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11th Beacon Seniors Congress – Prizewinners.

The 11th Beacon Seniors Congress ended last weekend with several local winners in the prizelist.

Seniors Section: 1st= A. Footner (Dorchester); Chris Carr (Ashtead); Terry Stuttard (Taunton); John Dodson (Sussex) & Phil Stimpson (Guildford). All 4/5 pts. Grading prizes: (U-155) 1st= Martyn Adams (Sidmouth) & Peter Wood (Hastings) 3½ pts. (U-137): Patrick Wojcik (Taunton) 3 pts. (U-116) Hazel Welch (Seaton) 3 pts.

“Junior” Section: 1st Mike Yeo (Lymington) 4 pts. 2nd Simon Bartlett (Newquay) 3½ pts. Grading prize (U-160): Ronnie Burton (Weymouth) 3 pts.

Going into the final round, John Footner, one of 3 joint leaders having played with great brio, was paired against a new face who hadn’t played for 30 years.

White: Terry Stuttard (150e). Black: John Footner (175).

Sicilian Defence – Paulsen Variation [B48]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 White continues with sensible development, declining  6.Ndb5 Qb8 as other queen moves bring it towards the centre where it is liable to become an object of further attack. 6…a6 7.a3 b5 8.Be2 Bb7 9.0–0 Nf6 10.Nb3 10.f4 is a common response in this kind of position. 10…Ne5 11.f3 Ng6 12.Qe1 vacating the d-file for his rook. 12…Bd6 13.g3 h5 14.Rd1 h4 Black now threatens to break open the White King’s position entirely with all his pieces bearing down. 15.Rxd6 desperate measures… 15…Qxd6 16.Na5 Bc6 17.Qf2 hxg3 18.hxg3 e5 19.Rd1 Qe6 20.Bf1 0–0 As Black gives up the open h-file, it’s White’s turn to ask a few questions. 21.Bc5 Rfc8 22.Rd6 Qe8 23.Bh3 Nf8 24.Bf5 Ne6 25.Bb4 g6 26.Bh3 Kg7 27.Kg2 Qd8 28.Nd5 trapping his own rook. 28…Ne8 29.Rxc6 White gives up the exchange for the 2nd time in the game. 29…dxc6 30.Nb7 Qg5 If 30…Qd7 White is calling all the shots e.g. 31.Nc5 Qa7 32.Bxe6 fxe6 33.Nxe6+ Kh7 34.Nf8+ Kg7 35.Nb6 etc. 31.Bd2 Nf4+ 32.Nxf4 exf4 33.Bxf4 leaving both queen and rook attacked 33…Qe7 As White is a double exchange down, should he take this chance to recover some of the material deficit? Yes, but not just yet. 34.Qd4+ First he brings his queen to a more active square. 34…f6 35.Bxc8 Rxc8 36.Nc5 Rd8?? A natural-looking move that leads to a nice finish… 37.Qxd8 Qxd8 38.Ne6+ winning the queen back which will leave White a piece and 2 pawns up. 1–0

Last week’s problem by Christopher Reeves was solved by 1.Qb3!

This 2-mover by Barry Barnes has two possible solutions. Can you find either or both?

White to play and mate in two moves in 2 ways.

11th Seniors Congress – Local Press Coverage.

The Exeter-based Express & Echo covers most of East Devon, and every week includes a supplement specially dedicated to that area. This included coverage of last week’s Seniors Congress, seen below. They couldn’t resist the “Pawn Stars” pun, but the coverage is welcome, and the photograph excellent. Reporter:: Fran McElhone. Photographer:: Matt Minshull.

On the left in checkered shirt is regular attendee, Mike Wiltshire, who runs an insurance company in Dartford, Kent, but who has in-laws in Exmouth. He was recently appointed President of Chess Collectors International, a world-wide group of folk who specialise in collecting fine chess sets.

Next to him is another regular entrant of the Seniors, Dr. Robert Alphonsis Ryan, Irish by birth, he was formerly a GP in Derbyshire before retiring to Lyme Regis.

Express & Echo Cutting

11th Seniors Congress – Prizelist.

