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Archive for the ‘Western Morning News’ Category

Seniors’ Chess (27.09.2014.)

People tending to live longer these days and often retiring early has helped to create one of the expanding areas of sport. Tennis and golf, for example, have long had their seniors circuits, in which past champions compete at a far more leisurely pace than in their heyday.

So too with chess, which has recently introduced European and World individual and team events for seniors only. This year, the world governing body, FIDE, has gone further, by splitting the age eligibility into two sections, 50 – 64 and 65+, thus enabling more players to compete for honours. The first European Championship for the 50 – 64 age group was held earlier this year in Portugal and was won by Paignton resident Grandmaster, Keith Arkell.

The Royal Beacon Seniors event in Exmouth was a pioneer in this aspect of the game. When it started in 2000 it was the only seniors-only event in Britain, and they introduced a special section for the 50-somethings over a decade ago. Now the world has caught up.

The 15th Royal Beacon Seniors event takes place during the week starting Monday 3rd Nov. Entry forms are downloadable from chessdevon.com.

Here is a game from last year’s Beacon Seniors Congress.

White: Ian Heppell (178). Black: Jonathan Wells (180)

Sicilian Defence – Alapin Variation. [B22]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 b6 7.Nc3 Bb7 8.Bd3 Be7 9.0–0 0–0 10.Re1 f5 11.exf6 Black has a choice of 4 pieces with which to retake, but chooses probably the least promising option as it weakens his defensive pawn structure, which White exploits later. 11…gxf6 12.Bh6 Rf7 13.Qe2 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Qc7 15.Be4 Nc6 16.d5 Nd8 If 16…exd5 17.Bxd5 winning the rook. 17.Rad1 f5 18.Bb1 Bd6 Now White’s kingside attack gets going. 19.Ng5 Bxh2+ 20.Kh1 Re7 21.Qh5 Bf4 22.Bxf5 Black’s d-pawn is pinned. 22…Qxc3 Best in the circumstances. 23.Bxh7+ Kh8 If 23…Rxh7 24.Qe8 mate. 24.Qg6 threatening 25.Qg8 mate and Black has to give up the exchange in order to avoid it. 24…Nf7 25.Nxf7+ Rxf7 26.Qxf7 Bxh6 27.Be4 1-0 Black’s only move is 27…Qg7 but after 28.Qxg7+ Bxg7 29.dxe6 Bxe4 30.Rxe4 dxe6 31.Rxe6

Heinz Herschmann, a regular at the Beacon Seniors event and well-known composer, arranger, musician and founder of the music label Apollo Sound, recently died, peacefully at home at the age of 90. As a composer, he achieved considerable acclaim receiving many commissions and in his other work he enjoyed great success in roles as varied as musical director of touring shows, to accompanist to various entertainers.

The solution to Dave Howard’s 3-mover last week was 1.Qh1! and the queen will mate on either a8 or b7.

This 2-mover is similar.

White to mate in 2

West of England Jamboree Results 2014

The West of England Jamboree is an annual occasion for players from all constituent units of the Union to come together in a single event, which in recent years has been held at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton. On Sunday there were four teams of 12 in the Open Section – Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and a welcome return by a resurgent Cornwall. The winners were Devon (8½ pts) ahead of Somerset (7), Cornwall (4½) and Gloucestershire (4). This game from Bd. 6 was a no holds barred affair

White: John Jenkins (176 – Glos.). Black: Peter Chaplin (189 – Somerset).

1.d4 g6 2.e4 d6 3.f4 White certainly intends giving it everything right from the start. 3…c5 4.c3 Bg7 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.cxd4 Bg4 7.Bb5+ There’s no intention of playing conservatively with something like 7.Be2 7….Nc6 8.Qa4 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Kf8 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Nd2 Not 11.Qxc6?? Rc8 winning bishop & rook. 11…e5 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Nc4 Qh4+ 14.Ke2 exd4 15.Qxc6 Rd8 16.Qc5+ Qe7 17.Qxe7+ Nxe7 18.Kd3 correctly blockading the advanced pawn. 18…Nc6 19.Bd2 Ke7 20.b4 Rd7 21.Rab1 Ke6 22.b5 Ne5+ 23.Nxe5 Bxe5 24.f4 Bd6 25.Rhc1 For best use of their powers rooks need open lines, well illustrated by the next few moves. 25…f5 26.e5 Be7 27.Rc6+ Kd5? In the spirit of the game so far, Black doesn’t wish to back off by retreating to f7, but this is a mistake. 28.Bb4 Rb8 29.Bxe7 Rxb5 30.Rbc1 1–0 Black resigned because if he takes the bishop he is mated thus 30…Rxe7 31.Rd6# , so he is effectively a piece down.

