Posts Tagged ‘Bremridge Cup’
Devon’s premier team tournament, the Bremridge Cup was inaugurated in 1902, with a cup donated by the newly-created DCCA’s then secretary, the Rev. Henry Bremridge, and has been competed for ever since.
For many decades the tournament was a battle between Plymouth and Exeter. This was not surprising as Plymouth had by far the largest population base from which to draw players (c. ¼ million) and the club was led from the front by the charismatic Ron Bruce. This was off-set by Exeter having the University and a number of establishments of higher education, all providing a shifting population of young talents passing through.
From time to time, other clubs were allowed their moment in the sun, as, for example, when a young Gary Lane emerged in Paignton, a star collecting around him a small constellation of aspirants. The University were immensely strong in the ‘60s and ‘70s, while Barnstaple once had enough talents to form a strong team of 6, winning in 1991 and 1992.
But by the 1990s things were waning. Ron and Rowena Bruce and their generation had passed away or moved on, and the Plymouth Club had no appetite at all for weekend chess. Exeter, too, failed to identify a strong leader who could forge the city’s talents into a regularly competitive team. The University club folded altogether as students were left more and more to their own devices. Gary Lane grew up, moved on, and the Paignton Club folded. Teignmouth, an ever-present club in the tournament seized their chance, claiming their only win in 2001.
While everyone was delighted at this well-deserved success, the DCCA could see that the tournament was on the slide. In the centenary 2001-02 season, only two clubs had entered the Bremridge Cup and there were no clubs at all in the Mamhead Cup (Div. 2). In order to try and address this alarming decline, the Association agreed that clubs could become more pro-active in their search for strong players willing to commit their Saturday afternoons.
In this recruitment drive Exmouth were first off the mark. Ken Derrick, a 200 grade player formerly from Bristol, was discovered living quietly in an East Devon village, hitherto unknown to mainstream Devon chess. Likewise with Mike Cox, who lived nearby. Trefor Thynne, a former Exmouth Champion who had been inactive in recent years was also invited to join the party. This surge attracted Ivor Annetts and Brian Hewson from the Tiverton area where there was no top level chess at that time.
In no time at all, Exmouth, who had only very rarely entered the Bremridge in its 100 years, became Devon champions 6 times in the 8 years from 2002, seemingly before other clubs had twigged what the secret was. This was only the short-term effect; Trefor Thynne’s interest was thereby re-awakened, and he went on to form the Newton Abbot Club, while Annetts and Hewson started doing the same for Tiverton as Exmouth had done. The result being 3 strong teams where none had existed before.
This renaissance came to head this season with 5 teams entering the 1st division. Exeter had entered early, but when the familiar problem arose of needing a captain to organise things, and it looked as if they would have to withdraw, the day was saved by Dave Regis who stepped in after Christmas.
So, with at least 4 teams at full strength, it was clear that every team was capable of beating the other 4. And so it proved.
When the day of the final match arrived (Tiverton vs Exmouth), there were still three possible outcomes. (a) If Tiverton won 6-0 they would win the cup; (b) If Exmouth won or only drew 3-3, they would win the cup and if Tiverton won by 3½-2½ or slightly better, Newton Abbot would win. Trefor Thynne, as Newton Abbot captain and a (very) interested party came along to witness fair play and to present the Cup to either club.
Things had not gone well for the Exmouth Club, whose absentees were strong and plentiful enough to form a Bremridge team on their own, whereas Brian Hewson drove for 4 hours from Kent to arrive minutes before kick-off time, mentally and physically exhausted but determined not to miss the occasion. Also, the sounds of music and merriment, wafting upstairs from the bar below throughout, seemed to affect the visitors more than their opponents, and when Tiverton got to 3½-1½ with a game to go, it was clear neither was going to win the cup, and Trefor Thynne took it back with him, to hold for a 4th successive year. After he left, Underwood scored a fine endgame win to make the final score a tantalising half point short of Exmouth’s required draw.
|1||B. Edgell||199||1||0||J. K. F. Stephens||192|
|2||D. Littlejohns||180||½||½||A. Archer-Lock||192|
|3||M. Richardt||177||0||1||Dr. J. W. R. Underwood||171|
|4||B. W. R. Hewson||174||0||1||M. Shaw||166|
|5||S. Bartlett||164||1||0||B. G. E. Gosling||164|
|6||I. S. Annetts||152||1||0||R. H. Jones||130|
The 5 teams in Devon’s 1st Division, play each other once, giving a total of 4 matches. Both Exeter and Exmouth have been a little slow off the mark this season, for one reason or another, and this was the third match for each, with Exeter having won their 1st two matches, while Exmouth had won one and drawn one. So there was everything to play for.
