Last weekend’s Devon v Cornwall match fell victim to the bad weather in the Duchy which contributed to the difficulties of the Cornish captain in trying to raise a team, forcing them to concede the match to their neighbours.
Meanwhile Devon’s Junior Championships were able to go ahead at the Teign School, Kingsteignton. In the U-15 section, there was a multiple tie for 1st place between John Fraser and Alex Gow-Smith, both of Torquay Boys G. S. and Ben Newman and Tomas Trott, both of Clyst Vale C. C. Sai Ramesh was the Best Girl. Clear winner of the U-11 Section was Theo Slade, now of Shebbear College, closely followed by Thomas Koyla, Cameron Walters and Becky Trott, all of Broadclyst P.S., Becky becoming Devon’s girl champion. The U-9 section was won by Nicolas Bacon of Offwell P.S. with Guy Susevee of Awliscombe in 2nd place.
Broadclyst won the U-11 team championship for the 8th consecutive year, as well as the recently introduced U-9 tournament.
Here is a game from the recent Torbay Congress in which, at the height of battle, neither player was sure how best to proceed.
White: J. K. Stephens (181). Black: A. T. Mordue (200)
Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation. [B99]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0–0–0 Nbd7 10.g4 White is going for a quick all-out Kingside attack, thematic of how to tackle the Sicilian Defence. 10…b5 Black must respond on the opposite wing or risk being overrun. 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 Nc5 14.f6 gxf6 15.gxf6 Bf8 16.Rg1 Bd7 17.Bh3 0–0–0 18.Qh5 b4 19.Nce2 Nxe4 20.Qxf7 Bh6+ 21.Kb1 Rdf8 22.Qe7 Re8 23.Qf7 Ref8 24.Qe7 Rxf6 25.Nxe6 Bxe6 26.Bxe6+ Kb8 27.Qxc7+ Kxc7 The exchanges take the sting out of White’s attack and Black gradually assumes the initiative. 28.Bd5 Nd2+ 29.Ka1 Rf2 30.Nd4 Kb6 31.Ne6 Rc8 32.Rg4 a5 33.Rh4 Nf1 34.Bb3 Bd2 35.Rxh7 Ne3 36.Rb1 Rxc2 37.Rh3 Not 37.Bxc2?? Nxc2# 37…Rxb2 38.Rxe3 If 38.Rxb2 Rf1+ 39.Rb1 Bc3#. 38…Rxb1+ 39.Kxb1 Bxe3 leaving Black the exchange and a pawn up. This should be enough for a player of Mordue’s experience, though there is still work to do. 40.h4 Rh2 41.h5 Rxh5 42.Kc2 Kb5 43.Kd3 Bb6 44.Bc4+ Ka4 45.Nf4 Rh2 46.Nd5 Bc5 47.Nc7 Ka3 48.Nb5+ Kb2 49.Bb3 Rh3+ 50.Kc4 Rg3 51.Nc7 a4 52.Bxa4 Kxa2 53.Nd5 Ka3 54.Bd1 b3 55.Nc3 Rxc3+ 56.Kxc3 b2 0–1
The solution to last week’s problem by Ehrenstein was 1.Nc6!
This hitherto unpublished 2-mover was sent in by reader David Howard of East Harptree, Somerset. What innocuous-looking move by White leaves Black with no escape?