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Cobb Wins Bristol Winter Congress (21.01.2012.)

Winners of the Bristol Winter Congress held last month were as follows:- Open Section: 1st James Cobb (223) of the Clifton Club. Major Section: 1st Ian Ponter (153) of Downend. Minor Section: Richard Collis (117) of the Cabot Club.

Here is Cobb’s Rd. 1 miniature against Bristol University student, Robert Thompson, formerly of Newton Abbot in Devon.

White: James Cobb (223). Black: Robert  Thompson (178)

King’s Indian Defence [E61]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0–0 5.Bg5 d6 6.e3 c5 7.Be2 Qb6 It’s true that Black attacks the b-pawn, but he has neglected to develop his Q-side minor pieces, which soon proves fatal. 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0–0 Re8 10.h3 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Qa5 12.Bh4 d5 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Nb3 Not only has the Black queen become a target for attack but the forward knight must also fall. His attempt at counter-attack fails. 14…Qb4 Hitting the undefended bishop on h4, but 15.Nxd5! 1–0 Resigns in view of the possible continuation… 15…Qxd2 16.Nxd2 Nf6 17.Nc7 Rd8 18.Nxa8 Rxd2 19.Rfd1 Rxe2 20.Rd8+ Bf8 21.Rxc8 and Black is a rook down.

Another win for Cobb came in Rd. 4 and went as follows:

White: Peter Kirby (171). Black: J. Cobb (223).

Four Knights Game [C47]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.exd5 cxd5 9.0–0 0–0 10.Bg5 c6 11.Qf3 Be7 12.Rae1 Re8 13.Nd1 h6 14.Bf4 Be6 15.Ne3 Bd6 16.Nf5 Bxf4 17.Qxf4 Bxf5 18.Bxf5 Qb6 19.b4 a5 20.a3 axb4 21.Qxb4 Qa7 22.Ra1 c5 23.Qf4 c4 24.Rfd1 Qc5 25.Qf3 Ra6 26.Rdb1 g6 27.Bh3 Ne4 28.Rb7 weakening the back rank defences. 28…Ng5 29.Qg3 Rxa3!

0–1 Resigns in view of 30.Qxa3 Qxa3 and the queen cannot be taken because of the back rank mate. The least worst option is probably 30.Rf1 to prevent the immediate mate Rxg3 31.hxg3 Nxh3+ 32.gxh3 but even this is quite hopeless.

All games from the congress may be found on the Bristol League’s website –

Last week’s problem by H. D’O Bernard was solved by 1.Qh8! after which the Black knight can move to 8 squares. If it goes to a5, b4, d4 or e5 then 2.Ba6 mate. If it goes to d8 or e7 then 2.Qa1 mate. If 1…Nb8 2.Nb6 mate, and finally 1…Na7 2.Nc7 mate. So all White’s pieces have a chance to administer the mortal blow.

The British Solving Championship will be held at Eton College on Saturday 18th February. The Postal Round, which consisted of 8 problems of increasing difficulty worth 5 points each, attracted 55 entries of whom 37 got the requisite 30 points. These have been invited to the final to join those pre-qualified; experts like GMs John Nunn and Jonathan Mestel. This was the only 2-mover of the eight – a kind of (relatively) easy starter. How would you have done? White to play.

White to mate in 2 moves.

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