Jim O’Grady, who passed away shortly before Christmas at the age of 74, had been a member of both Exmouth and Newton Abbot Chess Clubs.
He was of working class Liverpool Irish origins, and on leaving school without any qualifications, started work as a bus conductor. At some point he decided to rejoin the educational trail, determined to do better the second time around. Starting from scratch, he eventually graduated and became a teacher. Continuing this upward path through the educational hierarchy he finished up as the Head of a large comprehensive school in Birmingham, a big enough challenge for anyone.
For health reasons he was forced to retire early, and moved to Exmouth where he was a member of the Chess Club for about 2 years. However, for family reasons he had to relocate to South Wales for a number of years. He then returned to Devon, settling in Ipplepen and joining the Newton Abbot Club.
He took his chess very seriously, playing with a modest grade over the board ( c. 130 at his best) , but at a much higher level in correspondence play – at near Master level he claimed, though this was possibly as much to do with the excellence of his computer program as his innate skill.
A requiem Mass was held on 8th January at St. Joseph’s Church, Newton Abbot, with a number of his fellow chess club members in attendance, and Trefor Thynne representing the DCCA.
Having lost at home to Tiverton in Rd. 1, a trip to Newton Abbot for our 2nd match on Feb 1st 2014, was not a prospect to be relished. With a grading ceiling of 639 both teams had opted to keep as close as possible to the average of 160 per player, rather than playing a 190+ player on Bd. 1 in the hope of a sure win, while hoping the 120+ on Bd. 4 might be able to scrape a result.
The first game to finish by a considerable margin was that involving the Ajerbaizani ex-pat, Rahimili, who seems to share with Jack Rudd the inability to play at a speed less than that of an express train throughout any game. His game lasted a little less than half of the allocated 4 hours, most of which ws taken up by his opponent. Scott blundered a piece away entering the endgame, yet within a few moves, Rahimili had blundered not only a piece back but most of his pawns as well, with no counterplay.
Brian Gosling won the exchange and maintained a strong grip on the position, managing to win further material and the game. 2-0 up but the other two faced strong opposition. Shaw blundered a piece in the endgame but hung on to see how his neighbour would fare in a very tight N+P endgame. When Wensley offered and got a draw when 2 pawns up, Shaw resigned immediately, as the match was won.
|1||John Fraser||167||1||0||Meyrick Shaw||172|
|2||Paul Brooks||167||½||½||Oliver Wensley||157|
|3||Nijad Rahimili||162||0||1||Chris Scott||142|
|4||Wilf Taylor||136||0||1||Brian Gosling||151|
Having been the first of the 5 teams involved to have a bye, Exmouth’s first match in the Bremridge Cup (Div. 1) did not come till after Christmas, when they hosted Tiverton. The whole story was one of near disaster from beginning to end. The Tiverton team was already weakened when their Bd. 1 player, Dave Littlejohns, suddenly discovered there were no trains between Taunton and Exeter that day due to major works on the track and he wouldn’t be able to make alternative arrangements. Brian Hewson phoned back to offer a lift, but there was no reply from the land line and he had no mobile number. In the end he went to the house in the hope that Littlejohns would be there, which he was, and the pair arrived in Exmouth shortly before the 2.30 start, with jangling nerves.
Meanwhile, Bob Jones, ever-cautious, had arrived at the club room an hour early, only to find the usual playing room had been double-booked and a full scale lecture was going on. After going into panic mode for 5 minutes, he worked out that the match could be held in the day-room using arm chairs to sit in, with extra cushions if needed. It was a little cramped for space but was workable. Once play started it was utterly quiet and neither group impinged on the other.
As they were considerably under-full strength themselves Exmouth were surprised to find themselves the stronger on paper by 45 grading points. First game to finish was Underwood-Bartlett, when White miscalulated a long series of exchanges to find himself a piece down with no compensation or counter-play. On Bd. 4, Club President, Mark Abbott, found himself with the only queen and attacking opportunities, but failed to make the best of it and was forced to trade the queen back. He ended up with R vs R+B but with a pair of united central pawns keen to queen, and he managed to win when one of them could not be stopped. Score level at 1-1. Then Shaw sacrificed a pawn in the opening and offered a second, which was declined. Eventually his opponent’s gifted pawn proved the deciding factor in a tight endgame. 2-1 to the visitors. Chris Scott, playing his first game in the Bremridge, sneaked home in another tight ending. His bishop, the only piece on the board, managed to hold back a pawn storm, first blocking them, allowing the king to gobble them up. 2-2.
