Diary
October 2014
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Exmouth C.C.’s Buzzer Tournament 2014.

Exmouth Chess Club’s traditional season-starter has, for several decades been its “Buzzer” Tournament. This comprises a small battery-powered device that emits an audible buzz every 10 seconds. This was cobbled together c. 30 years ago by Fred Hodge, and is kept in a small cigar box. Each player has to move on the sound, if it is their move. It’s an all-play-all event involving anyone and everyone who turns up on the night.

It involves a peculiar manifestation of the relativity of time. At the start of each game, the 10 seconds thinking time seems like an eternity, but within 10 moves that same time seems like one second and towards the end it’s like a nano-second as one’s brain struggles to sort the almighty mess one has got into.

Last year’s winner, Meyrick Shaw, started badly with a loss to Malcolm Belt, but thereafter conceded only a single draw. 

The results were as follows:

  Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 total Pos.
1 Bob Jones X ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0  
2 Fred Hodge ½ X 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 3  
3 Chris Scott 1 1 X 1 1 0 1 0 1 6 2nd
4 Malcolm Belt 1 1 0 X 1 ½ 0 1 0 4½ 4th=
5 Tom Badlan 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0  
6 Simon Blake ½ 0 1 ½ 1 X 0 0 ½ 3½  
7 Oliver Wensley 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 0 ½ 5½ 3rd
8 Meyrick Shaw ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 1 6½ 1st
9 Steve Murray 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 X 4½ 4th=

WECU Jamboree 2014 Results (15.09.14.)

The West of England Jamboree has been the Union’s annual pre-season get-together and rust-remover for many years and is still well-supported, even though, as in football, the concept of a season with a long summer break from the sport, is almost extinct. One hundred players and organisers gathered at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre on the outskirts of Taunton as per usual, although the word “outskirts” is also becoming redundant, as the town’s housing is  rapidly encroaching on the area with large new estates making the approaches to the centre look unfamiliar to even the most regular participant.

This year there were four teams of 12 in each section, with Cornwall entering a team in the Open Section for the first time in a number of years, probably decades – and a very competitive team it was, too. In the Grade-limited Section there was a team from Wiltshire, after an absence of c. 20 years – a welcome move in both cases.

Although headed by Somerset in the early stages, Devon’s strength-in-depth made certain of their win in the Open, winning all 6 of their games in the lower half. Gloucestershire scored 3.5 out of 5 at the top of the order, but then fell away, while Cornwall scored 4 pts from their top 7 games.

In the Graded Section, Devon’s Torbay League scored heavily in the lower reaches, while Wiltshire scored at the top and bottom of the order, the two teams coming 1st =. The Wiltshire Captain, Roy Ludlow took the trophy 1st, saying his wife would only allow him to keep it in the house until the Torbay Congress in November, where he’d gladly hand it over to Rob Wilby.

The event was organised by Ben Edgell. Jerry Humphries acted as Arbiter in the Open Section and another colleague did likewise in the other room. Martin Worrell, a member of Taunton C.C. and a technician at the Centre, kindly provided free tea and biscuits all afternoon.

Photographs to follow shortly.

The details were as follows: 

