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E. Devon League’s End of Term Jolly (06.06.2017.)

On Tuesday evening the local league held their annual end-of-term prizegiving and match at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by kind invitation of the new Management.

Proceedings started with the presentation of trophies by the League President, Brian Aldwin. Pictures may be found below, but in summary they were as follows:

Cup___________ For Winning_________ Team________Recipient

RapidPlay Cup:    RapidPlay League        Exmouth Eels           Alan Dean

Cottew Cup:       Div 1 Champions         Sidmouth Scorpions     Charlie Keen

Turner Cup        Div. 1 Grading prize       Exmouth Eagles        Steve Murray

Polsloe Cup        Div. 2 Champions           Just Seaton                  Hazel Welsh

Mainstay Cup    Div. 2 Grading prize     Tiverton Thinkers       Greg Fotheringham

This bit didn’t take long, and then it was time to sort out the 28 players present into two teams of roughly equal ability, ready for two rapidplay games of 30 minutes per player per game. This finished as follows.

E. Devon League Prizegiving – 2017
RapidPlay Details
Bd President’s XIV 1st 2nd Secretary’s XIV 1st 2nd
1 J. Underwood 0 0 T. Paulden 1 1
2 T. F. Thynne 1 1 M. Shaw 0 0
3 I. Gregory 1 0 G. Body 0 1
4 I. S. Annetts ½ ½ S. Dean ½ ½
5 B. G. Gosling ½ ½ C. Keen ½ ½
6 A. Dean ½ 0 J. Duckham ½ 1
7 J. S. Murray 0 ½ J. Amos 1 ½
8 W. Marjoram 1 ½ R. H. Jones 0 ½
9 P. Dillon 0 ½ G. Fotheringham 1 ½
10 R. Scholes 1 1 M. Haines 0 0
11 B. Newcombe 1 0 M. Hussey 0 1
12 B. Perchard 1 0 S. Honeyball 0 1
13 H. Welch 1 1 G. Jenkins 0 0
14 P. Leask 1 1 R. Greenall 0 0
……………………… ………………………
TOTALS
16 12
Charlie Keen receives the Cottew Cup on behalf of the Div. 1 Champions, Sidmouth Scorpions
Alan Dean takes the RapidPlay Cup for Exmouth Eels, a slippery lot when it comes to quickplay!

Steve Murray collects the Turner Cup for Exmouth Eagles.

Hazel Welch takes the Polsloe Cup for Just Seaton.

Greg Fotheringham takes the Mainstay Cup for Tiverton.

Jupiter Bring In The Stars (03.06.2017.)

Chess events are often run on a financial  shoestring, so it’s nice to see private enterprise stepping in to support tournaments from time to time. Winton Capital Management, for example, have for several years lent their name to the annual British problem-solving Championship, the latest version of which starts this week (see below).

As reported last week, Jupiter Asset Management organised an even more unusual event. They got the services of Daily Telegraph chess columnist, Malcolm Pein, to round up 8 top players, each one of whom would partner a Jupiter employee, in a Pro-Am blitz knockout tournament. The professionals comprised World Championship finalists, Nigel Short and Michael Adams; world top amateur GM Luke McShane; GM Gawain Jones and his wife Sue; GMs David Howell & Peter Wells, and English Ladies Champion, Kanwal Bhatia.

Malcolm Pein paired the players off, which led to Cornishman Adams joining up with Jupiter IT expert and former Exmothian, Chris Hunter-Jones, to form a Westcountry team. The rules were: to make alternate moves; no conferring and 15 minutes per team for all moves.

In the quarter-final the Westcountry team beat Sue Jones’s team and went on to meet Nigel Short and Edward Bonham Carter in the Semi. Their first game was drawn with only seconds to spare, but lost the tie-break game. This consisted of a 5 minute game by just the amateurs, in which Carter played a King’s Gambit and Hunter-Jones blundered in the opening (easily done in those circumstances) and it was quickly over. The Short/Carter team then lost in the Final to Peter Wells and Alastair McFie. The chess was often crazy – but great fun.

The solution to last week’s position (above) was 1…Qg3+ and if 2.hxQ Ng2 mate, while if 2.Rf2 QxR mate.

The road to discovering who will be next year’s Winton British Solving Champion starts here, as this week’s position is the starter problem. It’s White to play and force mate in 2 moves against any Black defence. There is no entry fee and the competition is open to British residents only. Competitors need only send White’s first move, known as the “key move” and this may be done in 2 ways. (a) by post to Nigel Dennis, Boundary House, 230 Greys Road, Henley-on-Thames RG9 1QY , or (b) by e-mail to winton@theproblemist.org.

All entries must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than 31st July 2017 and must give the entrant’s name and home postcode. Don’t forget to mention that you saw this notice in either the WMN or Western Daily Press.

