Archive for the ‘Exmouth Club’ Category
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 Key to the event is a small device, originally made by Fred Hodge, that emits a “buzzing” sound every 10 seconds, though in reality it’s more of a piercing squeak.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|
Exmouth’s win over Barnstaple on Saturday marked the end of that tournament for another year. The final table is as follows:
|Mamhead Div. 2||1||2||3||4||5||Pts||F||A|
Tiverton were undoubtedly deserved winners. Our fate was sealed by the topsy-turvy match against Teignmouth; a blundered rook by each side and a breathless blitz finish between Redman and Brusey that could have gone either way but finished in a draw, as did the match. The unlikeliest result was surely Newton Abbot’s last place.
Still, a good result for Exmouth, considering the unavailability of top players at times.
Exmouth’s penultimate match of the season was in Devon’s 2nd Division, the Mamhead Cup, when they played host to a Barnstaple team headed by IM Jack Rudd. There was nothing inevitable about his likely outcome as the last time he visited Exmouth 2 years ago, he lost to Brian Hewson, so, having won the toss, team captain Steve Clarke opted to give Rudd the White pieces, although this did put some pressure on the other three players who had to cope with 2 blacks.
Once the match started, both Rudd and Stephens set off at a great rate of knots, both reaching move 10 in 60 seconds. The whole game was over in 90 minutes, having made 33 moves. A great start for the visitors but it was quickly balanced by a win for Oliver Wensley in just 19 moves. Soon after that, Tony Hart secured a result by mating his opponent in 33 moves.
Leading 2-1, the win now depended on Meyrick Shaw vs Richard Smith, the latter making a return to weekend chess having recently semi-retired, and it was a much more stately affair. In a long endgame, Shaw had 4 v 3 pawns, a rook each and the “minor exchange”. Slowly, he was able to restrict the central space, preventing White’s rook and knight from making any real threats, squeezing all the life out of his defences.
The 3-1 win puts Exmouth in with a chance of a at least a share of the title, depending on results elsewhere.
|1||John K. Stephens||173||0||1||Jack Rudd||213|
|2||Oliver E. Wensley||164||1||0||Stephen Clarke||144|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||1||0||Richard Smith||141|
|4||Tony G. K. Hart||145e||1||0||Graham Jones||96|
The Exmouth team travelled to Seaton knowing they had already secured the Newman Cup for the RapidPlay League with this match to spare; the only question was whether this would lull them into a sense of anti-climax leading to a meaningless loss – or inspire them to a final flourish, winning like true champions.
With the first round almost over, it certainly looked like the former case, as Exmouth trailed 3-0 and Belt left with a double-edged game to complete. He managed to force the win, leaving Seaton, during the break, contemplating gaining their first-ever win in a DCCA tournament.
However, in Rd. 2, Stone blundered again in the opening; instead of 2 pawns as in game 1, it was a whole piece, and Jones was determined not to blunder the game back a second time and ran out a winner. Shaw also made amends, winning a piece in the endgame, leaving him with R+N vs R plus pawns each. Against Wensley, Steve Dean ran short of time and blundered his last piece, leaving him a rook down. Belt and Dowse were again involved in a double-edged game in which Belt sacrificed a piece in order to break open the enemy king’s position, eventually getting a pawn to the 7th rank, which won the game. A 4-0 win in Rd. 2 gave them the match 3-5. Seaton were understandably disappointed to lose the match after such a promising start, but it was only Belt’s double win that was the difference and both of those games were very finely-balanced. Exmouth had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was a close-run thing.
|Bd||Seaton||Grd||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Exmouth||Grd|
|1||Steve Dean||157||1 – 0||0 – 1||Oliver Wensley||164|
|2||Martyn Adams||153||1 – 0||0 – 1||Meyrick Shaw||150e|
|3||Seb Stone||147||1 – 0||0 – 1||Robert Jones||147|
|4||Alan Dowse||135||0 – 1||0 – 1||Malcolm Belt||120|
|592||3 – 1||0 – 4||581|
If there was a feeling of deja vu last night, it might have had something to do with the fact that Exmouth and Tiverton have already met 4 times this season in various competitions, and this fifth encounter was in Division 1 of the Exeter & District League, the newly-named “Premiership”. Having already won their first 2 matches in this tournament, against the Met. Office and Exeter A, a good result here would keep them on course to retain the League’s main trophy.