Brian Gosling had struggled on for some time a piece down, and was able to make threats with his active queen, but eventually had to concede the game to Keith Atkins. This left the Bd. 1 game to decide things. Reaching the late endgame with a blocked position, Littlejohns found his pieces hemmed in to one corner, and Stephens was able to get a rook to invade the position, get behind the white pawns and start picking them off. Stephens had only seconds left but played at lightning speed to move his king and pawns forward. His win brought the score to 3-3 with no drawn games.
|1||John Stephens||190||1||0||Dave Littlejohns||186|
|2||Jonathan Underwood||172||0||1||Simon Bartlett||174|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||172||0||1||Brian Hewson||165|
|4||Mark Abbott||165||1||0||Ivor Annetts||152|
|5||Brian Gosling||151||0||1||Keith Atkins||142|
|6||Chris Scott||142||1||0||John Knowles||128|
The Bristol League held another successful Winter Congress at the Holiday Inn last weekend. The prizewinners included the following:
Open: 1st C. Beaumont (Clifton). 2nd= D. Buckley (Bath); M. Harris (Horfield); G. Morris (Clifton); M. Payne & D. Graham (both Worthing). Grading prizes: U-188: S. Piper (Salisbury). U-178: J. Turner (Cwmbran). U-167: M. Jiminez (Clifton).
Major: 1st G. Harvey (S. Bristol). 2nd= R. Lowery (Patchway) & R. Harron (Bristol). Grading prizes: U-148: A. Rossiter (Cabot). U-141: N. Derrick (Cabot). U-130: P. Chatterjee (Clifton).
Minor: 1st D. Rowan. 2nd= R. Porter & J. Walpole (both University); P. Jackson. Grading prizes: U-120: D. McGeeney (Cabot). U-114: A. Fraser. U-104: A. Telang (Clifton). U-91: H. Aubin-Parvu.
This was the Open winner’s 1st game.
White: C. Beaumont (221). Black: M. Kascak (c. 180).
Queen’s Indian Defence [E18]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0–0 Be7 6.Nc3 c5 7.d4 d6 8.d5 Immediately staking a claim to the centre. 8…exd5 9.cxd5 0–0 10.e4 Re8 11.e5 Ng4 12.Bf4 dxe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 Having got the passed pawn, the stronger player is happy to keep making equal exchanges in order to keep it simple… 14.Bxe5 Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Qa4 Qd7 … up to a point. 17.Qh4 Na6 18.Rad1 Nb4 19.a3 Na6 20.Qf4 Nc7 21.h4 Rad8 22.Kh2 The trap is set. 22…Nb5 23.Bh3 1-0 Winning a piece by forcing the queen away from the defence of her knight.
In last week’s position Flear finished neatly with 1.Rxc8 Qxc8 2.Rd8 Qc7 3.Rxe8! and Black resigned because QxN mate is inevitable.
In his book, Tactimania, Flear doesn’t only give his wins. He loses this one against his fellow GM from Leicester, Mark Hebden. Flear threatens to win the exchange and a pawn, so how did White deal with that and force a win in the space of 6 moves?
Devon took note of Cornwall’s good results this season and fielded a strong team in their match at Ashtorre Rock, Saltash at the weekend, eventually running out 11½ – 4½ winners, a score that rather belies the closeness of the contest. Cornish names first in each pairing:-
1.M. Hassall 0-1 D. Mackle. 2.J. Menadue ½-½ A. Boyne. 3.R. Kneebone ½-½ J. Stephens. 4.S. Bartlett 0-1 T. Paulden. 5.D. Saqui 0-1 P. Sivrev. 6.L. Retallick 0-1 D. Regis. 7.G. Healey 0-1 A. Brusey. 8.T. Slade 1-0 J. Fraser. 9.C. Sellwood 1-0 J. Underwood. 10.G. Trudeau 1-0 M. Shaw. 11.J. Hooker 0-1 B. Hewson. 12.J. Nicholas ½-½ T. Thynne. 13.J. Wilman 0-1 P. Brooks. 14.M. Hill 0-1 W. Ingham. 15.B. Parkin 0-1 N. Rahimili. 16.D. R. Jenkins 0-1 M. Stinton-Brownbridge.
This game from Board 4 demonstrates (a) the importance of acting quickly against the enemy king and (b) the power of the check.
White: S. Bartlett (174). Black: T. J. Paulden (186).