There were also four teams in the Grade-limited Section; N & W Somerset, S & E Somerset, the Torbay League and a return to inter-county competition by Wiltshire. This finished as a tie between Torbay and Wilts who will share the cup.

Full details of all players’ results and photographs of the action may be found on keverelchess.com.

The major prizewinners at the recent Paignton Congress were listed last week, so here are the winners of grading prizes. Premier: U-2151 1st= S. Dilleigh (Bristol), A. Brown (Northampton) &  P. Kemp (Linton). U-2071. 1st= G. Bolt (Railways) & I. Myall (Chelmsford). U-1981 1st= A. Brusey (Teignmouth), A. Footner (Dorchester) & T. Spanton (Hastings). Challengers: U-161 1st= R. Clegg (Huddersfield) & A. Price (Leamington). U-149 1st= A. Hibbitt (Banbury) & J. Morgan (Exeter). Minor: U-122 M. Harris (Colchester). U-113 1st= A. Fraser (Beckenham), M. Bolan (Ashtead & S. Thacker (W.Notts).

Here is a hitherto unpublished problem by Dave Howard. White can mate on his 3rd move, providing the first (or key) move is correct.

White to mate in 3

The Other Cornish Olympian (30.08.2014.)

Michael Adams may have been the outstanding player for England at the recent Olympiad, but he was not the only Cornishman involved. St. Austell-born Andrew Greet was playing for Scotland, where he works as an editor for the Glasgow-based publisher Quality Chess. He excelled on Board 2 and narrowly missed achieving a Grandmaster norm. In this game from Round 5 he surprises a strong GM.

White: Emir Dizdarevic (Bosnia-Herzogovina – 2522). Black: A. Greet (Scotland – 2431).

Reti Opening [A06]

1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.b3 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 Bd6 8.d4 The game started as a Reti, but has transposed into the Tarrasch Defence to the Queen’s Pawn opening. 8…cxd4 9.Nxd4 Qe7 10.Nf3 Making a second unnecessary move with the same piece while other pieces remain undeveloped must lose tempo. 10…Be6 11.Bb2 0–0 12.Nc3 a6 13.Rc1 Rfd8 It might be better to develop the other rook first, then bring the other one to e8 13…Rad8. 14.Qc2 Rac8 15.Qb1 Bb8! Preparing …Qd6 and opening the centre with …d4. 16.Rfd1 Ng4 Black’s pieces are lined up against the enemy king. 17.h3 Now is not the moment to retreat. 17…Nxf2! 18.Kxf2 Qc7 threatening …Qg3+ and if Kg1 then Bxh6. 19.Bf1? White is so disconcerted by the sacrifice that he blunders and Greet extracts maximum advantage. 19…Qg3+ 20.Kg1 Having committed to attack, Black must bring every available piece into action – this is no time for vacillation. Ne5 21.Nd4 Bxh3 22.Rd3 Ng4 23.Nf3 Qf2+ 24.Kh1 Bxg2+ 25.Bxg2 Rc6 0–1. The distant rook suddenly joins the fray and 26…Rh6 mate cannot be prevented.

The death was announced last week of John G. Gorodi, aged 88, a regular and venerable figure on the south west congress circuit. With his brother and 200,000 others he fled his native Hungary after the collapse of the Hungarian uprising against the Russians in 1956, eventually settling in Newton Abbot. He kept in contact with some of his former chess colleagues and put me in touch with a Hungarian problemist, whose work subsequently appeared in this column. Only last year he became the British U-150 Champion at Torquay, probably the oldest title-holder in British chess history. That was after he crashed his car on the way home after round 3, discharging himself from hospital so that he could compete in Rounds 4 & 5, both of which he won.

