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British Championships 2012

This year’s winners in the Bristol League were as follows:

Div. 1; Clifton A (10 clubs participated); Div. 2; Clevedon A (9 clubs); Div. 3; Downend C (11 clubs) and Div. 4; Thornbury B (9 clubs). Anyone interested in playing chess in the Bristol area should contact Dave Tipper for more information on 01454-856938 or

Keith Arkell won last weekend’s e2e4 congress in Buxton, with 4½/5 points, ahead of GM Mark Hebdon, IM Daniel Fernandez and Alan Merry.

As the late entry deadline for this year’s British Championship passed on Tuesday, there were just 39 entries listed on the event website. Of these, Gawain Jones and David Howell are the top seeds, both being over 2600, with local interest currently centring on the fortunes of Keith Arkell (Paignton), Jack Rudd (Bideford) and Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot). It will be held in North Shields, far away from the hustle and bustle of the London Olympics, starting on Monday 23rd July and the last round on Friday 3rd August.

Next year will be the 100th British Championships and will be held at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, so will be a very special event, and as there will not be a Paignton Congress at Oldway Mansion, the entry is likely to be very high.

Here is last week’s position again, as you may need to see it to be able to appreciate its strange logic. At the time it was composed (1989), Article 9.1 of the Laws of Chess stated that “the king is in check if it is attacked by one or two of the opponent’s pieces”. Article 9.2 states that “the check must be parried by the move immediately following”.

On this basis, the solution is 1.g6 Nd7+ forking king & rook. 2.Kf7+ NxQ+  3. g7+. The point of this is that the White king is now attacked by three pieces and so is not in check as defined by the Laws as they then stood, which can only be by 1 or 2 pieces. Meanwhile, Black is now in check, so there follows 3…Kh7 4. g8=Q Kh6 5.Qg7 mate 

As a result of this problem, in 1992 FIDE amended the Laws to “…one or more pieces” to cover all eventualities. It is also interesting in that it involves just one of each kind of piece, kings excepted. A remarkable novelty.

White to play and win.