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Arkell’s Clinching Game in the WECU Championship (18.04.2015.)

In his final game of the recent WECU Championship, Keith Arkell only had to avoid losing in order to win the title outright. Therefore he kept things simple and played patiently, as is his wont.

White: A. W. Brusey (181). Black: K. C. Arkell (234).

Caro-Kann – Advance Variation. [B12]

1.e4 c6 Black’s favourite opening against 1.e4. 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 There is no hesitation in making equal exchanges, in accordance with Plan A. 6.Qxd3 Ne7 7.0–0 Nf5 8.g4 Nh4 9.Bf4 h5 10.g5 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 g6 12.h4 Qb6 13.Qb3 c5 14.Nc3 Nd7 15.Be3 cxd4 16.Qxb6 axb6 17.Bxd4 Bc5 18.Bxc5 bxc5 The pattern of exchanges continues. 19.f4 Ke7 20.a4 c4 21.Kg2 Nc5 22.Rfd1 Ra6 23.Ra3 Rd8 24.Kf3 Rb6 25.Ra2 d4 26.Ne4 Nxe4 27.Kxe4 d3 28.Rd2 Rb4 29.c3 Rb6 30.Ra3 Rd5 31.a5 Rc6 32.b3 Kd8 33.bxc4 Rxc4+ 34.Ke3 Kc8 35.Rxd3 Rxd3+ 36.Kxd3 Black will now chip away at the pawns with his better-placed rook. 36…Rxf4 37.a6 bxa6 38.Rxa6 Rxh4 Black is a solitary pawn up, but it will take a lot of patient manoeuvring to make this a telling advantage 39.Ra8+ Kb7 40.Rf8 Rf4 41.Ke3 Rf5 The black rook will use this key square a lot.  42.Ke4 Kc6 43.c4 h4 44.Rc8+ Kb6 45.Rh8 Rxg5 46.Rxh4 Kc5 47.Rh7 Rf5 48.Rh8 Kxc4 49.Rc8+ Kb5 50.Rc7 Kb6 51.Rc1 Kb7 52.Rc2 Rf1 53.Rc3 Re1+ 54.Kd4 Rh1 55.Rc2 Rh8 56.Ke4 g5 57.Kf3 Rh4 58.Rg2 Rf4+ 59.Ke3 Rf5 60.Ke4 Kc6 61.Rd2 Rf1 62.Rg2 Rf4+ 63.Ke3 Kd5 64.Rxg5 Rf5 65.Rg8 Kxe5 66.Ra8 Kf6 0–1. Now that Black’s king is slotted away safely, White has no counterplay and the outcome is certain, though may take more time. In spite of this loss, Brusey had a good tournament, with a 50% score and a Grading Prize.

This was a last round game in the Major Section in which Colin Sellwood was already assured of the top score, but nerves affected both players and it was Wensley who got the trophy on tie-break.

White: O. E. Wensley (151). Black: C. Sellwood (153).

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Var. [B92]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Bf3 Qc7 11.Qe2 Bc4 12.Qd2 Bxf1 13.Rxf1 Nbd7 14.g4 b5 15.g5 b4 16.Ne2 Ne8 17.Ng3 g6 18.h4 Nb6 19.Qxb4 Nc4 20.Bc1 Ng7 21.Be2 Rac8 22.Qe1 Ne6 23.Bg4 Rb8 24.c3 Nf4 25.Qd1 a5 26.Ne2 Nxe2+ 27.Qxe2 a4 28.Na1 Nb6 29.Nc2 d5 30.Nb4 Rbd8 31.Nxd5 Nxd5 32.exd5 Rxd5 33.Qe4 Rfd8 34.Qxa4 Bc5 35.Qe4 Ba7 36.h5 Qe7 37.Be2 Kh8 38.h6 f5 39.gxf6 Qxf6 40.Qg2 g5 41.Bxg5 Qxg5 42.Qxg5 Rg8 43.Qxg8+ Kxg8 44.Bc4 1–0

“In last week’s position, Arkell missed 1…Nxg3!, and although he’s left his queen hanging 2…Rxe2 is mate.”