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 a6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5 6.Bd3 Nh6 7.Qf3 c6 8.Nge2 Bg4 9.Qf2 e6 10.Be3 Nd7 11.0–0–0 White chooses to castle long, so Black responds immediately. 11…Qa5 12.h3 Bxe2 13.Bxe2 b5 14.a3 b4 15.Nb1 bxa3 16.Nxa3 Bf8 17.Bd2 Qb6 18.Nb1 Nf5 19.Bc3 c5 20.g4 hxg4 21.hxg4 Rxh1 22.Rxh1 Nxd4 winning a pawn 23.Bxd4 cxd4 24.Nd2 Rb8 25.b3 Ba3+ 26.Kd1? d3 White must do something about his undefended queen, allowing PxB+ next move. 0–1
The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Ke2! forcing 1…Ke3 and then 2.R1c4 mate.
An inter-area match between the Torbay-based South Devon team and Plymouth-based West at the Plymouth Chess Club finished in a win for the hosts, by 6½ – 5½.
This position appears in Grandmaster Glenn Flear’s latest book, Tactimania, (Quality Chess 2011) in which he gives hundreds of instructive positions from his own games. It’s taken from a 1986 game in France against Trefor Thynne, not J. Thynne as given in the book. The whole game was as follows:
White: G. C. Flear. Black: T. F. Thynne. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.0–0 dxc4 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Qxc4 c6 9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc2 Bd7 11.Ne5 Rc8 12.Nd3 Nbd5 13.a3 Be8 14.e4 Nc7 15.Nc3 Na6 16.b4 Nh5 17.e5 g6 18.Ne4 Kh8 19.Ndc5 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Qc7 21.Nd6 Rb8 22.Bh6 Rg8 23.g4 Ng7 24.Qc3 b6 25.Rac1 b5 26.Rc2 Ra8 27.Rcd2 Rd8 28.Qf3 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Ra8 30.Qf6 a5 31.Rd8 Rc8. From this position, how did White now force a win, with a possible mate in 4?
Ian Ponter, who died in December at the age of 41, was a well-known figure in the Bristol League and westcountry congresses. He was a strong club player who relished complex positions, which may have led him to lose a number of games against the strongest opposition, but gave him a number of scalps. Typical is this 2004 game in which he beats a fellow Bristolian and future West of England Champion.
White: Paul Helbig (2040). Black: Ian Ponter. (1920).
King’s Gambit Accepted – Berlin Defence. [C39]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 White gambits a pawn in the hope of getting more activity for his pieces. 2…exf4 Ponter accepts the challenge. 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 Constituting the Berlin Defence. 6.d4 d6 7.Nd3 Nc6 If 7…Nxe4 8.Qe2 Qe7 9.Bxf4. 8.d5 Ne5 9.Bxf4 Nxd3+ 10.Qxd3 Qe7 11.Nc3 Bg7 12.0–0–0 Nh5 13.Qb5+ Bd7 If 13…c6? 14.dxc6 0-0 15.Bxd6 winning material – or 14…bxc6 15.Qxc6+ Bd7 16.Qxa8+. 14.Qxb7 0–0 15.Bg5 f6 16.Bd2 Ng3 17.Rg1 f5 18.Bg5 Qe5 Getting a grip on the long diagonal. 19.Qxc7 Rf7 20.Qb7 Rc8 21.Bb5 With Black’s pieces now focussed on the enemy king, it’s time to attack. 21…Rxc3! 22.Bxd7 Ne2+ 23.Kb1 Rc7 24.Qb8+ Of course not 24.Qxc7?? Qxb2#. 24…Rf8 25.Be6+ Kh8 26.Qb4 Rc4 The rook can harry the queen with impunity as Black dominates the black square diagonal, threatening mate. 27.Qb7 Qxe4 28.Rge1 Rxc2 29.Ka1 Rxb2 0–1
Ian was a member of the Downend Club, where their annual Christmas “Buzzer” Tournament was held again recently. Clear 1st was Ben Edgell with a maximum 10pts, followed by Nigel Hosken and Peter Chaplin on 8. The Best Junior prize was won by M. Wilson.
The Bristol Winter Congress is taking place this weekend at the Holiday Inn. Of the 20+ players in the Open Section, the clear favourites must be David Buckley (Bath) and Chris Beaumont (Clifton) both graded 221. All entries in the three sections are listed on the League’s chessit website.
