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North Devon On Top.

 Ref: 564.  Date: Sat. 23rd Jan 2010

 Devon’s Inter-Area Jamboree took place in Exeter on Sunday, with teams of 12 players from the North, East and South of the county. The teams were well-matched and only a single point separated first and last. It was a triumph for the North on 6½/12 points, followed by the East on 6 and South on 5½.

The North Devon League have not been able to raise a full team for many years, but it was recently agreed that Tiverton, although active in the East Devon League, should become part of the North for the purposes of this tournament – a move that has worked well for them.

White: I. S. Annetts (156- North). Black: D. Regis (165 – East).

French Defence – Advance Variation [C02].

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.a3 f6 7.Bf4 cxd4 8.cxd4 g5 9.Nxg5! h5 (The knight could not be taken because of 9…fxg5 10.Qh5+ Ke7 11.Bxg5+ Nf6 12.Bxf6 mate). 10.Bd3 f5 (The knight is still safe as another mate would follow if it was taken. e.g. 10…fxg5 11.Bg6+ Ke7 12.Bxg5 mate). 11.Be2 Bg7 12.Bxh5+ Kf8 If 12…Rxh5 13.Qxh5+ Kf8 14.Qf7 mate. 13.Nf7 Qb6 14.Nxh8 Bxh8 White seemingly has his opponent on toast, but now that skirmish is over he still has five pieces untouched on the back rank, while it is Black that has some irksome threats. 15.b4 (Another option was 15.Nc3 Qxb2 16.Ne2 Rc8). 15…Nxd4 16.Nc3 Nc6 17.Qe2 Qd4 18.Qe3 Qxe3+ 19.fxe3 Black grabs a pawn back thus freeing up his position. 19…Nxe5 20.Bxe5 Bxe5 21.Rc1 Nf6 Suddenly Black is taking the initiative and forcing White back. 22.Bf3 a5 23.b5 Ke7 24.a4 Rh8 25.Kf2 Rh4 26.Bd1 Bxc3! 27.Kg3 (White cannot retake, because of 27.Rxc3 Ne4+ winning the rook). The bishop is still safe, so… 27…Rb4 28.h4 Be5+ 29.Kf3 Be8 Both stemming the march of the h-pawn and threatening Bh5+ 30.Kf2 Bh5 31.Bxh5 Nxh5 32.Kf3 Rxa4 33.Rb1 d4 34.exd4 Rxd4 White resigned as he has no play and is being continually forced onto the back foot. Play might have continued 35.Rbd1 Rf4+ 36.Ke3 Rg4 37.Kf3 Rg3+ 38.Kf2 Rb3 leaving White with hardly a move left that doesn’t worsen his own position. 0–1

The loser left the hall still shaking his head in disbelief at his loss.

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