Looking ahead, the Yeovil Congress takes place from the 24th – 26th June at Westfield Lower School. Apart from the new venue, another new feature is that both the Open and Major sections will be FIDE-rated, which means that all those players must be members of the ECF adding, for some, another £20 on top of the entry fee. The pros and cons of this move are currently being debated in various on-line forums, and the organiser, Jack Rudd, will assess its effect on the entry before making a decision for next year. He will be pleased to furnish further details on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, here is a game from a previous Yeovil Congress.
White: A. Mordue. Black: G. Jepps. Scandinavian Defence [B01].
Notes supplied by Jack Rudd.
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4!? The Portuguese Gambit; much used by well-prepared aggressive players trying for a win with the black pieces. 4.f3 Bf5 5.Bb5+ Nbd7 6.c4 a6 7.Bxd7+ Qxd7 8.Ne2 e6 9.dxe6 Bxe6 A typical position from this opening. White has an extra central pawn while Black has a lead in development and the two bishops. This probably favours White but anything can happen. 10.b3 0–0–0 11.0–0 h5 Black immediately launches his attack against the King. 12.Nbc3 h4 13.Bg5?! Possibly the source of many of White’s subsequent difficulties as the bishop proves to be a target. 13…Rh5 14.Qd2 Be7 15.Rad1 Bf5 16.Bf4? Making matters worse. While the bishop was uncomfortably placed on g5, it was at least holding up Black’s kingside expansion. The text allows Black to bring his entire army into the attack. 16…Rg8 17.Be5 g5 18.d5? 18.g4! looks horrible, opening up lines for black’s attack, but it does allow White to bring pieces back for the defence. 18…hxg3 19.Nxg3 Rh3 20.Rf2 is not fun for white, but it may be survivable. 18…g4 Black’s rooks and pawns are asking all the questions. 19.Nd4 gxf3 20.Nxf3 Bh3 21.Rf2 Ng4 22.Re2 Now begins a series of exchanges which results in Black winning the queen. 22…Nxe5 23.Nxe5 Rxe5 24.Rxe5 Rxg2+ 25.Qxg2 Bxg2 26.Rxe7 Qxe7 27.Kxg2 Qe3 28.Rf1 h3+ 0-1 Backing the king back into a corner before the queen starts to mop up.
In last week’s position, the only way for White to mate immediately before Black can queen his pawn is to get castled – he shouldn’t have left it so long!
I have just been sent an unsolicited e-mail with news about a new website where anyone can practice various aspects of their chess, from honing endgame technique, to tactics and finding checkmates. The site is inter-active and one can play whole games against the computer at various levels of difficulty. The site is called ideachess.com; it is free and looks a useful addition to an improving player’s learning tools. Here is a position taken at random from the 2-move checkmate section.