April 2015
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Archive for the ‘Western Morning News’ Category

16th West of England Congress Approaches (28.03.2015.)

The West of England Championship starts on Friday morning at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, with the leading contenders for the title currently being Keith Arkell (GM), Jack Rudd (IM) and Dominic Mackle, and late entries are coming in every day.

I hope to have the prizelist and top games available in a fortnight, but meanwhile here is a look back at a game from the early years of the tournament.

Trevenen of Penzance became the first Champion in 1946, then ’49 and ’50, while Kitto of Exminster had to wait until 1951 & ’55. The centenary of his birth was last month, though he died of cancer aged only 49.

This is their encounter from 1947, the 2nd  Championship held in Bristol.

White: Francis Ernest Appleyard Kitto. Black: Henry Vickers White Trevenen.

Caro-Kann Defence – Alekhine Gambit. [B15]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 Alekhine’s Gambit in which White offers his d-pawn in exchange for a gain in tempo and attacking chances. Black accepts the “gift”. 5…Qxd4 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nd7 9.0–0 Nf6 10.Bg5 Bg4 11.Rfe1 e6 12.Rad1 White’s plan is successful inasmuch as his development is complete while Black still has some way to go. How can White use this to further his advantage? 12…Qc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.h3 Bh5 15.Rd3 Bd6 16.Qe3 Ke7? The natural move would be 16…0–0–0 but White has 17.Qxa7. An alternative would be 16…f5 17.Bxf5 and then 17…0–0–0 is safe because White has to look to the safety of his bishop. e.g. 18.Be4 f5 trapping the bishop. Or 18.g4 exf5 19.gxh5 and his king’s stronghold is somewhat compromised. 17.Nd4 Qb6 18.Qh6 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 With his queen en prise, Kitto spots a winning combination. 20.Rxe6+! Kd7 If 20…fxe6 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Qxh8+ Bf8 23.Qxf6 c5 24.Nxe6 Bd6 25.Qh8+ etc. 21.Rxd6+ Kxd6. If 21…Ke7 22.Nf5+ gxf5 23.Qxf6+ Kf8 24.Qxh8+ Ke7 25.Rd7+ Ke6 26.R3d6 mate. 22.Nf5+ Ke6 23.Re3+ Kd7 24.Re7+ The king must retreat to the back rank, allowing QxR mate. 1–0

It won’t be long now until the 26th Frome  Congress on 15th – 17th May at Selwood Academy. Berkley Road, Frome, BA11 2EF. Entry forms are available on the event website, and further details from G. N. Jepps, 27 Lockey Rd. Shepton

Mallet, BA4 5RQ. Tel: 01749-344191 or e-mail: fromecongress@btinternet.com.

In last week’s position, White won with the pseudo-sacrifice 1.QxN! If Black takes the queen he is mated in 3. viz

1…Qxh5 2.Rxg7+ and if 2…Kh8  3.Rg5+ Re5 4.Bxe5 mate, or 2…Kf8 3.Rxf4+ Qf5 4.Rxf5 mate. Moving his rook only delays the inevitable.

It’s an unwritten rule of chess that one should develop all one’s pieces before starting an all-out attack, as in the above game. In this position Black has followed this plan, while White’s queenside pieces are still trapped. How can Black best maximise his advantage?

Black to play and win.

A Cornish Renaissance Continues (21.03.2015.)

The Cornish Renaissance continues apace, as evidenced by their win over Hampshire at Honiton in the last round of the Inter-County Championship, though the 11-5 victory was helped by Hants being unable to raise a full team and defaulting 4 games. This scalp, added to those of Devon and Gloucestershire, meant Cornwall finished 2nd in the West of England section and now go on to meet Norfolk in the National Stages quarter-final. Somerset finished 1st by virtue of their win over Devon reported last week, which in turn pushed Devon down to 3rd place.

Here are the details (Cornish names first in each pairing).

