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Devon Win National Semi-Final

After an abysmal season during the winter, Devon have suddenly sprung into life in the National Stages of the Inter-County Championships – U-180 section. After squeezing past Warwickshire in the quarter-final, they faced an even stronger Yorkshire team in the semis last weekend at Worcester, and repeated the act, with the same player sealing the 9-7 win at the last minute (see game below).

Devon’s winners were M. Abbott, W. Ingham, Dr. D. Toms, C. Howard, and B. Gosling, while creditable draws were obtained by T. Thynne, Dr. T. Paulden, Dr. J. Underwood, D. Cowley, Dr. D. Regis, A. Kinder, J. Duckham and A. Billings. Hewson, Brusey and Brooks conceded Devon’s only three losses.

In the Final Devon will play the winners between Lancs and Notts on 2nd July at Leicester.

At one stage, Devon were 3 points up with 4 games still in play. One of these was lost, another drawn, leaving the onus on this game to seal the win – nail-biting stuff once again.

White: B. Gosling (156). Black: D. Patrick (160)

Queen’s Gambit–Slav Defence. [D10]

Notes based on those by the winner.

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 c6 4.c4 4…Qa5+ 5.Qd2 White heads for another long ending. 5…Qxd2+ 6.Nxd2 Bf5 7.Ngf3 e6 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.h3 Nbd7 11.a3 Nh5 12.Bh2 f5 13.Bd3 Nhf6 14.f3 Be7 15.0–0–0 Kf7 16.Kb1 c5 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Rhe1 cxd4 19.exd4 Rh4 20.Nb3 Bg5 21.Bg1 Rhh8 22.Bc4 N7b6 23.Bd3 Nf4 24.Nc5 Bh4 25.Re5 Bg3 26.Bf1 Rab8 27.Re3 Nbd5 Black’s Knights are beginning to dominate the position. 28.Rb3 b6 29.Nd7 Rbc8 30.Ne5+ Kf6 31.Nd7+ Kg5 32.Be3 Rc7 33.Ne5 Nxe3 34.Rxe3 Rhc8 35.Ba6 Black will not be allowed to control the c-file. 35…Rd8 36.Rc3 Rxc3 37.bxc3 Rd5 38.Bc4 Ra5 39.Kb2 Nxg2?? A blunder just before the 1st time control. How many times have players been advised not to grab a knight’s pawn instinctively, but still they do it. 40.Rg1 Ne3 41.Rxg3+ Kf4 42.Rxg6 Rxe5 43.Bxe6 The safer option. 43…Rb5+ 44.Kc1 Kxf3 45.Bd7 Rb3 46.Kd2 Rxa3 47.Bc6+ Kf4 48.Rxg7 Ra2+ White played 49.Kd3 and offered a draw knowing that this would win the match for Devon, so Black had no choice but to play on. 49…a5 50.d5 Ra1 51.Re7? Ng2? The decisive blunder. 52.d6 Rd1+ He should have played this a move earlier. 53.Ke2 Rxd6 54.Bxg2 a4 55.Ra7 b5 56.Ra5 Kg3 57.Bf1 Rd5? 58.c4 Re5+ 59.Kd2 Re4 60.Rxb5 f4 61.Bd3 Re8 62.Ra5 Kxh3 63.Rxa4 Black’s time ran out here, but he is lost anyway.  1–0

Last week’s position was solved by 1.d3! which allows the bishop to move though it can do nothing to prevent 2.Qc4 mate.

White to play and mate in 2.

White to mate in 2

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