After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution, and those who get it right will be sent the postal round containing 8 more difficult and varied problems. In due course the best competitors and 5 best juniors (U-18 on 31.07.2017) will be invited to participate in the final at Eton College on Saturday 18th February 2018.

Best of luck to anyone who takes up the challenge.

Frome Congress Results (20.05.2017.)

Last weekend’s Frome Congress attracted 188 players from all over the South-West and beyond, of whom 36 won prizes. Details, kindly supplied by the Organiser, Gerry Jepps, as follows:

Open Section: 1st= Jane Richmond (Brown Jack); A. Pleasants, (Weymouth); S. Crockart (Didcot) 4 pts. Grading prizes U-2050: A. Gregory (Bath) 3½. U-1900 V. Stoyanov (Sandhurst) 3. Qualifying places for the British Championship were awarded to Andrew Gregory and Philip Holt (Olton).

Major Section (U-165): 1st E. Osbourn (Worcester) 4½. 2nd T. Woodward (Trowbridge) 4. 3rd= S. Jukes (Barry); R. Radford (Keynsham); B. Gosling (E. Budleigh); H. Fowler (Millfield) & C. Timmins (Bristol) all 3½. Grading prizes: U-155: A. Champion (Keynsham); G. Georgiou (Swindon) & A. Muller (Bristol) all 3. U-145: G. Williams (Swindon); P. Foley (Upminster); D. Watson (Bourne End) & I. S. Annetts (Tiverton) all 2½.

Intermediate Section: (U-140) 1st= D. McGeeney (Bristol); L. Tarbuck (Lichfield) & N. Mills (Yeovil) all 4½. GPs U-128: R. Morris-Weston (Bristol); E. Fierek (Gloucester); D. Rogers (Exmouth); A. Sage (Bath) & O. Stubbs (Downend). U-118: E. Hurst (Salisbury) all 3½.

Minor Section: (U-110): 1st J. Opie (Frome) 5. 2nd= Amanda Jones (Salisbury) & Y. Kumar (Bath) 4½. GPs (U-99) F. Cheeseman (Kent) & J. Wallman (Dorset). U-90: A. Wang (Bath) & J. Doull (Purbeck).

In the absence of any GMs to take the top prize, it was no surprise to see Jane Richmond taking a share of the spoils. She has been Welsh Ladies Champion 11 times and has played in several Olympiads. Here is her last round game, which clinched her share of 1st place.

White: O. Garcia (2062). Black: J. Richmond (2128)

Vienna Game C28

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 Signature move of the Vienna Game, in which White intends to attack on the kingside. 4…d6 5.f4 exf4 6.Bxf4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Na4 Nh5 9.Bg5 an idea that doesn’t work. 9…Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxg5 11.Bxf7+ Ke7 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.Qxh5 White recovers his piece, at the expense of… 13…Qe3+ 14.Kd1 Raf8 15.Re1 Qd4 16.Bc4 Qxb2 17.Qh4+ Kd7 18.Kd2 Qb4+ 19.Kd1 Ne5 20.Bb3 Qd4 21.Rb1 Rf2 22.Qg3 g6 23.Bd5 Rhf8 24.Qh3+ Kd8 25.Qh4+ R8f6 26.Re2 The knight now becomes a real menace. 26…Nxd3 27.Rxf2 Not 27.cxd3?? because of  27…Qxd3+ 28.Kc1 Qxe2 with mate to follow. 27…Nxf2+ 28.Ke2 Ng4! 29.Rb3 Not 29.Qxg4?? Rf2+ 30.Ke1 Qd2#. 29…Ke8 unpinning the rook. 30.Rf3 Rxf3 31.Kxf3 h5 32.h3?? 32.Qe1 was needed to keep the game going. 32…Qe3# 0–1.

In last week’s position (above) Black had overlooked “the power of the check”, which overrides other threats. Hence White wins material rather than loses it after 1.Nf7+.

In this game from 1953 White’s pieces have the freedom of the board, while Black’s appear relatively cramped. His only advantage is that it’s his move. Is this enough to save the game?

Can Black save the day?

World Team Seniors 65+ (13.05.2017.)

Although most public attention was focussed on the 50+ group in the recent World Seniors team tournament in Crete, it should not be forgotten that there was a 65+ section as well. It seemed to appeal to players from Northern Europe, as of the 22 participating teams, 5 came from Sweden, 3 from England and 2 from Norway. Like the younger age group, the Russians won this section as well, winning all 9 matches.

Brian Hewson of Tiverton won this Bd. 1 game against England 1 for England II, for whom Trefor Thynne was team Captain.

White: B. W. R. Hewson (187). Black: Michael Stokes (187).

