The Exeter League’s annual Coast vs Country match took place on Tuesday at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, involving one team from the coastal clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton against the inland clubs of Tiverton and Exeter.
The match was preceded by the presentation of trophies won during the season. Tim Paulden received the Div. 1 cup on behalf of Exeter; Alan Dowse took the Div. 2 cup for Seaton, Tom Badlan received the Div 3 trophy for Sidmouth and Les Porter took the Div. 4 cup won by Seaton.
The two teams of 19 were evenly matched on paper and as results came in, there was never more than one point between the sides. With the last two games in progress, the scores were tied at 8½-all. Then Mark Abbott won, giving the Coast an unbeatable 9½ points, leaving the top game, between Ken Derrick and Simon Waters, to decide the issue. It ended in a time scramble with both players having to move almost instantaneously, but it finished in a dead drawn position, making the total 10-9 to the Coast.
This was the penultimate game to finish.
White: Dr. D. Regis (165). Black: M. V. Abbott (174)
Sicilian Defence [B20]
1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 Nc6 3.e4 g6 4.d3 Bg7 5.f4 e6 6.Nf3 Nge7 7.0–0 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.e5 d4 avoiding the pawn exchanges leave White with a backward d-pawn. 10.c4 Rb8 11.Nbd2 b5 12.cxb5 Nb4 13.Ne4 Qb6 14.Nfd2 Nf5 15.Nc4 Qxb5 16.Re1 Rd8 17.g4 Nh4 18.Bh1 Ba6 19.b3 Nd5 20.Ba3 Ne3 21.Nxe3 dxe3 22.Nxc5 g5 23.Rxe3 gxf4 24.Re4 Ng6 25.d4 Nxe5 the d-pawn was pinned 26.Rc1 Nd3 27.Rc4 Nxc5 28.Rxc5 Qd3 29.Qxd3 Bxd3 30.Rxf4 Bxd4+ winning the exchange. 31.Rxd4 Rxd4 32.h3 Bg6 33.Bf3 Rd3 34.Kf2 Rd2+ 35.Ke3 Rxa2 0–1 White resigned, as he loses more material after 36.Bc1 Rxb3+ 37.Kf4 Rf2 etc.
Mark Abbott is enjoying a good run at the moment as he came 3rd= in the Open Section of the recent Cotswold Congress behind S. Berry and C. Beaumont. His clubmate Dave Rogers came clear 1st in the Major at the same event.
The next two events in the south west are the 9th Yeovil Congress on 18th – 20th June (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org) and the 2nd Bideford Congress on 17th-18th July (details from castlechess.co.uk).
The solution to last week’s problem by Maurice Jago was 1.Ra4!
This week’s position comes from the 1924 book Simple Two-Move Themes and was first published in the Devon & Exeter Gazette in 1905.