On Saturday, Devon squeezed past Surrey in the national stages of the inter-county championship, on tie break after an 8-all draw. The two teams were very closely matched for playing strength, and no less than 10 games were drawn. Devon’s 3 wins, by Messrs Homer, Thompson and Ingham, were in the top half of the order, while Surrey’s were in the lower half, greater weighting being placed on the former. Devon now go on to the Semi-Final in June.
John Allen was drafted in as a last minute reserve and was Devon’s most out-graded player but had no trouble securing an early draw.
White: J. E. Allen (143). Black: S. Wrigley (158).
French Defence [C12]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 The opening has transposed into a classical French Defence. 5…h6 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.bxc3 Ne4 8.Qg4 Kf8 (Black would have preferred to castle, but after 8…0–0 9.Bxh6) 9.Bd3 Nxd2 10.Kxd2 Qg5+ 11.Qxg5 hxg5 12.g4 b6 13.h3 c5 14.Nf3 c4 15.Be2 f6 16.h4 gxh4 17.Nxh4 Kf7 18.Nf3 Rxh1 19.Rxh1 Nd7 20.Rh8 Bb7 21.Rxa8 Bxa8 22.exf6 gxf6 and the position is very cramped with neither bishop being able to manoeuvre. 23.Nh4 Nf8 24.f4 Ng6 25.Ng2 Nf8 26.Ne3 Bc6 27.Bf3 b5 28.f5 Nh7 29.fxe6+ Kxe6 ½–½
In last week’s position, Michael Adams had to be content with a draw after Black spotted that if he played 1…Rg1 the rook could not be taken as it would leave him in stalemate, and after 2.Rf3 Rf1 the white rook can neither move away nor take its counterpart without leaving a stalemate.
This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2011 British Solving Championship. Work out White’s only move (the key) that leaves Black unable to avoid mate next move. Send the solution to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, together with a cheque or postal order for £3.00, made payable to British Chess Problem Society. Please provide an e-mail address if you have one. All entries should be postmarked no later than 31st July 2010. Don’t forget to mention that you saw the position in the WMN. After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution and a free copy of The Problemist. Those who got the correct solution will also receive the Postal Round, comprising 8 positions of slightly greater solutions and variety. In due course, the best competitors from the postal round will be invited to the Final at Oakham School in February at which the prize fund will be about £1,000. Find out more about the competition at www.bstephen.me.uk.