Luck played a part in the team selection for both sides. Exmouth were lucky in that former player, Ken Derrick, had decided to play a more active part in Devon chess, playing both for the county and his old club of Exmouth. This, combined with Dr. Underwood’s recent return from a two year stint in Connecticut, enabled the home team to be at full strength. On the other hand, one Exeter player found himself in another country and had to be substituted at short notice.
The first game to finish was on Bd. 4 where Kevin Hurst gained the upper hand against Simon Waters in a Petroff Defence, and it was all over in 21 moves. This was balanced by a win for Dr. Paulden who broke through Dr. Underwood’s king’s position, utilising long open lines for his pieces, queen, rook and bishops. Then Exeter took the lead as Andy Boyne got a knight established on the 6th rank, and kept all his other pieces working harmoniously. At this point, 2-1 down, and two players a pawn down, for little obvious compensation, even a drawn match looked optimistic.
It was, in fact, like a match of two halves, with the first 3 games finishing in 21, 28 and 32 moves respectively, while the other three all went right down to the wire; in 59, 63 & 64 moves. The 6 free players and non-playing captain all looked on nervously as the games went into extra time and fortunes gradually swung around.
Mark Abbott had looked the only one with a superior position, but this was gradually whittled away until an ending was reached where he only had 3 pawns against a rook. Fortunately, his king was able to protect them as they shuffled forward, like a shepherd coralling his last 3 sheep. The rook alone could do little as his king was trying to catch up with the action. Abbott finished prettily, underpromoting a pawn to a knight with check, allowing a 2nd pawn to queen.
Now 2-all, and the other two games, in which both Exmouth players had been a pawn down, were gradually turning around. The Stephens/Regis game had been positionally congested with 13 pawns still on the board late on, but Stephens was able to grab an open file for his rook, before invading Black’s position to winning effect. The Pope/Shaw game came down to a N + B each with a scattering of pawns, when Shaw opted to swap his bad bishop for Pope’s good knight, after which he was able to grab a few pawns and ran his h-pawn forward to queen, which Pope was unable to prevent.
So it finished 4 – 2, which sounds a healthy margin, but the result was in doubt to the very end. It was unusual at this level to have all six games ending decisively, with no draws, indicative of how all 12 players were committed to the cause.
|1||K. W. Derrick||207||0||1||A. Boyne||195|
|2||J. K. F. Stephens||192||1||0||D. Regis||179|
|3||J. Underwood||177||0||1||T. Paulden||177|
|4||K. J. Hurst||176||1||0||S. R. Waters||168|
|5||M. Shaw||166||1||0||S. Pope||158|
|6||M. V. Abbott||167||1||0||P. Dobber||142|
After a disappointing 5-1 loss to Newton Abbot in their previous Div. 1 match, Exmouth were hoping for better luck against an equally strong Tiverton side. They had their 4 regulars on the top boards, fresh from triumphs at the East Devon Congress the previous weekend, and were joined by 2 “newcomers” on Bds. 5 & 6, namely Tony Hart and Meyrick Shaw, both of whose absence from active play for can be measured in decades.
After 2 hours play there were some very worried faces on the Tiverton side, as the home side looked to be comfortable-to-better on 5 boards. However, converting any advantage to a full point proved impossible.
