The Paignton Congress got under way on Sunday with a near-record entry of 215.
Here is a clinical win from Round 1 by the tournament favourite, Keith Arkell, who is fresh from a crushing 1st place in the international Jessie Gilbert Memorial tournament, which he won by 2 clear points.
White: David Littlejohns (174). Black: Keith Arkell (226).
Caro-Kann Defence – Exchange Variation. [B13]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 In these circumstances, the weaker player is always liable to seek equal exchanges in the hope of keeping things as simple as possible. However, this is often exactly how Grandmasters like it. 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.Bf4 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Bd6 9.Bxd6 Qxd6 10.0–0 b5 11.Re1 Nf6 12.Qd3 Rb8 13.a3 a5 14.Nd2 0–0 15.Rad1 Rfc8 Black plans to attack on the Queenside and moves his big guns into position. 16.g3 Ne7 17.Nb3 b4 The forward march continues. 18.cxb4 axb4 19.a4 This little skirmish has broken up White’s pawn structure. 19…Qc6 20.Nc5 Nd7 21.Nxd7 Qxd7 22.Ra1 Nf5 23.Bg4 Nd6 24.Be2 Qa7 25.Red1 b3 26.Ra3 Nc4 27.Rxb3 Nxb2 The knight is protected by the rook on b8 even though they are not in direct contact, so the fork must win material. 28.Rxb8 Qxb8 29.Qd2 Nxd1 30.Bxd1 Qb6 0-1 White resigned, as he is materially down and his isolated pawns will inevitably get picked off.
Arkell’s closest rival is Colin Crouch who is returning to Paignton after an absence of 6 years, during which time he has suffered serious illness which has left him somewhat physically impaired, and he is now seeking to re-establish himself in the chess world.
In last week’s position, White won quickly after 1.Qe4+ Bf5 (if 1…Kg7 2.Nxe6+ forking king and queen.) 2.Qxf5+! Kxf5 (the knight still threatens a fork). 3.Be4+ Kxg5 4.Bc1 mate.
Devon’s two titled players met last week at an international tournament in Coulsdon. The game went as follows:-
White: K. C. Arkell (2432). Black: J. Rudd (2278).
Blumenfeld Counter-Gambit [E10]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.Bg5 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 7.e4 a6 8.a4 Be7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.axb5 Bxb2 11.Ra2 Bf6 12.Bd3 0–0 13.0–0 Ra7 14.Nbd2 Re8 15.Nc4 Rae7 16.b6 Bg4 17.Ra3 Bd4 18.h3 Bxf3 19.Qxf3 Nd7 20.Rxa6 Ne5 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Bb5 Rf8 23.Rb1 f5 24.exf5 Ref7 25.Bc6 Rxf5 The position below has been reached. Black has a potent Kingside attack while White has threats on the other wing. How did White respond here that caused Black’s instant resignation?