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Bristol’s Boniface Memorial Congress (14.06.2014.)

The Steve Boniface Memorial Congress finished on Sunday evening at Bristol’s  Holiday Inn, with the following emerging as prizewinners: (all scores out of 5)

Open Section:  1st Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton) 4½. 2nd= Tim Paulden (Exeter), Carl Bicknell & Peter Kirby (both Horfield) 4. Grading prizes:  U-178  Chris Timmins (Bristol).             U-165 Joe Fathallah (Wales).

(27 players participated).

Major (U-155): 1st G. A. Harvey (South Bristol) 4½. 2nd= Alex Rossiter & Neil Derrick (both Bristol Cabot) 4.

Grading Prize: Paul Gillett (Cirencester) 3½. 20 Players.

Minor (U-125): 1st Chris Snook-Lumb (Swindon) 5. 2nd Alastair Marston (Bristol Cabot) 4. 3rd=  Richard Porter (Bristol University), Steve Williams (Cwmbran) & Amol Telang (Bristol & Clifton) 3½.

Grading Prizes (U-110): Martyn Maber (Taunton) 2½. (U-90) James Dettman (Pete’s Potentials) 2.  22 Players.

Here are a couple of games from Round 3 in the Open.

White: G. Willett (126). Black: H. Andolo (176).

English Opening  [A29]

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e5 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.d3 Be7 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.0–0 0–0 9.a3 a5 10.Be3 Be6 11.Nd2 f5 12.Bxb6 cxb6 13.b3 Rc8 14.Nc4 Nd4 15.Bxb7 Rc7 16.Ba6 Ra7 17.Bb5 f4 18.Nxe5 Qc7 19.Nc4 Qc5 The bishop can’t move so must be protected, though this cuts it off from the defence, with fatal consequences. 20.a4 Qh5 21.Nd2 Bb4 22.Nce4 Nxe2+ 23.Kh1 Bxd2 24.Qxd2?? Qf3# 0–1. White might have wriggled free after 24.f3 Nxg3+ 25.Nxg3 fxg3 26.Qxd2 though Black’s much greater freedom of movement, not to mention his 50 point grading advantage, would probably win the day.

The following game helped Timmins on his way to a grading prize.

White: C. Timmins (167). Black: J. Waterfield (179)

Queen’s Pawn Game [D01]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.e3 g6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Bd3 c5 8.0–0 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.Qh4 White’s forces are starting to mass on the kingside. 10…Re8 11.Ne5 a6 12.Rf3 Nf8 13.f5 c4 14.fxg6 Nxg6 If 14…cxd3 15.gxf7+ Kh8 Black’s rook is going nowhere, so… 16.Rg3 with the threat of Bh6. 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Rh3 Qd6 17.Rf1 Bc8 18.g4 Be6 19.Bh6 Nh5 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.gxh5 f6 22.Rg3 fxe5 23.Rxg6+ Kh7 24.Qg5 and mate on h6 cannot be avoided. 1–0

Many more games may be found on the League’s website –

In last week’s position, Black could finish in 3 forcing moves, starting with the sacrificial 1…Rg1+ 2.Kxg1 Qh2+ 3.Kf1 3.Qh1 mate.

This simple 2-mover was composed by Edith Elena Baird shortly before she died in Paignton in 1924.

White to mate in 2

Boniface Memorial Prizewinning Game.

Lewis Martin came 1st= in the recent Steve Boniface Memorial tournament. In the final round he faced arguably Bristol’s most attacking player, each knowing they needed a win to stand a chance of appearing in the prizelist. The game illustrates the need constantly to balance one’s attacking opportunities with defensive needs.

White: L. Martin (187 – Bristol Uni.). Black: A. Musson (179 – Bath).

Caro-Kann Defence – Exchange Variation. [B13]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Bg5 e6 8.Nbd2 Bd6 9.Bh4 Nge7 10.Bg3 f6 11.Qc2 0–0–0 White could now castle king-side and hope to throw everything against the Black king, but no doubt is fully aware of Black’s reputation as an all-out attacker, so chooses discretion over valour at this stage. 12.0–0–0 h5 13.Rhe1 Completing White’s development. 13…e5 threatening to break open the centre with …e4 14.dxe5 fxe5 15.Be2 Bf5 16.Qa4 The queen would come under fire after 16.Qb3 Na5 17.Qa4 Bd7 18.Bb5 Nec6 and there are chances for both sides, with an unclear outcome. 19.Bh4 Rdf8 20.Qc2 Bf5 21.Bd3 and the …e4 break wins a piece.  viz 21…e4 22.Nxe4 dxe4 23.Bxe4 Bg4. 16…d4 17.Nc4 dxc3 18.bxc3 Ng6 19.Ne3 White needs to create some threats of his own or his king’s position may collapse entirely. 19…Be6 20.Ng5 Nd4 White’s c-pawn is pinned and now threatened. 21.Rxd4 Fritz recommends 21.Bc4 Bxc4 22.Nxc4 Ba3+ 23.Nxa3 h4 winning the bishop. 21…Qxc3+ 22.Qc2 Ba3+ 23.Kb1 exd4 24.Nxe6 At this point White has 2 minor pieces for a rook and the game is slipping away from Black. 24…Qxc2+ 25.Nxc2 d3 26.Nxa3 dxe2 27.Nxd8 Re8 Black is now 2 pieces down and could reduce his arrears by taking the knight, but prefers to defend his advanced pawn as being his last chance. 28.Nf7 h4 29.Nd6+ 1–0 Resigned in view of 29…Kd7 30.Nxe8 hxg3 31.fxg3 Kxe8 32.Rxe2+ and White is a rook and pawn up.