King’s Indian Defence – Fianchetto Variation.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.0–0 d6 6.Re1 Nbd7 7.c4 e5 8.Nc3 This position was reached in the game Schwartz–L. Paulsen (Wiesbaden 1880) demonstrating its long time pedigree. Ng4 9.dxe5 Ndxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qb3 c6 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Rad1 Bf5 14.Bxe5 Bxe5 15.f4 Bg7 16.e4 Bg4 17.Rd2 Rfd8 18.Qa3 Qc7 19.h3 Be6 20.Bf1 Bf8 21.Qa4 a6 22.Qc2 Qa5 23.Kh2 b5 24.cxb5 axb5 25.a3 b4 26.axb4 Qxb4 27.Nd1 Bg7 28.Ree2 c5 29.Ne3 Bb3 30.Qc1 Ra2 31.Bg2 Rda8 32.Rxd6 Bf8 33.Rdd2 Qb5 34.e5 Ra1 35.Qc3 Rc8 36.Nd5 c4 37.Nf6+ Kh8 38.Rd5 Qb6 39.Re1 Bb4 40.Qe3 Qxe3 41.Rxe3 Bc5 42.Rxc5 White had little option but to give up the exchange, in view of, for example, 42.Re2 Bg1+ 43.Kh1 Bb6+ 44.Kh2 c3. 42…Rxc5 43.Re2 In spite of having to give up the exchange, White’s 2 minor pieces  become very active, so maybe it hasn’t turned out too badly. 43…Rc8 44.Ne4 Rc1 45.Nd6 Rc7 46.Bd5 Kg8 47.e6 Kf8 48.exf7 Re7 49.Rxe7 Kxe7 50.Nc8+ Kf8 51.Nb6 Threatening to win immediately with 5.Nd7+ getting a queen back. 51…Ba4 52.Nxa4 c3 53.bxc3 Ke7 54.c4 Ra1 55.Nc5 Ra7 56.Kg2 Kf8 57.Be6 1-0 White has 3 pawns & 2 minor pieces for a rook, and Black resigned in view of the renewed prospect of 58.Nd7+.

The Frome Congress started yesterday evening and continues until Sunday tea-time. After that, the next big event is the Cotswold Congress at the King’s School, Gloucester over the Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 27th to Monday 29th May. Like Frome, they also have easy on-line entry facilities, which experience has shown tends to increase entries. Their website is dmshome.co.uk/cotswoldcongress.

Details are now out about Cornwall’s Rapidplay Championship for the Kerrier Cup, to be held at Carnon Downs Village Hall TR3 6GH, on Saturday 17th June, starting at 1.45 p.m.  Space is at a premium and a maximum of 24 entries has been fixed, so early entry is essential to be sure of playing. Further details may be found on the website www.cornwallchess.org.uk.

Last week’s 2-mover (above) by Dave Howard, was solved by Bf3! with the threat of a discovered check being too much for Black to deal with.

In this game from 25 years ago, Black played 1…Nc4 in the hope of winning material. Did he succeed?

White to play

World Team Seniors 50+ Results (06.05.2017.)

The World Team Seniors Tournament finished on Tuesday on the island of Crete. It was held in two age groups; 50+ and 65+. There were 22 teams in the “junior” section, the top seed being England just ahead of St. Petersburg. The England 1 team’s pool of 5 players consisted of John Nunn, Jon Speelman, Keith Arkell, Terry Chapman and, it was said beforehand, Malcolm Pein. But this was only to disguise the fact that Nigel Short had agreed to play, and it was meant to be a surprise for the opposition.

In spite of all this, it was the Russians that finished in 1st place, having won all their 9 matches, while Armenia pushed England down to 3rd. England II came 10th with England III 20th.

England 1 lost their match vs St. Petersburg, though Speelman won his game.

White: Jon Speelman (2511). Black: S Ionov. (2535)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 losing a tempo. 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Bf4 Ba6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Rc1 seizing control of the c-file. 11…Nbd7 12.Nc3 Nh5 13.Qa4 Nxf4 14.Qxa6 Nxg2 15.Kxg2 Qc8 16.Qxc8 Rfxc8 White clearly believes in keeping things simple. 17.Nb5 Bf8 18.Nc7 Rab8 19.a4 Nc5? Black has miscalculated the permutations in this little skirmish. 20.dxc5 Rxc7 21.cxb6! Rxc1 22.bxa7 Suddenly White has a 3–0 pawn majority on the q-side. 22…Ra8 23.Rxc1 Rxa7 24.b3 g6 25.Nd4 White’s 2 extra pawns should be enough to win, but help from the knight may be needed. 25…Kg7 26.Nc6 Rb7 27.b4 1-0 Black cannot take the pawn because if 27…Bxb4? 28.Rb1 wins a piece.

England 1’s match against England II had two former British champions facing off.