    W.E.C.U.         Jamboree  
    OPEN         SECTION  
Bd. team player Grd     team player Grd
1 A1 Jeremy Menadue 189 ½ ½ B1 Phil Meade 182
2 C1 Dominic Mackle 203 0 1 D1 Jack Rudd 224
3 B2 Thomas Thorpe 179 ½ ½ C2 John Stephens 194
4 D2 David Buckley 207 ½ ½ A2 Theo Slade 179
5 A3 Mark Hassall 178 1 0 C3 Kevin Hurst 191
6 B3 John Jenkins 176 1 0 D3 Peter Chaplin 189
7 D4 Mike Richardt 184 0 1 D4 Peter Kirby 173
8 C4 Steve Homer 188 1 0 A4 Grant Healey 178
9 C5 John Fraser 182 ½ ½ B5 Phil Dodwell 163
10 A5 David Saqui 173 0 1 D5 Pat Krzyzanowski 182
11 B6 Barry Whitelaw 159 0 1 A6 James Hooker 170
12 D6 David Littlejohns 178 ½ ½ C6 John Wheeler 181
13 A7 Simon Bartlett 169 1 0 B7 Alun Richards 136
14 C7 Jon Underwood 179 1 0 D7 David P-Kooiman 178
15 B8 Ian Blencowe 130 0 1 C8 Dave Regis 176
16 D8 James Byrne 165 1 0 A8 Gary Trudeau 155
17 A9 John Wilman 154 0 1 C9 Alan Brusey 176
18   d/f   0 1 D9 Gerry Jepps 163
19 D10 Andrew Gregory 158 1 0 B10 Jim Caterer 128
20 C10 Bill Ingham 176 1 0 A10 Richard Smith 149
21 C11 Brian Hewson 174 1 0 B11 Peter Bending 122
22 A11 Martin Jones 121 0 1 D11 Darren Freeman 158
23 B12 John Harris 115 ½ ½ A12 Barry Childs 107
24 D12 Alex Conway 156 0 1 C12 Meyrick Shaw 170
                 

                                            Summary

  Open 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Tot. Pos.
A Cornwall ½ ½ 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 ½ 3rd
B Glos ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 4 4th
C Devon 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1st
D Somerset 1 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 0 7 2nd

  

    GRADED         SECTION  
Bd. team player Grd     team player Grd
1 A1 Andy Bellingham 154 0 1 B1 Chris Purry 152
2 C1 Trefor Thynne 161 0 1 D1 Jim Sherwin 198
3 B2 Roger Knight 152 ½ ½ C2 Mike S-Brownbridge 164
4 D2 Andrew Cooper 174 1 0 A2 Adrian Champion 151
5 A3 Neville Senior 150 1 0 C3 Paul Brooks 154
6 B3 Jim Fewkes 150 ½ ½ D3 Ricardo Rei 168
7 D4 Tim Woodward 146 1 0 D4 Chris Fewtrell 149
8 C4 Andrew Kinder 146 0 1 A4 Chris Strong 148
9 C5 Rob Wilby 140 0 1 B5 Mark Baker 147
10 A5 Tristan West 147 ½ ½ D5 George Georgiou 139
11 B6 Simon Pickard 121 1 0 A6 Stan Wojcik 140
12 D6 Roy Ludlow 128 0 1 C6 John Allen 132
13 A7 John Wilkinson 115 1 0 B7 Simon Gray 114
14 C7 Vignesh Ramesh 131 1 0 D7 Gareth Williams 118
15 B8 Stan Hill 114 0 1 C8 Ben Wilkinson 129
16 D8 Richard Carver 116 0 1 A8 Roger Waters 112
17 A9 Mike Cooper 119 0 1 C9 John Dean 119
18 D10 David Brown 102 0 1 D9 Geoff Berryman 108
19 C10 Tony Tatam 107 1 0 B10 Mike Ward 93
20 C11 Roy Greenhalgh 100 1 0 A10 Roger Fenton 98
21 A11 Vic McAndrew 91 0 1 B11 Mike Walters 101
22 B12 d/f   0 0 D11 d/f  
23 D12 Robert Sparks 72 1 0 C12 Nandaja Narayanan 101
24 B9 Ivan Stringer 110 ½ ½ D9 Gordon Chapman 104

                                            Summary 

  Graded 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Tot. Pos.
A N & W Somerset 0 0 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4th
B S & E Somerset 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 3rd
C Torbay League 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1st=
D Wiltshire 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 1st=

 

Bd. 1 in the Open - Menadue vs Meade - game drawn.

Thorpe vs Stephens - a placid start before a frantic finish.

Homer (W) beat Healey in a clever endgame combination.

General view of the Open Section - Conway vs Shaw nearest.

James T. Sherwin vs T. F. Thynne - quite a game in the Graded Section.

