The world’s largest chess tournament is the UK Land Chess Challenge which usually attracts around 70,000 entries from juniors each year. Regional finals have already been held and the better players went forward to the Southern area “Gigafinals” held recently at Wellington College, Berkshire. There were several outstanding performances from Devon and Cornwall players. Here they are – all scores out of 6.
U-7s: James Lloyd (Kelly College); Connor Golding (Stover); Jason Stephens (Perran-ar-Worthal).
U-9s: Theo Slade (Marhamchurch) 5½; Thomas Koyla 4½ & Ella Bibby (both Broadclyst); Edmund Kelly (Exeter School) & Henry Snelson (St. Just). Elsa Frangleton (S. Tawton). U-10s: Tom Adams 4 & Taylor Finch 4 (both Exeter School); Sophie Robinson 4½, Simon Priddle 3½ & Reece Whittington 3 (all Broadclyst). Sam Kingsland (Morchard Bishop). Joshua Young (Lympstone). U-11s: Joe Gabriel 4 & Tomas Trott 4 (both Broadclyst); Bailey Watling (Trewirgie); Ebony Jeffries (St. Uny). U-12s: Ben Newman (Broadclyst); David Richards (Penair). U-15s: Adam Simmonds (Launceston). U-16s: Samuel Crouch (S. Dartmoor). U-17: Robert Thompson 4½ (Torquay Boys’ G.S.); Daniel Miller (Launceston).
The top performances were by Theo Slade who was clear 1st, Robert Thompson who was 2nd= and Thomas Koyla who was 3rd=, all in their respective sections, while the sheer number of players from Broadclyst Community Primary School was remarkable.
Here is a game from Round 4 of the Under-9s.
White: Theo Slade (123). Black: Liam Reed.
Nimzowitsch Defence [B00]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 Nc6 3.d5 Nb4 4.a3 Na6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bc5 7.Nxe5 0–0 8.Bd3 Re8 9.Nf3 Ng4 attacking f2 10.0–0 d6 11.Bg5 f6 12.Bh4 Bd7 13.h3 Ne5 14.Nxe5 dxe5 15.Kh1 Bd4 16.Ne2 Bxb2 17.Rb1 Bd4 18.Nxd4 18…exd4 19.Qh5 Nc5 20.Bc4 Kh8 21.f3? White intended to protect his pawn on e4 but in doing so has cut off his queen’s retreat. 21…Re5 22.Qf7 the queen’s only square. For a moment, Black thinks he’s cut off all the queen’s escape routes and just has to be attacked. 22…Be8?? Unfortunately, in doing so he has created a new possibility. 23.Qf8#
The solution to the Mansfield problem last week was 1.Qe7! which closes all Black’s possible escape routes.
In this clever 2-mover by the 19th century genius Samuel Loyd, Black’s formation of rooks and bishops, invented by him, was known as “Organ Pipes”. White is materially down but has one move that wins against any defence.