White: Nigel Short (2683). Black: James  Plaskett. (2458)

English Opening – Sicilian Variation.

1.c4 e5 2.e3 g6 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nd7 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 Ne7 7.Nge2 0–0 8.a4 f5 9.a5 a6 10.b3 g5 This is what is called in the trade as a “pawn storm”, but what Black’s king might call a dereliction of defensive duties. 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Ba3 c6 13.g4 f4 14.Be4 f3 15.Ng3 Black’s advanced pawns have achieved nothing, while his defences now leak like a colander. 15…Qxa5 16.0–0 c5 If 16…Qxc3? 17.Bxe7 wins Black’s g-pawn. 17.Bb2 Qb6 18.Bxf3 Nf6 19.Nce4 Ng6 20.Nxg5 Rd8 21.Qc2 Bxg4 22.Bxg4 Nxg4 23.h3 Nh6 24.Nh5 giving an extraordinary combination of knights on the wing. 24…Bh8 25.f4 Qc6 26.f5 Nf8 27.Rf2 Nf7 28.Ne4 Nd7 29.f6 Nf8 30.Kh2 Ng6 31.Rg1 Kf8 32.Rfg2 Ke8 33.Bc3 Kd7 34.Nhg3 Kc7 35.Rf2 Rd7 36.Qe2 Rg8 It’s a little late for this rook to be coming to the aid of the Party – the party’s almost over. 37.Qh5 h6 38.Rd2 Rxd2+ 39.Bxd2 b6 40.Bc3 Qe6 41.Nf5 Ng5 42.Nxh6 The rook must move away, leaving both knights undefended. 1–0

Last week’s 2-mover (above) by Dave Howard, was solved by Bh4! after which the queen can mate either on a5 or e2.

Here is another new and relatively easy 2-mover by him.

White to play & mate in 2

Exmouth’s Exciting End-of-Term Experiences.

If there has been a more concentrated and closely contested climax to a season, I don’t recall it.

Four matches, four victories and two trophies in 12 days represents as rich a reward as anyone at the club could reasonably expect.

Let’s start on Saturday 22nd April in the Mamhead Cup, Devon’s Division 2. With one match to play, Exmouth and Newton Abbot were joint leaders on match points, but Exmouth having scored a half point more in games. So Exmouth simply did not have to score less points against the final opponents, Teignmouth, than Newton Abbot did against Barnstaple. As Newton Abbot did win their match 3.5 – o.5, Exmouth had to beat Teignmouth by at least the same score …. or more – a big ask. But they equalled Newton Abbot’s winning margin, so winning the Mamhead Cup by half a game point.

Exmouth Teignmouth
1 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ W. H. Ingham 162
2 M. Shaw 163 1 0 Rev. C. Doidge 124
3 C. J. Scott 151 1 0 N. F. Tidy 122
4 M. Belt 127 1 0 A. Webster 82
609 ½ 490

Three days later, on Tuesday 25th April, there was an away match against Exeter in the E. Devon RapidPlay League. This turned out to be not quite as close a match as the previous one, thus winning that league, and a second trophy in 4 days. (Photos below)

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

The following Saturday, Exmouth entertained Newton Abbot in the final round of the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s Division 1. There was no trophy at stake this time as Exeter had already secured overall victory by virtue of their narrow win over Exmouth earlier in the year, but nevertheless rivalry is always keen. Both teams were without 2 top players, but the six pairings looked to favour the home side.

However, at the halfway point, Exmouth went 1-0 down, and had no discernable advantage in the other 5 games, so it was backs-to-the-wall time for sure. Oliver Wensley went right down to K+P vs K but his king was in front of his pawn and the opposing king was not inclined to allow him the freedom to move aside, so game drawn. Then rather suddenly, the other four games, in spite of their closeness throughout, all went Exmouth’s way, leaving the final score 4.5 – 1.5, certainly a scoreline that belies the actual play.

DCCA    –   Div. 1   Bremridge Cup        29.04.2017.
Exmouth grd Newton Abbot grd
1 W. Braun 195 1 0 P. Brooks 185
2 S. Martin 185 0 1 A. W. Brusey 169
3 P. D. Hampton 166 1 0 V. Ramesh 139
4 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 A. Kinder 125
5 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ C. V. Howard 143
6 C. J. Scott 152 1 0 J. E. Allen 145
1043 4½ 1½ 910

Exmouth vs Newton Abbot: A study in collective concentration.

Bd. 1: Paul Brooks vs Walter Braun.

Bds 3 & 4: Ramesh vs Hampton & Abbott vs Kinder.

Bds 5 & 6: Howard vs Wensley & Scott vs Allen.