Devon Captain and WECU President elect receives the Jamboree Cup from Organsier Ben Edgell (l)

Rob Wilby (l) & Roy Ludlow share the Graded Cup

Paignton Congress 2014 – Final Day (Rd. 7)

At the start of the final round, there was a tie between the five top-rated players in the Premier Section, – Gormally, Arkell, Ledger, Mackle & Bates – all on 4.5/6. Any one of the 5 could win it outright, while other possibilities included double ties, triple ties or, if they all drew, a 5-way tie. The possibilities ran into double digits, and the only certainty was that would be no quick draws in this round.

 The pairings were Arkell vs Mackle; Bates vs Gormally and McKenna vs Ledger. Arkell played an open game and managed at several points in the game to create small threats, forcing Mackle to exchange pieces, and it wasn’t long before an endgame was reached, an aspect of the game in which Arkell is an acknowledged master. With R+2 minor pieces each left on the board, Black at least had some activity, but he chose to exchange off the rooks, after which White had most of  the attacking options and Mackle resigned. Arkell could relax as the leader in the clubhouse and watch the other three slug it out. He relaxed even more when Bates and Gormally agreed a draw. This left Ledger fighting for a win in order to share 1st prize. And strive he did as the game went on for hour after hour, finishing long after the room was empty of players. After 6 hours play, McKenna avoided a loss on time at the 2nd time control by seconds, and it went down to R vs R+P. The pawn was on the a-file, protected by K + R and far away from the White king, but McKenna managed to find just enough resources to prevent the queening, so a draw was agreed. Thus Arkell, the Paignton veteran, won his 20th 1st place in the 22 consecutive years he’s entered – doubly pleasing for him.

The second-to-last game to finish was Bd. 1 in the Challengers, where Mike Waddington, who had 6/6 points and had already won the section with a round to spare, was trying very hard to make it a clean sweep. But he was faced by the ever-steady Martin Page who had no intentions of falling in with his plans, and after many hours play, a draw was agreed. Although he failed in his bid for a 100% score, he finished with the highest score by any player in any section.

The full prize list was as follows.

  Ron Bruce Premier Rating   Pts/7 £
1st K. C. Arkell 2435 Cheddleton 600
2nd= D. W. Gormally 2500 Cheddleton 5 150
  R. A. Bates 2338 Hackney 5 150
  S. H. Berry 2322 Wimbledon 5 150
  D. J. Ledger 2235 Bedford 5 150
GPs          
U-2151 S. P. Dilleigh 2138 Horfield 4 17
  A. Brown 2095 Northampton 4 17
  P. R. Kemp 2078 Linton 4 17
U-2071 I. J. Myall 2054 Chelmsford 17
  G. Bolt 2013 Railways London 17
  A. Pickersgill 1990 Hastings 17
U-1981 A. W. Brusey 1951 Teignmouth 25
  A. F. Footner 1869 Dorchester 25
0/2 T. R. Spanton 1976 Hastings   20
           
  Rowena Bruce Challengers (U-180) Grd.      
1st M. P. Waddington 172 Dorchester 300
2nd = G. Body 169 Exeter 5 75
  M. C. Page 163 Insurance 5 75
  D. A. Patrick 159 Courier 5 75
  P. S. Morton 153 Hammersmith 5 75
GPs          
U-161 R. Clegg 160 Huddersfield 4 25
  A. Price 155 Leamington 4 25
U-149 A. M. Hibbitt 147 Banbury 4 25
  J. Morgan 147 Exeter 4 25
U-136 J. Robertson 123 E. Kilbride 4 50
0/2 A. M. Hibbitt 147 Banbury 4 10
  J. Morgan 147 Exeter 4 10
           
  Walker Minor (U-130)        
1st R. J. Kearsley 125 Wimbledon 6 300
2nd= K. R. Alexander 126 Seaton 150
  R. P. Hamilton 124 Metropolitan 150
GPs          
U-122 M. R. Harris 120 Colchester 5 50
U-113 A. R. Fraser 108 Beckenham 17
  M. Bolan 107 Ashtead 17
  S. Thacker 105 West Notts 17
U-104 R. Burroughs 86 Malvern 50
0/2 R. G. Waters 112 Taunton 20

NB: Grading prize winners do not quaify for a prize in a higher section, even though they might have a higher score.