The 39th East Devon Congress takes place at Exeter’s Corn Exchange during the weekend commencing Friday 28th February. Entry forms are now available and should be returned to John Stephens, who may also be contacted on 07891-648689 or e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Bg3! Kxe3 (forced) 2. Qd3#. Here is another 2-mover by the same composer from the same book.
The 89th Hastings Congress finished on Sunday when 7 players tied on 6½/9 with Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Georgia) taking first place on tie-break from Khenkin (Germany), Qun Ma (China), Mark Hebden (England), Vakhidov (Uzbekistan), Sarkar (USA) and Radovanovic (Serbia). A further 11 players from all round the world came just a half point behind. Here is Hebden’s last round win.
White: M. Hebden (2560). Black: Jens Kipper (Germany – 2378).
Queen’s Gambit [D30].
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 d5 4.Bg5 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qb3 c5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.e3 0–0 10.dxc5 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 12.bxc3 Grandmasters often like to make early exchanges against lower-graded players, aiming to keep things simple in the expectation that their superior endgame technique will carry them through. However, in this case, White has landed himself with doubled pawns, usually deemed a weakenss. 12…Be6 13.Nd4 Rc8 14.Rb1 Nd7 15.c4 Nxc5 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.cxd5 exd5 The doubled pawns have been eliminated and it is Black that has a weak isolated pawn in the centre. 18.Be2 Ne4 19.Bf3 Rc2 20.0–0 Rxa2 21.Rxb7 Rc8 22.Rd7 Rc5 White has a 4-2 pawn majority on the kingside, and he must activate this advantage before the a-pawn becomes a threat. 23.h4 Nf6 24.Rb7 Rcc2 25.h5 Kf8 26.g3 Kg8 27.Kg2 a5 28.Ra7 Rd2 29.g4 a4 30.Kg3 Ne4+ 31.Bxe4 dxe4 32.Re7 a3 33.Rxe4 Rab2 34.Ra4 a2 35.f3 Kf7 36.Kf4 Rdc2 37.Rd1 Ke7 38.Ra7+ Ke6 39.Rd4 1-0 White will eventually play Rda4 which will cover the queening threat, leaving him able to mobilise his own pawns.
Dave Howard’s latest problem was solved by 1.Kd7! and Black’s tries are answered thus:- 1…Ke5 2.Nd3#; 1… dxe3 2.Bh2# or 1…c1=Q 2.Qh2#.
There has been quite a lot of chess coverage on Radio 4 over the holiday period, including a drama based on the early lives of the Hungarian Polgár sisters who were taught at home by their idealistic father, Lázló, mainly to excel at chess. To this end, from his personal library of over 5,000 chess books, he collected thousands of problems that were suitable for his young daughters to solve, as the positions were relatively simple yet elegant. These were eventually published in a massive book entitled Chess Training in 5333+1 Positions, (Könemann 1994 1104pp) a resource I have drawn on several times for this column. Here is another 2-mover from his archive, one of a number composed by his fellow Hungarian, Ernö Szentgyörgyi.
Speculative sacrifices in the opening are best made in rapidplay games when there is far less time for the defender to work out whether it is safe to accept the proffered piece and to negotiate the many variations after doing so. Here is a recent example in which White accepts the risk and walks a tightrope, always seeking to exchange off pieces in order to draw the sting from the attack. As time runs out, Black finally justifies his earlier gamble.
White: S. Martin (Seaton – 162). Black: M. Shaw (Exmouth – 164).
Alekhine’s Defence – Maróczy Var. [B02]
1.e4 Nf6 inviting the e-pawn forward. 2.d3 Invitation declined, as recommended by the Hungarian GM Geza Maróczy (1870–1951). d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.g3 dxe4 5.dxe4 Bc5 6.h3 Black decides to give up his bishop for 2 pawns and a major reconstruction of White’s kingside position. 6…Bxf2+ 7.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 8.Kg2 Not 8.Nxe4?? Qxd1. 8…Qd4 Threatening Qf2# 9.Qe1 Bf5 10.Bd3 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 If 11.Bxd2 Qd5+ 12.Nf3 e4 13.g4 Bg6 14.Bc3 0–0 15.Be2 exf3+ 16.Bxf3 Qb5 17.a4. 11…Qd5+ 12.Kh2 e4 13.Be2 Qc5 Again threatening Qf2# 14.Bd1 Nc6 15.Qe3 Qc4 16.b3 Qe6 17.Bb2 0–0–0 18.Be2 Kb8 19.Bc4 Qd7 20.Bc3 h5 21.h4 f6 22.Kg2 22.Ne2 uniting the rooks might have been better. 22…Rhe8 23.Ne2 Bg4 24.Rad1 Bf3+ 25.Kh2 Qg4 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27.Re1 The last of White’s pieces to be developed, and he is still a piece up. How can Black retain the initiative? 27…Ne7 28.Nd4 Nf5 29.Nxf5 Qxf5 30.Be2 g5 31.Bxf3 exf3 32.hxg5 Qxc2+! with several mating threats. 33.Re2 fxe2 34.Kh3 Qf5+ 35.Kg2 Qf1+ 36.Kh2 fxg5 37.Qxg5 Rf8 38.Bd4 e1Q 39.Bxa7+ A final cast of the dice. 39…Kxa7 40.Qc5+ Kb8 41.Qxf8+ Qxf8 42.Kg2 Qef1+ 0–1
The loser was at school with the late, great Tony Miles, Britain’s first GrandMaster.