While it is good to have the British Championships in the area, it will probably adversely affect entries for the Paignton Congress which comes shortly after. Better chances of prizes, therefore, for those that do enter. Contact Alan Crickmore on 01752-01752-768206 or e-mail:

In last week’s position Andrew Greet could have won by playing 1.Rdxd7!! Rxd7 2.Rb8! and there is no defence to the threatened 3.Nf6+ forcing gxf6, followed by 4.Qg8 mate.

The danger here is in leaving a stalemate, so how can White win in 2?

White to mate in 2, avoiding stalemate.

Boniface Memorial Tournament (15.06.2013.)

The 7th Steve Boniface Memorial Congress took place in the Holiday Inn, Bristol, at the weekend. The winners were as follows (club and grade follow each name, and all scores out of 5):

Open Section: 1st = David Buckley (Bath – 218) & Lewis Martin (Bristol Uni. – 187) 4 pts. 3rd=  and U-187 grading prize combined. Chris Beaumont (Clifton – 208); Robert Thompson (Bristol Uni. – 180); John Waterfield (Clifton – 178) & David Sully (Penarth – 189) all 3½.

Grading prizes: U-177: Raymond  Ilett (Peterborough – 167) 2½. U-165 1st=  Dominic Bennett (Clifton – 159) & Lynda Roberts (Thornbury – 159) 2½.

Major  (U-155): 1st= Harvey Atkinson (Horfield – 154); Roger Hardy (Grendel – 144) & Richard George (Cirencester – 141) all 4pts.

Grading prizes: U-147:  Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury) 3½. U-141:  Paul Gillett (Cirencester) 3½. U-131:  Peter Dimond (Bath) 2½ .

Minor (U-125): 1st Lee Bullock (London – 118) 4½. 2nd = Laurence Paynter (Bristol Cabot – 121) & Daniel Rowan (Banbury 115) both 4.

Grading prizes: U-115: Alex Ter Hark  (Clifton – 109) 3½. U-109: Shaun Walsh (Downend – 75) 3½.

This was a most entertaining and instructive game from Round 3. Last year Musson won the Bristol League’s prize for the most attacking game of the season. Playing through this, one can see why.

White: Lynda Roberts (159). Black: Adam Musson (179).

Bird’s Opening – From Gambit. [A02]

1.f4 An opening devised by H. E. Bird (1830 – 1908) who had a penchant for the unorthodox. 1…e5 A gambit popularised by the Dane, Martin From (1828-95), widely regarded as Black’s most aggressive reply. 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 Black has invested a solitary pawn to reach this position; compare Black’s open lines for rapid piece development with White’s, where nothing on the board has moved. 4.Nf3 virtually forced. If, for example, 4.Nc3 retribution would be swift. 4…Qh4+ 5.g3 Bxg3+ 6.hxg3 Qxg3 mate 4…Bg4 5.g3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Qe7 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.d4 0–0–0 9.Nb5? White must continue to develop pieces e.g. 9.0–0. 9…Bc5 10.c3 a6 11.Na3 Rhe8 12.Nc4?? The 4th move for this one piece in this razor sharp opening. 12.Nc2!? would have been better. Black is now poised to strike. 12…Bxd4! 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Rxd4 15.Qc2 Qxe2+ 16.Qxe2 Rxe2+ 17.Kf1 Rd1# 0-1 The unmoved bishop cuts off any defence.

This 2-mover is another first-time publication kindly sent in by Dave Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2.

Boniface Memorial Congress Results (01.09.2012.)

Last weekend’s Steve Boniface Memorial Congress in Bristol appears to have been a closely contested affair with no one player able to dominate proceedings. Local organiser, Dave Tipper, has kindly supplied the scores which were as follows (all players Bristol-based unless otherwise indicated):

1st= Jim Burnett (200 – Worksop) & Chris Timmins (175) both 4/6 pts.

3rd Nigel Hosken (196 – Cheltenham) 3½. 4th= Tyson Mordue (201); Steve Piper (181 – Salisbury); Peter Davies (174 – Cardiff) & Jody Johnson (160) all on 3 pts. 8th= Steve Dilleigh (183); Robert Thompson (176) & Richard Edney (158-IOW) all on 2½. 11th= Peter Jaszkiwsky (169 – Kettering); Ian Ponter  (165); David Dugdale (158); Michael Meadows (156) & Ian Matthew (156 – Portsmouth). 16th Michael Harris (159) 1½; 17th Roger Hardy (153) 1.

