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Posts Tagged ‘chess’

Winning Devon Game (01.08.2015.)

This was Devon’s top win in their recent National U-180 Final, and was the last game to finish in a tense finale. Mark was the only player to win all three of his games in the National Stages, a fine performance.

White: M. V. Abbott (171). Black: C. Mackenzie (175).

Nimzo-Indian Defence [E49]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3 0–0 9.Ne2 b6 10.0–0 Ba6 11.f3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Re8 13.Ng3 Nc6 14.Bb2 c4 15.Qd2 Qd7 16.Rae1 Re6 17.Bc1? Better might be 17.e4 threatening the knight. 17…Ne8 (17…dxe4 18.fxe4). 17…Rae8 18.Qc2 b5? 19.e4 a5 20.e5 Qa7 21.Qf2 Nd7 22.f4 b4 23.f5 R6e7 24.f6 Re6 25.fxg7 White could bring pressure to bear after 25.Nh5 bxc3 26.Be3 g6 27.Qf4 Kh8 28.Ng7 Nd8 29.Rf3 Rg8 30.Rh3 Nf8 31.Nxe6 Ndxe6 32.Qf3 etc. 25…Ndxe5 Black sacrifices a piece in order to (a) get some activity for his pieces, and (b) create a 4-2 queenside pawn majority. 26.dxe5 Qxf2+ 27.Rxf2 Nxe5 28.Ref1 bxc3 29.Nh5 R8e7 If 29…d4 30.Nf6+ Rxf6 31.Rxf6 d3 32.Bg5 d2 30.Nf6+ Kxg7 31.Nxd5 Rb7 32.Nf4 Rd6 33.Nh5+ Kf8 34.Nf6 Nd3 35.Bh6+ Ke7 36.Re2+ Kd8 37.Re8+ Kc7 38.Re7+ Kc6 39.Rxb7? 39.Re4 Nb2 40.Bg5. 39…Kxb7 40.Be3 Re6 41.Rb1+ Kc8 42.Nd5 c2 43.Rf1 Kd7 43…Rxe3 44.Nxe3 c1Q 45.Rxc1 Nxc1 46.Nxc4 Nb3 44.Bc1 Kc6 45.Nc3 Kc5 46.Rf5+? Kc6? Better is 46…Kd4 as White’s king needs to be up in support of his dangerous pawns. 47.Rf1 Can Black now start to exploit his passed pawns, or will White’s extra piece be enough to prevent this? It’s a close call. 47…Kc5 48.Bd2 Kd4 49.Nb5+ Kc5 50.Nc3 Kd4 51.Na2 Re2? 52.Bxa5 Re7 53.Bb6+ Ke4 54.a4 Rb7 55.a5 f5 56.g3 h5 57.Kg2 h4 58.Nc3+ Ke5 59.Ne2 hxg3 60.hxg3 Ke4 61.Nc3+ Ke5 62.Ne2 Ke4 63.Nc1 Nxc1 64.Rxc1 Kd3 65.Kf3 Kc3 If 65.Kd2 in support of the forward pawn, there follows 66.Be3+ Kc3 67.a6 and Black has lost time. 66.Be3 Rd7 67.a6 Kb2 68.Ke2 Re7 69.Rf1 c3 70.Kd3 Rd7+ 71.Ke2 Re7 72.a7 Re8 73.Kd3 Rd8+ 74.Kc4 Rc8+ 75.Kb5 Re8 76.Bc1+ Kb3 77.Bf4 Kb2 78.Bb8 c1=Q 79.Rxc1 Kxc1 80.a8=Q The 4th queen of the game – will there be the chance of a 5th? Re2 81.Qh1+ Kb2 82.Bf4 c2 So near and yet so far. 83.Qc1+ Kb3 84.Bd6 Re6 85.Qa3 mate.

The British Championships started at Warwick University on Monday and finish next Friday. Games may be followed live on the event website, as well as updates results in all sections. There are 74 entrants in the top section, with local interest focussing on K. Arkell (Paignton – 4th seed); J. Rudd (Bideford – 18th); J. Menadue (Truro – 52nd ); T. Slade (Marhamchurch – 64th) and M. Ashworth (Gloucester – 69th).

In last week’s position, White may have allowed his queen to be taken because he could see the combination 1.Nf6+ forcing gxf6 and then 2.Bf7 mate.