1. Jeremy Menadue (190) ½-½ D. Tunks (196). 2.Theo Slade (178) 0-1 G. Pafura (192). 3. Mark Hassall (173) 1-0 R. Marsh (176). 4.Grant Healey (176) ½-½ A. Cooper (175) 5. Mate Csuri (175) 0-1 D. Fowler (174). 6.David Saqui (170) 0-1 T. Davis (167). 7. Robin Kneebone (173) 1-0 C. Priest (147). 8. James Hooker (171) 1-0 S. LeFevre (146). 9.Simon Bartlett (168) ½-½ Miss G. Moore (144). 10. Colin Sellwood (156) 1-0 D. Culliford (137). 11. Gary Trudeau (155) 1-0 J. Young (129). 12. David J. Jenkins (133) ½-½ R. Hartley (126).

This was a bright win for the Cornish.

White: Gary Trudeau (157). Black: J. Young (129).

Sicilian Defence–Najdorf Variation [B90]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.g4 Qa5? losing a tempo. These open Sicilian Defences are often played on a knife-edge, but this move hands the initiative entirely to White.  10.Nb3 Qd8 11.g5 Let the attack commence. 11…Nd7 12.0–0–0 The Yugoslav system, whereby White castles long and attacks quickly on the other wing. Black, of course, should attack the castled king a.s.a.p. but his loss of a tempo hasn’t helped. 12…Nb6 13.f4 Be6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nb8 16.Bd4 White is taking complete control of the centre. 16…Rg8 17.Bxg7 Rxg7 18.Qd4 Rg8 19.Na5 Qc7 20.Rd3 N8d7 21.Rc3 Qb8 Better might have been 21…Nc5 and if 22.b4 hoping to win the pinned knight 22… Nc8 23.bxc5 Qxa5 and Black would have gone some way to implementing his thematic plan. 22.Bg2 Nc5 23.Re1 Kd7 24.Rce3 Re8 25.h4 Qc7 26.Bh3+ Kd8 27.Rxe7 Qxe7 28.Rxe7 Rxe7 29.Qf6 Nc8 White is running out of pieces with which to inflict the coup de grace, but those he has are superbly positioned and the final assault plays itself. 30.Bxc8 Rxc8 31.Qxd6+ Rd7 32.Qf8+ Kc7 33.Qxc5+ Kd8 34.Qb6+ Rdc7 35.d6 1–0.

The solution to last week’s 2-mover was 1.Qe5! Only Black’s two bishops can move, and if it’s the white square one, then 2.Qa5mate, or if the other then it’s 2.Ra1 mate.

In this position, Black is threatening both the pawn on e3 and to free his rook with axb. How can White best deal with this?

White to move and win.

Somerset Retain Top Trophy (14.03.2015.)

The Devon vs Somerset match at the weekend was always likely to be a championship decider, and so it proved. The 1st teams were closely matched on paper for the most part, except for the top 4 boards, all of which went Somerset’s way, making their winning total 10-6, thus retaining the Harold Meek trophy for another year. The details were:- (Somerset names first in each pairing).

1.J. Rudd (221) 1-0   D. Mackle (209). 2.D. Buckley (205) 1-0 J. Stephens (196). 3.A. Wong (199) 1-0 S. Homer (184). 4.B. Edgell (197) 1-0 J. F. Wheeler (184). 5.M. Payne (189) 0-1 P. Sivrev (175). 6.P. Krzyzanowski (187) 1-0 J. Fraser (178). 7.M. Blocinski(185) 0-1 J. Underwood (180). 8.P. Chaplin (182) 1-0 D. Regis (181). 9.A. Footner (182) 0-1 A. Brusey (181). 10.B. Morris (178) ½-½ B. Hewson (176). 11.D. Littlejohns (177) ½-½ M. Abbott (173). 12. D. Painter-Kooiman (175) 1-0 S. Martin (171). 13.J. Byrne (172) ½-½ M. Shaw (173). 14.D. Peters (171) 0-1 W. Ingham (168). 15.G. Jepps (171) ½-½ T. Thynne (168). 16. F. Felício (162) 1-0 M. Stinton-Brownbridge (168).

Devon fared better in the 2nd team match, played over 12 boards. They led by 6½-3½ but Somerset won the last 2 games to finish losing by a single point.