  5-Rd. AM Grd Boniface   U-180 Pts/5 £
1st= B. G. Gosling 153 E. Budleigh/Exmouth 4 150
  R. A. Dean 158 Undercliffe 4 150
3rd= R. R. Sanders 178 Sudbury 60
  R. J. Gamble 161 Derby 60
  D. A. Patrick 159 Courier 60
  B. O’Gorman 157 DHSS 60
  A. M. Hibbitt 147 On a barge somewhere 60
U-161 D. Siddall 157 Austin Friars 3 50
U-154 N. G. Andrews 157 York 3 50
U-143 Ms G. A. Moore 142 Southampton 50
0/2 M. Adams 130 Sidmouth 20
           
  5-Rd. A.M.   Thynne   U-130    
1st R. J. Nash 125 Barnstaple 4 300
2nd= J. B. Farrell 128 Metropolitan 4 50
  A. Collins 126 Cowley 4 50
  M. J. Gunn 126 Guildford 4 50
  M. R. Harris 120 Colchester 4 50
  C. A. Fraser 113 West Bridgford 4 50
  Ms. J. Goldsmith 104 Harrow 4 50
U-126 P. P. Sartain 123 Guildford 25
  J. E. Dean 119 Plymouth 25
U-119 P. Harrington 118 Blackburn 25
  Ms. J. Gardiner 114 Hemel Hempstead 25
U-111 A. R. Fraser 105 Beckenham Bromley 50
0/2 J. G. Davis 128 Guildford 20

 

The state of play after Rd. 6 in the Premier

The draw for the final round in the Premier.

Top board: Bates vs Gormally - destined for a draw.

Mackle starts White's clock - game on!

Final round draw for the Challengers.

 

Mike Waddington, who has already won the Challengers Section, wants to make it a perfect score but is faced by the redoubtable Martin Page.

 

So pleasant is the weather, post-game analysis can be held in the hotel gardens

Paignton Congress – Day 6

Friday morning marks the end of the morning tournaments. At the end of the final round, perhaps the most remakable result was Richard Nash’s clear 1st place in the new Thynne section. In recent years Richard has always been around in Paignton during the congress, to watch the play and organise the Blitz tournament each Thursday evening. However, this year marked the 60th anniversary since  his first entry in the 4th Congress in 1954 and he felt it the right moment to dip his toe in the water again. It was well rewarded. The full prize list was as follows:
  5-Rd. AM   Boniface   U-180 Pts £
1st= B. G. Gosling 153 E. Budleigh/Exmouth 4 150
  R. A. Dean 158 Undercliffe 4 150
3rd= R. R. Sanders 178 Sudbury 60
  R. J. Gamble 161 Derby 60
  D. A. Patrick 159 Courier 60
  B. O’Gorman 157 DHSS 60
  A. M. Hibbitt 147 On a barge somewhere 60
U-161 D. Siddall 157 Austin Friars 3 50
U-154 N. G. Andrews 157 York 3 50
U-143 Ms G. A. Moore 142 Southampton 50
0/2 M. Adams 130 Sidmouth 20
           
  5-Rd. A.M.   Thynne   U-130    
1st R. J. Nash 125 Barnstaple 4 300
2nd= J. B. Farrell 128 Metropolitan 4 50
  A. Collins 126

 

Last Rd. Draw

Last Rd. Draw

A formal handshake between Dean & Gosling got things under way.

Mike Gunn & Richard Nash start their final game

Patrick vs Hibbert (furthest) and Gamble vs Halmkin

Nash gets his cheque from Congress Organiser, Alan Crickmore.

Jennifer Goldsmith collects her prize

Patrick Sartain collects his cheque.

 

Gormally vs Arkell on their changed table.