Last week’s problem by Lt. Col. George Ansell was solved by 1.Ne6! threatening 2.Nd4 mate, and 1…BxN allows the White queen to do the honours.

From a recent game Black is faced with losing his rook with check. What’s his best response?

Black to play and win.

British Championship – Local Players’ Scores (09.08.2014.)

As reported last week, the British Championship was shared between Jonathan Hawkins and David Howell on 8½/11 points. A point behind in joint 3rd place were twins Nicholas and Richard Pert, Mark Hebden, John Emms, Keith Arkell and Ravia Haria. The Ladies Champion was Amy Hoare.

Westcountry qualifiers finished as follows: Allan Pleasants (Weymouth) 5½; Jeremy Menadue (Truro) and Martin Simons (Southbourne) both on 5; Jack Rudd (Bideford) started brilliantly but had 5 losses from his last 6 games to finish on 4½; Theo Slade (Marhamchurch) 4; Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) 3½ and John Fraser (Newton Abbot) on 3.

The Rd. 3 game between Chris Ward and Mark Hebden, that I gave two weeks ago, was eventually awarded the tournament’s Best Game prize.

Attention now turns to the 41st Olympiad currently being played in Norway. With over 2,000 players from 177 countries it’s one of the world’s largest sporting events. In Rd. 1 England were paired against Wales with this game featuring on Bd. 1.

White: Gawain Jones (2665 – Eng). Black: Richard Jones (2414).

Petroff Defence [C43]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 The Steinitz Attack. Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.Nxe5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bd6 9.Qh5 Qe7+ 10.Be3 Be6 Instead of castling, which seems the natural move, White goes in for a combination likely to involve exchanges. 11.Bg5 Bg4+ 12.Bxe7 Bxh5 13.Bxd6 cxd6 The resulting weakened doubled pawns will  have a bearing on the outcome. 14.Rb1 0–0–0 15.Rb5 f6 16.Rxd5 Bf7 17.Ra5 Kb8 18.Kd2 There seems little point in castling now as White wants to bring his other rook into play, and the White king is effective and quite safe on d2. 18…Rc8 19.Rb1 Rhe8 20.Rab5 Re7 There now follows some gradual manoeuvring as White consolidates his pawn advantage. 21.a4 h6 22.a5 Be8 23.R5b4 Bf7 24.f3 Rcc7 25.c4 Bg8 26.R1b3 Bf7 27.Rc3 Kc8 28.Rb5 Kd8 29.h4 Kc8 30.g4 Kd8 31.g5 fxg5 32.hxg5 hxg5 33.Rxg5 Bg8 34.c5 dxc5 35.Rcxc5 b6 36.axb6 axb6 37.Rb5 The manoeuvrability of the white rooks settles matters. 37…Rc6 38.Rbf5 Threatening 39.Rf8+ Re8 40.RxR+ KxR 41.Rxg7 leaving White 2 passed pawns up. 38…Kc7 39.Rf8 Be6 40.Ra8 Bd7 41.Rg8 Rd6 42.c3 1-0 The g-pawn must fall and with it the game. Wins from Short, Howell and Sadler made it 4–0.

In last week’s game from this year’s British Championship, White finished with a double rook sacrifice, thus: 1.RxP+! KxR 2.Rh2+ Bh6 3.RxB+ KxB 4.Qh2+ Kg7 5.Bxe5 mate.

In this position from a recent rapidplay game, White is thinking about 1.RxB RxR 2.Qxe5+ winning the rook back, but it’s not his move. What can Black do about it?

Black to play and win

Hawkins & Howell Tie for the British Title (02.08.2014.)

With one round to go in the British Championship, matters were delicately poised. Jonathan Hawkins (31) of Consett, Co. Durham, had sailed into an early lead with 5 straight wins, and was still in the clear lead by half a point going in to the penultimate round. There, however, he had to play the ever dangerous Mark Hebden who was also keen to get his hands on the trophy, but the game was drawn. This left David Howell, playing fellow GM Nicholas Pert, though with Howell having the Black pieces. Howell pressed for the win, but Pert held firm and that game was also drawn, keeping Hawkins in a half point lead over Howell and Hebden going into the final round.