1. D. Freeman (163) ½-½ K. Atkins (160). 2. C. Purry (159) 1-0 N. Butland (158). 3. M. Staniforth (158) 0-1 D. A. Toms (159). 4. A. Gregory (157) 1-0 C. J. Scott (154). 5. C. Strong (155) 0-1 M. Hui (150e). 6. M. French (154) ½-½ B. Gosling (148). 7. M. Worrall (151) 1-0 P. Brooks (152). 8. C. McKinley (149) 0-1 O. Wensley (151). 9. M. Baker (148) 0-1 A. Frangleton (151). 10. C. Fewtrell (148) ½-½ A. Kinder (147). 11. J. Fewkes (145) 1-0 W. Taylor (142). 12. A. Champion (143) 0-1 V. Ramesh (138).

The West of England Championship starts a fortnight on Friday, 3rd April, at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. With its relatively limited accommodation already nearing maximum, there’s little time left for late entries, so don’t delay. Enquiries to Meyrick Shaw on 01395-275494 or e-mail wecu@hotmail.co.uk.

This last round miniature gave White 1st prize in the recent Bristol Congress.

White: P. Krzyzanowski. Black: M. Lewis

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.e3 0–0 10.Be2 c6 11.0–0 Bf5 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nd7 14.b4 a6 15.a4 Qe7 16.b5 axb5 17.axb5 f5 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Ra6 Rxa6 20.Qxa6 Rf6 21.Qc8+ Bf8 22.Rb1 Black now abandons his defences with fatal consequences. 22…Qa3?? 23.Qxd7 Qxc3 24.Ng5 and mate on h7 is unavoidable. 1–0

In last week’s position Rudd played 1.Rxd4! threatening both f2 and e5. 1…Nd2 (If 1…exd4 2.Bxd4 R2f7 3.Nb6+ Kb8 4.Be5 winning). 2.Rxd2 Rxd2 3.Rc4 Qxc4 4.Bxc4 Rxg2 5.Nb6+ and mate will follow after Qxe5+.

Here is another world premier 2-mover from reader Dave Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2

Bristol & Exeter Congress Results (07.03.2015.)

The 40th East Devon Congress finished on Sunday after a successful weekend. The prizewinners were as follows (all scores out of 5).

Open Section: 1st= Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) & Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot) both 4½. 3rd Lorenz Hartmann (Exeter) 4. Grading prizes: U-181: 1st= Alan Brusey; (Teignmouth); Dave Littlejohns (Taunton) & Mark Abbott  (Exmouth) all                   3½. U-169: 1st= Robert Wright (Bridport) & Jamie Morgan (Penwith) both 3.

Major (U-155) 1st John Nyman (King’s Head) 4½. 2nd= Ben Franklin (Battersea) & Neville Senior (Sedgemoor) both 4. GP (U-148) 1st= John Morrison (Tiverton) & Rob Wilby (Plymouth) both 3½. GP U-133 Lynne Fursman 3.

Minor (U-125) 1st Joy Fursman 4½. 2nd= Reece Whittington (Exeter); Nicky Bacon (Sidmouth); Mark Cockerton (Torquay) & Terence Greenaway (Torquay) all 4.            GP 102-110 James Wallman                          4         40.00

GP (U-102) Terry Dengler (Truro) 3.

Bristol’s Winter Congress was held the weekend before. The winner of the Open was Patryk Krzyzanowski, and he got the British Championship qualifying place.  2nd= were Peter Kirby, Stephan Meek, Lewis Martin, Matthew Payne and Alistair Hill.  Major Section: 1st S. Williams 4½/5. 2nd T. Chinnick 4/5.

Hill missed out on 1st prize at Exeter by virtue of losing to Jack Rudd in the final round. Here he loses to a sharp attack in Rd. 2 at Bristol.
White: A. Hill (199). Black: Matthew Payne (189).

King’s Indian Defence – Petrosian Variation. [E92]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.d5 Petrosian’s move in this classical position. a5 8.Bg5 Qe8 9.Nd2 h6 10.Be3 Na6 11.0–0 Nh7 12.a3 f5 13.f3 Bd7 14.b3 f4 15.Bf2 g5 16.b4 b6 17.Qb3 Kh8 18.c5 dxc5 19.bxa5 bxa5 20.Bxa6 Rxa6 21.Bxc5 Rf7 22.Rab1 Bf8 23.Qc4 Rg6 24.Bxf8 Nxf8 25.Rb7 c6 26.Rfb1 g4 Black’s pawns storm ahead backed by bishop and rooks. 27.fxg4 Bxg4 28.dxc6 Be6 29.Qc5 f3 30.Qxe5+ Kg8 31.Rxf7 Rxg2+ 31…Qxf7 is the obvious move, but the text has the same effect. 32.Kh1 Qxf7 33.Nf1 Qa7 Threatening mate on g1 34.Ng3 Allows White’s rook to defend the kingside, but it’s not enough. 34…Rxh2+! 34…Qf2 will still win but is much slower. 35.Nh5 Rg5 36.Qxg5+ hxg5 37.Rg1. 35.Kxh2 Qf2+ 36.Kh1 Qg2# 0–1.

