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Bristol League Spring Congress 2016 – Results.

Bristol’s Spring Congress took place last weekend at Bristol Grammar School. The winners were as follows, with grade and club after each name:

Open Section: 1st= Keith Arkell (243- Paignton) & Ezra Kirk (225 – Cheddleton). 3rd Stephen Meek (185 – S. Bristol). Grading prize: Cherupali Ramprasad (110 – India). Major Section (U-155): 1st Chris Purry (154 – Frome). 2nd James Hennefeld (141 – Downend). 3rd Howard Millbank (125 – Horfield). Grading prize; Anthony Carver (129 – Hanham). Minor Section (U-125). 1st Jason Blaxill (117 – S. Bristol). 2nd David McGeeney (123 – Bristol Cabot). 3rd Geoff Ainsley (123 – Calderdale). Grading prize: Grant Daly (100 – Downend). Junior Prize: Max French: (164 – Millfield School).

Arkell did not have it all his own way, as he did last year, and had to fight hard in some endgames. But he made excellent use of his knights, as in this game from round 3.

White: Carl Bicknell (201). Black: Keith Arkell. (243)  Caro-Kan Defence – Arkell/Khenkin Variation. [B12].

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 Signature move of this variation, much analysed by Arkell and the Russian-born Igor Khenkin, independently, in the 1980s and given their name by the magazine New In Chess. 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 Ba6 8.0–0 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 e6 10.c4 Ne7 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Be3 Nf5 13.Bc5 Bxc5 14.Qb5+ Qd7 15.Qxc5 Rc8 16.Qb4 Ne7 17.f4 0–0 18.Nc3 Rb8 19.Qa3 Nf5 20.Rac1 Ne3 21.Rf2 Nc4 Knight and rook combine to harass White’s queen. 22.Qa4 Qe7 23.b3 Rb4 24.Qa6 Rb6 25.Qa4 Ne3 26.Qd4 Nf5 27.Qd3 Rc6 28.Rcc2 If 28.Rfc2?! Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Ne3 30.Na4 (If 30.b4 for example, Qb6 31.Na4 Rxc2 32.Rxc2 Qxb4 33.Qxe3 Qxa4) 30…Qxc2!! 31.Rxc2 Rxc2 32.Qxe3 d4! 33.Qxd4 Rc1+ 34.Qg1 Rxg1+ 35.Kxg1 Rc8. Meanwhile, back to the game. 28…Qb7 29.h3 g6 30.Qb5 Rb6 31.Qd3 Rb4 32.Na4 Rd4 33.Qc3 Rd1+ 34.Kh2 d4 35.Qc6 Qe7 36.Nc5 Ne3! seriously embarrassing the white rooks. 37.Rfd2 If 37.Rb2 Ng4+ 38.Kg3 (not 38.hxg4?? Qh4#) 38…Nxf2 39.Rxf2 and Black is the exchange up with a very dangerous d-pawn waiting to charge forward. 37…Rxd2 38.Rxd2 Nf1+ forking king and rook 0–1.

This weekend the action moves to the East Devon Congress at the Corn Exchange, Exeter, which started yesterday evening and continues until Sunday afternoon. The Open Section has an unusually large entry this year, probably nearing 60 players, which should make for some interesting games.

In last week’s position, Alekhine beat Lasker after 1.Nf5+ forcing 1…Kh8 2.Qxg6 and if 2…PxQ 3.Rh3 mate.

This position was taken from actual play and appeared in Tattersall’s A Thousand Endgames Vol 1, published in 1901. White to move and should win, of course, but only if he makes the right moves, otherwise Black may be able to draw.

White to play and ensure the win.

Bristl Spring Congress 2016 (20.02.2016)

The Bristol Spring Congress started on Friday evening 19th February in the 6th Form Common Room of Bristol Grammar School, and will run through till Sunday evening. As well as the Open Section there is the Major, open to players graded Under-150, and the Minor for the Under-125s. The detailed results and games will eventually be downloadable from the Bristol League website; www.

Last year’s winner of the Open was Grandmaster Keith Arkell with a perfect score of 5/5. His strongest adversary was Chris Beaumont, and this was their game from Round 3.

White: C. Beaumont. Black: K. C. Arkell.  

1.Nf3 b5 2.e4 Bb7 A kind of Polish Opening in reverse. Clearly both players wanted to steer clear of well-known opening lines and rely on their skill at the board. 3.Bxb5 Bxe4 4.d4 Nf6 5.0–0 e6 6.c4 c6 7.Ba4 Na6 8.Nc3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nc7 10.Bf4 Rc8 11.Rfe1 Be7 12.Rad1 0–0 13.Bc2 d5 Black wishes to establish a presence in the centre. 14.c5 Rb8 15.Qg3 Rb7 16.Be5 Nce8 17.Rb1 Nd7 18.Qd3 g6 19.Bf4 Nc7 20.b4 Bg5 21.Bd6 Be7 22.Bxe7 Qxe7 Black’s pawns are well-established on white squares, which frustrates the white-square bishop, and the best place to attack a pawn chain is at the base.  23.b5 Nb8 24.bxc6 Rxb1 25.Rxb1 Nxc6 26.Ba4 Na5 27.Qg3 Rd8 28.h4 Kg7 29.Bc2 Ne8 30.Ba4 Nf6 31.Bd1 Nc6 Black looks to have a solid king-side position, though White does have a passed pawn which may come in handy later. 32.Qf4 e5 33.dxe5 Nxe5 34.h5 Nd3 35.h6+ White is keen to try and break open Black’s king’s position. 35…Kg8 36.Qd4 Qe1+ 37.Kh2 Qe5+ 38.Qxe5 Nxe5 39.Rb7 Rc8 40.Bb3 Neg4+ White doesn’t have to worry about protecting his  c-pawn as the attacking rook must not leave the back rank just yet. 40…Rxc5 41.Rb8+ But Black’s acknowledged mastery of the endgame enables him to start taking control. 41.Kg3 Nxh6 42.Nxd5 Nxd5 43.Bxd5 Rxc5 44.Bb3 a5 45.Kf3 Re5 46.Ra7 g5 47.g4 Kg7 48.Bc2 Rc5 49.Bb3 Rc3+ 50.Ke4 Nxg4 51.Rxf7+ Kg6 52.Ra7 Nxf2+ With 2 connected passed pawns corralled by their king, the win is assured. 53.Kd4 Rc6 54.Bf7+ Kh6 55.Rxa5 Rf6 56.Bd5 g4 57.Ra7 g3 58.a4 Rd6 59.Ra8 Nh3 60.Rg8 Ng5 61.Re8 g2 0–1.

Here is the shortest decisive game from the Open.

White: N. Ralphs. Black: M. Staniforth.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nxd4 5.Qxd4 Ne7 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.Qe3 d6 8.Bd2 Be7 9.0–0–0 0–0 Now who can get their attack in first. 10.Bd3 Ne5 11.f4 Nxd3+ 12.Qxd3 c6 13.f5 b5 14.Bf4 b4 15.Ne2 Qa5 16.Kb1 Ba6 17.Qf3 d5 Both are doing well at this stage. 18.Ng3 c5 19.e5 Bb7 20.f6 gxf6?? 21.Nf5 1-0 The knight both attacks the unguarded bishop and will help with a forced mate.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Bb6! and if 1…Bxb6 2.Rd4 mate. Black has other “tries”, but none is sufficient.

This 2-mover was composed by Sam Loyd in 1904 for Lasker’s Chess Magazine.

White to move and mate in 2