Here is a conventional 2-mover by Arthur Ford Mackenzie (1861 – 1905). This is one for serious solvers.

White to mate in 2

The Rise and Fall of a Dawlish Girl.

The August issue of Chess will contain a short biography of a Dawlish girl, born Rhoda, the youngest of 7 daughters to William Knott a local tailor, who rose to fame in the chess world and became a pioneer of female emancipation, before tragically dying in obscurity.

She founded the Ladies Chess Club in London, a social phenomenon at the time, and in 1897 organised the 1st Ladies World Championship, won by the Bristolian, Mary Rudge. In the process of all this she became a great friend of the great American Grandmaster Harry Pillsbury. No one is suggesting that he let his fondness for her influence him in any way when he awarded her the Brilliancy Prize at the 1st Devon Congress in 1902; it’s a smart sacrificial attack that wins the game, which Pillsbury annotated in the British Chess Magazine.

White: Rhoda Annie Bowles. Black: Ellison Pearse (Devonport)

Ruy Lopez – Modern Steinitz Defence. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 A variation favoured by Steinitz, it being one of his many attempts to establish a valid defence to the Lopez attack. 4.0–0 Probably stronger would be 4.Nc3 and eventually d4 reserving the option of castling on either side at a later stage. 4…d6 5.d4 a6 6.Ba4 Using wide discrimination in not exchanging pieces and queens, as it would rather be to Black’s advantage to remain with his king in the centre. 6.Bxc6+ Nxc6 7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Nxe5 dxe5 9.Qxd8+ etc. Possibly some would prefer 6.Bc4 for if Black continues 6…b5 7.Be2 and Black’s queenside would be weak. 6…b5 7.Bb3 Bg4 A distinct error. The only continuation from this point giving Black a playable game is 7…Nxd4 8.Nxd4 exd4 9.Qh5 (not 9.Qxd4 c5 and …c4 wins.) 9…Ng6 for if 10.Qd5 (or if 10.f4 Be7 11.Bxf7+ Kxf7 12.f5 Bf6 13.fxg6+ hxg6 14.Qd5+ Be6 15.Qxd4 Kg8 and White has no advantage.) 10…Be6 11.Qc6+ Bd7 drawn. 8.Bxf7+ Better than 8.dxe5 Bxf3 (Of course, if Black plays 8…Nxe5 White wins by 9.Nxe5) 9.Qxf3 Nxe5 10.Qg3 etc. 8…Kxf7 9.Ng5+ Kg8 Bad, although after 9…Ke8 10.Qxg4 Nxd4 11.Na3 (safest). Also, White can venture 11.Nc3; 11.Ne6 might easily lose as follows: 11…Qd7 12.Nxg7+ Bxg7 13.Qxg7 Rg8 14.Qxh7 Rxg2+ with a winning game. 10.Qxg4 Qc8 If now 10…Nxd4 11.c3 h5 12.Qh3 Ne2+ 13.Kh1 Qc8 (if 13…Rh6 14.Ne6 and wins.) 14.Qf3 Nf4 15.g3 winning a piece. 11.Qf3 Qe8 12.Qb3+ d5 13.exd5 g6 For Black’s obvious reply was 13…Nxd4 although even then White should win being a pawn ahead and positional advantage. 14.dxc6+ Kg7 15.Ne6+ Kf6 The mate following or decisive win of material is forced. 16.Bg5+ Kf5 17.Qh3+ Ke4 18.Qf3# 1–0

In last week’s position, White was on the brink of defeat but had 1.QxN+ to which Black has two options; 1…RxQ 2.Re8+ or 1…Kg8 2.Ne7 mate.

Like last week, Black is poised to mate on e1, but it’s not his move. What should White do?

What is White's best continuation?

Devon’s Narrow Loss in National Final (11.04.2015.)

Devon got close to getting a result against Middlesex on Saturday in the final of the National Under-180 Championship at Warwick, but fell tantalisingly short, finishing the losers by 7½-8½. The details were as follows (Devon names first in each pairing);

1. J. Underwood (180) ½-½ M. Tasker (187). 2. D. Regis (181) ½-½ C. Nettleton (169). 3. A. Brusey (181) 0-1 N. Chan (179). 4. B. W. Hewson (176) ½-½ I. Calvert (176). 5. S. Martin (175) 1-0 M. Crichton (176). 6. M. Abbott (171) 1-0 C. Mackenzie (175). 7. M. Shaw (173) ½-½ R. Kane (173). 8. W. Ingham (168) ½-½ W. Taylor (173). 9. M. Stinton-Brownbridge (168) ½-½ M. Dydak (170). 10. S. Dean (167) ½-½ G. Dickson (167). 11. K. Atkins (160) 0-1 A. Fulton (173). 12. N. Butland (158)  0-1 L. Fincham (166). 13. I. Annetts (157) ½-½ D. White (165). 14. O. Wensley (151) 0-1 C. Kreuzer. (167). 15. C. Scott (154) ½-½ J. Kay (160). 16. P. Brooks (152) 1-0 L. Boy (159).