In last week’s problem, Alice wondered what her sister could possibly mean by referring back to her French lessons. She was, of course, alluding to the French phrase used in chess of “en passant”. If Black’s c-pawn could move to b3 it would indeed be mate, and the only way it can do that is to take White’s c-pawn en passant, which means White’s previous move must have been Pb2-b4.

This position is taken from a book chapter entitled “Simple but not easy”. Jack Rudd of Barnstaple is White and his next move contains enough threats to win the game.

White to play and win

Successful New Schools’ Tournament (21.02.2015.)

Chess activity in secondary schools has suffered something of a decline in recent years, and in response the national Manager of Secondary Schools’ Chess, Neill Cooper, has started a new event called the Team Chess Challenge. The format is teams of 4 playing four rounds of 25 minutes each. The first South-West Regional final took place last week at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, organised by Trefor Thynne. The entry was surprisingly large and varied, which suggests the event has succeeded in its aim and might become a regular item on the chess calendar.                                                       

Results: (All points out of 16) 1st Torquay Boys’ Grammar School “A” 12½ pts. 2nd TBGS “B” 12. 3rd Clyst Vale Community College 11½. 4th= Devonport High School; Great Torrington School “B”; TBGS “C” & TBGS “D” all 9½. 8th= St. Boniface’s  Catholic College, Plymouth “A”; Great Torrington School “A” & Millfield School “A” all 9. 11th Dawlish Community College “A” 8½. 12th Millfield School “B” 8. 13th= Shebbear College & St. Boniface’s Catholic College, “B” 7½. 5th= Coombeshead Academy, Newton Abbot “A”; Great Torrington School “C”; St. Cuthbert Mayne School, Torquay “A” 7. 18th= Coombeshead Academy, “B”; Dawlish  Community College “B” & Great Torrington School “D” 6. 21st St. Cuthbert Mayne School “B” 4½.

The death was announced this week of the West of England’s Life Vice President, Frank Kingdon at the age of 85. He first appeared on the westcountry chess scene in 1962, when he became Secretary of the Dorset C.C.A. and their delegate to W.E.C.U. This was his introduction to chess organisation, going on to fill a number of posts in Dorset and the Westcountry.

He was a founding member of the chess club at the Winfrith Atomic Energy Establishment in 1962, and 2 years later started the Dorset Congress at Winfrith, before transferring it to Weymouth.   Although a naturalised Dorset man, Frank was born in Plymouth in 1929 before moving to Exeter in 1932. He attended Hele’s School in Exeter before starting his national service in 1947 with REME where he trained on servicing computers, which in those days were often as a big as a house. After being demobbed he became a pioneering atomic scientist, working first at Harwell and later transferring to Winfrith, a UK Atomic Energy Authority site, near Dorchester, which opened in 1958 and was used for nuclear reactor research until 1995.The funeral is on Friday 27th Feb. at St. Aldhelm’s Church, Spa Rd. Weymouth at 2 p.m.

Mrs. Baird’s Valentine’s Day problem was solved by 1.Qh6! threatening QxR mate. The only move to prevent this would be 1…Re3, but this cuts off the Black king’s only flight square after 2.Nxc6#.

In this game from last year, how did Black finish sharpishly?

Black to finish off quickly

Cornwall Beat Devon (14.02.2015.)