The British Chess Problem Solving Championship was held recently at Eton College. The level of difficulty was particularly high this year, and at the end the 1, 2, 3 were the familiar faces of Grandmasters Mestel, McDowell and Nunn, with local solvers being David Hodge, formerly of Exminster (10th), Jon Lawrence of Torquay (18th) and Quentin Thwaites of Totnes (31st).

This was the 2nd of the 2-movers in the “easier” 1st round.

White to play and win in 2

WECU Championship & Congress 2015 – Results.

The West of England Championship and Congress took place over the Easter weekend at its usual venue of the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. The final prize list held few major surprises, though the games were well-contested. The winners were as follows (all scores out of 7).

Open: 1st Keith Arkell (234) Paignton 6½.

2nd Jack Rudd (221) Barnstaple 5½.

3rd= Richard McMichael  (221)                      Kings Head          & Theo Slade (178) Barnstaple both 4½. Grading prizes – U-187:                            

1st Richard Savory (179)          Downend 4. U-1994: 1st= Alan Brusey –Teignmouth; Meyrick Shaw Exmouth & Graham Bolt Railways. Theo Slade accepted the British Championship Qualifying Place.

Major Section (U-175): 1st= Oliver Wensley (151) Exmouth & Colin Sellwood (153) Camborne both 5½. 3rd= Ray Gamble (160) Derby; Mark Potter (154); Tony Packham (169) GLCC; Matthew Wilson (157) Newton Abbot; Max French (154) Frome                   & Jamie Morgan (149) Penwith. Grading Prizes: (U-158); Tim Woodward (150) Trowbridge. (U-148): John Nyman (147) King’s Head.

Minor Section (U-140): 1st Chris Snook-Lumb        (129) Swindon. 2nd Nigel Dicker.                            127   Glastonbury  

3rd= Barry Sandercock (133) & Duncan Cooper (119). GP (U-130) Tim Crouch (129) King’s Head; R. Hunt (129); Paul Foster (127) Medway & Peter Dimond (123) Bath.  (U-123): Terry Greenaway (118) Torquay. (U-110): John Harris(109) Stroud; Hazel Welch (105) Seaton & Martyn Maber (100) Taunton.

This was the 14 yr old Theo Slade’s Rd. 2 game against the seasoned Grandmaster, the bottom-rated player against the top.

White: T. L. Slade. Black: K. C. Arkell.

Caro-Kann Defence [B17].

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 Nb6 7.N1f3 Bg4 8.Qe2 Bh5 9.h3 h6 10.g4 hxg5 11.gxh5 Rxh5 12.Nxg5 Qxd4 13.Ne6 Qd6 If 13…fxe6 14.Bg6+ disturbing the king and winning a rook, which looks a horror show for Black but after  14…Kd8 15.Bxh5 Nxh5 16.Be3 Qb4+ 17.c3 Qb5 18.Bxb6+ axb6 19.0–0–0+ Kc7 20.Qxe6  and Black has 2 minor pieces for a rook, often an advantage, depending on where the pieces in question are situated. This game is a good example of that. 14.Bf4 Qxe6 15.Qxe6 fxe6 16.Bg6+ Kd7 17.Bxh5 Nxh5 18.0–0–0+ Ke8 19.Be5 g6 20.Rhg1 Kf7 21.Rd4 Now Black’s pieces spring into action. 21…Bh6+ 22.Kd1 Nf6 23.c4 Nbd7 24.Bxf6 Nxf6 25.Re1 Rh8 26.Kc2 Bg7 27.Rd3 Rh4 28.b3 Rf4 29.Re2 Ne4 30.Rd7 Nc5 31.Rd1 a5 32.Rh1 Bd4 33.Rh2 g5 34.Rg2 Bf6 35.Rg4 Rf5 36.a3 e5 37.b4 axb4 38.axb4 Ne6 Threatening Nd4+. 39.Kc1 Nf4 40.Ra2 b5 41.cxb5 cxb5 The knight is ready to mop up White’s pawns via d3 or h3. 0–1

Last week’s game ended 1.Nxd6! attacking the rook, and if 1…PxN White can swap off all the kingside pieces and his b-pawn romps home to queen.

Keith Arkell played faultlessly at Exmouth, but even GMs can overlook things at times, and in this recent position he missed Black’s best move. Can you improve on 1…Be6?

Black to play and win more quickly than he actually did.