Devon won their U-160 match against Dorset on Saturday fairly comfortably by 10-6. The details were as follows: (Dorset names first and were black on odd-numbered boards).
1. F. Pittman 0-1 A. Billings. 2. G. Searing 0-1 I. S. Annetts. 3. C. Winch ½-½ B. G. Gosling. 4. W. Legg 0-1 P. E. Halmkin. 5. C. Webb 1-0 F. Sugden. 6. W. Adaway 1-0 J. Allen. 7. P. Brackner ½-½ P. Dobber. 8. F. Falon 1-0 J. Morrison. 9. J. Balem 0-1 K. Atkins. 10. C. Ambrose ½-½ K. Alexander. 11. J. Kelly 1-0 def. 12. F. Kingdon 0-1 R. Wilby 13. K. Spooner 0-1 R. Oughton. 14. N. Mackie ½-½ 15. J. George 0-1 R. H. Jones 16. S. Jones 0-1 J. Knowles.
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This was the game from Board 1, won by Devon’s new champion, Alex Billings, a pupil at Torquay B. G. S.
White: A. J. Billings (158). Black: F. J. Pittman (157).
Slav Defence – Schlecter Var. [D91]
1.d4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 Carl Schlecter’s (1874–1918 ) choice of continuing in this opening. 5.Bg5 Bg7 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 Re8 8.0–0 8…Bg4 White now invites the break-up of his kingside pawns, heedless of the inherent danger. 9.Qb3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Qd7 11.Bxf6 dxc4 12.Bxc4 exf6 13.Ne4 Na6 14.Bxa6 bxa6 15.Nc5 forking queen and pawn. Black decides to sacrifice his a-pawn rather than defend it, in return for getting his queen into an attacking position. 15…Qh3 16.Nxa6 Qxf3 17.Qd1 Qxd1 18.Rfxd1 Rac8 19.Rac1 f5 20.Rd3 f4 21.Nc5 fxe3 22.fxe3 Rxe3 23.Rcd1 Not 23.Rxe3 because of 23…Bxd4. 23…Rxd3 24.Rxd3 Rb8 25.Nb3 Rd8 26.Rd2 f5 Black correctly pushes the pawn free from opposition. He has an extra pawn and a bishop for knight, sufficient for a win in most cases, all other things being equal. 27.Kg2 Kf7 28.Kf3 Bf8 29.Rc2 Rc8 30.Na5 threatening to win the c-pawn – how should Black respond? 30…c5 31.b4! Adding to the pressure, as the pawn is pinned. 31…c4 32.Nxc4 Bxb4?? 33.Nd6+ 1-0 Black resigned as his rook must fall. Black should have avoided the potential check – e.g. 32…Kf6 33.b5.
The solution to last week’s unusual task, impossible under modern rules, was 1.PxR promoted to another black rook and the king is checkmated as it cannot take its own piece and a rook is the only piece that could not interpose and delay mate by one move.
This week’s 2-mover has been devised especially for Westcountry Life by the Somerset composer, Dave Howard. It is a little more difficult than most of his problems but he advises that it is a “waiter”, that is, White’s first, or key move, poses no immediate threat, but whatever Black then does contributes to his own downfall – a form of chess suicide.