifice his queen for a back rank mate, but his opponent was alert to the risk. The game finished with opposite coloured bishops and level pawns all on squares that could not be attack by the enemy piece, amd a draw was agreed.
Oliver Wensley was happy to push all his pawns forward whenever he could, which Annetts avoided taking, so the endgame featured two long strings of pawns across the board, like WWI trench lines, except that Oliver was able to probe for weaknesses and eventually had 2 pawns that could run for the line. Annetts could only stop one by letting the other queen.
On Bd. 2 Mark Abbott started with some advantages in piece development but was unable to convert this into any other more practical advantage and the game slid into a R+5 vs R+4 endgame, and Atkin’s extra pawn was central, advanced and shepherded by his king. However, Abbott’s rook cleverly pecked away at the other pawns, won one back and the danger was over. Draw agreed.
The game on Bd. 1 was more difficult to assess by the spectator. Hewson had an attack down the open g-file against the enemy king involving Q, R + N, which White was managing to hold, while creating a passed pawn on the a-file that could not be ignored. The pressure built up as time started to press and it was Hewson that broke first.
Exmouth had to score a minimum of 4½ points to win the cup and a 3-1 lead from Rd. 1 was a healthy start, but this competition is notorious for the way in which the luck changes from one round to the next. For any one player, the hardest thing to do is to win both games outright, so nothing could be taken for granted.
Sure enough, Blake’s position crumbled after overlooking a knight capture in the middle of the board and Exmouth started with a loss. This was evened up when Annetts overlooked a bishop skewering both rooks and getting out of that merely allowed a bishop to fork king and knight, and Wensley scored his 2nd win soon after.
Abbott’s endgame looked not unlike the first one in some respects, but this time Atkins did not let things slip and he evened up their personal scores.
In the top game, Shaw broke through against the enemy king using both bishops, a knight and his queen, which was enough to win, leaving the round a 2-2 draw, but 5-3 overall.
The competition overall has once again proved a close one, with all teams losing at least one match.
|Bd||Exmouth||Grd||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 1||Rd 2||Tiverton||Grd|
|1||M. Shaw||164||1||1||0||0||B. W. Hewson||184|
|2||M. V. Abbott||159||½||0||½||1||K. P. Atkins||139|
|3||O. E. Wensley||146||1||1||0||0||I. S. Annetts||140|
|4||S. Blake||100||½||0||½||1||J. Knowles||117|
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.
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|