This was closely followed by another home match on Wednesday night, against Exeter in the E. Devon League Div. 1. This time the odds seemed to favour the visitors, with Barbara Newcombe, a newcomer this season to OTB chess,  playing her first 1st team match for the Club. Her draw against the experienced Will Marjoram, in the face of a 40 point difference in their grades, seemed to inspire the others, the home side running out 3.5 – 0.5 winners.

So the situation is that, with only 3 teams involved, Exmouth have lost to Seaton but beaten Exeter, who play Seaton next week. If Exeter win that match it could be 3-way tie situation – unless complicated tie-breaks come into play. Who knows, a third trophy might come our way, but no-one here’s holding their breath on that one.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   League  Div. 1     03.05.2017
Exmouth grd Exeter grd
1 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 Dr. T. Paulden 185
2 O. E. Wensley 168 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 169
3 Dr. M. O. Marshall 162 1 0 R. Whittington 139
4 B. Newcombe 85 ½ ½ W. Marjoram 125
591 ½ 618

Exmouth's winning RapidPlay team: Seated (l) Chris Scott & Alan Dean (capt.). Standing (l) Bob Jones & Michael Marshall.

Exeter's home team: Seated (l) Sean Pope & Reece Whittington. Standing (l) Richard Player & John Maloney.

Rd. 1 gets under way.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

Arkell Loses! (29.04.2017.)

As reported last week, Keith Arkell retained his West of England Championship over the Easter weekend by winning his first 6 games. However, in the 7th and final round he met his nearest rival and lost for the first time in the 21 games he’s played here in the past 3 years. It was a Dutch Defence, not dissimilar to the one being played at the same time, and given last week.

White: K. C. Arkell Black: R. McMichael

Dutch Defence [A90]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 Here we go with another Dutch Defence. 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c6 5.Nf3 d5 6.0–0 Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 0–0 9.Nbd2 Bd7 10.Ne5 Be8 11.a4 Nbd7 12.a5 White may be aware that Black intends the thematic king-side attack, and before that happens needs to create some space for himself on the other wing. 12…a6 13.Ndf3 Bh5 14.Qc2 Rad8 15.cxd5 Bxf3 16.exf3 Nxd5 17.Nc4 Bb4 18.f4 N7f6 19.Ne5 Nc7 20.Bxc6! Ncd5 The preferred move of computer analysis. If 20…bxc6 21.Nxc6 forking 3 pieces. 21…Qd6 22.Nxb4 (or if 22.Nxd8 Rxd8 23.Rfc1 leaving White with a rook & 2 pawns for 2 knights, but it’s unclear who has the better  chances, especially if Black’s 3 minor pieces start to get really active.) 22…Qxb4 23.Qxc7 Qxb3 24.Ba3 Rfe8 25.Bc5. 21.Bxd5 Nxd5 22.Nd3 Bd6 23.Nc5 Rf6 Black’s backward e-pawn needs reinforcement in view of White’s next move. 24.Rae1 Rh6 25.f3 Rg6 26.Kh1 h5 Now follows the kingside pawn storm that we saw in last week’s example of the Dutch. 27.Rg1 h4 28.Bc1 hxg3 29.hxg3 Kf7 30.Rg2 Rh8+ 31.Kg1 If 31.Rh2 Rxh2+ 32.Kxh2 (Of course, not 32.Qxh2?? Rh6 33.Qxh6 gxh6 34.Nxe6) 31…Rh3 32.Qf2 Rgh6 33.Kf1 Rh1+ 34.Ke2 Bxc5 35.dxc5 Qd7 36.Qd4 Nxf4+ 37.Qxf4 Rxe1+ 38.Kxe1 Rh1+ 39.Kf2 Qd1 Threatening mate on e1 40.Bd2 Qf1+ winning a piece back. 41.Ke3 Qxg2 42.Qc7+ Kg6 43.Bc3 Now Black has to tread carefully to counter the threat to g7. 43…Qg1+ 44.Kd3 The game went on for another 20 moves but unfortunately both scoresheets are indecipherable as the tension got to both players. However, Black remained the exchange ahead and with that advantage managed to keep threatening White’s king to the point of resignation.

Photographs of this, and many other games being played throughout the tournament, and the prizewinners receiving their trophies may be found on keverelchess.co.uk/blog.

There are two Westcountry congresses next month. Firstly, one at Frome, to be held Fri. 12th – 14th May  at Selwood Academy, Frome, BA11 2EF (website somersetchess.org/frome_congress). This is followed by the Cotswold Congress over the Bank Holiday Weekend Sat. 27th – Mon. 29th May at King’s School, Gloucester, GL1 2BG.

website:(http://dmshome.co.uk/CotswoldCongress/.

In last week’s position (above) Black could play …1.Qg2+ and depending which piece takes it, Black has either …2.Nh3# or Ne2# as the White king is smothered by his own defenders.

Here is a 2 mover by Dave Howard.