 

Bates vs Berry in their penultimate game.

Paignton Congress 2014 – Day 5

This is the time when the finishing line starts to beckon for both the 5 Rd. morning sections and the main event in the afternoons.

However, before the serious stuff got under way at 2 p.m. there was an amusing diversion. It has become a little tradition at Paignton that any regular competitor who reaches the grand old age of 90 gets a presentation book. This year it was the turn of John G. Sowerby who passed this particular milestone a few days ago. He had the pick of the bookstall to choose from, and opted for a copy of  Arkell’s Odyssey, as he felt it was a bit late in life for him to wrestling with some heavy tome on the openings. He agreed to be present at the start of the afternoon round, even though he was only playing in the mornings. Unknown to him it was arranged that Keith himself should present John with a signed copy, to a round of generous applause. Immediately, then, Keith was himself surprised that it was announced that he had recently won the vote for the ECF’s Player of the Year award, by a country mile – again, to generous applause.

Then the focus was back on John. At the start of play on Tuesday morning, John got him game under way but slowly became aware that all was not well on the board. By move 8 the players realised that John’s king and queen were on the wrong squares. But not before the photographs were taken, and if one looks closely at  the final photograph on the previous entry, one can just make this out.  Young Theo Slade and his father went to some trouble to crop the picture, blow up the image of John at the board, print off a nice copy and frame it for presentation to him at this moment. A photograph of the three players involved was taken outside shortly after.

John Sowerby with Keith Arkell (l) and Theo Slade.

 

The long-promised better weather finally arrived and allowed post-game analysis to be carried on outside.

Paignton Congress 2014 – Day 2

Monday may be Day 2 of the congress, but it marks the start of the 5 Rd. Morning Tournament. Three factors encouraged the organisers to split the entry into 2 section, for the first time. Firstly, the entry for the morning event has been slowly growing over the years, as some players prefer to get the torture over by midday and have the rest of the day to relax, while others prefer to have two games a day, morning and afternoon. Secondly, the grade ceiling for the morning has gradually been raised, in order to increase the entry, and thirdly, there was a feeling among the lower ranks that they stood little chance of any prize against this stiffer opposition. 

Therefore, the Boniface Section went from grades 179 down to 130, while the newly-named Thynne Section was open to all players U-129 and below, and with a £750 prize fund for them alone. This appears to have been a popular move. 

However, the shock of the day, if not the congress so far, was found in the afternoon’s Premier, where top seed, Grandmaster Danny Gormally, lost to WECU’s retiring President, John Wheeler. On the adjacent board the other GM, Keith Arkell, was being met with stout resistance from Steve Dilleigh until early evening. 

The morning sections get under way. with the Boniface on the right and the Thynne forming the left column.

 

Bd. 1 in the Boniface involved Ronnie Burton (W) vs R. Bryant.

At the lower end of the Thynne Section, Jacquie Barber-Lafon makes an opening move against J. W. Carr, while seated next to 90 year old John Sowerby of Colchester.

Paignton Congress 2014 – Day 1 (31.08.2014.)

It's Torbay and the schools are back. Must be time for the Paignton Congress. Here at its new venue of the Livermead House Hotel, right on the sea-front.

Don't forget the hotel was someone's private residence once.

The view from the venue - a luxury liner in the Bay under the bluest of skies.

At 2 p.m. DCCA President, Mr. Paul Brooks welcomed all participants, in fron of the preoccupied arbiters, Tony Tatam (green), John Ariss (blue) and Victor Cross (yellow)

General view of the playing area. The re-alignment of the tables has created more space for movement around the room.

Tactics used are many and varied. Simon Bartlett's shirt, for example, is clearly giving his opponent a headache.

Top seed, Grandmaster Danny Gormally, completes his kingside fianchetto.

2nd seed, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, reflects on his opening move.

The number of lady players has almost reached double figures this year. On these 2 boards, for instance, they outnumber the men by 3 to 1. Nearest the camera is the noted chess artist, Nette Robinson.