Tony Hart was running Ivor Annetts ragged for most of the game, but misjudged his defences, allowing his opponent back into the game and he succumbed to a strong kingside attack. Shaw fell for a sucker punch in the opening, allowing Bxf7+ to an uncastled king with a knight hovering to follow it up. The “gift” was declined and he got back to a pawn up going into a bishops of opposite colour endgame, which couldn’t be forced. Gosling overlooked what appeared to be a forced mate in 2 and allowed his opponent to get in a long series of checks and a draw was agreed, making 3 results that got away. Wensley was always comfortable against Hewson and it ended up with K+equal pawns with no advantage to either side. Stephens’ position was equal up to the point where he inadvertantly lost his bishop. His only compensation was for his queen to have total domination of the white squares and a long series of checks that again ended in a draw. At the outset, Hurst was determined to play quickly in the opening in order to avoid the risk of blundering pieces away in time trouble at the end – a plan that didn’t quite work the way he intended. Never the less, Edgell knew he was in danger at several points and had to be at his best. All in all, it was a case of ’so near and yet so far’ from a fabulous result.
|1||Kevin J. Hurst||186||0||1||Ben Edgell||194|
|2||John Stephens||173||½||½||Mike Richardt||180|
|3||Oliver Wensley||164||½||½||Brian Hewson||184|
|4||Brian Gosling||150||½||½||Simon Bartlett||165|
|5||Tony Hart||145e||0||1||Ivor Annetts||150|
|6||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Keith Atkins||145|
Exmouth were away to their local rivals Exeter in Devon’s 1st Division, the Bremridge Cup, when both teams were without several key players. The match was held in the offices of the Schools Health Education Unit, on the Marsh Barton estate, with Bds 1-3 in one room and 4-6 in another, and generally, the teams were very evenly matched.
On Bd 4, Brian Gosling, with Black, achieved a crushing breakthrough against his opponent’s kingside and forced the fist resignation. On Bd. 6, Bob Jones won a central pawn that had been injudiciously advanced, and managed to exploit this slight advantage, and a subsequent blunder, to win a rook with a knight fork. On Bd. 5, newcomer Tony Hart turned around what at one point looked a difficult position to conduct a king hunt with all his forces coordinating excellently.
Thus, all games in one room were completed 3-0, while the top players battled on. In a pawn and minor pieces ending Oliver Wensley sacrificed one piece to secure 2 passed pawns. His opponent returned material to reach a K+5 ending. Thinking it was probably losing, his opponent offered a draw, which Wensley accepted without hesitation, securing the match. A post-game analysis showed it was actually a drawn ending.
Stephens lost in a complicated position, while Hurst, standing 3 pawns up in a Q+2R each endgame, placed a rook on a square where it could be taken for nothing. Match over.
|1||D. Regis||182||1||0||K. J. Hurst||186|
|2||S. Waters||165||1||0||J. K. F. Stephens||173|
|3||S. Pope||152||½||½||O. E. Wensley||164|
|4||W. Marjoram||151||0||1||B. G. E. Gosling||150|
|5||P. Dobber||150||0||1||A. G. K. Hart||145e|
|6||A. J. Waley||129||0||1||R. H. Jones||130|
Here are the first 2 games to finish.
White: W. T. Marjoram (151). Black: B. G. E. Gosling (150).
King’s Indian Defence – Classical Variation [E90]
1.c4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.h3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nbd7 6.e4 e5 7.d5 0–0 8.Bd3 a5 9.0–0 Nc5 10.Be3 b6 11.a3 Bd7 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4?? Diagram
Overlooking the fact that his queen is overloaded. First get rid of the knight – viz. 13.Bxc5 bxc5 14.axb4 cxb4 15.Rxa8 Qxa8 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.cxb5 Nd7 18.Qd2 Nc5 19.Bc4 and Black is comfortable with a pawn up. 13…Rxa1 14.Qxa1 Nxd3 15.Qb1 Nf4 16.c5 bxc5 17.bxc5 Qc8 With the luxury of an extra piece, Black lines up against the enemy king. 18.c6 Bxh3 19.Bxf4 exf4 20.gxh3 Qxh3 21.Qd3 Ng4 22.Ne2 Nh2 Winning more material. 23.Nxh2 the least worst option. 23…Qxd3 24.Nxf4 Qxe4 25.Ng2 Qxd5 26.Ne3 Qg5+ 27.Kh1 Qc5 28.Rd1 Qxc6+ 29.Kg1 Ra8 30.Nd5 Kf8 31.Kg2 Ra5 Resigned as Black is winning another piece. 0–1
White: A. G. K. Hart (145). Black: P. Dobber (150).
