The 35th East Devon Congress in Exeter finished on Sunday evening with a number of happy prizewinners, as follows:
Open Section: 1st= Paul Helbig (Keynsham); Graham Bolt (Exeter); David Sully (Penarth) and Dominic Gibbs (Coulsdon) all on 4/5 pts. They each won £105, but Helbig was awarded the Steve Boniface Cup on tie break. Helbig has been a regular competitor there for over 20 years but this was the first time he had taken the trophy. Grading prizes (U-174); 1st= Robert Thompson (Newton Abbot); Adam Woodruff (Reading) & Dave Cordner (Cosham). (U-162); 1st= Brian Gosling (Exmouth) & Steve Dean (Sidmouth).
Major (U-155): 1st Colin Sellwood (Camborne) 4½. 2nd= M. Parry (Exeter) & M. Payne (Worthing).
Minor (U-125): 1st= Freddy Sugden (TGBS) & E. Ardner-Forsdyke (Launceston). 3rd= Alex Billings (TBGS) & John Maloney (Exeter).
The top graded player, Dominic Mackle finished out of the prizelist. He lost in round 3 and hoped to bounce back in his next game on Sunday morning against the newcomer, Tim Paulden.
White: D. Mackle (200). Black: T. Paulden (159e)
Dutch Defence [A90].
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.Nh3 c6 6.b3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bd6 8.Bc3 Ne4 9.Bb2 (much better to continue with development with something like 9.0–0) 9…Bb4+ 10.Kf1 0–0 11.f3 Nf6 12.Nf4 Bd6 13.Nd3 Nbd7 14.Nc3 Qc7 15.Qd2 b6 16.Rc1 Bb7 17.Qe3 Nh5 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.f4 White now had only 11 minutes left to reach move 40, so trading on this Black opted to go for complications. 19…g5 20.Bf3 (if 20.fxg5 Rae8 and with the King stuck in the centre, Black is well placed to attack down the e & f files). 20…Ndf6 21.fxg5 Ng4 22.Bxg4 fxg4+ All King moves are bad. 23.Ke1 Ba6 24.Kd2 Rf5 25.Rhf1 Raf8 26.Rxf5 Rxf5 27.Ne5 Rxe5! (If Black had taken with the bishop, play might have gone… 27…Bxe5 28.dxe5 Rxe5 29.Ne4 and Black has lost the initiative). 28.dxe5 Bc5 0-1 The White Queen has a choice of 6 squares to go to, but Black is covering them all. Paulden himself finished just a half point short of equal 1st place and was ineligible for a grading prize by virtue of having only an estimated, unpublished grade.