In that last round, Hawkins settled for a quick draw, taking him to 8½/11 points and guaranteeing him at least a share of the title. Howell, meanwhile, beat Hebden, to take him level with Hawkins and sharing the prize he won outright at Torquay last year.

Howell then departed immediately to join the rest of the England team for the forthcoming Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. The team comprises, Michael Adams, Howell, Gawain Jones, Nigel Short and Peter Wells.

One game that caught the eye was between two Devon residents in Round 4 of the British Championship. Arkell is renowned for his endgame skills but here doesn’t get chance to exercise that particular mastery. Notes based on those kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Jack Rudd (2278). Black: Keith Arkell (2433).

Keres Defence.

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Bb4+ 3.Nc3 c5 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 Ne7 6.e3 d6 7.Bd3 Nbc6 8.f4 f5 9.Nf3 0–0 10.h3 b6 11.g4 Na5 A 2nd  move by the same piece while 3 others remain untouched is too slow. Black underestimates how quickly White’s attack develops. 12.Rg1 Qe8 13.Ra2! Freeing up the other rook right across the 2nd rank. 13…Ba6 14.Rag2 g6 15.Ng5 Bxc4 16.Bxc4 Nxc4 17.Qe2 b5 18.h4 Rf6 19.h5 cxd4 20.hxg6 Rxg6 21.gxf5 exf5 22.Qh5 Rg7 23.Qh1 Qc6 24.Ne6 Rxg2 25.Rxg2+ Kf7 26.Nxd4 Qd5 27.Qxh7+ Ke8 28.Rg7 Qe4 Black’s queen is overloaded here, trying to do the impossible – to defend effectively both f5 and e7 simultaneously. 29.Nxf5 Qxf5 30.Rxe7+ Ending all Black’s resistance. 30…Kd8 31.Qxf5 1–0

In last week’s position, Black played 1…RxN 2.RxR e5! attacking both queen and rook.

This position arose in one of the earlier rounds of the British Championship. White is a grandmaster known for his attacking skills. Black has just played b4 attacking the bishop. How should White respond? 

White to play

British Championship 2014 Rd. 3 Ward vs Hebden.

At the British Championship in Aberystwyth, the anticipated late rush of entries from the better players did not materialise as several of them were preparing for the forthcoming Olympiad. This left defending champion David Howell as the clear favourite, ahead of a small number of talented aspirants, eager to snatch the crown, given half a chance and a following wind.

The Round 3 draw on Monday paired up two of the seven competing Grandmasters, the 1996 champion, Chris Ward (46) against Mark Hebden (56). Hebden is currently the stronger of the two, and has always featured in the ultimate destination of the title, without actually winning it himself.

White: C. G. Ward (2422). Black: M. L. Hebden (2554).

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 White makes a positive bid for the centre ground. 4…d6 5.Nge2 0–0 6.Ng3 c5 Black has transposed into a Sicilian Defence with an early fianchetto, an opening on which Ward is an expert. 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Taking towards the centre files is the correct thing to do, and now Black is stuck with an immobile backward pawn. 9…Na6 10.0–0 Nc7 11.a4 Na6 12.Bg5 h6 13.Be3 Re8 14.Qd2 h5 15.Bg5 Now the bishop can return to its intended spot. 15…Qc7 16.f4 White commits another pawn to the centre.  16…Nh7 17.Bh4 Bh6 18.Bc4 Nb4 19.Rae1 All White’s pieces are now beautifully placed, and he is almost spoiled for choice as to how best to continue. 19…Bd7 20.Qf2 Unpinning his f-pawn. 20…a6 21.e5 Bxa4 22.exd6 If 22.Nxa4 b5 winning the piece back and netting a pawn. 22…Qa5 If 22…Qxd6 23.Nge4 and Black has several ways of losing material – e.g. 23…Qxf4 24.Qxf4 Bxf4 25.Rxf4. 23.Ra1 There now follows a very finely balanced series of threats and counter-threats. 23…b5 Attacking the bishop, countered by 24.d7 Red8 25.Qxc5 Now the Black queen is unguarded, preventing PxB. 25…Bf8 26.d6 Rxd7 27.Rxa4 Bxd6 If 27…Qd8. 28.Qxd6 bxa4 29.Qxg6+! The “defending” pawn is actually pinned. The end is near. 29…Kh8 30.Bf6+ Nxf6 31.Qxf6+ Kh7 32.Nf5 1–0. Black resigned in view of White’s several mating combinations, which can be worked out from here.