English Opening – Sicilian Var. [A22]
1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 e5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.g3 c6 6.Bg2 Bg4 7.0–0 0–0 8.a3 a5 9.Rb1 Qc7 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Nbd7 12.Qd2 h6 13.Bb2 Be6 14.e3 d5 15.cxd5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Rfc1 f6 18.e4 Be6 19.Nh4 Kh7 20.f4 Bd6 21.f5 Bf7 22.Nf3 Ba2 23.Ra1 Qb6+! White overlooked this check, which wins a pawn. 24.Kh1 Bxb4 25.Qe2 c5 However, White soon has a trick to win it back. 26.Bxe5 fxe5 27.Rxa2 Ra6 28.Rxa6 bxa6 29.g4 Qf6 Now materially level, but Black has an outside passed pawn with available support. White decides to act vigorously on the other wing in order to preoccupy Black from pushing his a-pawn. 30.h4 g5 31.fxg6+ opening lines to the Black king. 31…Kxg6 32.Rf1 Qe7 33.Bh3 a5 34.g5 Rd8 Diagram
35.Bf5+ Kg7 36.gxh6+ Kxh6 37.Qe3+ Kg7 38.Rg1+ Kf7 39.Qh6 Qf6 40.Qh7+ Ke8 41.Rg8+ Nf8 42.Bg6+ 1-0 Resigned. If 42…Qxg6 43.Qxg6+ Kd7 44.Rg7+ Kc8 45.Qc6+ Kb8 46.Qb7#
A small piece of chess history was made on Sunday when Newton Abbot and Exmouth met in a match to determine Devon’s top team prize, the Bremridge Cup. At the outset, the 12 players were all aware that Exmouth had to win by 4–2 or better in order to retain the trophy they won last year – anything less and Newton Abbot would win it for the first time in the competition’s 109 year history.
It wasn’t long before two Exmouth players came under severe pressure and it quickly became clear which way the wind was blowing. Eventually it was Newton Abbot that won by 4-2 and so a new name will be engraved on the cup. The scores were (Exmouth names first); 1.B. W. R. Hewson 0–1 D. Mackle. 2.J. K. Stephens ½-½ T. F. Thynne. 3.I. M. Jamieson 0–1 S. W. Schofield. 4.M. V. Abbott ½-½ A. Kinder. 5.D. A. Toms ½-½ C. V. Howard. 6. B. G. Gosling ½-½ J. E. Allen.
Here is the first game to finish, which set the visitors on the winning path.
White: Stephen Schofield (162). Black: Ian Jamieson (175).
1.d4 e6 2.Bf4 f5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Be7 5.h3 0–0 6.Nbd2 b6 7.c3 Bb7 8.Bd3 Be4 9.Qc2 d5 10.0–0 c5 11.Ne5 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Qe8 13.Ndf3 Ne4 14.Nd2 Nxd2 15.Qxd2 Nc6 16.Rfe1 Rc8 17.Rac1 Na5 18.Qe2 c4 19.Kh1 Nb7 So far, everything has proceeded quietly, but White now decides to go for the throat. 20.g4 Nd6 21.Rg1 Nf7? (21…Qd8 might have been better played at this point, rather than later, while another option is to continue with development on the opposite wing with 21…a6). 22.gxf5 opening lines to the Black King. 22…exf5 23.Qf3 Qd8 24.Qh5 Nd6 which brings us to this week’s problem. What did White now play to bring the game to a swift end as mate could not be avoided?
The East Devon Congress started last night at the Corn Hall, Exeter, with two rounds to be played today and two more tomorrow.
The next big event in the area is the West of England Championship due to take place at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth over the Easter weekend, Friday 2nd to Monday 5th April. As there is a limit on accommodation at the hotel, it is best not to leave entries to the last minute. All enquiries should be directed to the Entry Secretary, Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org