Last season, the Hampshire and Dorset teams didn’t get together because of a misunderstanding over the start time. This season they got it right and Dorset fell to their opponents by 5–11. Hants names first:- 1.D. Thompson 0-1 M. Littleton. 2.B. Cooke 1-0 G. Searing. 3.S. Smith 1-0 J. Cherryson. 4.C. Priest 1-0 D. Aldwinckle. 5.Miss G. Moore 1-0 J. Balem. 6.B. Kocan ½-½ P. Brackner. 7.S. LeFevre ½-½ I. Willis. 8.J. Young ½-½ P. Errington. 9.R. Devonport ½-½ P. Bland. 10.T. Chapman ½-½ P. Jackson. 11.J. Watts 0-1 F. Fallon. 12. R. Ashman 1-0 J. Kelly. 13.A. Syed 1-0 K. Spooner. 14.K. Steele ½-½ M. Rogan. 15.P. Gething 1-0 M. Kaye. 16.S. Murphy 1-0 Mrs. M. Cox.
NB: Marian Cox had only turned up with her husband, Reg, to watch the match, but as Dorset turned up a player short, she was asked to put in a guest appearance for them.
The premier tournament of the 5th London Classic, the Super Sixteen Rapidplay Knockout was won by the American Hiraku Nakamura. The best British performance was by Michael Adams who reached the Semi-Final by beating Peter Svidler 2-0.
White: M. Adams. Black: P. Svidler.
Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.a4 Be6 9.Be2 h6 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.h3 Be7 12.Nh2 0–0 13.Ng4 Qc6 14.Qd3 Rfc8 15.Rfd1 Adding pressure to the d-file. In this opening, Black usually hopes to get in …d4 thus freeing up his position. Here he fails to do so and pays the price. 15…Rab8 16.a5 Nc5 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 Allowing White to win the d-pawn and control of the d-file. 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Be7 20.Rd2 Bg5 21.Bxg5 hxg5 22.Bg4 b5 23.axb6 Rxb6 24.Nd5! The bishop is pinned. 24…Rb7 25.f3 Rcb8 26.b4 1-0. If 26…Bxd5 27.Rxd5 Ne6 28.Bxe6 fxe6 Black would have 2 sets of doubled pawns, which in a rook ending is not worth wasting energy on when there is a return game to be played soon after. Play might continue 29.Rd6 Rxb4 30.Raxa6 Rc4 31.Rxe6 g4 32.hxg4 Rxc2 33.Rxe5 Rbb2 34.Kh2 Rxg2+ 35.Kh3 and White is 2 pawns up.
The solution to last week’s world premier problem was 1.Nde6! Black’s tries are answered thus: 1…Nxc4 2.Qa8#; 1…Qxc4 2.Qd7# and either 1…Qxg5 or 1…Qxh1 are both answered by 2.Nc7#.
Anyone with more than a few spare minutes over Christmas may like to try this one by Devon’s own “Genius of the Two-Mover”, Comins Mansfield (1896 – 1984). He composed this one in 1930 as a 50th birthday present to his mentor, the American philanthropist, Alain White. It was included in a collection of 185 problems from around the world published under the title Problems By My Friends.