However, Tony Hart came unstuck against an in-form Keith Atkins (his last game against Exmouth notwithstanding), as the Tiverton player sacrificed material to smash his way through to the Black king, eventually winning the queen.
On the brighter side, Wensley established a pawn on the 7th rank in the middlegame, greatly restricting Duckham’s options and piece development. Eventually, he did manage to release his own rooks but, as they abandoned defence for attack, Black’s threats materialised into a winning combination. 1-all.
On top board, Stephens entered the endgame with a time and slight positional advantage, both of which evaporated as the 1st time control approached. Errors of judgement on both sides meant the game finished as a draw, which focused attention on the last game, Shaw-Annetts. Shaw had won a pawn in the centre, and as more material came off they were left with Shaw’s R+3 vs R+2, all pawns connected and on the king’s side. Annetts was very much on the back foot but defended well, and 2 pawns each came off. Eventually, with 2 minutes left on his clock, Annetts stopped the clock and claimed a draw as White couldn’t win “by normal means, whatever that means”. After some discussion about the rules, it was agreed the position probably was drawn anyway, and therefore, so was the match.
With only Exeter B left to play, Exmouth are in a good position, though nothing can be taken for granted.
|Exeter League Div.1||28.03.’12|
|1||John K. Stephens||173||½||½||Brian Hewson||178|
|2||Oliver Wensley||164||1||0||Jon Duckham||153|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Ivor Annetts||152|
|4||Tony Hart||145e||0||1||Keith Atkins||146|
Following the fortuitous win against Tiverton in the DCCA RapidPlay league, thus securing the trophy with the away match against Seaton still to be played, Exmouth seem to have hit a winning streak. In defence of their Exeter & District League Div. 1 trophy, they have made a perfect start, following up their win against the Met. Office with another against Exeter by an even more convincing margin. These game points may prove useful in a tie-break situation at the end of the season.
|Exeter League Div. 1||21.03.2012|
|1||John K. Stephens||173||1||0||Simon Waters||167|
|2||Oliver E. Wensley||164||1||0||Sean Pope||149|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Peit Dobber||150|
|4||Tony G. Hart||145e||1||0||Jonathan Waley||132|
On Saturday, they had a trip to Newton Abbot to play their Div. 2 match. The home team may have felt somewhat stretched as they were committed to playing an 8 board match at the same time, though they didn’t stint on this team, being just 5 points short of the permitted maximum.
On Bd. 1, they had the Torquay schoolboy, Jeff Leung, a rapidly rising star, though perhaps his weakness is playing too quickly and not extracting the maximum advantages from some of the positions he gets. Although excellent at rapidplay, Stephens does take his time in the crucial middlegame stages, and in this case won the day. The crucial game was on Bd. 4, the last game to finish, where Shaw’s strong nerves in the run up to the time control with his flag hanging in a complicated position were commendable!
|Mamhead Cup||640 max||24.03.2012|
|1||Jeff Leung||165||0||1||John K. Stephens||173|
|2||Alex Billings||157||1||0||Brian G. Gosling||150|
|3||Andrew Kinder||162||½||½||Tony G. Hart||145e|
|4||John E. Allen||150||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||150e|
This result leaves that league like this…..
|As at 25.03.’12|
With all matches played, Newton will finish bottom. If Exmouth beat Barnstaple to reach 5 points, and that’s a big if, the key match will be Tiverton vs Teignmouth, with Tiverton probably favourites to reach 6 points – though anything is possible, of course. After all, who would have put money on Newton Abbot coming last?!