The Paignton Congress starts tomorrow at the soon-to-be-redeveloped Oldway Mansion, with local grandmaster, Keith Arkell, favourite to win, after his 2nd place at Hinckley last weekend. He will also be taking the opportunity to launch his autobiography, Arkell’s Odyssey, which will be available for sale and signing. Here is a Paignton 1988 game of his from the book.

White: Tyson Mordue (2224). Black: Keith Arkell (2430).

Sicilian Defence – Scheveningen Variation. [B85]. (Notes by the winner)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Qc7 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0–0 Be7 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 Bd7 11.Qe1 0–0 12.Qg3 Nxd4 If 12…b5 13.a3 (13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Bh6 Ne8 16.Bf4 Bd6). 13.Bxd4 Bc6 14.Bf3 Rfd8 15.Rad1 g6 16.Rfe1 b5 17.Qf2 Rab8 18.e5 Ne8 19.Bxc6 Qxc6 20.Ne4 dxe5 21.fxe5 Ng7 22.Nf6+ Bxf6 23.exf6 Nf5 24.Be5 Rbc8 25.h3 h5 26.c3 h4 27.Qf4 Rd5 28.Kh2 Rcd8 29.Rxd5 Qxd5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Qxa4 Qd2 32.Qe4? He should have done something about this b-pawn, but in any case I obviously have a positional advantage. In the Sicilian, Black often stands well once he has survived the initial onslaught. 32…Qxb2 33.Rb1 Qf2 34.Bc7 Rd2 35.Rg1 Qc5 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Bf4 Rf2 38.Qe8 Rxf4 39.Qxf7+ Kh6 40.Qg8 40…Qxg1+ Not strictly necessary, but it forces a quick end to the game. 41.Kxg1 Ng3 42.Qf8+ Kh5 43.Qc5+ g5 44.Kh2 Rf1 45.Qe7 Rh1# 0–1

After last week’s difficult Olympic-themed problem, here’s a little more accessible 2-mover.

White to mate in 2 moves

Boniface Memorial – Bristol (20.08.2011.)

Dave Scott of Exeter, a well-known organiser of junior chess in Devon died recently aged 57. His funeral takes place on Monday at Exeter Crematorium at 1 p.m. A little more information may be found on my website

Next weekend the Bristol Chess League are organising the 5th Steve Boniface Memorial Congress at Filton Sports Centre, details of which may be obtained from the organiser, Graham Mill-Wilson on 0779-016-7415.

The following weekend sees the start of the 61st Paignton Congress at Oldway Mansion, one of England’s most venerable events. Round 1 will start at 2 p.m. on Sunday 4th September.  Details may be obtained from the event secretary, Alan Crickmore on 01752-768206.

Last year’s joint winners of the Boniface Memorial were Bristol stalwarts Chris Beaumont and Tyson Mordue. Here is one of their games from Round 2.

White: G. Crockart. Black: C. Beaumont.

Bird’s Opening [A02]

1.f4 The invention of the 19th century master Henry E. Bird (1830 – 1908) who specialised in eccentric variations. These have the advantage of taking opponents away from well-known lines but have to be played very carefully or one can easily be hoist by one’s own petard.  Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 0–0 5.e3 c5 6.c4 Nc6 7.Be2 d5 8.cxd5 Qxd5 9.Nc3 Qf5 10.Nh4? White needs to get castled and complete development before launching into attacks that have little prospect of immediate benefit. 10…Qd7 11.Na4 b6 12.Bf3 Ba6 White’s option of castling is now taken away and his king is stuck in the centre. 13.Bxc6 Qxc6 14.Qf3 Qd7 15.d4 cxd4 16.Bxd4 Rac8 17.Rd1 Qb5 18.Nc3 Qb4 19.Rc1 Rfd8 20.Kf2 Rxd4 Giving up the exchange in order to break open the centre and get at White’s king. 21.exd4 Qxd4+ 22.Ke1 Ng4! 0-1 resigns. For example after 23.Qxg4 Qe3+ 24.Kd1 Rd8+ 25.Kc2 Qxc3+ 26.Kb1 Qb2 mate. Or 23.a3 and Black has a choice of moves e.g. 23…Bf6 attacking the immobile knight or 23…Rxc3 24.Rxc3 Qxc3+ 25.Qxc3 Bxc3+ 26.Kd1 (forced) 26…Nf2+ 27.Kc2 Nxh1 28.Kxc3 etc.

In last week’s position, Trevenen finished the game with 1.Rh8+ Kf7 2.Qxg7+! Kxg7 3.R1h7 mate where the knight covers two possible flight squares for the Black king.

Here is the starter problem for this year’s national solving championship that I first gave in June. The correct solution is e5! which threatens 2.b6 mate. Black has ten possible attempts to avoid mate, but each is refuted. There were 249 entries this year and most of them will be receiving in the post the next batch of problems to solve.

White mates in 2.