Posts Tagged ‘chess problems’
The 24th Frome Congress took place last weekend, and the prizewinners were as follows (with club & grade).
Open: 1st David Buckley (Bath – 218). 2nd= Tyson Mordue (S. Bristol – 195); Chris Ross (Peterborough – 207) & Paul Bonafont (H. Hempstead – 187).
Grading prize (U-170): 1st= Graham Steer (Frome – 171) & Martin Clancey (Ringwood – 175).
Major (U-170): 1st= R. Radford (S. Bristol – 159) & P. Jackson (Coulsdon – 165). 3rd= C. Bellers (Wimborne – 167); G. Crockart (Yeovil – 166); S. Appleby (Gillingham – 165); A. Gregory (Bath – 145); R. Bennett (Newport -147): D. Marshall & D. Weston (both Trowbridge). Grading prize (U-50): 1st= K. Winter (Bingley – 147) & B. Macreamionn (Wilts).
Intermediate (U-140): 1st A. Champion (Frome – 134). 2nd= C. Brown (Bath – 126); O. Bennett (Newport – 128) & Phil Foley (Upminster – 129). Grading prize: P. Horne (N. Radstock – 125)
Minor (U-115): 1st Marian Cox (Southampton – 107). 2nd= A. Fraser (Beckenham – 104) & R. Porter (Bristol Uni. – 110). Grading prize (U-90): M. Watson (Taunton – 79) & C. Bennett (Newport – 74).
This Rd. 5 game clinched Buckley’s 1st place.
White: D. Sully (189). Black: D. Buckley (218).
Alekhine’s Defence – Spielmann Variation. [B02]
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Nfd7 4.e6 Rudolf Spielmann’s move, typical of his aggressive style. 4…fxe6 5.d4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb5 g6 8.0–0 Bg7 9.dxc5 Nxc5 10.Re1 0–0 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12.Be3 Qd6 13.Bd4 Rxf3 White feels this offer too risky, for if 14.gxf3 e5 15.Bxc5 Qxc5 16.Qd2 Bf5 and Black’s bishop pair and 4 central pawns will prove difficult to deal with, so 14.Bxg7 Rf5 15.Qd4 Nd7 16.Bh6 e5 17.Qd2 Nf6 18.h3 Bb7 19.Qe2 Rh5 20.Bd2 c5 21.f3 Rf8 22.g4 Now the rook is doomed anyway. 22…Rxh3 23.Kg2 Rh4 24.Qxe5 d4 25.Qxd6 exd6 26.Kg3 dxc3 27.bxc3 If 27.Bxc3 g5 allows the rook to escape. 27…Rxg4+ 28.fxg4 Ne4+ winning the exchange back. 29.Rxe4 Bxe4 30.Bf4 g5 31.Bxg5 Rf3+ 32.Kh4 Rxc3 33.Rf1?? Bg2 Threatening mate and the rook. 0–1
Coming up next weekend is the 45th Cotswold Congress at St. Edward’s School, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. Enquiries to Mike Powis on 077-4801-4988 or e-mail:email@example.com.
In last week’s position, Carlsen lost to 1.Bc6! and he must lose a piece in order to prevent a back rank mate.
He is due to meet the Indian, Vishy Anand, to contest the World Championship later this year. This week it is Anand’s turn to lose. How did White mate him in 3 moves?
Dorset played Somerset II at Bradford Abbas earlier this month, in the 2nd division of the West of England Inter-county tournament. There was a grade ceiling of 160, but even so, Somerset won fairly comfortably by 10½-5½ as they had the greater strength in depth. The details were as follows (Dorset names first).