11th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress.

 Prizelist. 

Seniors Section

1st=    Andrew Footner (175)     Dorchester  4 pts. £35.00

            Chris Carr            (166)     Ashtead               £35.00

            John Dodgson    (184)     Sussex                £35.00

            Terry Stuttard    (150e)   Taunton                £35.00

            Phil Stimpson    (178)     Guildford              £35.00

 Grading Prizes:

(155 – 138):

            Martyn Adams   (151)     Sidmouth  3½ pts. £25.00

            Peter Wood       (146)     Hastings   3½ pts. £25.00

 (137 – 116)

            Patrick Wojcik   (132)     Taunton   3 pts.   £50.00

 (U-116)

            Hazel Welch      (115)     Seaton   3 pts.   £50.00

 Junior Section”:

 1st         Mike Yeo             (195)     Wessex   4 pts.   £65.00

2nd        Simon Bartlett   (162)     Newquay  3½.     £45.00

 Grading prize (U-160):

            Ronnie Burton    (152)     Weymouth 3 pts. £25.00

NB: Further photographs and a short report will appear in the Exmouth & East Devon supplement of Wednesday’s Express & Echo, East Devon’s local daily newspaper.

11th Beacon Seniors – A Review.

Looking back on the week, it all seemed to go very well, apart from a few minor glitches that were sorted within minutes. There was no need to call an ambulance at any point, and no-one went off at the end with someone else’s suitcase, as has happened in previous years – perhaps something one should expect in an event where the combined ages of the players reaches into the several thousand.

The “Junior” section finished as one might have thought, with Mike Yeo (195)  the clear winner, but not by the expected route. He started with 2 draws, while his nearest opponent, Alan Brusey (175), finished with a requested half point bye and a default, having overlooked the earlier start to the final round, which gifted Yeo at least a share of 1st prize. There had been an element of luck in Yeo’s penultimate game as well, when his opponent forgot to press his clock near the end and ran out of time. It was left to Simon Barlett to try and beat fellow Cornishman, Colin Sellman, in order to share 1st place, but try as he did, had to be content with a draw, and clear 2nd. Ronnie Burton did well in this company to remain, like Bartlett, unbeaten throughout, and he was rewarded with the U-160 Grading prize.

Faced with 53 players in the Senior Section,  graded from 187 – 79, Arbiter Ewart Smith chose the sensible option of employing the Accelerated Swiss pairing system, in order to avoid the possibility of a number of total mismatches in the 1st round. The pairing cards of the top half of the order had a green corner inked in, and as the rounds progressed it was easy to see the extent to which the two halves mixed in, with the cards of the in-form players from the lower half, like Hazel Welch (115), rising to the top, while some of the green-tipped cards sank to the nether regions of the pairing board.

The eventual 5-way tie for 1st place tells its own story of the closeness of the section, and there was prizemoney all the way down the list with approximately equal numbers in each band, so interest was maintained throughout the order and throughout the week. Of the five 1sts, Stimpson and Dodgson settled for a share of at least 2nd place with a quick draw, leaving only John Footner able to overtake them, who after having played with great focus throughout the week, lost to newcomer, Terry Stuttard in a complicated position. Stuttard hadn’t played chess for 30 years, but in his heyday was active in the Greater Manchester team under the captaincy of Jim Nicolson, one of our regular seniors in the early years. An estimated grade of 150 seemed not unreasonable in the circumstances, but he is clearly not as rusty as he thought he might be; next year’s Grading List will reveal all. Chris Carr started slowly with 2 draws, but then came through with 3 wins. He had to fight hard in his last game, as Hazel Welch, playing well above her grade, pushed him all the way in one of the last games to finish.

As they gradually left the hall, most players expressed their personal thanks to the officials and were certain in their wish to return next year. As I was packing up the kit, on his way out Mike Kaye thrust a large cheque into my hand to cover his entry for 2011, as he always does every year, because, as he explains, he has a bad memory. I always counter that I have just as bad a memory and a year hence will probably have forgotten that he did this – but it makes no difference – we usually muddle through. It’s all part of being a Senior.