It’s almost inevitable that in such a tense situation players on both sides will let the pressure get to them and mistakes will follow, as in this game. Notes based on those by the winner.

White: M. Crighton (176). Black: Steve Martin  (175).

English Opening – 4 Knights Var. [A29]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Bc5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 Re8 7.d3 h6 8.Nd2 d6 9.Nde4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Bb6 11.Nc3 a6 Black is trying to limit the scope of White’s minor pieces. 12.a3 Rb8 Defending the b-pawn before developing his other bishop. 13.b4 Bg4 14.h3 Bh5 15.Kh2 Bd4 16.Bd2 f5 Black is trying to build kingside pressure. 17.Rc1 Ne7 en route to the kingside. 18.Qe1 c6 Blocking the white-square bishop and so releasing Black’s rooks. 19.e3 Ba7 20.e4 Bg6 Also playable was 20…fxe4 21.f4 Qd7 22.Be3 Bxe3 23.Qxe3 Rbd8 White stands slightly better at this stage as his pieces are less constricted. 24.Rcd1 Kh7 25.Rf2 Ng8? The idea was to open the file for the rook to threaten the queen and give his knight a good post on c6, but White’s rooks are becoming more active. 26.Rdf1 exf4 27.Qxf4 fxe4 28.Nxe4 Re5 Although White looks threatening on the f-file it is difficult to see how he can break through with f7 defended by the bishop. 29.c5 Overlooked by Black. It loosens Black’s grip on the centre who responds by giving up his best defender. 29…Bxe4 30.Bxe4+ Kh8 31.cxd6? Better was 31.d4. 31…Qxd6 32.Qh4 Ree8 33.Rf7 33…Rf8 White now has mating chances e.g. 34.Qg4 Rxf7 35.Rxf7 Qe5 36.Qg6 Qb2+ 37.Kg1 Qc1+ 38.Rf1 etc.  But the strain of 5 hours concentration does strange things to one’s brain. 34.Qxd8?? White had assumed Black would retake with the queen and completely overlooked the rook. 34…Rxd8  0–1.

Last week’s game ended with 1.Bxh7+

Kxh7 2.Qh4+ Kg8 3.Ng5 and Black resigned in view of 3…g6 4.Rd7 and Black must lose his queen.

In this position, Black is lined up to either mate on h2 or win the bishop on b2, but it’s not his move. What can White do about it?

Can White avoid defeat?

Bournemouth Congress Prizewinners (04.07.2015.)

A prize fund of £3,700 attracted 175 players to last week’s Bournemouth Congress, including a number of titled players. The winners were as follows:-

Open: 1st= GM Simon Williams (233) & IM Alfonso Llorente Zaro       (246) both 4½ and sharing £1,300. 3rd= GM Nick Pert (254); IM Gediminas Sarakauskas (233); FM Andrew Lewis (207) & FM Richard Britton (205) all 4pts. Grading prizes: U-209: WFM Jane Richmond (192) 3½. U-190 Harry Grieve (181)   3½. U-180: Kenny Harman (175) 3. U-170 Stephen Appleby (165) & Paul Rowan (158) 2½.

Challengers (U-165): 1st P. Chrysidis (156)  4½. 2nd= D. Butcher (162); S. Benson (159) & C. Purry (159) all 4. GPs U-156: P. Morton     (155) & J. Wright (152) 3½. U-145: Gillian Moore          (144) & M. Roberts         (142) 2½. U-140: J. Everson (139)   3.

Intermediate (U-135): 1st K. Alexander (128)         4½. 2nd= D. Agostinelli (134); C. Cornes (131); G. Taylor       (129) & S. Crockett (120) all 4. GPs U-120: J. Gilbert (112) 3. U-112: J. Wallman (110).