The Other Cornish Olympian (30.08.2014.)

Michael Adams may have been the outstanding player for England at the recent Olympiad, but he was not the only Cornishman involved. St. Austell-born Andrew Greet was playing for Scotland, where he works as an editor for the Glasgow-based publisher Quality Chess. He excelled on Board 2 and narrowly missed achieving a Grandmaster norm. In this game from Round 5 he surprises a strong GM.

White: Emir Dizdarevic (Bosnia-Herzogovina – 2522). Black: A. Greet (Scotland – 2431).

Reti Opening [A06]

1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.b3 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 Bd6 8.d4 The game started as a Reti, but has transposed into the Tarrasch Defence to the Queen’s Pawn opening. 8…cxd4 9.Nxd4 Qe7 10.Nf3 Making a second unnecessary move with the same piece while other pieces remain undeveloped must lose tempo. 10…Be6 11.Bb2 0–0 12.Nc3 a6 13.Rc1 Rfd8 It might be better to develop the other rook first, then bring the other one to e8 13…Rad8. 14.Qc2 Rac8 15.Qb1 Bb8! Preparing …Qd6 and opening the centre with …d4. 16.Rfd1 Ng4 Black’s pieces are lined up against the enemy king. 17.h3 Now is not the moment to retreat. 17…Nxf2! 18.Kxf2 Qc7 threatening …Qg3+ and if Kg1 then Bxh6. 19.Bf1? White is so disconcerted by the sacrifice that he blunders and Greet extracts maximum advantage. 19…Qg3+ 20.Kg1 Having committed to attack, Black must bring every available piece into action – this is no time for vacillation. Ne5 21.Nd4 Bxh3 22.Rd3 Ng4 23.Nf3 Qf2+ 24.Kh1 Bxg2+ 25.Bxg2 Rc6 0–1. The distant rook suddenly joins the fray and 26…Rh6 mate cannot be prevented.

The death was announced last week of John G. Gorodi, aged 88, a regular and venerable figure on the south west congress circuit. With his brother and 200,000 others he fled his native Hungary after the collapse of the Hungarian uprising against the Russians in 1956, eventually settling in Newton Abbot. He kept in contact with some of his former chess colleagues and put me in touch with a Hungarian problemist, whose work subsequently appeared in this column. Only last year he became the British U-150 Champion at Torquay, probably the oldest title-holder in British chess history. That was after he crashed his car on the way home after round 3, discharging himself from hospital so that he could compete in Rounds 4 & 5, both of which he won.

Last week’s problem by Lt. Col. George Ansell was solved by 1.Ne6! threatening 2.Nd4 mate, and 1…BxN allows the White queen to do the honours.

From a recent game Black is faced with losing his rook with check. What’s his best response?

Black to play and win.

Adams Stars at Olympiad (23.08.2014.)

The recent 41st Olympiad at Tromsø was won by China, who at the outset were seeded 7th of the 177 participating teams of 4, based on the rating of their players. Second were Hungary (5th seed) and 3rd were India (18th seed). This serves to illustrate how the balance of power is moving from west to east. England came a disappointing 28th (10th seed), Ireland were 66th (62nd seed), Scotland were 83rd (65th seed) and Wales were 105th (98th seed).

One bright spot for England was the outstanding performance of Michael Adams, who scored 6½ points from the 9 games he played. Only a split on tie-break denied him the gold medal for the best individual performance on Board 1, and he had to settle for silver. This game from Rd. 5 against Vietnam was probably his best.

White: Le Quang Liem (2710). M. Adams (2740).

