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Arkell Wins European Title (22..03.2014.)

On Monday, Paignton’s resident Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, won the European Championship for Seniors over 50, the first English player to win a European title since Jovanka Houska became Girls’ U-20 Champion in 2000.

At Oporto, Portugal, Keith went through undefeated, finishing with 7/9 points. He is expert at the long drawn out endgame, but here is his quickest win.

White: K. C. Arkell (2448). Black: D. Kurka GER. (2045).

Queen’s Gambit  [D37]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 c6 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Qc2 0–0 9.Bd3 Re8 10.0–0 Nf8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.b4 a6 13.a4 g6 14.b5 a5 15.bxc6 bxc6 16.Ne2 Bd7 17.Rab1 Be7 18.Ne5 Rc8 19.Rb7 Bd6 20.Nxd7 Nxd7 21.Qb3 Re7 22.g3 Bb4 23.Qc2 c5 24.dxc5 Rxc5 25.Qd1 Ne5 26.Rxe7 Qxe7 27.Nf4 Nc4 28.Qe2 Nb6 29.Bb5 Qe4 30.Rd1 Rc2 31.Qg4 Nc4 At this point Black has 2 isolated pawns as opposed to White’s 1, but with bishops of opposite colour this might not be enough to win. White needs something extra…. 32.Nxd5! leaving his queen unprotected yet winning a vital pawn. 32…Qxg4 33.Nf6+ Kg7 34.Nxg4 h5 The knight has nowhere to go, so… 35.Bxc4 Rxc4 36.Ne5 Re4 37.Nf3 Rc4 38.Rd7 Kf6 39.h4 Ba3 40.Rxf7+ Black falls for the same trick again.1-0 If 40…Kxf7 41.Ne5+. White’s 2 extra pawns are now enough for an easy win for someone of Arkell’s expertise.

After drawing with the eventual Champions, Somerset, and beating Hants, Cornwall finished their season in style with a comfortable 9½ – 6½ win over Gloucestershire at Exminster Village Hall. In fact, it went according to form as they outgraded their opponents by about 100 points and lost only 2 of the 16 games. Cornish names first in each pairing:- 1.J. Menadue 1-0 D. Lambourne. 2.M. Hassall ½-½ J. Jenkins. 3.D. Saqui ½-½ J. Waterfield. 4.S. Bartlett 0-1 M. Ashworth. 5.T. Slade 1-0 P. Kirby. 6.R. Kneebone ½-½ P. Meade. 7.G. Healey 1-0 P.  Denison. 8.M. Csuri ½-½ B. Whitelaw. 9.J. Hooker ½-½ P. Dodwell. 10.G. Trudeau ½-½ A. Walker. 11.C. Sellwood 1-0 P. Baker. 12.J. Nicholas 0-1 G. Taylor. 13.J. Wilman ½-½ R. Ashworth. 14.R. Smith ½-½ A. Richards. 15.M. Hill 1-0 J. Caterer. 16.D. R. Jenkins ½-½ P. Bending.

Meanwhile, Somerset overcame Hampshire by 8½-6½, even though their top 5 boards could only muster 1½ points. This made them Div. 1 winners.

In last week’s position, only Black’s bishop prevented White from playing 1.Qf6 and mating on g7, so White can afford to sacrifice his rook by taking it with 1.Rxe5! and there is nothing Black can do.

Here is an original 3-mover from the fertile mind of Dave Howard of East Harptree. Don’t forget Black’s pawns are ready to queen.

Arkell Clinches 1st Place At Paignton (17.09.2011.)

Top seed Keith Arkell clinched the top prize at this year’s Paignton Congress after this last round game against a fellow Torbay resident.

White: D. Mackle (196). Black: K. C. Arkell (226).

Polish Defence [A04]

