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Nunn’s Visitation (25.02.2017.)

The ECF’s Team Challenge, is now in its 4th year and a qualifying event attracting 14 teams was held recently at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School .

The competition, for secondary school teams of 4 players, involves 4 rounds with each player having 12 minutes per game. Five schools sent teams to this year’s event, but the hosts entered 6 teams to increase the competition. The competition was organised by Tim Onions and Trefor Thynne who are in charge of chess at the Grammar School.  Last year TBGS was awarded the title of Chess Leadership School by the ECF in recognition of its efforts to promote chess in other south-west schools.

1st Torquay Boys’ Grammar School “A”            14 points (out of 16). 2nd= Clyst Vale Community School & Stover School, Newton Abbot (both10½). 4th=  TBGS Yr. 9 & TBGS year 8  “A” (both 9½). 6th= TBGS “B” & TBGS Yr. 8 “B” (both 8½). 8th Teignmouth Community School  “B”                               (8). 9th=  Coombeshead School, Newton Abbot “A” & Teignmouth “A  (both 7½). 11th TBGS Yr. 7 (6½). 12th Stover “B” (5). 13th Fusion (a team comprising reserves) (4). 14th Coombeshead “B” (2).

The winners, who qualify for the national finals to be held in London on 29th March, and the two teams finishing 2nd= were presented with medals.

Bristol’s Spring Congress is taking place this weekend at Bristol Grammar School, while the E. Devon Congress will take place on 10th – 12th March in Exeter. Tim Paulden has taken over as Secretary of the event and has set up a new website for it, where one can both enter and pay on-line. His energy seems to be getting results as the top section is attracting some strong players. Local Grandmaster Keith Arkell has signed up, as has Austrian master player Walter Braun. More surprising, perhaps, is the entry of John Nunn, formerly in the world’s Top 10, and something of a legend in chess circles. He has a GM title for playing and another for problem solving, not to mention an academic doctorate – a true polymath. World Champion Magnus Carlsen once explained why he thought extreme intelligence could actually prove to be a hindrance to one’s chess career, and cited as an example Nunn’s never having won the World Championship. He said “He has so incredibly much in his head. Simply too much. His enormous powers of understanding and his constant thirst for knowledge distracted him from chess”.

This would not be Nunn’s first appearance in Exeter, however, – he played in 1979, when he came 1st, ahead of Rumens, Plaskett, Blackstock, Franklin & Sowray.

The British Problem Solving Championship took place last weekend at Eton College, where the winners are usually either Nunn or Jonathan Mestel. This year, however, they were pushed down to 2nd & 3rd by a relative newcomer, Ian Watson of Durham. David Hodge, formerly of Exminster and Torquay BGS, came 5th while Jon Lawrence of Torquay came 17th.

This was the 1st of their problems, a 2-mover with c. 6 minutes allowed for solving.

Dr. Jago’s 2-mover last week was solved by 1.Qxe3!

White to mate in 2 moves

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