Catalan Opening.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 White goes in for the Catalan Opening, a system named by Tartakover after he tried it in Barcelona in 1929. 3…d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Nf3 c6 7.Qb3 0–0 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Rc1 a5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Na3 Qe7 13.e3 Rd8 14.Rab1 g6 15.Qc2 Bg7 16.Rd1 Nf6 17.Ne5 Bd7 18.Nxd7 Rxd7 19.Rd2 e5 Breaking open the centre to create space for his pieces. However it also allows White’s knight to join the fray. 20.dxe5 Qxe5 21.Rbd1 Rad8 22.cxd5 Nxd5 23.Nc4 Qe6 24.Bxd5 cxd5 25.Nxa5 d4 26.exd4 Qxa2 27.Nb3 Qa4 28.Ra1 Qb4 29.Qc3 Qb6 30.Ra4 Qe6 31.Nc5 Forking queen and rook, but Black has a vital check available. 31…Qe1+ 32.Kg2 Rc7 33.Rc2 Qe8! Hitting the undefended rook and threatening …b6 winning the pinned knight. 34.Rc4 b5 35.Rb4 Black may be a pawn down, but this is the beginning of the end for White as Adams launches a powerful attack. 35…Rxc5 36.Qxc5 Forced, as the defending pawn was pinned. 36…Bf8 The point of Black’s sacrifice, as becomes clear. 37.Qxb5 Qe4+ Now both rooks are attacked. 38.Kg1 Qxc2 39.Ra4 Qb1+ 40.Kg2 Qe4+ 41.f3 Qc2+ 42.Kh3 Qd1 43.f4 h5 44.Qc4 Rxd4! 0–1 If now 45.Qxd4 Qf1+ forcing 46.Kh4 Be7+. Or if 45.Ra1 Qg4+ 46.Kg2 Rxc4 In fact, White is mated in every variation. Match drawn 2-2.

Vietnam eventually finished level with England on match points but came 27th on tie-break.

The Paignton Congress starts a week tomorrow at the Livermead Hotel. Enquiries about last minute entries should go to Alan and Linda Crickmore on 01752-768206 or e-mail plymouthchess@btinternet.com.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1. Bb8! Here is another 2-mover by Lt. Col. George Kirkpatrick Ansell, who was killed in action exactly 100 years ago next week.

Chess Problemist Shot (16.08.2014.)

The one million British and Commonwealth WW1 fatalities cut swathes of heartbreak through every walk of life. Even the esoteric world of chess problemists did not escape.

Witheridge and Bristol’s Comins Mansfield, for example, was gassed in the trenches and temporarily blinded, but he survived to become a universally acknowledged genius of the 2-mover.

Less well-known was Lt. Col. George Kirkpatrick Ansell who was killed in the first days of the war. Born in 1872 in Wymering near Portsmouth, the son of a soldier, William and his wife Harriet, he joined the 5th Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Dragoon Guards, and served under Baden-Powell in South Africa. In France, two weeks after the declaration of war, the two armies met for the first time at Mons, after which the British sought to make an orderly retreat. On 31st August Ansell’s men were settled for the night in the small village of Néry. In the early morning mist of 1st September, a lost battalion of Germans blundered into them and more fighting broke out. Ansell’s unit was sent out to attack on the flank, which was an effective counter, and to get a good view of the skirmish he rode to the top of a nearby bluff. However, this made him a perfect target for German snipers and he was shot in the chest and died within 15 minutes, the most senior British officer to be killed at that point.

He is one of 51 Britons buried in Verberie, one of the 65 war cemeteries in the small department of Oise. The full account of what became known as “The Affair at Néry” can readily be found on-line and makes fascinating reading.

He had been a keen composer and publisher of chess problems before enlisting but once in the army his love of horses in general and polo in particular gradually took over.

He left a 9 year old son, Michael, who had a strangely parallel early life. He joined the same regiment as his father, played polo and rode competitively. Early in WW2 he, too, found himself retreating in the face of an advancing German army. He hid in a hayloft, and was shot at by British troops who assumed he was the enemy. As a result he was blinded, but this did not stop his involvement with horses. From his home, Pillhead House, Bideford, Col. Sir Mike Ansell became the driving force of British show jumping and equestrianism in the post war decades, making it a regular feature of TV scheduling.

The answer to last week’s position was 1…Rb3+! and if 2.axb3 Ra1 mate.

Here is one of Col. Ansell’s early 2-movers.

White to mate in 2