1.Nf3 b5 The Polish Defence, not often seen, especially in key games, but not without its benefits. It hits at c4 immediately and provides a long diagonal for the bishop. 2.e4 Bb7 3.Bxb5 Players facing either the Polish Opening or Defence rarely choose to exchange their central e-pawn for the b-pawn. 3…Bxe4 4.0–0 Nf6 5.d4 e6 6.c4 Be7 7.Nc3 Bb7 8.d5 0–0 9.Bf4 Re8 10.Re1 Bf8 11.Nd4?! “More testing was 11.dxe6 What follows now is a demonstration of the superiority of an extra pawn in the centre, particularly as regards relative King safety. Black’s queenside pawns are not weak and easily defended” (KCA). 11…c6 12.dxc6 Nxc6 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.Bxc6 dxc6 15.Qf3 Qb6 16.b3 Bb4 17.Na4 Qb7 18.Re2 Control of the d-file will prove crucial, so 18.Red1 might be better. If White doesn’t grab the chance, Black certainly will. 18…Red8 19.Be5 Be7 20.Ree1 Rd7 21.Rad1 Rad8 22.h3 h6 23.Bc3 Qc7 24.Nb2 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 26.Nxd1 Qd6 Now control of the d-file is complete. 27.Ne3 a6 28.g3 Nd7 29.Ng4 f5 30.Ne3 Bf6 31.Bxf6 Nxf6 32.h4 Ne4 Black’s queen & knight now combine to force the issue. 33.g4 Nd2 34.Qd1 f4 35.c5 35.Nc2 Qd3 36.Kg2 e5. 35…Qd3 36.Qc2 Qe2 If the attacked knight moves, the White Queen is lost to Nf3+ 37.Qg6 Nf3+ 0-1 White resigned in view of 38.Kg2 forced 38…Nxh4+ winning the queen. Or 38.Kh1 Qe1+ 39.Kg2 and again Nxh4+.

Mackle had to make do with a £13 share of the grading prize instead of the £500 he would have got had he won this game.

Runner-up in the Premier was Steve Berry of Wimbledon. Other section winners were as follows:

Challengers (U-180): 1st= R. Thompson, J. Waterfield and R. Webster. Intermediate (U-150) 1st= N. Dicker, M. Stone and R. Kearsley. Minor (U-125): 1st D. Burt. American: 1st= G. Harrison & R. Desmedt. Morning Swiss: 1st= D. Siddall and R. Bryant.

Many of the games played at Paignton may be downloaded from the chessdevon website, while contains reports, pictures and a comprehensive prizelist.

In last week’s position, White won quickly with a queen sacrifice 1.QxR and Black resigned immediately because after 1…RxQ 2.b7 and all White’s pieces combine to force the b-pawn forward.

Here is an easy 2-mover from 1905 by W. A. Shinkman.

White to mate in 2.

Birthday Boy (08.01.2011.)

Devon’s only resident Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, is 50 this morning. On leaving school he decided to try and become a chess professional. Almost 35 years later, he has survived the arduous chess circuit, winning over 325 tournaments around the world in the process, including the titles of British RapidPlay Champion and the first English Champion 2008 (jointly with Stuart Conquest).

Here is one of his favourite wins, against the Paignton-born Gary Lane, taken from the recent book on the history of the Paignton Congress, 60 Years In The Same Room (Keverel Chess £15.99  ISBN 0-9531321-5-3).

White: G. W. Lane (209). Black: K. C. Arkell (223).

Caro Kann Defence [B10]

This was one of Arkell’s seven straight wins in the 1988 event and his best as it won one of two Best Game prizes. 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 If 3.e5 Black would probably have played 3…c5 a line which has Arkell’s name attached to it. dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Bc4 Ngf6 6.Ng5 e6 7.Qe2 Nb6 8.Bb3 Mestel v K. Arkell in the British Championship (Rd. 3) at Blackpool 5 weeks earlier had continued 8.Bd3 h6 9.N5f3 c5 10.dxc5 Nbd7 11.b4 Nd5 12.Bd2 Qf6 13.Rb1 a5 14.a3 g5 with sharp play. White won in 47 moves. 8…h6 9.N5f3 a5 10.a4 c5 11.Bf4 Bd6 12.Ne5 Nbd5 13.Qb5+?! The start of ambitious play, but is it sound? 13…Ke7 14.dxc5 Nxf4 15.0–0–0 Bxe5! 16.Rxd8 Rxd8 17.c6

