Published this week is a book with a thoroughly westcountry pedigree. It’s a biography of a pioneering19th century problemist who worked under the nom-de-plume “J.B. of Bridport”. This was, in fact, a Wesleyan Methodist minister by the name of John Brown (1827–1863), and in a few years before he succumbed to the ravages of TB at the age of 37, broke new ground in the themes and subtleties of his compositions.
The author is Brian Gosling, a well-known westcountry player, formerly of Somerset and now residing in East Devon. Always interested in endgames studies and problems Brian became increasingly fascinated with the somewhat mysterious and little-known figure of JB and has spent several years accumulating biographical information. As well as the story of his life, the book contains 50 of his best problems with solutions and explanations.
Printed in Padstow, the book is entitled John Brown – The Forgotten Chess Composer? (pub. Troubador 209pp SB £10 ISBN 978-1848767-294).
If any proceeds accrue from his efforts, Brian will pay for repairs to Brown’s headstone, near the east window of Holy Trinity Church, Bradpole, a mile from the centre of Bridport.
Today the 12th Kerrier Cup is being held at the Truro Chess Club, a 5-round rapidplay event. Results here next week.
This miniature was played in the Grade-limited section of the recent WECU Jamboree, one of Dorset’s only two losses.
White: D. Bowley (142 – Dorset). Black: K. Paine (134 – Somerset).
Indian Defence [D30]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bh4 Be7 6.e3 0–0 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Rc1 b6 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.a3 Rac8 14.Qb1 cxd4 15.Rxc8 Rxc8 Taking Black’s e-pawn looks natural enough, but gives Black the chance to launch a telling sacrificial attack. 16.Nxd4 Nxe3 17.fxe3 Bxg2 18.Be4 18.Rg1 looks little better for after Qh4+ 19.Kd1 Qxh2. 18…Bxh1 19.Bxh1 Qh4+ 20.Kd1 Qxh2 21.Qe4 Qg1+ 22.Ke2 Nf6 23.Qb7 Rc1 24.Bf3 Re1+ 25.Kd3 Qxe3+ and one of the knights must drop. 0–1
In last week’s game ending, Michael Adams broke through with 1.Bxh7! Kxh7 (1…Rxh7 loses quickly after 2.Qxf6+ Kg8 3.Qf8+ etc.) 2.Re3 Ng6 3.Qh5 Rh8 4.Re8 Rxe8 5.Bf4+ winning the queen. There is some play left for Black but the damage is done. The game continued… 5…Kg7 6.Qh6+ Kg8 7.Bxc7 Re2 8.Rf2 Re1+ 9.Rf1 Re2 10.Rd1 Rxg2+ 11.Kf1 Rg7 12.Rd8+ Nf8 13.Bd6 Rg1+ 14.Ke2 R7g2+ 15.Kd3 Rd1+ 16.Kc3 1–0
Here is a 2-mover by J.B. of Bridport taken from Brian Gosling’s book.