Minor (U-110): 1st A. Fraser (107) 5. 2nd W. Curry(106) 4½. 3rd C. Sheeran (102).

This was the crucial Rd. 4 game between the two Grandmasters.

White: Nick Pert. Black: Simon Williams.

Ruy Lopez – Close Defence. 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Black chooses not to open things up at this early stage. 5…Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.d3 d6 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Nbd2 Nc6 12.a4 b4 13.Nf1 Rb8 14.Ng3 Re8 15.h3 h6 16.d4 cxd4 17.cxd4 exd4 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.Qxd4 b3 20.Bb1 Qb6 21.Qd3 Qa8 22.Bd2 Qa6 23.Qf3 Be6 24.Bd3 Qa8 25.Nf5 Nh7 26.Ne7 Re7 27.Qg3 attacking both h & d pawns. 28.Bxh6 f6 29.Bf4 Rd8 30.Bd6 Red7 32.e5 f5 32.f4 Rxd6 already 2 pawns down Black now sacrifices the exchange in an effort to free up his cramped position. 33.exd6 Rxd6 34.Rad1 Qd8 35.Be2 Bf7 36.Qe3 Qh4 37.Qf2 Qf6 38.Rxd6 Qxd6 39.Rd1 Qc7 40.Bd3 g6 41.g3 Qd7 42.Qc5 Ne6 43.Qe3 Qa4 44.Rc1 Nf8 45.Qc5 Ne6 46.Qc4 Qe8 47.Qc8 Nd8 48.Kf2 Kh7 49.Rc7 Qh8 50.Ke3 Qf6 51.Rd7 Qe6 52.Kd2 Nc6 Black’s queen is now overloaded, allowing White to win more material. 53.Rxf7+ Qxf7 54.Qxc6 Qa7 55.Qf3 a4 56.Qe3 Qb7 57.Qc5 a3 White now faces threats on both wings. 58.Qxa3 Qg2+ 59.Kc3 Qxg3 60.Qe7+ Kh8 61.h4 Qf4 62.Qd8+ Kh7 63.Qd4 Qxd4 64.Kxd4 Kh6 and White went on to win as his king and bishop can both easily pick up the b-pawn and focus on preventing Black’s connected pawns from doing damage, leaving his own b-pawn to march forward unhindered.

In last week’s position, Alekhine found a combination that Black was powerless to do anything about. 1.Re8+ Nf8 2.Nh6+ Qxh6 3.Rxf8+ Kxf8 4.Qd8 mate.

It is said that every player should experience the pleasure of conducting a winning sacrifice on h7 at least once in their career. In this 1991 game, the sacrifice is obvious enough, but can you follow it through to a win? Is it sound?

Small Clubs’ Survival Struggle (20.06.2015.)

The smaller chess clubs have always struggled to survive. In Exeter alone the list of casualties is a long one. Those at the Wyvern Barracks Officers’ Mess and Sidwell St. YMCA disappeared over a century ago, to be followed by St. Luke’s and St. Loye’s Colleges, the Civil Service and even the once-mighty University. In the wider county, the clubs at Dawlish, Buckfastleigh, Winkleigh, Tavistock and Dartington have also long since gone. Other counties are doubtless the same.

It is refreshing, therefore, to see, bucking the trend, a new club created at East Budleigh (pop.650), where they recently invited the Grandmaster Keith Arkell to give a simultaneous display. He won every game, of course, but commended Malcolm Belt and Chris Scott for their resilience in adversity for which they received book prizes, and for this one Arkell also kindly added his own instructive insights.

White: C. J. Scott (154). Black: K. C.  Arkell (234.)

