Cornwall had a miserable time of it last year in the West of England stages of the Inter-County Championship, losing every single match. However, a new season has brought a change of fortunes as they drew 8-all in an evenly-matched affair against Gloucestershire last Saturday at Exminster.
Here are the details (Cornish names first and had Black on the odd-numbered boards).
1.J. Menadue (192) ½-½ N. Hosken (192). 2.L. Retallack (178) 1-0 C. Mattos (179). 3.M. Hassall (175) ½-½ I. Gallagher (177). 4.S. Bartlett (162) 1-0 J. Jenkins (177). 5.G. Healey (149) 0-1 D. Vaughan (165). 6.G. Trudeau (147) ½-½ P. Dodwell (162). 7.J. Nicholas (146) 0-1 P. Meade (161). 8.J. Wilman (141)1-0 A. Richards (140). 9.C. Sellwood (140) 1-0 P. Baker (147). 10.G. Lingard (137) 0-1 G. Brown (137). 11. C. Long (133) 0-1 M. Ashworth (132). 12. M. Hill (130) ½-½ I. Blencowe (130). 13.D. R.Jenkins (127) ½-½ R. Francis (129). 14.D. J. Jenkins (124) 0-1 P. Bending (124). 15.R. Smith (123) ½-½ M. Claypole (122). 15.T. Slade (122) 1-0 C. Harvey (109).
Both teams included promising youngsters and for Gloucestershire 12 year old Michael Ashworth of the Wotton Hall club, Gloucester, won his game, while the even younger Theo Slade (10) of Marhamchurch near Bude, won his for Cornwall. He is probably the youngest player to debut for Cornwall since Michael Adams, who then aged 8 with a grade of 101, played against Devon in November 1980, and look what happened to him.
The Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) held their annual Individual Rapidplay tournament last weekend at Newport Pagnell, won by Paignton’s Keith Arkell on 6/7 points, just ahead of Danny Gormally, Thomas Rendle and John Richardson who were 2nd=, half a point behind. Fifty competed.
The popular Guernsey Chess Festival which has been held all this week at the Peninsula Hotel and finishes today, regularly attracts a number of westcountry regulars of all strengths, who happily mix in with the overseas Grandmasters and Guernsey locals. More details next week.
In last week’s position, White could simply play 1.QxR with the threat of 2.Qf7+ Kh8 3.Qg8 mate, and Black cannot take the queen because of 2.Re8 mate.
The laws of chess used to state simply that when a pawn reaches the furthest rank it may be exchanged for any piece, neglecting to specify that the new piece should be of the same colour as the pawn. This oversight was corrected in comparatively recent times, but before then, how might this lack of total clarity have enabled to White to mate in 1?