1.P. Aston (151) ½-½ D. Freeman (156). 2.W. Legg (149) 0-1 P. Humphreys (154). 3.S. Blake (145) 1-0 C. McKinley (152). 4.M. Fielding (140) 0-1 A. Bellingham (147). 5.P. Errington ½-½ A. Champion (147). 6.C. Winch ½-½ L. Cutting. 7.P. Brackner ½-½ S. Wojcik (143). 8.P. Jackson ½-½ T. Wallis (142). 9.J. Kelly ½-½ R. Knight (139). 10.P. Bland (128) 0-1 T. West (u/g). 11.F. Fallon (124) 0-1 C. Strong (136). 12.N. Mackie (117) 0-1 M. Baker (133). 13.K. Spooner (113) ½-½ I. Stringer (131). 14.J. George (108) 0-1 R. Fenton (127). 15. S. Jones (106) 1-0 M. Cooper (126). 16. M. Kaye (95) 0-1 N. Mills (125).
2013 is but a few days away, bringing with it the return of the British Championships to the Riviera Centre, Torquay, 27th July – 10th August, for the 4th time in 15 years. Even in a “normal” year Torquay attracts around 1,000 entries, but as it will be the 100th championship, there are bound to be a few added extra activities attracting even more players, so it will be important for westcountry players not to leave entering until the last minute. Although entry forms are not yet out, it is likely that many of the top players will not be passing up the chance of becoming the 100 British Champion, providing it doesn’t clash with tournaments abroad. Among them, Taunton’s Michael Adams would have to be favourite.
This, too, will be an opportunity for qualifiers from the local congresses to rub shoulders with the GMs. The next opportunity to win a qualifying place will be at the WECU Junior event in Swindon in February; then the WECU Congress in Exmouth over the Easter weekend, followed by Frome in May.
In last week’s ending from the London Chess Classic, Mickey Adams played Bh3+! And whether White takes it or not, Black will mate on h1.
This is another original composition from reader Dave Howard for you to puzzle over this holiday period, should you manage to get a few quiet minutes to yourself. It’s a 3-mover this time, but he tells me it’s not too difficult. White to move and mate in 3.
This weekend sees the Steve Boniface Memorial Congress taking place in Bristol, while next Sunday will be the start of the Paignton Congress at Oldway Mansion. This will be the last congress there for a bit, because the developers will have moved in by next summer as they start to convert the mansion into a hotel. Although they are planning to retain the Ballroom for functions, it’s unclear whether the congress will be able simply to slot back in as before.
Last week’s pawn promotion problem was solved by 1.Qc8 and after any king move 2.Pd8=Q mate.
This week’s diagram is a repeat of the one given three weeks ago, the winner of a world-wide competition which challenged any composer to find an imaginative interpretation based on the Olympic’s symbolic five interlocking rings. The judge of the 2-move section was Christopher Reeves of the Truro club and he felt this entry was head and shoulders above the others. Although the 22 entries he saw were nameless, this one turned out to be by Marjan Kovačević of Serbia, generally recognised to be currently the world’s best 2-move composer.
The solution is 1.Qf8! threatening 2.Nb5. Black has five attempts to stop this but each is met in a different way: viz. 1…Rg6 2.Nxf3; 1…Na3 2.bxc3; 1…Qxb2 2.Be3; 1…Bf5 2.Rxd5; 1…e4 2.Qf6.
The allusion to five rings may be found in the fact that White had five unsuccessful attempts at mate:
viz. (a) 1.Rc8 threatening 2.Nb5 refuted by 1…Bf5.
(b) 1.Bf8 threatening 2.Nb5 refuted by 1…Qxb2.
(c) 1.Qc8 threatening 2.Nb5 refuted by 1…Na3.
(d) 1.b4 threatening 2.Nb5 refuted by 1…Na3 and
(e) 1.Nd3 threatening 2.Nb5 refuted by 1…Rg6.
White’s unsuccessful tries are, in sequence, moves by a rook, bishop, queen, pawn and knight, and the refutations are, again in sequence, moves by bishop, queen, pawn, knight and rook – a cyclic shift in attack and defence.
Fiendishly difficult for the casual solver, of course, but ingenious when explained.
The reader who got this spot on was Mr. Giles Body of Lympstone, near Exmouth who wins the £25 prize.
Next Saturday, Devon is hosting the West of England & South Wales team event at Tiverton, when over 200 Westcountry juniors will be involved.