Queen’s Pawn Game [D02]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 c5 4.c3 Be7 5.Bd3 d5 6.h3 Nbd7 7.Nd2 0–0 8.Ngf3 b6 9.0–0 Bb7 10.Re1 Perhaps White should play 10.Qc2 to prevent 10…Ne4. 10…Ne4 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Bd6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.Qg4 f5 16.Qg3 Qxg3 17.fxg3 Rac8 18.Nc4 It’s a nice idea to try and bring the knight to the outpost on e5, but there is a tactical problem. 18…Rfd8? Better would have been 18…cxd4 19.Nd6 Rc6! 20.Nxb7 dxc3 21.bxc3 Rfc8 and Black is near to winning. 19.Ne5 cxd4 20.exd4 b5 21.Rac1 Rc7 22.b3 g6 22…g5! is more to the point. 23.Red1 Kg7 24.Kf2 Nicely played. It is important to prevent Black from getting in …f4 24…g5 25.Ke3 Rf8 26.Rf1 h5 27.h4! Again well played. Black was threatening 27…h4 28 gxh4 f4! with a clear advantage. 27…gxh4 28.gxh4 Kf6 29.g3 Rg8 30.Kf4 Rcg7 31.Rg1 Rd8 32.Ke3 Ba8 33.Rc2 The idea of my previous move was to meet a possible 33.c4 bxc4 34.bxc4 Rb8 grabbing the b-file. The position is about equal here. 33…a5 If 33…Rdg8 34.Kf4 Rg4+ 35.Nxg4+ Rxg4+ 36.Ke3 f4+ 37.Kf2 e3+ 38.Ke2 but my connected passed pawns won’t last very long. 34.c4? A mistake on which I failed to capitalise. 34…bxc4? I should have played 34…f4+ 35.Kxf4 Rxd4 and the more you look at this position the more you realise White is completely lost. 35.Rxc4! Not giving me a second chance. 35…Bd5 36.Ra4 Ra8 37.Nc4? The losing move, as it allows me to break through on the kingside. Better would have been 37.Kf4 Rc7 and although Black stands a little better, there is still a lot of work to do. 37…Rag8 38.Kf2 f4 39.Ne5 e3+ 40.Ke2 Rxg3 41.Rxg3 Rxg3 42.Rxa5 Rg2+ 43.Ke1 f3 44.Rxd5 Rg1# 0–1

Last week’s game between Aitken and Keffler ended with the combination 1…QxR+! forcing 2.NxQ Nf3+! and 3.Re1 mate cannot be avoided.

The problemist Arthur G. Pike of Redlands, Tiverton, died recently at the age of 92. Several of his 2-movers have appeared in this column over the years, and this is one of his best.

White to mate in 2 moves

Keith Arkell Simul. (10.06.2015.)

Grandmaster Keith Arkell visited the fledgling chess club at East Budleigh at the weekend. Popular though the hard-working GM is, attendance was affected by the fact that, quite by chance,  there were a number of other activities that weekend, not least the WECU Council Meeting at Ilminster and Devon were due to play Lancashire in the Semi-Final of the National Stages. Wives will only permit so much chess activity in any one weekend. That was bad luck on the Organiser and founder of the new club, Brian Gosling. 

Nevertheless, it was a most enjoyable session. Keith took on all-comers, playing everyone twice, and afterwards going through the games from memory, giving advice on the run of play. He picked out the 2 games that gave him the most trouble and they were awarded book prizes. These were Malcolm Belt and Chris Scott of the Exmouth Club, and their prizes, suitable inscribed, were presented to them at their Club in the Royal Beacon Hotel. Keith had analysed their games, the scores of which were posted on the ECF website together with an account of the occasion.

Arkell in action: Belt nearest and Scott furthest.

 

Belt & Scott play through one of the games, with their book prizes on show.

 

They found a better move - but too late!

Cotswold Congress at New Venue (06.06.2015.)

The 47th Cotswold Congress was held over the recent bank holiday weekend at a new venue, King’s School in Gloucester. It followed close on the heels of the recent Frome event, but this didn’t seem to affect the local players’ appetite for chess as about 100 took part.

The Open was won at a canter by 13 year old Pavel Asenov (Witney) who scored 5½/6 and is rapidly becoming one of the top players on the Westcountry circuit. 2nd= on 4 pts were the more familiar names of Chris Beaumont (Bristol), Joey Stewart (Gloucester), Ian Robson (Wotton Hall) and Graham Bolt (Exeter).

Major Section: (U-155) 1st Andrew Munn (Downend). 2nd= Max French (Frome); Richard Dixon (Gloucester); Tim Acton (St. Albans) & Brendon O’Gorman (DHSS).

Minor Section (U-125): 1st Stephen Crockett (Redditch). 2nd Neil Graham. 3rd= Peter Sartain (Hanham) & John Constable (Bude).

Joint winner of the Frome Congress was Grandmaster Matthew Turner, chess master at Millfield School, who enjoyed the finish to this game.

White: Matthew Turner (237). Black: Jeremy Fallowfield (180).

English Opening – Anglo-Dutch Defence.