Later this week, cheques will be sent out to all the winners, as well as a definitive prizelist to them and the usual media outlets. With a bit of luck, next year’s brochures might be ready too.

All legible game scores will be available on the chessdevon website, keyed in by Bill Frost.

11th Beacon Seniors Congress – Results (13.11.2010.)

The 11th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress finished in Exmouth yesterday afternoon, too late for any details of the prizewinners, which will appear next week. However, after 3 of the 5 rounds, the “Juniors” section (the 50-somethings) was led by local players Alan Brusey of Devon and Simon Bartlett of Cornwall. The Seniors section (for over-60s) was less clear, partly because of the number of upsets in each round. By definition, all the players are greatly experienced and know how to put a game to bed given half a chance.

Probably the shortest game in the history of the event was this one from round 3, which shows that a game of chess need not necessarily be a long drawn out affair, and has some relevant lessons. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

White: John White. Black: Mary Black.

Scotch Gambit [C44]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 White offers a pawn in order to break open the centre to his advantage. exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 Be7 If Black decides to press on with 5…cxb2 there follows 6.Bxb2 and all White’s minor pieces are raking the board. Much the best move here is 5…d6 facilitating Black’s piece development. 6.Ng5? would be premature and answered by 6…Ne5, so… 6.Qd5 Suddenly there’s a threat of mate with no easy answers. How to meet it? 6…d6?? played one move too late. The only saving move now is 6…Nh6 which, although it loses the knight, at least allows Black to castle.  7.Bxh6 0–0 Now suddenly the mating threat has gone and White has his own problems to watch out for, or he will lose even more material than Black. 8.Bc1 or White will lose a rook and Black gain a second Queen. 8…Nb4 Now threatening both the queen and a fork check winning a rook. The boot is certainly on the other foot. 9.Qd1 c2 and Black makes good the loss of the knight. 10.Qd2 cxb1=Q 11.Rxb1 Nc6 Black is now a pawn up with a safely castled King and threats to be countered. Meanwhile, in the actual game, Black’s 6th move allowed a flight square for the king but to no avail. The game finished  7.Qxf7+ Kd7 8.Be6 mate.

One moral of the game is: Keep cool – things may not always be as bad as they first appear.

N.B. For more details and pictures look in the Blog section.

The next big event in the area is the Torbay Congress which starts at the Riviera Centre on Friday evening. Details from Ray Chubb on 01626-888255 or e-mail: ray.chubb@care4free.net.

In last week’s position, Adams played Rfxf7 with a threat of mate in 1 that cannot be upset however Black conducts his own attack.

Here is a 2-mover by Christopher Reeves.

White to play and mate in 2.

11th Beacon Seniors Congress – 5th & Final Day

The round got off to its usual start with a few words to the assembled players. It was announced that the hotel had been booked for the 2011 seniors congress and rooms could be booked with immediate effect. Everyone thanked the Arbiter, Ewart Smith, with a warm round of applause and his wife Pearl was presented with a signed copy of the recent publication, A History of the Paignton Congress, which they had both attended in September.

The wallcharts showed an overnight  triple-tie for the lead in the “Junior” section between Mike Yeo, Simon Bartlett and Alan Brusy on 3 pts with Ronnie Burton a half point behind and no-else in contention.

  White       Black  
1 M. Yeo (3) 1 0 A. W. Brusey (3)
2 S. Bartlett (3) ½ ½ C. Sellwood (1½)
3 R. Burton (2½) ½ ½ M. Roberts (1½)
4 S. Dean (1½) ½ ½ D. Rogers (1½)
5 I. McAllan (1½) 1 0 J. Ariss (1)

The first prize was determined after 30 mins when Alan Brusey failed to turn up for the 10 a.m. start and had to be defaulted, guaranteeing Yeo at least a share of 1st place. This is the 2nd time a senior DCCA officer has missed the earlier start of a final round this autumn, which probably cost them prize-money. It was left to Simon Bartlett to see if he could catch Yeo by beating his fellow Cornishman, Colin Sellwood. For much of the game it looked as if he would succeed as he pressed hard, but Sellwood managed to wriggle out and a draw was agreed. At least Bartlett was clear 2nd. Burton’s draw secured him the U-160 Grading Prize.

