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Posts Tagged ‘Bournemouth Congress’

Devon Team Blitz Results (26.10.2013.)

Devon’s Team Blitz Tournament was held on Sunday at the Newton Abbot Club and there were several prizewinners. Overall winners were Newton Abbot “A” who took the Thomas Cup. Teignmouth “A” won the Hodge Cup for the highest score by a team with a total grade of Under-600, while Newton Abbot “B” took the cup for U-450s. The only undefeated team was Exmouth Eagles whose Meyrick Shaw took the new trophy for the highest individual score.

A new Plymouth-based organisation has recently started operations in the westcountry, although their ambitions stretch far beyond these shores. They are called Mind Sports International, a subsidiary of Living it Loving it Ltd., and their aim is to harness modern technologies like web TV and live streaming to tournaments involving chess, scrabble, poker etc. making them more accessible to a viewing public. Their ultimate goal is to have 12 festivals happening every year – 4 in Europe, 4 in North America and 4 across Asia and the rest of the World. They have events planned for Las Vegas and Prague in December but much nearer to home is one to be held at Plymouth Guildhall on the 16th & 17th November involving a range of games including chess. Visit their website ( to find out more.

The 14th Senior Congress at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, starts a week on Monday. Entries are filling up fast, but there is still space for a few latecomers. For details contact me on 01395-223340. 

Here is a game by the winner of last year’s Bournemouth Congress.

White: David Howell. Black: Francis Rayner

English Opening [A34]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e5 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 e4 7.Ne5 Bb4 8.Be2 0–0 9.0–0 Re8 10.Bf4 d6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Qa4 c5 13.Rad1 Bd7 14.Qb3 Qb6 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.Rd6 Qa5 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Nd5 Kh8 19.Nxf6 Bd2 20.Qg3 Bxf4 21.Qxf4 White now finishes off in style. 21…Re7 22.Qh6 Bf5 23.Nh5 Black is now faced with mate on g7 or losing his rook to 24.Qf6+ 1–0

The general rule is that knights should avoid getting stuck on the edge of the board where they tend to be least effective, (“knights on the rim are dim”) but in the case of last week’s problem 1.Nd1! was, in fact, the key move, as Black has no way of avoiding all the various mates next move.

In this position, White has an easy knight fork that wins the exchange, but there may be a quicker way to finish the game off.

White to play and win

Bournemouth & Guernsey Congresses (05.11.2011.)

The annual Dorset Congress has recently moved eastwards from Weymouth to a new Bournemouth venue, and the main winners this year were as follows: Open Section: 1st Martyn Simons (Bournemouth -4/5). Major: 1st= Matthew Wilson (Basingstoke) & David Helsby (Lewisham) 3½. Intermediate: 1st Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury – 4½). Minor: 1st Alan Fraser (Beckenham – 5) – the only 100% score of the weekend.

The recent 37th Guernsey Congress was won by the top seed, S. Sulskis of Lithuania on 6/7 points, but the outstanding performance was by Dave Collier of Bristol who came 2nd= with GM Mark Hebden (both 5½), thus qualifying for next year’s British Championship.

The 12th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress starts on Monday in Exmouth, but it’s still not too late to enter if you contact me on 01395-223340 or e-mail

Here is a game from last year’s event with a debatable finish.

White: John Dodgson (183). Black: Martin Page (162).

Queen’s Pawn Game – Exchange Var. [A00].

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2 0–0 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Nge2 Re8 10.0–0 Nf8 11.f3 h6 Black wishes to challenge the bishop but in doing so weakens his own King’s position. 12.Bh4 Ne6 13.Rad1 c5 14.dxc5 g5 15.Bf2 Bxc5 16.Ng3 Aiming for the ‘hole’ on f5. 16…b6 17.Nf5 Bf8 18.e4 Nc7 White wishes to preserve his strong forward knight. 19.Nd4 Bb7 20.Kh1 Rc8 21.Qd2 Nh5 22.Bb1 Qf6 23.a3 Qe5 24.Nf5 The knight is now free to return to f5. 24…dxe4 25.fxe4 Ne6 26.Be3 Rcd8 27.Qf2 Nhf4 Black gets his own advanced knight. 28.Nd5 Nxd5 29.exd5 Rxd5 30.Rde1 The Black queen leads from the front – a dangerous policy. 30…Rd7 Now the Black queen’s advanced position exposes her to great danger. 31.Bf4 Qxf4 At first sight, this looks reasonable enough, but White has a strong move. 32.Qc2 1–0. Black resigned as it seems his queen must move and then White’s knight will move to expose a mating queen/bishop combination. But closer inspection reveals that 32…Be4 would have enabled him to play on. e.g. 32…Be4 33.Qxe4 Qxe4 34.Bxe4 Rd2 35.b4 and Black is actually a pawn up. So did Black resign needlessly?

The solution to David Howard’s latest problem was 1.Rg8! with no immediate threat, but whatever move Black now makes will offer a range of different mates.

This 2-mover of 1878 by Sam Loyd first appeared in the Huddersfield College Magazine, which two years later became the British Chess Magazine.

White to mate in 2.


NB: The diagram as published in the paper was a piece short, and therefore unsolvable. This was noticed before publication, but too late to do anything about it. Apologies to all frustrated solvers. I aim to republish it correctly next week, and with the solution.

If it’s any comfort, before the advent of computers, most problem books contained many errors, both in the composition of the diagram, and the solution given, which could also be incorrect, or “cooked”. For example, perhaps the most prestigious series of problem books was the Christmas Series, (44 titles in total), edited by the American scholar and philanthropist, Alain C. White (1880 – 1952), yet, quite early on  he had to publish whole booklets with all the errata listed for each of the books.

So these things do happen to even the best.