As reported briefly last week, Somerset had a comfortable win by 11½-4½ over Gloucestershire at Clevedon, losing only one game in the process. Somerset’s winners were Jack Rudd, Jim Sherwin, Terry Stuttard, Darren Freeman, Gerry Jepps, Adam Musson, David Peters and Neville Senior. Their opponent’s sole winner was John Waterfield.
Unfortunately, most of the game scores from the match have been dispersed or disposed of already, so are effectively lost, but this one from Board 1 was kindly sent in by the winner.
White: J. Rudd (213). Black: J. Stewart (195).
Giuoco Piano [C54]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 The Italian Opening, often known as the Giuoco Piano (Quiet Game), whose popularity at the top level was overtaken in the 19th century by the Ruy Lopez. 4.0–0 d6 5.c3 Nf6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Bb6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.Bg5 h6 10.Be3 Black sees a way to win a central pawn in the short term. 10…Nxe4 11.Nxe4 d5 12.Bd3 dxe4 13.Bxe4 Ne7 14.Ne5 Nd5 15.Qf3 Be6 16.a4 Threatening to win the bishop and giving to rook a row to exploit. 16…c6 17.Ra3 f5 18.Bb1 f4 Winning another pawn. 19.Bd2 Bxd4 20.Re1 Bxe5 21.Rxe5 Qf6 22.Qe4 Rae8 23.Rf3 Bd7 24.Qh7+ Kf7 Already a pawn down, White sacrifices the exchange to break open Black’s kingside. 25.Rxd5 cxd5 26.g3 26.Rxf4 falls to 26…Re1+ 27.Bxe1 Qxf4. 26…Qxb2 27.Bc3 Qc1+ 28.Kg2 Ke7 29.Qxg7+ mission accomplished, but White is still materially down. 29…Kd8 30.Bf6+ Kc8 30…Rxf6 avoids the loss of the queen and would leave Black two pawns up. 31.Qxf6+ Re7 32.Bg6 and Black’s f-pawn would drop as well. 31.Rc3+ Qxc3 32.Bxc3 d4 33.Qxd4 Bc6+ 34.Kh3 Bd7+ 35.Kh4 Rg8 36.Bf5 A little trick to swap off bishops. 36…Bxf5 37.Qc5+ Kb8 38.Qxf5 fxg3 39.hxg3 Ka8 40.Bd4 Rg5 41.Qd7 Reg8 42.Be3 R5g6 43.Qd4 Ra6 44.f4 Rb6 45.f5 45.Qd5 at this stage has no force after 45…Rbg6. 45…Ra6 46.g4 Two rooks are often slightly stronger than a queen, but this one is beautifully positioned and is supported by a strong bishop, inviting the fatal error. 46…Rb6?? 47.Qd5 1–0 This time it works and both rooks are attacked.
However, earlier in the season Somerset had lost 10½-5½ to Hampshire, who in turn lost to Gloucestershire 10-6, so it has clearly been almost impossible to predict results this year.
The West of England Junior Championships will be held in two weeks in Swindon. Late entries should go to Bev Schofield, 69,The Mall, Swindon, SN1 4JA
Shortly after that there is the 37th East Devon Congress starting on 2nd March at its usual venue. Enquiries to Alan Maynard on Tel: 01363 773313 or email: email@example.com
Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qe4+ Nxe4 (forced) 2.Pxe4 mate (the bishop must remain on f5 in order to keep the net tight).
Here’s a similar 2-mover.