1.c4 f5 Black goes in for a Dutch Defence style of position. 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e4 fxe4 7.dxe4 0–0 8.Nge2 c5 9.0–0 Nc6 10.h3 e5 11.Nd5 Be6 12.Kh2 Anticipating Black’s next move. 12…Qd7 13.Bg5 Rf7 14.Qd2 Raf8 15.f3 Supporting the e4 pawn and blocking out the potential threat of the doubled rooks down the f-file. 15…Nd4 16.Nxd4 cxd4 17.Rac1 Kh8 18.Qa5 b6 19.Qa3 Ng8 20.Bd2 Bh6 21.Bxh6 Nxh6 22.f4 Ng8 Or 22…Bxd5 23.cxd5 exf4 24.gxf4 Rxf4 25.Rxf4 Rxf4 26.Qb4 winning the d-pawn. 23.fxe5 dxe5 24.Rxf7 Rxf7 25.c5 bxc5 26.Rxc5 Qd6 27.b4 Qf8 28.Qc1 h6 29.Rc6 Bxd5 30.exd5 Both sides have their major pieces cooperating nicely and Black’s central passed pawns have potential.  30…Rf2 Normally rooks do their best work along their 7th rank in the later stages of the game, but in this case it leads to problems. 31.Rc8 Qf3 Black’s queen has to move so it may as well threaten mate… except that he is mated first. 32.Qxh6# The “defending” knight was pinned.1–0

In last week’s position, White had overlooked that after 1.Nd5+ Black could simply take it with 1…Qxd5 as after 2.Rxd5 Rc1+ is mate.

In 2009, a record was set at the British Championships when Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) and Andrew Greet (St. Austell), representing their respective counties, met in a match in a helium balloon tethered 400 ft above Torquay sea-front. If that’s difficult to believe, the film is still available in 2 parts on YouTube (just type in “balloon chess” – it had 1,500+ views at last count).

They met again recently, this time at ground level, in the 4Nations Chess League. In this position, how did Greet (Black) finish the game sharply?

Black to play and win.

E. Devon League Annual Prizegiving 2015 (04.06.2015.)

The League’s annual prizegiving took place at its usual venue of the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, followed by a match.

 The winners’ names were announced by League President, Brian Aldwin, and the presentation was made to a representative of the winning team concerned.  (see photographs below).  Details of the various sections can be summarised as follows:

  Premiership    
  Div. 1: 4 Bds  – U-640    
    1 2 3 4 5 6 Tot.  
1 Exeter Rooks X 2 0 2 2 2 8 Cottew Cup
2 Newton Abbot 0 X 2 2 2 1 7  
3 Exeter Bishops 2 0 X 2 0 2 6  
4 Exmouth Eagles 0 0 0 X 2 2 4 GP: Turner Cup
5 Exmouth Elephants 0 0 2 0 X 2 4  
6 Tiverton 0 1 0 0 0 X 1  

 

  Championship    
  Div. 2: 4 Bds – U-480    
    1 2 3 4 5 Tot.  
1 E. Budleigh X 0 2 1 2 5   Polsloe Cup
2 Seaton 2 X 2 1 0 5   Polsloe Cup
3 Sidmouth 0 0 X 2 2 4 GP: Mainstay Cup
4 Exeter 1 1 0 X 2 4  
5 Tiverton 0 2 0 0 X 0  

 

  RapidPlay    
  4 Bds   -   U-560    
    1 2 3 4 5 Sub. bonus Total
1 Exeter Prestissimo X 2 4 2 3 11 4 15
2 Tiverton 2 X 2 4 4 12 2 14
3 Exmouth 0 2 X 2 4 8 1 9
4 E. Budleigh 2 0 2 X 1 5 0 5
5 Exeter Gambits 1 0 0 3 X 4 1 5

The presentations were followed by a match between those present. In the past this has been between teams drawn from the 3 coastal clubs and those inland i.e Coast vs Country, but this formula has become somewhat redundant in recent years, with the arrival of Newton Abbot on the one side and the demise of Sidmouth on the other. Therefore it had been agreed to try a revival of an old formula, not used in Devon for over 20 years.  That is a President’s vs Match Captain’s match, with teams drawn from whoever turned up on the night. The way it worked was as follows:

(a) Players likely to be presnt should submit their names beforehand.

(b) The players are the listed in grade order, top to bottom, and pairing cards made out.