Cornwall met their only neighbours on Saturday in the annual Inter-County match, beating Devon by 8½-7½. This was their first victory over Devon in 23 years and only the third since 1973. Individual scores were as follows (Devon names 1st in each pairing)

1. D. Mackle 1-0 J. Menadue 2. J. Stephens 0-1 T. Slade. 3. S. Homer 0-1  M. Hassall 4. P. Sivrev 0-1 G. Healey 5. J. Wheeler 1-0 Csuri. 6. J. Fraser 1-0 D. Saqui 7. J. Underwood 1-0 R. Kneebone. 8. D. Regis 0-1 J. Hooker. 9. A. W. Brusey ½-½  S. Bartlett 10. B. W. Hewson ½-½ L. Retallick 11. M. Shaw 0-1 J. Wilman. 12. G. Body 0-1 G. Trudeau. 13. W. Ingham ½-½ J. Nicholas 14. T. F. Thynne ½-½ R. Smith. 15. M. Stinton-Brownbridge ½-½ M. Hill 16. I. S. Annetts 1-0 R. Stephens. Cornwall won 8½-7½.

2nd team (U-160): 1. K. P. Atkins ½-½ D. R. Jenkins. 2. C. J. Scott 0-1 N. Robinson 3. N. Butland 1-0 M. Richards. 4. P. Brooks ½-½ A. Barkhuysen. 5. J. Duckham ½-½ D. Lucas. 6. O. E. Wensley 1-0 D. Hutchinson. 7. A. Kinder 1-0 M. Jones. 8. W. Taylor 0-1 I. Renshaw. 9. V. Ramesh 1-0 J. Rodrigo. 10. R. Wilby 0-1 B. Childs. 11. N. Hodge 1-0 R. Pascoe. 12. N. Bacon ½-½ A. Slade. Devon won 7-5.

This was the second game to finish and seemed to galvanise the other Cornish players to a great collective effort. It contains what Jeremy Menadue called “what they used to call a gold coins on the board moment”. Notes kindly supplied by Menadue and the winner. 

White: M. Shaw (173) Black: John Wilman (150).

King’s Indian Defence [A48]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.c3 b6 4.Bf4 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Nbd2 A London system. 6…cxd4 7.exd4 0–0 8.Bd3 Bb7 A quiet start. 9.Nc4 Rather committal. 9.Qe2; 9.0–0. 9…d6 10.0–0 Nh5 A typical plan against the London. 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bd2 b5 13.Ne3 this looks a great square for the knight. 13…Qd7 14.Nh4? Decentralising and weakening the d4 square. Better might have been 14.Qb3 with a double attack on g6 and b5. 14…Nf4 covering the g6 weakness. 15.Bc2 e5 16.Ng4 White seems to be building up pressure on Black’s king. 16…h5 17.Ne3 Qh3!! That gold coins moment! 18.Nf3 Nxg2 The combinations play themselves. 19.Ng5 19.d5 Nf4. 19…Nf4! a memorable move. 20.Re1 White has to play 20.d5 but it’s not nice. If 20.Nxh3 Nxh3#. 20…Qh4 The queen knows when it’s not wanted. 21.Nf3 Nh3+ 22.Kf1 Of course this is wrong but other king moves also lose. e.g. 22.Kg2 Ng5; 22.Kh1 Nxf2+ 23.Kg1 wins. White resigned before Black could play Qxf2 mate. 0-1.

Dr. Jago’s problem last week was solved by 1.Qh3! If 1…Kxd5 or 1…Pe1=Q then 2.Qd3 mates. If Pe1=N to protect d3 then 2.Be6 is also mate.

As today is St. Valentine’s Day here is an appropriate 2-mover from the darling of the problem composers a century ago, Devon’s own Edith Baird. Can you see how the four islands of pieces spell out the word LOVE?

White to mate in 2.

New Cornish Champion (07.02.2015.)

After several years at Stithians, the Cornish Congress moved back to Truro College last weekend. After 5 rounds the new county champion was James Hooker (Truro) with 4/5 points. 2nd= were Simon Bartlett (Newquay), Lloyd Retallick (Newquay), David Saqui (Falmouth) and Mark Watkins (Camborne), all a half point behind. As champion, Hooker now holds the Emigrant Cup for the first time since his last victory in 2002.

In the Falmouth Cup section for players graded below 145 the winner was 15 year old Richard Stephens (Penryn College) playing in his first tournament.

2nd= were Hamad Aljaber (Falmouth), Mick Hill (Truro), David Jenkins (Camborne), Ian Rescorla (Bude) and Jan Rodrigo (Falmouth) a half point behind on 3½.