At the end of Round 3, Ward was one of only three of the 58 players still on a maximum score, the others being Justin Tan (17) and Jonathan Hawkins (31), but there’s a long way to go yet, with 8 more gruelling games ahead.

In last week’s position, White won a piece with 1.QxN QXQ 2.Nxe6+ forking the queen, after which the win should be routine.

In this position from a game earlier this year, how did Black launch a stinging attack?

Black to play and win significant material.

Penrose at Aberystwyth (19.07.2014.)

The British Championship starts today at Aberystwyth University for the 3rd time in its history. It was first held there in 1955 when Harry Golombek won the last of his 3 British titles, and again in 1961 when Jonathan Penrose won the 4th of his 10 titles. Although the many other sections will get under way on Monday, as the Championship itself used to, this year it will start and end two days earlier than usual. Games may be followed live on britishchesschampionships.co.uk/

Here are two wins by Jonathan Penrose in the 1961 campaign, from Rds. 2 and 4 respectively,

White: J. Penrose. Black: Derek Ellison.

Ruy Lopez – Steinitz Defence – Siesta Variation. [C74]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 f5 The sharp Siesta Variation popularised by Capablanca in 1928. However, Penrose was the sharpest of sharp players and could easily handle this kind of play. 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.0–0 Bd3 8.Qb3! White ignores the threat to his rook. 8…b5 9.Qd5 Bxf1 10.Qxc6+ Ke7 An ugly move but the only option. 11.Bc2 Bc4 12.d4 Nf6 13.Bg5 h6 14.dxe5 hxg5 15.exf6+ gxf6 16.Nbd2 Freeing up White’s rook. 16…Kf7 17.Nxc4 bxc4 18.Qd5+ Kg7 19.Nd4 Threatening Ne6+ winning the queen. Black has surrendered all the white squares. 19…Kh6 20.Qf7 White now has a choice of mates, either Qg6 mate or Nf5 mate. 1–0

The next game was against Tiverton’s Andrew Thomas, who fell for a little-known trap in a familiar opening.

White: Jonathan Penrose. Black: A. R. B.  Thomas.

Ruy Lopez – Close Defence [C88].

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.d4 Nxd4? Tempting, but it’s a trap that loses the exchange and a pawn. 9.Bxf7+ Rxf7 10.Nxe5 Should Black save his rook or knight? 10…Ne6 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.e5 The point. 12…Bb7 If 12…Ne8?? 13.Qf3+ winning the other rook. 13.exf6 Bxf6 Leaving White the exchange up, but Black’s minor pieces are well-placed and White is made to work for his full point. 14.Nc3 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Kg8 16.a4 Qf6 17.Be3 Rf8 18.Qd3 Ng5 19.Bd4 Qh6 20.Re3 c5 21.Be5 c4 22.Qxd7 Bc6 23.Qd6 Qxd6 24.Bxd6 Rd8 25.Be7 Rd5 26.a5 Rf5 27.Rd1 Now White has extricated both rooks, the end is near.  27…Ne4 28.f3 Nf6 and Black resigned without waiting for a reply. Rd6 will be a killer blow. 1–0

Penrose finished a clear point ahead of his nearest rival, while Ellison and Thomas finished level on just 4 points.

In last week’s position, David Howell played 1…Qg3! hitting both knights and setting up an unstoppable attack on g2.

In a Bristol Tournament last year, Megan Owens fell to White’s clever little combination.

White to play and win.

British Championships Fast Approaching (12.07.2014.)

For the next three weeks, attention will be focussed on the British Championships that get under way next weekend at Aberystwyth University.

Although late entries will still be coming in, the current favourite, and strongest entry so far, is defending champion David Howell. He always appears to be calm and impassive at the board and plays a steady risk-free game, but applying increasing pressure as the game goes on. This Rd. 3 game against the 1996 Champion from last year’s championship at Torquay, put Howell on his way to the title.

White: Chris Ward (2432). Black: David Howell (2639).