(c) Once it is ascertained they are present in the room, Team A has the top-graded player. Then Team B is then allocated the next 2 top-graded players, and then Team A gets the next 2 – and so on to the bottom of the list. This guarantees two teams of approximately equal strength. The only slight adjustments that need to be made is where this formula pairs 2 players from the same club. It is unlikely that two players from Newton Abbot or Seaton would wish to travel a long distance only to play a club colleague they’d played in their club the night before.

(d) It had been decided to make it a rapidplay match – 30 minutes per player per game, with colours reversed for a 2nd game.

The evenness of the teams was demonstrated by the outcome. All the President’s men won the 1st round by 9-7, but lost the 2nd round by the same score, making it 16-all at the end. Details as follows:-

  Captain’s Team       President’s Team    
Bd.   Rd 1 Rd 2     Rd 1 Rd 2
1 T. J. Paulden 1 1   K. J. Hurst 0 0
2 S. Martin ½ ½   A. W. Brusey ½ ½
3 M. Shaw ½ 1   G. Body ½ 0
4 C. J. Scott ½ 0   T. F. Thynne ½ 1
5 K. P. Atkins ½ 0   O. E. Wensley ½ 1
6 E. Palmer 1 0   B. G. Gosling 0 1
7 K. Hunter 1 1   M. Belt 0 0
8 A. Dowse 1 1   J. Maloney 0 0
9 R. H. Jones ½ 0   R. Scholes ½ 1
10 M. Hussey 0 0   R. Player 1 1
11 Mrs. H. Welch 0 1   G. Fotheringham 1 0
12 S. Blake 0 ½   M. Maber 1 ½
13 G. J. Jenkins 0 1   A. Brinkley 1 0
14 M. Lee 0 1   G. Elliott 1 0
15 T. Murray 0 0   P. Darlow 1 1
16 T. Miner ½ 1   B. Marsh ½ 0
    7 9     9 7
    16     16

 

Eddy Palmer (Exeter Rooks) receives the Cottew Cup as League Champions, from Brian Aldwin and Tim Paulden.

Meyrick Shaw receives the Turner Cup from League President, Brian Aldwin, as the Grading Prize win for Exmouth Eagles.

Hazel Welch (Seaton) & Brian Gosling (East Budleigh) share the Div. 2 Mainstay Cup.

Steve Martin (Sidmouth) takes the Div. 2 Grading Prize.

 

Finally the fun stuff is over and it's down to the serious business of the evening.

Gold Coins Raining Down (16.05.2015.)

Cornwall’s venture into the National Stages of the Inter-County Championship ended at the first hurdle when they lost to Bedfordshire 5-11 at Weston-Super-Mare. They were outgraded on every board bar one, but not greatly so. In any case, they cannot but be delighted with their overall performance this season. Cornish names 1st in each pairing:- 1. Andrew Greet (229) 1–0 C. Ross (201). 2. Jeremy Menadue (190) ½-½ S. Ledger (195). 3. Theo Slade (178) ½-½ G. Kenworthy (190). 4. Mark Hassall (173) 0-1 A. Elwin (184). 5. Grant Healey (176) 0–1 P. Habershon (182). 6. David Saqui (170) 0-1 G. Borrowdale (181). 7. Robin Kneebone (173) 0-1 R. Freeman (178). 8. Simon Bartlett (168) 0-1 K. Williamson (177). 9. Lloyd Retallick (167) 1-0 M. Botteley (176). 10. Colin Sellwood (153) 0–1 S. Pike (176). 11. Gary Trudeau (157) 1-0 B. Valentine (166). 12. John Wilman (150) 0-1 N. Collacott (165). 13. Jeff Nicholas (150) ½-½ A. Matthews (160). 14. Richard Smith (147) ½-½ T. Lawson (154). 15. David R Jenkins (127) 0-1 C. Sollaway (140). 16. Richard Stephens U/G 0-1 B. Pike (92).

Referring back to their historic win against Devon in March and the game M. Shaw vs Wilman, given earlier, in which Black’s winning move was described by Jeremy Menadue as “what they used to call ‘a gold coins on the board moment’”. Where did that saying come from?

Apparently, it derives from the 1912 game S. Lewitzky vs Frank Marshall at Breslau. In his “autobiography”, ghosted by Reinfeld, Marshall introduces it thus:- “Perhaps you have heard about this game which so excited the spectators that they showered me with gold pieces! I have often been asked whether this really happened. The answer is – yes, that is what happened, literally”. Here is the game, shorn of most of his analysis.