Bristol’s Winter Congress starts a week on Friday, the 17th January at the Holiday Inn. Details may be obtained from Graham Mill-Wilson on 0779 0167415 or e-mail email@example.com.
In last week’s position, Black’s aim is to eliminate any chance of counterplay by exchanging queens: e.g. 1…Qf3+. 2.Ke5 Qf6+. 3.Ke4 or Kc4 then Qe6+ forces off the queens and Black’s pawns should romp home.
If you have any time or mental energy left before Twelfth Night tomorrow, here is another hitherto unpublished 2-mover by Dave Howard.
In the recent London Chess Classic, Britain’s top professional, Adams, and top amateur player were both among our home contingent in the top event. When they met in this game, there was, in the main, little difference during the course of the game, but in the end it was the professional who edged home.
White: Luke McShane (268). Black: Michael Adams (281).
Ruy Lopez – Close Defence [C84]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 To take the pawn with 5…Nxe4 constitutes the Open Defence and invites White to attack the centre with 6.Re1 Nc5 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 Be7 9.d4 etc. 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 exchanging pawns generally favours White, so 8…b4 9.c3 Rb8 10.Nbd2 0–0 11.Re1 Na5 12.Ba2 c5 13.Nc4 Nc6 14.Bg5 Be6 15.h3 h6 16.Bd2 Re8 17.Rc1 Bf8 18.Bb3 Re7 19.Be3 Reb7 Black’s forces are massing of the queenside, especially the down the b-file. 20.Bc2 bxc3 21.bxc3 Nxe4 22.Ncxe5 If 22.dxe4 Bxc4. 22…Nxe5 23.dxe4 Nc4 24.Bf4 Rb2 25.Qd3 g6 White was threatening e5 with a threat of mate. 26.Nd2 Nxd2 27.Bxd2 d5 28.Bf4 Rc8 29.exd5 Bf5 30.Qd1 Rxc2 31.Rxc2 Bxc2 32.Qxc2 Qxd5 After these exchanges the position looks exactly level. 33.Qe2 c4! Constricting White’s position somewhat. 34.Qg4 Qc6 35.Qd1 Re8 36.Be3 Bg7 37.Qc2 Rb8 38.a5 Rb3 Black is resuming control of the queenside. 39.Bd2 Rb5 40.Ra1 Qd5 41.Qa2 Rb3 42.Rc1 Rb5 43.Ra1 0–1 Black’s dominance is now winning. Play might have continued 43…Qd3 44.Rc1 Rd5 45.Be3 Bxc3 46.Qc2 Be5 47.g3 Qxc2 48.Rxc2 c3 etc.
Cornwall’s annual championship and congress will be held from Friday 31st January – 2nd February at their usual Stithians venue. The top section is the Emigrant Cup, the winner of which will become county champion, if eligible. The Falmouth Cup is for players graded U-145, while the Falmouth Cup is for relative beginners. Further details may be found on their new website, or contact the Organiser Robin Kneebone on 01872 858602, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In last week’s problem by Mansfield there were several quick mates but only one in 2 moves, and that was 1.Ba4! after which Black has four tries. i.e. 1…Qxd6 2.Bc6#; 1…Qxc4 2.Bb5#; 1…Qxa7 2.Qxa1# or 1…Kxa4 2.Qa2#.
This position is taken from a recently acquired book, 606 Puzzles for Chess Nuts, by Albertson and Wilson. Black has a winning advantage, but the position is very open, so how can he minimise all risk of allowing White any counterplay?
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.