The same day will also see a key round in the WECU Inter-County Championship when Somerset play Gloucestershire and Devon meet Hampshire at Wincanton. Both matches are likely to be close and the outcomes to have a major bearing on the eventual trophy winners.
The 26th Wilts and West of England Junior Congress will take place on 18th & 19th February at St. Joseph’s Catholic College,
Ocotal Way, Swindon, Wilts. This will include all the West of England junior titles in the various age groups. Details and entry forms may be found on their own website wiltshirejuniorchess.co.uk. The top section has become so strong in recent years that the organisers applied for, and the WECU Executive was pleased to grant them, one of their four Qualifying Places for the British Championship in August.
This is another of Jack Rudd’s wins from the recent Hastings International, in which White fatally weakens his own kingside defences and Rudd needs no second invitation.
White: J. Burnett (2137). Black: J. Rudd (2290).
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 a move introduced by the Hungarian, Karel Hromadka (1887-1956), and subsequent play often leads to the Modern Benoni. 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 6.cxd5 a6 7.N5c3 Bc5 8.e3 e4 9.Be2 0–0 10.a3 Qe7 11.b4 Bd6 12.Bb2 Bf5 13.Nd2 b5 14.Nb3 Nbd7 15.Nd4 Bg6 16.Rc1 Ne5 Black’s pieces are beginning to assemble for a kingside attack. 17.0–0 Rfd8 18.Qb3 Neg4 19.g3 Weakening the white squares around the king. 19…Qd7 20.Rcd1 h5 Black’s king is well tucked away, so he can consider this pawn advance without risking too much. 21.Rd2 h4 22.Nd1 Ne5 23.Kg2 Nd3 24.Bc3 White could perhaps try to be a bit more pro-active, trying to draw the sting of the gathering storm by exchanging pieces with something like 24.Nc6 Rdc8 25.Bxf6 gxf6 26.Bxd3 exd3 27.f3. etc. 24…Nc1 25.Qb2 Nxe2 working on the weakness of the white squares around the king. 26.Rxe2 Bh5 27.Rd2 Bf3+ 28.Nxf3 exf3+ 29.Kxf3 If 29.Kg1 Qh3; or 29.Kh1 Qh3 30.Rg1 Ng4. 29…Qg4+ 0–1 Resigned, as Black has a 4 move mate viz. 30.Kg2 h3+ 31.Kg1 Qf3.
The solution to David Howard’s New Year 2-mover was 1.Qb7! Last week’s Hastings 1895 continuation was 1.Nxg3 Rxg3+ 2.hxg3 Rxg3+ 3.Kf1! Rxd3 4Rg4! and Black resigned as his queen is pinned and mate is threatened on f8.
This week’s miniature 2-mover is by Henry D’Oyly Bernard (1878-1954) who was born in Combe Raleigh near Honiton. Interestingly, all four of White’s pieces may have the chance to administer mate, depending on how Black responds to the key move.
The World’s oldest regular event is the Hastings Congress which started in 1895 and is now held annually in the post-Christmas period. The top section this year has 108 players, and is held on a 9-round Swiss system. At the time of going to print, just before the start of the final round, the sole leader on 7/8 was Yue Wang (China), half a point ahead of Baku Lilath and Sunda Shyam, both of India.
With 15 of the competitors coming from India, the wise men of the East have certainly arrived in force, but they are not bearing gifts, as they are likely to be taking back with them most of the top prizes.
With a round to go, Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) was having a good tournament on 5/8, Keith Arkell (Paignton) was on 50% while Paul Helbig (Bristol) was on 3.
Two of these westcountry players met in round 7 and produced this cracking game.
White: Jack Rudd (2290). Black: Paul Helbig (2128).
Alekhine’s Defence -[B03].