White: S. Lewitzky. Black F. J. Marshall

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Bg5 0–0 9.dxc5 Be6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bg4 Qd6 13.Bh3 Rae8 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Qe2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rxd5 Nd4 20.Qh5 Ref8 21.Re5 Rh6 22.Qg5 Rxh3 23.Rc5 Qg3!! (see diagram)

Black's gold coin moment?

 

The gold coin moment. “The most elegant move I have ever played!” wrote Marshall.” The queen is offered 3 ways and White cannot accept the offer in any form. (a) If 24.hxg3 Ne2 mate. (b) If 24.fxg3 Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Rxf1 mate, and (c) if 24.Qxg3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxg3+ 26.Kg1 Nxf1 and Black will be a piece up”.

However, a number of authorities are unsure as to the truth of the story. Golombek, in his A History of Chess, casts doubt on it, as does Edward Winter in his Chess Notes. Did the citizens of Breslau in 1912 really have gold coins jangling in their pockets in case they felt a sudden urge to shower them on folk, however deserving? The Cornish certainly didn’t.

Dave Howard’s 2-mover last week was solved by 1.Ne4!

Frome Congress Approaches (09.05.2015.)

White: S. A. Whatley (182). Black: P. Byway (185).

Sicilian Defence – Sveshnikov Variation.  [B22]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 The signature move of the Sveshnikov line, which is intended to produce lively chess. 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 Nf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.c3 Nc6 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Nbd2 h6 11.Nb3 Bb6 12.Bf4 Bg4 13.h3 Bh5 14.g4 Bg6 15.g5 This early aggression soon rebounds on him. 15…Nh5 16.Bc1 hxg5 17.Nxg5 Qf6 18.Qg4 Ne5 19.Qh4 Nd3 20.Bxd5 Rad8 21.Bf3 Nhf4 22.Bxf4 Nxf4 23.Qg4? Black now cleverly wins a piece, thanks to White’s weakening of his own king’s position. Better was 23.Bg2. 23…Qxg5! 24.Qxg5 Nxh3+ 25.Kg2 Nxg5 26.Bxb7 Having won a piece, Black will now be seeking to make equal exchanges whenever he can to increase the material differential. 26…Be4+ 27.Bxe4 Nxe4 28.Rh1 Nxf2 29.Rh4 Rd1 30.a4 Rfd8 31.a5 Rxa1 32.Nxa1 The bishop will be forced to abandon its protection of the knight, but Black still has enough to win. 32…Bxa5 33.Kxf2 Rd2+ 34.Ke3 Rxb2 35.Kd3 Rg2 36.Rh3 g5 37.Nb3 g4 38.Re3 Bb6 39.Re8+ Kg7 40.c4 Rg3+ 41.Kc2 Re3 42.Rc8 g3 43.c5 g2 44.cxb6 axb6 45.Nd4 g1Q Now it is White’s turn to administer a knight fork, but it’s too little, too late. 46.Nf5+ Kh7 47.Nxe3 Qxe3 48.Kb2 Qe5+ 0–1

The odds against either of them winning this year, or anyone else of that grade level, lengthened considerably after entries were received from the Lithuanian IM, Gediminas Sarakauskas (226) and Portuguese David Martins (212), with the possibility of other top players entering at the last minute, as they often do.

The popular IM, Colin Crouch, passed away recently at the age of 58 after a second brain haemorrhage. His first, a decade ago, had left him almost blind, but this had not prevented him from becoming a top class writer of chess books, coaching juniors and playing regularly on the congress circuit. His last book, Magnus Force – How Carlson beat Kasparov’s Record, was published by Everyman in 2013. He was a top junior in his day, winning the British U-16 title in 1972, subsequently adding the U-18 title.

Last week’s position ended much like the previous week’s but on the other side of the board, and, as before, all Black’s moves are forced – there is nothing better for him to play. Morphy (W) played 1.Nc5 discovered check; 1…Kb8. 2.Nd8+ Kc8 3.Nb6 double check. 3…Kb8. 4.Qc8+ and the rook must take, allowing 5.Nd7 mate. This sequence is also known as an epaulet mate, as in the final position the king has his two rooks apparently at his shoulder like a pair of military-style epaulets.

Reader Dave Howard of East Harptree has just sent in this new 2-mover.

White mates in 2 against any defence.