Nimzo-Indian Defence [E32]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 Ward published a book on this opening in which he said he had “employed it ever since the word go”. Here, Howell uses Ward’s own best weapon against him. 4.Qc2 The Classical Variation – Capablanca’s favoured continuation, but often criticised as being relatively innocuous. Other popular options at this point are 4.a3 the Sämisch Variation, immediately challenging the pinning knight; 4.e3 The Rubinstein Variation, probably the most popular way for White to develop patiently but effectively or 4.Qb3 Spielmann’s Variation. 4…0–0 5.e4 d6 6.e5 dxe5 7.dxe5 Ng4 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 Nc6 10.Nf3 f6 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Be3 e5 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Be2 Bg4 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Nd4! 17.Rxd4 Having to give up the exchange but probably better than the alternatives. Certainly not 17.Bxd4?? exd4+ winning the queen. 17…exd4 18.Qxd4 c6 19.0–0 Qe7 20.b4 Rfd8 21.Qc5 Being materially down, White would normally want to avoid exchanges which only serve his opponent’s best interests e.g. 21.Qc3 or 21.Qf4 would keep the queens on. 21…Qxc5 22.Bxc5 Rd3 23.b5 Nd7 24.Bb4 a5 25.bxa6 Rxa6 26.c5 Rdxa3 27.Be2 If 27.Bxa3 Returning material in order to obtain other advantage elsewhere e.g. 27…Rxa3 28.Rc1 Ra5 and Black will have the winning advantage of 2 passed pawns. 27…R3a4 28.Bc3 Ra8 29.Rd1 Nxc5 0–1

Westcountry interest in the championship will centre on the fortunes of Jeremy Menadue and Theo Slade from Cornwall; Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd, Alan Brusey and John Fraser from Devon and Martin Simons and Allan Pleasants from Dorset.

In last week’s new 2-mover by Dave Howard, White should play 1.Rf6! threatening 2.Rxe6 mate. Black has four inadequate ”tries” viz. 1…Rxd6 or 1…exf5 then 2. f4 mate. If 1…Kxd6 2. Bf4 mate and if 1…Bc6 2.Rxe6 mate.

David Howell is Black in this position and has a winning move ready. Can you spot it?

David Howell (B) to play and win.

Martin Simons Qualifies For the British (05.07.2014.)

Martin Simons of Southbourne is the player from the West of England’s Easter Congress who has accepted the Qualifying Place for the British Championship to be held at Aberystwyth University later this month. This Rd. 3 win against a 12 year old is one that helped him to a good score.

White: M. Simons (191). Black: T. Slade (173).

Sicilian Defence – Closed System [B25]

1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 g6 3.e4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.d3 The position has evolved into the Closed System in which White declines to open up with d4. 5…e6 6.f4 Nge7 7.Nf3 0–0 8.0–0 d6 9.Be3 Nd4 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nef5 12.Bf2 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Qc7 14.Ne4 Bxe5 15.Bxc5 Bd4+ 16.Bxd4 Nxd4 17.c3 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 f5? The f-pawn can’t actually take the knight at the moment and it leaves behind the e-pawn which will become problematic. 19.d4 Bd7 20.Nc5 b6 21.Nxd7 Qxd7 22.Rae1 Rfe8 23.Re5 Blockading the backward e-pawn, which will become increasingly difficult to defend once White’s heavy pieces gang up on it. This future problem leads Black to overlook present realities. 23…Re7?? 24.Qxa8+ 1–0.

Martin tends to show little respect for youth when it comes to chess. Here he trounces a 9 year old in the same event in 2000.

White: D. Howell. Black: M. Simons (203).

Scandinavian Defence. [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4 4.f3 Bf5 5.c4 e6 6.dxe6 Nc6 Black allows the check, calculating it will actually help his development. 7.exf7+ Kxf7 8.Be3 Bb4+ 9.Nc3 Re8 10.Kf2 Qe7 11.Qd2 Rad8 Black is now fully developed and sets about his task with relish. 12.Nge2 Ne5 13.Bg5 Nxc4 14.Qd1 Ng4+ 15.fxg4 Qxg5 16.gxf5 Qe3+ 17.Ke1 Nxb2 Normally, one is advised against pawn-grabbing but this threatens both BxN mate and the queen. With his knight on e2 pinned, blocking in 2 much-needed pieces, White’s position is a mess, but Black still has to win it. 18.Qb3+ Kf6 19.Rc1 If 19.Qxb4 Nd3+ 20.Kd1 Nxb4; or 19.Rb1 Bxc3+ 20.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 21.Kf2 Qe3+ 22.Ke1 Rxd4 with several mates in 3. 19…Qxc1+ 20.Kf2 Qe3+ 21.Ke1 Bxc3+ 22.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 0–1