Perhaps White expected too much from this double attack, as after he gets a 2nd Queen his King comes under pressure and Black’s knight is a tower of strength on d5. 17…N4d5 18.cxb7 Rb8! White had anticipated 18…Bxb7? 19.bxc8=Q White is leading temporarily by 2 queens to nil! 19…Rdxc8 20.Qd3 Nb4 21.Qe2 Nxc2! 22.Bxc2 Bxb2+ 23.Kd2 Nd5 24.Nh3 Bc3+ 25.Kd3 Rb4! 26.Qf1 Rd4+ 27.Ke2 Rd2+ 28.Kf3 Rxc2 29.g3 Bd4 30.Qa6 R8c3+ 31.Ke4 Bxf2? A slight error caused by time trouble. 31…Bb6 retaining the attacking bishop is quicker, though Black still weaves a mating net this way too. 32.Nxf2 Re3+ 33.Kd4 Rxf2 34.Qxa5 Ree2 35.Qa7+ Kf6 36.a5 Rc2 37.Qb8 Rfd2+ 38.Ke4 Rc4+ 39.Kf3 Rc3+ 40.Kg4 Rd4+ 41.Kh5 Ne3 and White resigned if 42.Qa7 Nf5 planning 43…g6 mate. (Or alternatively if 42.g4 g6+ 43.Kxh6 Nf5+ 44.Kh7 Rh3+ 45.Kg8 Ne7+ 46.Kf8 Rh8 mate).

In last week’s position, White (Arkell) played Rxe7, and if Black takes it with the Queen he will lose it to Bg5, and if he doesn’t take it he faces a crushing discovered check.

Here is a position from later in his career, the 1991 Lloyd’s Bank Masters, in which he is White against Alex Cherniaev of Russia. What move did he now play to cause Black to resign immediately?

White to force immediate resignation.

Rudd 1st= in Uxbridge Masters (06.11.2010) 605

Devon’s top two resident players joined 33 others in last week’s Uxbridge Masters Tournament. Grandmaster Keith Arkell of Paignton was top seed, while International Master Jack Rudd of Bideford was 4th. However, after the scheduled 9 rounds it was a case of positions reversed as Rudd finished 1st= with Aaron Summerscale while Arkell came 4th. Significant in this outcome was their individual encounter in Rd. 4.

White: J. Rudd (210). Black: K. C. Arkell (231).

Queen’s Indian Defence – Nimzowitsch Variation.

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.d4 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 Nimzowitsch’s favoured treatment of this opening. 5.Qc2 b5 6.cxb5 Bxb5 7.Nc3 Ba6 8.Bg2 Be7 9.e4 9.Ne5 is met by 9…c6. 9…c6 10.Bg5 0–0 White is keen to develop as quickly as possible and the a6 bishop prevents castling short, so… 11.0–0–0 From now on it will be a race to attack the opposing king. 11…d5 12.e5 Nfd7 13.h4 Re8 13…Bxg5+ 14.hxg5 would open long lines for White to exploit. 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Ng5 Nf8 Black is being forced onto the back foot. 16.f4 Nbd7 17.f5 h6 18.fxe6 fxe6 If 18…hxg5 19.exd7 Nxd7 20.hxg5 Qxg5+ 21.Kb1 Nf8 22.Qf2 19.Nh3 c5 20.Nxd5! exd5 21.Bxd5+ Ne6 22.Nf4 Rather than winning the exchange by grabbing the rook, White threatens to win a whole minor piece – a greater material gain. 22…Ndf8 23.dxc5! Again, White eschews the rook in favour of another pawn, leaving him with 3 pawns for the piece he has sacrificed, and this c-pawn plays a decisive role. 23…Rad8 24.Bb3 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Bc8 26.Rd6 Meanwhile, the e6 knight is still pinned. 26…Qf7 27.h5 Kh8 28.c6 Qc7 29.Qc4 Qa5 threatening both e1 and e5 30.Qc3 Qb6 31.Ng6+ Nxg6 32.hxg6 Qc7 33.a4 Qe7 34.Kb1 Ng5 35.Bd5 Bf5+ Now Black’s pieces are becoming more active. 36.Ka1 Ne4 37.Bxe4 Bxe4 38.c7 White’s earlier decision to take the c-pawn is bearing fruit. 38…Bf5 39.Qc5 Be6 40.Qc6 Bc8 White is still a piece down and needs to bring matters to a swift conclusion. 41.Qxe8+! Qxe8 42.Rd8 Qg8 43.b4 there’s no need to take the queen immediately – it’s not going anywhere. 43…a6 44.b5 axb5 45.axb5 h5 46.b6 h4 47.gxh4 1-0 Black is left in “zugswang”, having no move except one that will worsen his already dire position. A splendid overall performance by Rudd.

The solution to last week’s complex position was 1.Nf6! threatening Nd7, and Black playing 1…Nb6 to cover this allows 2.Qa5 mate. Other Black moves are also met with mate.

This position shows Michael Adams (White) facing a strong attack. How should he best respond to be sure of a result?

White to play and win.