The Penwith Cup for players new to tournament chess was shared between the promising junior, Harvey Richings (Marazion School & Camborne), and the editor of Athletics Weekly, Jason Henderson, with 5½/6.

Some of the games will eventually be found on the website cornwallchess.org.uk.

In the meantime, here is one of Hooker’s games from 15 months ago, after several years absence from the chess scene.

White: James Hooker. Black: John Wilman.

Indian Defence [A47]

1.d4 Nf6 2.e3 b6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Bd3 Bb7 5.0–0 Bg7 6.Nbd2 0–0 7.e4 d6 8.e5 Ne8 9.e6 f6? It cannot be good to leave the pawn on e6, strangling the life out of any possible defence. 10.Nh4 c5 In view of the e6 pawn, White feels justified in sacrificing a piece in order to break open the king’s position. 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Bxg6 f5 13.Qh5 Nf6 14.Bf7+ Rxf7 15.Qxf7+ Kh8 16.dxc5 bxc5 17.Qg6 Na6 18.Qxf5 Nc7 19.Nf3 Bxf3 20.Qxf3 Rb8 21.Rb1 Qe8 Black still can’t take the e-pawn with 21…Nxe6 because of 22.Qh3+ 22.Re1 Rb6 23.Bd2 Qa4 24.b3 Qg4 25.Qxg4 Nxg4 26.Re4 Nf6 27.Rh4+ Kg8 28.Ba5 Rc6 29.Bxc7 Rxc7 30.c4 Rc8 31.f3 Rf8 32.b4 cxb4 33.Rxb4 1-0 A well-placed knight and bishop is often at least as good as a rook, but here it’s the pawns that make the difference. Black hardly has a decent move on the board.

In last week’s position, White won quickly after 1.Nd5! attacking the queen and opening lines towards the Black king’s position which involve at least heavy material loss.

In tune with the Cornish theme this week, here is a 1944 composition by Dr. Maurice Jago. His most prolific period was during the war when he was a lieutenant in the RAMC, and probably had long periods of inactivity between actions. He was generally attracted by the more exotic forms of problems – helpmates, selfmates, fairy chess, etc. but this is one of his more conventional 2-movers.

White to play and mate in 2

Wins for Devon and Somerset (31.01.2015.)

Devon beat  Hampshire 12½-3½ at Ilchester Town Hall, a margin that belies the toughness of the encounter. However, it was Devon’s strength in depth that made the difference, demonstrated by the fact that Devon’s lower half scored 7-1. The details were: (Devon names first in each pairing).

1.D. Mackle (203) 1-0 I. Thompson (213). 2.J. Stephens (194) 1-0 D. Tunks (197). 3.S. Homer (188) 1-0 C. Bellers (185). 4.P. Sivrev (187) 1-0 P. Cooper (177). 5.T, Paulden (185) ½-½ R. Marsh (176). 6.J. Fraser (182) 0-1 A. Cooper (174). 7.J. Wheeler (181) 0-1 D. Fowler (173). 8.J. Underwood (179) 1-0 S. Knox (170). 9.D. Regis (176) 1-0 T. Davis (167). 10.A. Brusey (176) 0-1 S. Smith (160). 11.B. Hewson 1-0 C. Priest (158). 12.W. Ingham (176) 1-0 D. Thompson (156). 13.M. Abbott (173) 1-0 R. Ashmore (147). 14.M. Shaw (170) 1-0 T. Chapman (144). 15.G. Body (169) 1-0 Miss G. Moore (142). 16. M. Stinton-Brownbridge (164) 1-0 D. Culliford (133).

At the same time, Somerset were facing Gloucestershire, and emerged winners by 10-6. Glos names first.