1.e4 Nf6 This was Alekhine’s idea to tempt White’s pawns forward to an extent where they become overstretched and vulnerable to attack. 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 All fairly standard so far, but White is determined to bolster his pawn centre at the cost of exposing his King. 5…dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.Qd2 Bb4 11.a3 Bxc3 12.bxc3 0–0 13.Bd3 Bxf3 14.gxf3 White now has several open lines to the enemy King and will exploit them to the full. 14…f6 15.exf6 Qxf6 16.0–0–0 Na5 Threatening Nb3+ forking the queen. 17.Qa2 c5 18.Rhg1 cxd4 The position is critically balanced, with both sides bent on attack. The difference is that the knights are restricted to the edge of the board while the bishops have much scope to either defend or attack. 19.Bxd4 e5 20.c5+ Kh8 21.Be3 Qxf3 22.Rg3 Qd5 23.c4 Nbxc4 White’s pieces are now beautifully poised for a crushing attack. 24.Bxh7 Qc6 Unclear is 24…Nxe3 25.Rxd5 Rf1+ 26.Kd2 Rf2+ 27.Kxe3 Rxa2 28.Rh3 Nc4+ 29.Ke4 Rxa3 30.Rxa3 Nxa3 31.Bf5 for example, would leave Black 2 pawns up. 25.Bd3 Qa4 26.Rh3+ Kg8 27.Bh7+ Kf7 28.Rf3+ Ke6 29.Rd6+! The “defending” knight is, of course, pinned. 29…Ke7 30.Bg5+ Rf6 31.Bxf6+ gxf6 32.Qg2 Rf8 If 32…Nxd6 33.Qg7+ Nf7 34.Qxf6+ Kd7 35.Bf5+ Ke8 36.Be6 attacking f7 and preventing Qc4+. 33.Rdxf6 Rxf6 34.Qg7+ Kd8 35.Qxf6+ Kc7 36.Bc2 White cannot afford to ignore his defences. 36…Qb5 37.Qf7+ Qd7 38.Ba4 Nb3+ If 38…Qxf7 39.Rxf7+ and the king must get pegged to the back rank while the h-pawn will be difficult to stop. 39.Bxb3 1–0
The regular venue for the West of England Congress for the past 12 years, the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, went into receivership over the Christmas period, but the interim management put in by the Nat West Bank, has confirmed that it will honour all existing bookings, so this year’s event over the Easter weekend is safe.
This position arose in the very first Hastings congress of 1895, in a game between Tarrasch (W) and Walbrodt. Can you calculate White’s winning continuation?
This month’s copy of The Problemist carries a review of Brian Gosling’s recent book on John Brown by the eminent problemist, Michael McDowell. It makes interesting reading for non-specialists. Here it is in full, courtesy of Christopher Jones.
306 THE PROBLEMIST JANUARY 2012
NEW BOOKS, by Michael McDowell.
John Brown – The Forgotten Chess Composer? by Brian Gosling. Paperback, xii + 209 pp.
Troubador Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1848767-294. Price £10.
John Brown, otherwise known as J.B. of Bridport, was one of the most important English composers from the years of the mid-19th century known as the Transition Period, when the problem separated from the game. He died from tuberculosis in 1863 at the age of 36, and a memorial volume of his work was published two years later to raise funds for his destitute family. That volume, entitled Chess Strategy, is available in e-form from Anders Thulin’s website. Why then publish a new book about Brown?
Brian Gosling is a player from East Devon who has an interest in problems and studies. The book’s main purposes are to present the fruits of his research into Brown’s life, and to introduce players to the art of composition, a goal for which Brown’s characteristic light, inviting problems are ideal. Fifty problems are presented in the main section, with solving hints, followed by the solutions. While there are some classics, many would nowadays be regarded as ordinary, but overall they give a fair impression of what was considered a good problem in the 1850s. The author has researched both the composer and his closest relatives.