The Seniors section, with over 5X the number of participants, was a more complicated position, there being 8 players with a chance of sharing 1st place. Their fortunes went as follows:-

  White       Black  
1 P. Stimpson (3½) ½ ½ J. Dodgson (3½)
2 T. Stuttard (3) 1 0 J. Footner (3½)
3 H. Welch (3) 0 1 C. Carr (3)
4 T. Rixon (3) 0 1 A. Footner (3)

Stimpson & Dodgson settled for a painless draw, knowing only John Footner could overtake them. But he lost in a complicated position. John’s brother, Andrew, made amends by beating Rixon and joining the other two on 4 points, which was now going to be the winning score. It remained to see how Hazel Welch, who had been having a magnificent tournament, would fare against Chris Carr. She was holding a drawn ending until most other games were finished, but with only a rook and pawns each she finally had to give way. Nevertheless her overall performance gave her the U-116 Grading Prize. So five of the eight in the chart above came 1st=. The full results as follows (all scores out of 5):

Junior Tournament.

1st M. Yeo (Wessex)      4                           £65.00

2nd S. Bartlett (N. Cornwall) 3½           £45.00

Grading prize (U-160)

R. Burton (Weymouth)        3                    £25.00

Senior Tournament.

1st= A. Footner (Dorchester); C. Carr (Ashtead); T.Stuttard (Taunton); J. Dodgson (Sussex) & P. Stimpson (Guildford). All 4 pts.   £35.00

Grading prize (155 – 138)  M. Adams  (Sidmouth/Seaton) & P. Wood (Hastings) both    3½       £25.00

Grading prize (137 – 116) P. Wojcik (Taunton) £50.00

Grading prize (U-116) Hazel Welch (Seaton) 3  £50.00

WECU Ladies Champion, Hazel Welch, in last round action against Chris Carr

The Footner brothers met with varying fortunes on the last day.

Stimpson (l) and Dodgson's quick draw gets them to 4 points.

Bartlett & Yeo, 2nd & 1st in the "Juniors".

The chasing group, led by Ken Norman and Peter Wood.

 

In joint 1st place, Terry Stuttard, new face on the westcountry circuit but formerly active in Greater Manchester.

11th Beacon Seniors Congress – Day 4

Round 4 of a 5 round tournament is getting to the sharp end of the process. At the start of the round there were no less than 20 players either in the lead or half a point shy of it, any of whom stood a chance of becoming overall winner, providing they could conjure up a win-win finish. The 6 on 2.5 were paired as follows: Footner J vs Ken Norman; Dodgson vs Openshaw and Everson vs Stimpson. The 14 on 2/3 pts were paired thus: Footner A vs Hurn; Carr vs Burt; Wood vs Velker; Rixon vs Annetts; Scown vs Hazel Welch; Wojcik vs Hibbitt and Ross vs Stuttard.

At the end of the day, many games finished decisively, with wins by Dodgson, Stimpson and Footner J keeping them at the head of the field on 3.5.  Behind them on 3 points are Footner A; Carr, Rixon; Stuttard and Hazel Welch, who is having a wonderful tournament.

The top 2 games for the final round are Stimpson vs Dodgson and Stuttard vs Footner J.

In the “Junior” Section the day ended with a triple tie for the lead, between Bartlett, Brusey and Yeo. Ronnie Burton is alone on 2.5 points. The draw for Rd. 5 is Yeo vs Brusey and Bartlett vs Sellwood and the overall “Junior” winner will come from one of these 4.

At the end of the evening I was able to confirm the hotel booking for 2011.

So, the 12th Beacon Seniors Congress will start on Monday 7th November 2011. 

Ken Norman replies to John Footner's opening move on Bd. 1

 

John Dodgson plays David Openshaw (foreground) and Everson plays Stimpson.

 

The chasing group headed by Chris Carr against Dave Burt.

11th Beacon Seniors Congress – Day 3

After a fairly dismal start to the week weatherwise, Exmouth enjoyed a cloudless, wind-free day for the 3rd round, and it was noticeable how much nearer the start time of 1 p.m.  players arrived, as they enjoyed to sunny interlude.