1.J.Stewart (207) ½-½ J. Rudd (224). 2.P. Meade (182) 0-1 D. Buckley (207). 3.N. Hosken (181) ½-½ B. Edgell (198). 4.C. McLaren (181) ½-½ P. Chaplin (189). 5.M. Ashworth (179) 0-1 M. Payne (186). 6.J. Jenkins (176) 0-1 P. Krzyzanowski (182). 7.P. Kirby (173) 1-0 R. Hearne (181). 8.P. Masters (166) ½-½ D. Littlejohns (178). 9.P. Dodwell (163). ½-½ D. Painter-Kooiman (178). 10.B. Whitelaw (159) 0-1 B. Morris (175). 11.R. Ashworth (151) ½-½ P. Cusick (169). 12.C. Haynes (146) ½-½ D. Peters (164). 13.A. Walker (134) 0-1 G. N Jepps (163). 14.P. Baker (132) ½-½ R. Knight (152). 15.T. Chinnick (128) 1-0 C. Purry (152). 16.P. Bending (122) 0-1 M. Blocinski (U/G).

Here is Devon’s win on Bd. 2.

White: P. Meade. Black: J. Stephens.

Sicilian Defence – Moscow Var. [B51]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Qd1 Ngf6 8.Nc3 h6 9.0–0 Nc5 10.Bd3 Be7 11.Re1 Be6 12.Qe2 Rc8 13.Be3 Qc7 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.h3 0–0 16.Na4 Qc6 17.b3 b5 18.Nb2 Qc3 19.Rab1 Nh5 At the cost of a pawn White prevents the knight coming to f5. 20.g3 Bxh3 21.Nd1 Qc5 22.Ne3 Nf6 23.c4 b4 24.Rbd1 a5 25.Bc2 Rfd8 26.Rd2 Qc6 27.Qd3 g6 28.Nd5 Nxd5 29.Qxd5 a4 30.bxa4 Qxc4 31.Bb3 Qxd5 32.Rxd5 Rc3 33.Nd2 White is looking for an outpost for his knight on c4, though it does cramp his forward rook, at least temporarily. 33…Bd7 The warning lights should be flashing. 34.a5?? …. but they’re not. 34…Bc6 0–1 White’s rook is trapped.

The solution to Dave Howard’s “really easy” problem last week was 1.Qa2! If 1…Rh7 2.Be7 mate or 1…Ka7 2.Bc5 mate.

This position arose near the end of a recent game in the Devon Individual Championship – Paulden vs Ingham. How did White win quickly?

White to play and win.

County match results (24.01.2015.)

Devon’s Inter-Area Jamboree took place on Sunday at the Isca Centre in Exeter. Four teams of 12 players representing the North, South, East and West of the county were paired in such a way that each team had 6 whites and blacks and met 4 players from each of the opposing teams. The teams were very evenly matched in overall playing strength, which showed in the final result. North were 1st with 6½/12 points; 2nd= were East and North (6 pts) while South finished on 5½.

This entertaining and instructive game on Bd. 4, featured a well-known former TV presenter against a former British U-16 contender.

White: Adam Hart-Davis (161). Black: Chris Scott (157).

Sicilian Defence [B50]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Usual here is 3.d4, but White delays this move, and it later costs him a central pawn, which one can rarely afford to do in such double-edged openings as the Sicilian Defence. 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.h3 a6 6.a4 e6 7.d4 Nxe4! 8.Nxe4 d5 In this opening Black is usually looking to get in …d5 as soon as possible in order to free up his position, as long as it doesn’t incur disadvantage elsewhere. Here it wins his piece back. 9.Nxc5 dxc4 10.Be3 Qd5 11.b3 b6 12.bxc4 Qxc4 13.Nd3 Bb4+ 14.Bd2 Bxd2+ 15.Qxd2 Nxd4 16.Nxd4 Qxd4 17.0–0 Bb7 securing the long diagonal. 18.Qg5 0–0 19.Nf4 h6 20.Qg3 Qf6 21.Rab1 Be4 22.Rxb6 Bxc2 23.a5 Rfd8 24.Rc6 Ba4 25.Rc5 Rac8 26.Rfc1 Rxc5 27.Rxc5 And now the position has really opened up, but Black retains the extra pawn and the BvN. 27…Rd4 28.Nh5 Rd1+ 29.Kh2 Qd4 30.Rc4 Qa1 Defending and attacking. 31.Rc8+ Kh7 32.Qb8 Rh1+ 33.Kg3 Re1 34.Nf4 g5 35.Nh5 Qe5+ Forcing off queens to maximise his small advantages. 36.Qxe5 Rxe5 37.Nf6+ Kg7 38.Nh5+ Kg6 39.Kg4 f5+ 40.Kf3 Bd1+ 0–1 The knight is lost. If 41.Kg3 Kxh5 from where the Black king is safe from all attack and is free to shepherd his pawns forward.