Brown was born into a family of Methodists, his father being a bookseller. He trained as a minister, but after only two years on probation resigned and became an Anglican. After his marriage in 1860 he was employed in Kentish Town as a coal-merchant’s clerk. The reader learns much about the upheavals in the Anglican and Wesleyan churches. To place Brown the composer in his historical context, there are chapters on the Transition School, the model mate and the Bohemian School, and Howard Staunton’s column in the Illustrated London News, where over half of Brown’s output was published. There is a list of references to Brown in specific years of the ILN, and an interesting addition is the ILN review of Chess Strategy. A chapter about Bernhard Horwitz and Josef Kling makes the debatable suggestion that they were major influences on Brown’s style. Another chapter presents H. F. L. Meyer’s views on Brown, taken from his 1882 book A Complete Guide to the Game of Chess, and the reader also learns something about Meyer. For an analysis of Brown’s style by a modern composer, the author has included John Beasley’s BCPS lecture from November 1990, which contains some problems not found in the main section. There is a useful chapter on problem terminology and an extensive bibliography. The many illustrations include the one known photograph of Brown, and columns from the ILN.
My few criticisms are minor ones. There are not many original sources, some of the solutions are not as full as they could be, and a few definitions are inexact. Twice the author refers to a failed white attempt as “leading to a draw”. It seems strange to say that Loyd invented the Excelsior theme, then immediately point out that Wormald had composed an earlier example.
Mr. Gosling has produced an interesting and very worthwhile book. The Keverel Chess website mentions that proceeds will be used to pay for repairs to Brown’s headstone at Holy Trinity Church, Bradpole.
My club colleague, Brian Gosling, tells me he has made a start at re-newing the headstone of “JB of Bridport”, the pioneering 19th century problem composer.
Brian has spent several years researching a book on John Brown’s life and chess work, which was published earlier this Autumn – (see covers below).
It was always Brian’s intention that any proceeds would be put towards the cost of renovating his headstone in the Churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Bradpole, and he has already made a start in the process, as witnessed by his pictures here.
Devon won their U-160 match against Dorset on Saturday fairly comfortably by 10-6. The details were as follows: (Dorset names first and were black on odd-numbered boards).
1. F. Pittman 0-1 A. Billings. 2. G. Searing 0-1 I. S. Annetts. 3. C. Winch ½-½ B. G. Gosling. 4. W. Legg 0-1 P. E. Halmkin. 5. C. Webb 1-0 F. Sugden. 6. W. Adaway 1-0 J. Allen. 7. P. Brackner ½-½ P. Dobber. 8. F. Falon 1-0 J. Morrison. 9. J. Balem 0-1 K. Atkins. 10. C. Ambrose ½-½ K. Alexander. 11. J. Kelly 1-0 def. 12. F. Kingdon 0-1 R. Wilby 13. K. Spooner 0-1 R. Oughton. 14. N. Mackie ½-½ 15. J. George 0-1 R. H. Jones 16. S. Jones 0-1 J. Knowles.
Pictures etc. may be found in Blog section.
This was the game from Board 1, won by Devon’s new champion, Alex Billings, a pupil at Torquay B. G. S.
White: A. J. Billings (158). Black: F. J. Pittman (157).
Slav Defence – Schlecter Var. [D91]
1.d4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 Carl Schlecter’s (1874–1918 ) choice of continuing in this opening. 5.Bg5 Bg7 6.e3 0–0 7.Bd3 Re8 8.0–0 8…Bg4 White now invites the break-up of his kingside pawns, heedless of the inherent danger. 9.Qb3 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Qd7 11.Bxf6 dxc4 12.Bxc4 exf6 13.Ne4 Na6 14.Bxa6 bxa6 15.Nc5 forking queen and pawn. Black decides to sacrifice his a-pawn rather than defend it, in return for getting his queen into an attacking position. 15…Qh3 16.Nxa6 Qxf3 17.Qd1 Qxd1 18.Rfxd1 Rac8 19.Rac1 f5 20.Rd3 f4 21.Nc5 fxe3 22.fxe3 Rxe3 23.Rcd1 Not 23.Rxe3 because of 23…Bxd4. 23…Rxd3 24.Rxd3 Rb8 25.Nb3 Rd8 26.Rd2 f5 Black correctly pushes the pawn free from opposition. He has an extra pawn and a bishop for knight, sufficient for a win in most cases, all other things being equal. 27.Kg2 Kf7 28.Kf3 Bf8 29.Rc2 Rc8 30.Na5 threatening to win the c-pawn – how should Black respond? 30…c5 31.b4! Adding to the pressure, as the pawn is pinned. 31…c4 32.Nxc4 Bxb4?? 33.Nd6+ 1-0 Black resigned as his rook must fall. Black should have avoided the potential check – e.g. 32…Kf6 33.b5.
