The East Devon Congress starts a fortnight on Friday and the organiser, Alan Maynard, tells me he has only received 50 entries to date, whereas he hopes for a further 100 if the event is to remain viable. Therefore, he urges everyone considering entering to get their forms to him a.s.a.p. If necessary, the brochure may be downloaded from the chessdevon website.
Last year’s joint winners were Jack Rudd and Mark Taylor, and these were their last round wins that guaranteed 1st prize.
White: Jack Rudd. Black: Steve Homer. Sicilian Defence [B89]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0–0–0 White castling q-side in the Sicilian Defence is usually the precursor to a quick and violent attack on the other wing. However, that doesn’t happen in this game. 9…Qc7 10.f3 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 e5 12.Be3 Be6 13.Bb3 b5 14.Kb1 b4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bd7 17.f4 This is about the extent of a king-side attack; not much but very significant. 17…e4? Black is already in difficulties; he started his own attack before getting castled and now that has stalled, he is faced with losing vital pawns. 18.Rd4 0–0 19.Rxe4 Bf5 20.Rxb4 With the q-side broken open, full attention is on attack and defence in this area. 20…a5 21.Qc4 Qd8 22.Rb7 a4 23.Bxa4 Qa5 24.Bc6 Bf6 Four black pieces now bear down on the enemy king’s position. 25.a4 Rfb8 26.Qb5 Qd8 Black cannot afford to exchange material due to the pawn deficit he acquired earlier on. 27.Bb6 Qc8 28.Rxb8 Rxb8 29.Re1 Threatening to win the queen with a fork on e8. 29…Bxc2+ pure desperation. 30.Kxc2 Qf5+ 31.Qd3 Qxf4 32.Qe4 1-0 At last, the Black queen can no longer run away, thanks to the threat of mate on the back rank. Queens must come off and White’s extra q-side material will easily win the day.
White: P. Kryzanowski. M. V. Taylor.
Dutch Defence [A85]
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Nd4 Qd7 11.Nxe6 Qxe6 12.Be2 c6 13.Qb3 Rab8 14.0–0 Kh8 15.Rfd1 h6 The start of a Black attack. 16.Bh4 g5 17.Bg3 Nfd7 18.f3 f4 19.exf4 gxf4 20.Bf2 Having opened lines to the White king, Black marshalls his forces to exploit the weakness. 20…Rg8 21.Kh1 Qg6 22.Rg1 Qh5 23.Ne4 Nf6 24.Nxf6 Bxf6 25.Rad1 Rg5 26.g3 Rbg8 27.Rxd6 fxg3 28.Bxg3 Black needs to calculate the various possible outcomes carefully before launching his final assault. 28…Rxg3 29.Rxg3 Rxg3 30.Rxf6 Qh3 31.Rxh6+ Qxh6 32.Qc3 Qh5 33.Qd4 Kg8 34.Qd6 Qh3 0-1 The White queen has some bravado checks but cannot break the stranglehold on g2.
There were two solutions to last week’s position. One is 1.Nxf6+ exf6 2.Bf3 mate, and the other is 1.Qd3+ kxd3 2.Nxf2 mate. To be fair, it was not composed by a dedicated problemist, who would be posing only one difficult-to-spot solution, but was taken from a collection of positions intended for training purposes.
This week’s 2-mover by A. Gulyaev won 1st prize in a Soviet composing tournament in 1946.