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Ronald A. Slade (05.01.2013.)

January is traditionally a time for looking either ahead or behind, and this time I look back to a westcountry player, namely R. A. (Ron) Slade (1917-2006).

He learned the game at the Plymouth Club where he was influenced by the solid, positional player, Ron Bruce. At the outbreak of war, he moved to Bristol and he came into contact with a more dashing group of players who thought little of sacrificing a piece in pursuit of a win. He quickly realised this was his true style, using sharp lines which had to be “felt rather than calculated”. In 1948, he became champion of his club, Bristol & Clifton, the League Champion and Gloucestershire Champion for the 2nd of 4 consecutive times.

This would have gone on for many more years, but in 1951 he left for Kent, where he won their county championship before he had relinquished the Gloucestershire title. He had competed in the WECU Championship from the start, but didn’t win it until 1958 at Newquay, after which he didn’t enter again. After that he concentrated on the Civil Service Championships until he retired to Lelant, Cornwall in 1977. He played for his new county for a season, but found it did not suit his adventurous individual style, and retired from chess as well.

About a decade ago, I mentioned his name in this column; a neighbour gave him the cutting and he got in touch, and we corresponded for his last two years.

Here, he beats his former mentor.

White: R. M. Bruce. Black: R. Slade. WECU Championship – Bristol 1947.

Dutch Defence – Stonewall Var. [A95]

1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 d5 7.Nc3 c6 8.b3 Qe8 9.Ne5 Nbd7 10.Nd3 Ne4 11.Bb2 g5 Black intends to unsettle his conservative opponent. 12.f3 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 f4 14.e3 fxg3 15.hxg3 Qg6 16.Qe2 Bd6 17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Be7 19.Rad1 b6 20.cxd5 cxd5 21.Kf2 a5 22.Rh1 Ba6 23.Qd2 Rac8 24.Bf1 Bxf1 25.Rhxf1 Rc6 26.Rc1 Rfc8 27.Kg1 Ba3 28.Bb2 If 28.Rc2 the bishop becomes pinned. 28…b5. 28…Rc2 29.Bxa3 29.Rxc2 Rxc2 30.Qd1 Rxb2. 29…Rxd2 30.Rxc8+ Kg7 31.Rfc1 Qd3 32.R1c7+ Kh6 33.Bf8+ White gets in a check at the cost of allowing the threat of …Qb1 mate 33…Kh5 34.Rxh7+ Qxh7 0–1

Last week’s original 3-mover by Dave Howard was solved by 1.b6! and if (a) 1…axb then 2.Rd3 and 3.Ra3 mate. Or (b) 1…a6 then 2. Rh5 and 3. Rh8 mate.

Here’s another one from Gary Lane’s 2003 book “Find The Mate”. From the “Old Favourites” section he gives this finish by Paul Morphy. White to play and win quickly.

Morphy (W) to play and win quickly

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