The solution to last week’s unusual task, impossible under modern rules, was 1.PxR promoted to another black rook and the king is checkmated as it cannot take its own piece and a rook is the only piece that could not interpose and delay mate by one move.
This week’s 2-mover has been devised especially for Westcountry Life by the Somerset composer, Dave Howard. It is a little more difficult than most of his problems but he advises that it is a “waiter”, that is, White’s first, or key move, poses no immediate threat, but whatever Black then does contributes to his own downfall – a form of chess suicide.
Published this week is a book with a thoroughly westcountry pedigree. It’s a biography of a pioneering19th century problemist who worked under the nom-de-plume “J.B. of Bridport”. This was, in fact, a Wesleyan Methodist minister by the name of John Brown (1827–1863), and in a few years before he succumbed to the ravages of TB at the age of 37, broke new ground in the themes and subtleties of his compositions.
The author is Brian Gosling, a well-known westcountry player, formerly of Somerset and now residing in East Devon. Always interested in endgames studies and problems Brian became increasingly fascinated with the somewhat mysterious and little-known figure of JB and has spent several years accumulating biographical information. As well as the story of his life, the book contains 50 of his best problems with solutions and explanations.
Printed in Padstow, the book is entitled John Brown – The Forgotten Chess Composer? (pub. Troubador 209pp SB £10 ISBN 978-1848767-294).
If any proceeds accrue from his efforts, Brian will pay for repairs to Brown’s headstone, near the east window of Holy Trinity Church, Bradpole, a mile from the centre of Bridport.
Today the 12th Kerrier Cup is being held at the Truro Chess Club, a 5-round rapidplay event. Results here next week.
This miniature was played in the Grade-limited section of the recent WECU Jamboree, one of Dorset’s only two losses.
White: D. Bowley (142 – Dorset). Black: K. Paine (134 – Somerset).
Indian Defence [D30]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bh4 Be7 6.e3 0–0 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Rc1 b6 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.a3 Rac8 14.Qb1 cxd4 15.Rxc8 Rxc8 Taking Black’s e-pawn looks natural enough, but gives Black the chance to launch a telling sacrificial attack. 16.Nxd4 Nxe3 17.fxe3 Bxg2 18.Be4 18.Rg1 looks little better for after Qh4+ 19.Kd1 Qxh2. 18…Bxh1 19.Bxh1 Qh4+ 20.Kd1 Qxh2 21.Qe4 Qg1+ 22.Ke2 Nf6 23.Qb7 Rc1 24.Bf3 Re1+ 25.Kd3 Qxe3+ and one of the knights must drop. 0–1
In last week’s game ending, Michael Adams broke through with 1.Bxh7! Kxh7 (1…Rxh7 loses quickly after 2.Qxf6+ Kg8 3.Qf8+ etc.) 2.Re3 Ng6 3.Qh5 Rh8 4.Re8 Rxe8 5.Bf4+ winning the queen. There is some play left for Black but the damage is done. The game continued… 5…Kg7 6.Qh6+ Kg8 7.Bxc7 Re2 8.Rf2 Re1+ 9.Rf1 Re2 10.Rd1 Rxg2+ 11.Kf1 Rg7 12.Rd8+ Nf8 13.Bd6 Rg1+ 14.Ke2 R7g2+ 15.Kd3 Rd1+ 16.Kc3 1–0
Here is a 2-mover by J.B. of Bridport taken from Brian Gosling’s book.