Far from demoralising the youngster Martin was actually helping him in his career, as today David Howell is one of the world’s top players, a Grandmaster and twice British Champion. They might even meet again over the board in Aberystwyth, in which case there might be a whiff of revenge in the air!

In last week’s position, White can simply push his pawn to f7+, and if the king takes it, he has Rh7+ winning the rook. If Black therefore plays Ke7 he plays Rh7 and sets the same problem.

Here’s another hitherto unpublished 2-mover by Dave Howard.

White to mate in 2.

3rd Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Congress Results (28.06.2014.)

Its prize fund of almost £4,000 is about three times that of any other weekend congress in the UK, making the Bournemouth ‘Grand’ Congress able to attract some top talent. Their third such event finished last weekend with over 160 entries of whom these were just a few of the winners.

Open Section: 1st= GM Nick Pert & IM G. Sarakauskas 4½/5 pts. 3rd  Keith Arkell 4. Grading prizes (U-175) 1st = S. Peirson & J. Pink. (U-167) 1st M. Littleton.

Challengers (U-165): 1st D. Thompson 4½. 2nd= C. Woolcock, D. Butcher, R. Desmedt & I. S. Annetts. GP (U-150) 1st= P. Morton, J. Torrance, R. Du Toit & P. Wilcock.

Intermediate (U-135) 1st J. Belinger 4½. 2nd= P. Errngton & S. Williams.

Minor (U-110): 1st T. Cutter. 2nd= S. Crockett, Jenny Goldsmith & J. Versey.

Grandmaster games at this level tend to be relatively quiet affairs as they tend to wait for their opponents to make the slip-ups. Firework displays are rare. This Round 4 game sees both players committed to a rough-house and puts the winner on the road to 4th= and a £40 prize.

White: Steve Homer (189). Black: Don Mason (209).

French Defence – Tarrasch Var.  [C06]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Tarrasch’s move, avoiding the potential pin  on b4. 3…Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 Many French Defence players are keen to break White’s stranglehold on e5 a.s.a.p. so that they won’t become landed with a cramped position.  9.exf6 Nxf6 10.Nf3 Bd6 11.0–0 Qc7 12.Bg5 0–0 13.Qc2 h6 14.Bh4 Nh5 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Bg6 Rxf3 17.Bxh5 If 17.gxf3 Bxh2+ 18.Kg2 Nf4+ 19.Nxf4 Qxf4 20.Bg3 Bxg3 21.fxg3 Qxd4 and Black has 2 pawns for the exchange. 17…Bxh2+ 18.Kh1 Rf5 19.Bg6 Black seems determined to give up a rook. 19…Bd6 20.Bxf5 exf5 21.f4 Qf7 22.Rf3 Bd7 23.Rd1 Re8 24.Nc3 Qh5 25.Rh3 Qg4 26.Nxd5? An injudicious pawn grab that allows… 26…Re2 27.Qxe2 The least worst option was 27.Ne3 Rxc2 28.Nxg4 fxg4 29.Rc3 .27…Qxe2 28.Re1 Qc4 29.Nf6 Better was 29.Nc3 29…gxf6 30.Bxf6+ Kh7 31.Rg3 suddenly White has a strong attack on g7 31…Qf7 Better was 31…Bf8 though the text is good enough. 32.Rg7+ Qxg7 33.Bxg7 Kxg7 0–1. Black’s 3 minor pieces should be more than enough to handle the rook which doesn’t have a good move on the board.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Nc6! threatening 2.Ne5 mate, and if 1…Qxb3+ 2.Qxb3 mate; or 1…dxc6 2.Bxe6 mate, or 1…Rxf2 2.Qxf2 mate.

In this endgame from earlier this year how can White maximise the value of his extra pawn?

White to play and win.

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