White to Play

West of England Championship & Congress 2017

For 50 years after its inaugural event in 1947, the WECU Championship was (a) always held at Easter-time as that was when folk had their holidays and were therefore free to attend a 4 day event, making it the first seaside holiday of the year for many and (b) it rotated around the constituent counties – Newquay, Weymouth, Weston-Super-Mare and Torquay were the most regular hosts, and all took a turn. It was relatively easy to organise because the towns themselves were keen to host it, as it was seen to be a boost to the local holiday business. Civic buildings were offered as venues, the Mayor would gladly open and close the event, and would organise a free Civic Reception for players and their families. But the days when town councils had that degree of largesse gradually dimished as they became increasingly hit by financial strictures, and it became left to the Congress Secretary of the day to try and find suitable venues, on his own in towns he didn’t know.

Eventually, the Union Executive decided to see if holding it in one place would help to stabilise the entry by regularising the arrangements from year to year. Thus in 1999 it came to Exmouth, which had never hosted the event before. As the Union’s General Secretary at the time, it was left to me to find a suitable venue. My first port of call was a visit to see a former member of the Exmouth Chess Club, John Fowler of Eagle Investments, who I knew dealt with properties in the town. “That’s a coincidence”, he said “I’ve just bought a hotel – the Royal Beacon Hotel”. It was that easy, and it’s been there ever since.

The Beacon area of Exmouth has been described as one of the best-kept secrets of the south coast, situated as it is where the Exe estuary, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its flora and faunam, meets the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site. A series of late 18th century houses, in which lived Lady Nelson and Lady Hamilton as neighbours,  lead up from the town centre to a point high above the promenade, where the hotel is situated. In mediaeval times, a beacon was situated at the cliff edge, outside where the hotel now is, ready to be lit in times of threatened invasion by foreign forces, as it was when the Spanish Armada approached. Today there is a symbolic beacon in metalwork to mark the site.

That explains the Beacon part of its name – the Royal bit is explained by the King of Saxony, who was conducting a private journey around the British Isles in the 1840s, staying there … for one night. The owner at the time spotted his opportunity and Royal it has been ever since.

The Hotel has proved a very satisfactory venue, both for its situation, residential accommodation and playing conditions. This was the 19th consective year it’s been held there.

The overall entry this year was 76, with the Minor Section, usually the biggest section, strangely this year being the smallest at 22.

In the Open, although there were 2 FIDE Masters and a Candidate Master among the ranks there was never any question that GM Keith Arkell would retain his championship title, although even for him, having secured that particular aim after Rd. 6, there was a sting in the tail and he lost to McMichael in the final round.

The wallcharts below, tell the whole story:

The Championship Section

The Major Section

The Minor Section

West of England Congress – Easter 2017

Prizelist

Grd Club /7
Championship (Open)
1st K. C. Arkell 2411 Paignton 6
2nd= R. McMichael 2230 Kings Head 5
M. Waddington 2061 Dorchester 5
GPs D. Littlejohns 1999 Taunton
R. De Coverley 1988 Bourne End
R. Bryant 1984 Oswestry
M. Shaw 1944 Exmouth
O. E. Wensley 1798 Exmouth
Major (U-2000)
1st= P. Brooks 1915 Newton Abbot
R. Hutchings 1845 Woodpushers
3rd= J. Hickman 1897 5
J. McDonnell 1863 Streatham 5
GP C. Sellwood   (U-1750) 1668 Camborne
Minor (U-130)
1st= J, Barber-Lafon 128 Newton Abbot 5
1st= K. Alexander 124 Seaton 5
1st= D. Burt 104 Bournemouth 5
GP A. Fraser        (U-110) 107 Beckenham 4

And now, the story in pictures …..

Rd. 1: Mitchell vs McMichael 0-1

Rd. 1: General view of the playing area - right side from the stage.

Rd. 1: Generel view of the playing area - left side from stage.

Rd. 1: Ingham vs Waddington (nearest) 0-1 & Bolt vs Shaw. 1-0

Rd. 1: Up & coming Cornish junior, Adam Hussain, faces the top seed in the Major, Ronnie Burton. 2nd seed, Paul Brooks opens against Phil Foley.

Rd. 2: Clubmates Walter Braun and event secretary, Meyrick Shaw, get their 2nd game under way, while Littlejohns plays Tim Paulden.

Rd. 2: John Bass plays Patryk Krzyzanowski alongside Menadue and Helbig.

Rd. 2: Eventual winner, Keith Arkell, moves against eventual joint runner-up, Mike Waddington.

Rd. 2: In the Minor, Bracken Lockett faces the eventual Grading Prize winner, Alan Fraser, alongside Wendy Carr and N. Thatte.

Rd. 5: MsMichael plays Alan Crombleholme, a well-known name in chess circles, especially in the Midlands, but his first visit to this event.