Every one of the “Junior” games finished decisively, with Simon Bartlett and Alan Brusey moving into the joint lead on 2.5/3 pts. Details:-

Ariss (½) 0 1 Roberts (0)
Bartlett (1½) 1 0 McAllan (1½)
Brusey (1½) 1 0 Dean (1)
Burton (1) 1 0 Sellwood (1)
Rogers (1) 0 1 Yeo (1)

Meanwhile, in the Seniors Section, Robert Everson won the last Rd. 2 game to finish on Tuesday, thereby joining Dodgson and Footner, J in the lead with a maximum 2/2. However, today all three drew their games and so were joined in the lead by 3 winners, namely Ken Norman, David Openshaw and Phil Stimpson, creating a 6-way tie for the lead.

Steve Dean tries the Caro-Kann against Alan Brusey, as Simon Bartlett greets Ian McAllan.

Ariss plays Roberts, Burton (partly hidden) plays Colin Sellwood, while Yeo waits for Dave Rogers to appear.

Tom Maloney (W) plays Mike Wiltshire on bottom board.

Wojcik (W) plays Sid Jones, while Norman Tidy takes on Dr. Dave Toms.

11th Beacon Seniors Congress – Exmouth (Day 1)

Logistical preparations at the Royal Beacon Hotel went as well as they have ever done. The evening before, tables were all set out by the staff before Messrs Smith (Arbiter) and Jones (Organiser) arrived. Tablecloths were quickly laid out and equipment distributed.

It wasn’t until the final hour before play was due to start at 1.p.m. today (Monday) that  little cracks started to appear in these smooth arrangements. One player missed his train in London, and then missed the next one as well, and phoned in to say he would be late. Another regular thought it was a 2 p.m. start before being reminded by his wife that it had always been 1 o’clock and had to drive quickly across 2 counties to arrive late. Two players walked in whose entry had unaccountably gone AWOL (it happens every year) , while a fifth got stuck in the Gents for 10 minutes until staff arrived to prize open the door. All good fun, but all hurdles were cleared by the appointed hour, even the latcomers escaping being defaulted.

It has to be noted that the overall entry was down a little on recent years – 53 in the Seniors (the over-60s) and 10 in the “Juniors” ( the 50-somethings). At least this meant a little extra leg-room for everyone.

Though small in numbers, the “Juniors” looked a strong section on paper with last year’s winner, Mike Yeo, (195) a clear favourite, and late entry John Ariss (111) looking like a potential lamb to the slaughter. But things didn’t work out like that at all, as Ariss got a quick draw with Steve Dean (156) of Sidmouth, and Ronnie Burton of Weymouth got a draw against Yeo after a much longer struggle.

Faced with 53 in the Seniors and a wide ability range, Ewart Smith chose to adopt an accellerated Swiss system in order to avoid any David v Goliath mis-matches in Round 1. Under this system, instead of the top half (according to playing strength) playing the bottom half, the top quarter play the 2nd quarter, and the 3rd quarter play the 4th. This keeps the ability range to reasonable proportions. There seemed to be fewer eyebrow-raising results here, and the top seeds came through unscathed – Ken Norman, John Dodgson, John Footner, Martin Page and Phil Stimpson, to name but 5.

Here are bits of the action in both sections….

Top game in the Seniors - Ken Norman vs Brian Gosling

The draw paired 2 of the 3 lady players - former British Ladies Champion, Dinah Norman, (facing) & WECU Ladies Champion, Hazel Welch.

Peter Lucas vs Marian Cox

Andrew Footner (r) vs Arthur Hibbitt, who won the Best Game prize at the recent Paignton Congress. He was presented with his cheque at the opening ceremony.

Roger Scowen in action - an expert on Lewis Carroll's involvement with chess.

"Juniors" Foreground: Alan Brusey (r) vs Colin Sellwood, with Burton vs Yeo.

"Juniors" Ariss vs Dean, with Simon Bartlett and Dave Rogers also with the white pieces.