The Paignton Congress starts tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Livermead House Hotel, Torquay, TQ2 6QJ. Currently, the top seeds in the Premier are this year’s and last year’s West of England Champions, Dominic Mackle and Keith Arkell, together with Steve Berry, while Devon schoolboys John Fraser and Theo Slade will be making their first appearance in that section, and it will be interesting to see how they fare at this level. Their grades are almost level (162/3), but both are on a steep upward curve.
They played this game at the West of England Congress last Easter.
White: T. Slade. Black: J. Fraser. Trompovsky Opening [D03].
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 The signature move of this opening, named after Octavio Trompovsky, a one-time Brazilian Champion. It helps White avoid many of Black’s most popular and analysed replies to 1.d4. 2…e6 3.e4! is the move that makes 2…e6 generally unpopular. 3.Nf3 Be7 4.e3 d5 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nbd7 7.Nbd2 h6 8.Bh4 0–0 9.0–0 a6 10.Qe2 c4 11.Bc2 b5 12.Ne5 Bb7 12…Nxe5 would seem to be preferable in view of White’s next move. 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.f4. 13.f4 Sealing control of e5. 13…Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.g4 Rfd8 17.Qg2 threatening to win the e4 pawn. 17…f5 18.gxf5 exf5 19.b3 Now seeking to find space on the queenside, where the ultimate breakthrough will be made. 19…Rac8 20.bxc4 bxc4 opening the b-file. 21.Rab1 Bd5 22.Ba4 threatening to win the exchange. 22…Nf6 23.Rb6 Rd6 24.Rfb1 Ba8 25.Qg6 Correctly committing everything to the attack. 25…Qc7 26.Rxd6 Qxd6 The end comes surprisingly quickly. 27.Bd7 Neither of Black’s pieces can take the invading bishop 27…Rb8 28.Be6+ 1–0. If 28…Qxe6 29.Rxb8+ and Black will lose all his pieces.
Taunton resident, Michael Adams, is enjoying a purple patch at the moment, having had excellent results recently, culminating with 1st place ahead of a strong field at Dortmund earlier this month. Currently, he’s involved in the FIDE World Cup in Tromsǿ, Norway, in which 128 players are playing on a knock-out basis, until just 2 will be left to contest the final, both of whom will qualify for the Candidates stage of the World Championship cycle 2012-2014.
In last week’s position, Black may have had his reasons for playing 1…h5, but it merely trapped his own king, allowing 2.Ng6 mate.
Alekhine once quipped “Nobody ever won by resigning”. In this game Black resigned, assuming he was about to lose his triple-attacked bishop. Was he being over-pessimistic?