Rd. 5: Sellwood vs Brooks & Hutchings vs Hickman

Rd. 6: Graham Bolt makes a move against Mike Waddington.

Rd. 6: Top 2 boards in the Major - Brooks vs Hutchings & Price vs Sellwood.

Rd. 7: Top 2 games in the Minor - Rogers vs Tidy (drawn) & Dave Burt vs Paul Errington. 1-0. A remarkable achievement for the 14th seed, and 80+ years young to come 1st=.

Rd 7: The top 2 seeds meet at last. Arkell had already won the title with 6/6, which may have affected his sharpness in this game, which he lost after a long tactical endgame.

Final round; final game to finish, and a crowd gathers around as a small drama unfolds - Arkell loses a game!

Ken Alexander and Jacquie Barber-Lafon, 2 of the 3 joint winners of the Minor, accept their prize from WECU Treasurer, Oliver Wensley, who features in every photo from now on!

Jacquie Barber-Lafon was clearly delighted to become West of England Ladies Champion.

Joint winners in the Major, "Superman" Hutchings and Paul Brooks.

The Grading Prize winners from the Open, messers Shaw, Wensley, de Coverly and Bryant.

Runners-Up: Waddington & McMichael.

He's won it twice before, he's just lost a game, but that obviously doesn't spoil the moment for GM Keith Arkell.

West of England Congress – Easter 2017

Prizelist

Grd Club /7
Championship (Open)
1st K. C. Arkell 2411 Paignton 6
2nd= R. McMichael 2230 Kings Head 5
M. Waddington 2061 Dorchester 5
GPs D. Littlejohns 1999 Taunton
R. De Coverley 1988 Bourne End
R. Bryant 1984 Oswestry
M. Shaw 1944 Exmouth
O. E. Wensley 1798 Exmouth
Major (U-2000)
1st= P. Brooks 1915 Newton Abbot
R. Hutchings 1845 Woodpushers
3rd= J. Hickman 1897 5
J. McDonnell 1863 Streatham 5
GP C. Sellwood   (U-1750) 1668 Camborne
Minor (U-130)
1st= J, Barber-Lafon 128 Newton Abbot 5
1st= K. Alexander 124 Seaton 5
1st= D. Burt 104 Bournemouth 5
GP A. Fraser        (U-110) 107 Beckenham 4

WECU Congress Entries (13.04.2017.)

West of England Championships

Current entries as at Thurs. 13th April 2017.

1 Day to go!

FIDE ECF OPEN CLUB Bye
1 2408 240 K. C. Arkell Cheddleton
2 2230 208 R. McMichael Kings Head
3 2202 208 D. Mackle Newton Abbot
4 2160 212 W. Braun Exmouth
5 2098 186 P. Helbig S. Bristol
6 2072 194 J. Menadue Truro
7 2066 197 G. Bolt Railways 5
8 2061 186 M. Waddington Dorchester
9 2048 193 P. Krzyzanowski S. Bristol
10 2041 185 S. Dilleigh Horfield
11 2034 185 O. Garcia Poole (Spain)
12 2030 166 J. W. Bass Richmond 1
13 2019 175 A. Crombleholme None
14 1997 175 D. Littlejohns Taunton 1
15 1994 183 R. Bryant Oswestry
16 1994 173 S. Mitchell None 4
17 1979 184 R. de Coverley Bourne End
18 1975 165 T. F. Thynne Newton Abbot 2
19 1971 185 T. Paulden Exeter
20 1944 159 M. Shaw Exmouth
21 1860 165 W. Ingham Teignmouth
22 1850 161 M. Wilson Newton Abbot
23 1798 168 O. Wensley Exmouth
MAJOR U-1950
1 1927 167 R. Burton Weymouth 4
2 1915 162 P. Brooks Newton Abbot
3 1911 158 R. Gamble Derby
4 1897 169 J. Hickman None
5 1884 142 I. S. Annetts Tiverton 5
6 1876 163 J. Morgan Exeter
7 1855 164 J. McDonnell Streatham
8 1860 165 W. H. Ingham Teignmouth
9 1840 159 S. K. Dean Seaton 4
10 1821 159 B. G. Gosling E. Budleigh
11 1791 156 A. Price Leamington
12 1794 150 M. Page Insurance
13 1790 165 P. G. Jackson Coulsdon
14 1777 167 J. Nyman Kings Head
15 1773 143 D. McArthur Keynsham
16 1738 153 A. Hibbitt Banbury 1
17 1735 138 A. Hussain Carrick
16 1716 147 P. Foley Upminster
17 1705 134 P. Jackson Bournemouth
18 1703 140 D. Watson Bourne End
19 1694 137 M. Roberts Holmes Chapel
20 1690 132 I. Blencowe Gloucester
21 1675 130 C. Brown Bath
22 1670 132 G. Parfett Athenaeumn 6
23 1668 155 C. Sellwood Camborne
24 1655 133 L. Hafsted Exeter Juniors
25 1653 133 D. Lawrence Kings Head
26 1647 132 J. Robertson E. Kilbride
27 1598 137 N. Thatte Ealing
28 1522 132 T. Greenaway Torquay
29 1390 138 P. Foster Medway 4
MINOR U-130
1 128 P. Wood Hastings
2 128 J. Barber-Lafon N. Abbott 1
3 128 D. R. Rogers Exmouth
4 125 S. Barry Battersea
5 124 K. Alexander Seaton
6 123 R. Hunt 5
7 123 P. Errington Bournemouth
8 119 R. Waters Taunton
9 119 E. Westlake Liskeard
10 119 N. Tidy Teignmouth
11 117 T. Crouch Kings Head
12 116 J. Dean Plymouth
13 107 A. Fraser Beckenham
14 104 D. Burt Bournemouth
15 97 Nan Thatte Ealing
16 93 H. Welch Seaton
17 93 John Carr —-
18 92 A. Davies S. Hams
19 89 M. Cox Southampton
20 81 R. E. Cox Southampton
21 71 B. Lockett N. Abbot 4
22 36 Wendy Carr —–
Total Entries   23+29+22 = 74