The loser’s consolation was that his team won the trophy anyway. Full details are available on keverelchess.com and all games are on the chessdevon site.

On Saturday, Somerset and Gloucestershire met at Stone, in the West of England Inter-County Championship, ending in a 10-6 victory for Somerset, and at Ilchester Devon beat Hants 12½-3½. More details next week.

In last week’s position, Richard Smith won after a rook sacrifice and this series of forcing checks. 1…Rxg4+! 2.hxg4 (2.Kh2 is no better) Qh2+ 3.Kf1 Qh1+ 4.Ke2 Rh2+ 5.Kd3 Qxd1+ 6.Ke4 Qxg4+ 7.Kd3 Qxf5+ 0-1

Here is a new 2-mover by Dave Howard, that he describes as “really easy”.

White to play and mate in 2.

Death of Peter Clarke. (17.01.2015.)

The Western Morning News chess column was suspended at the end of October last year, with a promise that the situation would be reviewed in January. Such has been the reaction of readers, via letters to the Editor, that he has been persuaded to re-introduce it without delay. A phrase used by a spokesman for the paper was “Back by popular demand”, so many thanks to all those who conveyed their views through the right channels, and brought about this change of heart.

If you cancelled your order for the paper’s Saturday edition, you can now renew it. If you are outside the delivery area, here follows the text of the first column of the new era…..

The noted chess player and author of chess books, Peter Clarke, died on 11th December, aged 81, after a long illness, bravely borne.

He was taught to play chess at the age of 6 by his father, and won the London Boys’ Championship in 1950 and 1951, and the SCCU Boys’ Championship in 1950. He attended the university on his doorstep, Queen Mary College, in the Mile End Road. But the call for a career in science was nowhere as strong as his love of chess, and that is the road he chose to go down. But first, National Service could not be avoided and he spent this 2 year interlude in Bodmin training as a Russian linguist. This re-ignited his love for north Cornwall, as he had spent family holidays there.

By 1959 he was a regular writer for the British Chess Magazine, reporting at length on prestigious events and analysing games and openings. He played in 8 Olympiads between 1954 and 1968, losing only 15 of the 96 games played.

After marriage to Peggy Wood in 1966, he returned to the westcountry, eventually settling at Chapel House in the hamlet of Shop near Morwenstow.  In 1971, he and a group of 5 local friends, calling themselves the Hexagon put on the 1st Barnstaple Congress. The group functioned for about 10 years until Peter suffered a stroke in 1983, forcing him to give up such intensive activity.

He found that postal chess was better suited to a slower life-style, eventually winning the Grandmaster title. He also became a leading expert at solving chess problems.

He was the most modest of men, with no vanities or conceits. A much fuller account of his career may be found in the blog section of this site.

Here is one of his wins from the 1957 British Championship in York. This Rd. 5 game against Cheltonian, Denis Mardle, shows Peter at his sharpest.

White: D. V. Mardle. Black: P. H. Clarke.  Sicilian Defence – Paulsen Variation [B42].

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Ne2 Nf6 7.Nbc3 b5 8.0–0 Bb7 9.b3 Bc5 10.Bb2 0–0 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.Rae1 Rac8 Adding potential pressure down the c-file 13.Kh1 Nb4 14.Qg5 Be7 15.f4 d6 16.e5 dxe5 17.fxe5 Ne4 18.Qg4 Nxd3 19.cxd3 Nxc3 20.Nxc3 Rfd8 21.Re3 Bf8 22.Ne4 Threatening to join the attack. 22…Bxe4 23.Qxe4 Qc2 24.Bd4 Rd7 25.Rh3 h6 26.Qg4 Qd2 27.a4 Rc1 28.Kg1 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Rc7 30.Qe2 Rc1+ 31.Kf2 Qf4+ Forking king and bishop. 0–1.

This position, which also featured in this month’s copy of Chess magazine, arose during the last Exmouth Seniors Congress in November. Former Hexagon member Richard Smith (Black) found a winning move against Peter Lucas. Can you spot it?

Black to play and win.

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