Teignmouth RapidPlay & Jersey Festival Results (08.04.2017.)

The Teignmouth RapidPlay tournament took place on Saturday, with these players emerging with prizes after 6 gruelling rounds.

Open Section: 1st Lorenz Hartmann (Exeter Uni.) 5 pts. 2nd= Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) & John Fraser (Exeter Uni.) both 4½. Grading prizes: U-166: Steve Dean (Seaton) 3½. U-151: Alan Dean (Exmouth). 2½

Graded Section (U-137): 1st Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham) 5½. 2nd Reece Whittington (Exeter) 5. U-122: Macey Rickard (Teignmouth); Graham Mill-Wilson (Yate & Sodbury); John Constable (Bude); Gregor Fotheringam (Tiverton) & Zoe Strong (Clevedon) all 4. U-111: Nicholas Cunliffe (Wells); David Thomson (Exmouth) & Christine Constable (Bude) all 4. U-94: Peter Strong (Exeter Uni.) 4.

Team Prize: Exeter University (Hartmann, Fraser & P. Strong).

Juniors:U-16; John Skeen (Churchill Academy) 3½. U-14: Max Walker (Churchill Academy) 4½. Photographs of the action may be found on keverelchess.com/blog

All this week, the Jersey Festival Congress has been taking place with Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) the focus of Westcountry interest. He is 7th seed overall, some way behind Jon Speelman and Hillarp Persson. In Rd. 2 on Sunday he faced the Swede with the following result:- notes kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Jack Rudd (2177). Black: Tiger Hillarp Persson (2503)

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0–0–0 Be7 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.g3 b5 13.f4 This break changes the character of the position, but White couldn’t see what else to do. 13…Nb6 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Bxb6 Qxb6 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Rd8 18.Bg2 0–0 19.Na5 Re-routing the knight to c6 from where it does a good defensive job, as Black has little play if he cannot access the c- & d-files. 19…Bd6 20.Nc6 Rde8 21.Rhf1 Ng4 22.Rde1 f5 23.Qg5 e4 24.Qxh5 24.Qg6 was a better way to drive the advantage home. 24…Qc5 25.Rxf5 Rxf5 26.Qxe8+ Rf8 27.Qxe4 24…Ne3 25.Bh3 Nxf1 26.Rxf1 Qe3 White had missed this route back for the queen. 27.Bxf5 Qh6 28.Qg4 e3 29.Nd4 g6 30.Re1 Qh5 31.Be6+ Kh8 32.Qe4 Black now played 32…Rf2 and offered a draw, which was declined. 33.Qxe3 Ref8 34.a3 A flight square for the king may be needed later. 34…Qxh2 35.Ka2 Kh7 36.Bg4 Qxg3 the best move. 37.Rh1+ 1-0 Rh2 would have been OK, but Black mistakenly picked up his queen. This may have been a stroke of luck for Rudd, but 2 games later he was leading the field by a clear point. He lost to Speelman in Rd. 5 but was still joint leader on 4/5 points.

NB:  Since going to press on Wednesday, Rudd kept his nerve and his form and was always in 1st place, either clear or shared. He won his last game on Saturday and finished 1st= with Alan Merry. More details next week.

In last week’s position (above) White could ignore Black’s attack as he had 1.RxB+ KxR 2.Rb8 mate.This 2-mover is more difficult, having been one of the problems in the recent British Solving Championships. What is White’s one move to enable mate next time against any Black defence.