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New Year Events (16.12.2017.) 964

The first local congresses of 2018 are the Somerset New Year Congress on Saturday & Sunday 13th & 14th January, at the Walton Park Hotel, a beautiful venue overlooking the Severn estuary in  Clevedon, BS21 7BL. Details are obtainable from the organisers, Colin and Rebecca Gardiner on 01209-217210 (before 9 p.m.), or e-mail congresssecretary @hotmail.com.

Following that is the Simon Bartlett Memorial Chess Congress for Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th January at the Livermead House Hotel, Torquay. Details may be found on the Bude Chess Club website www.budechess.co.uk. Although there have already been two large events at this popular sea-front venue this Autumn, the prize fund of £2,300 should attract entries.

Simon Bartlett (1954 – 2017), one of the most regular players on the Westcountry congress circuit was born in Paignton, eventually taking a degree in chemistry at Bristol University. He spent most of his career at Key Organics in Camelford, before he was diagnosed with a brain tumour which proved fatal.

Here is a game of his from the 2013 Torquay Open in which he beats Arkell; not the Grandmaster, Keith Arkell, but his brother Nick.

White: S. Bartlett (1943). Black: N. Arkell.

Pillsbury Defence [B07]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Be3 c6 5.Qd2 Nd7 6.Bd3 Qc7 7.f4 White goes for a strong pawn centre. 7…b5 8.Nf3 Bb7 9.Ne2 Ngf6 10.Ng3 a6 11.f5 c5 12.c3 0–0–0 13.0–0 c4 14.Bc2 d5 15.Bf4 Qb6 16.e5 Ne4 17.Qe1 Playable was 17.Bxe4 after which 17…dxe4 18.Ng5 Bd5 19.Nxf7 Bxf7 20.e6 Bxe6 21.fxe6 Qxe6 22.Rae1 etc. 17…Nxg3 18.Qxg3 h6 19.fxg6 fxg6 20.Qxg6 Qxg6 21.Bxg6 Rdf8 22.Bg3 Nb6 23.Nh4 Kd8 24.Nf5 Rhg8 25.Bh7 Bc8 Probably best 26.Bxg8 Bxf5 Now Black must win the exchange back, leaving White just the pawn up. 27.Rxf5 Rxf5 28.Be6 Rf8 29.b3 h5 30.Rf1 White cannot allow Black to dominate the open file. 30…Rxf1+ 31.Kxf1 Bh6 32.Ke2 Ke8 33.Be1 Kf8 34.Bd2 Bxd2 35.Kxd2 Time now for the kings to do some work. 35…Kg7 36.Ke3 Kg6 37.g3 h4 38.Kf4 hxg3 39.hxg3 Kg7 40.Bf5 A much better square for the white-square bishop, which must have scope to move freely. 40…cxb3 41.axb3 a5 42.Bb1 White has to beware of Black’s outside pawn which could prove a lasting threat later on. 42…a4 43.Ba2 If 43.bxa4 bxa4 and White will be tied down watching that a-pawn. 43…e6 One would think g4 would be the natural move, but White has a plan. 44.Ke3 Kg6 45.Kd2 Kf5 46.bxa4 Nxa4 47.Kc2 This is just a ruse to encourage Black’s king forward. 47…Kg4?? He falls for it. 48.Bxd5 exd5 49.e6 Catch-me-if-can – it must queen. 1–0

In last week’s position, White can play 1.Nf3 and if Black replies 1…Kc3 2.Nc2 mate.

This position arose in a game earlier this year. Black is itching to get in 1…e3+, but it’s not his move. Will this fact be of any help to White?

White to play and avoid defeat.

Another Win For The Cornish (09.12.2017.) 963

For many years, Cornwall played their county matches in the Victory Hall, Exminster, but have recently transferred to Shillingford Village Hall, on the other side of the M5, where they played Gloucestershire recently. The result was a crushing 12-4 win for the Cornish, helped by defaults as four of the visitors failed to turn up. Even so, it was still an 8-4 win on games played. The details were as follows (Cornish names 1st in each pairing). 1.Jeremy Menadue (191) ½-½ M. Ashworth (192). 2.James Hooker (178) 1-0 C. Mattos (190). 3.Lloyd Retallick (174) 0-1 J. Jenkins (185). 4.David Saqui (169) ½-½ P. J. Meade (178). 5.Mark Hassall (168)        0-1 P. Masters (175). 6.Robin Kneebone (164) 1-0        M. Roberts (167). 7.Richard Stephens (160) 1-0 J. Ashworth (161). 8.Colin Sellwood (155) 0-1 M. Taylor (144). 9.Gary Trudeau (148) 1-0 A. Richards (133). 10     .Jamie Morgan (146) 1-0 D. Walton (109). 11.Percy Gill (144) 1-0 R. Jones (108). 12.Mick Hill (139) 1-0 J. Jones (61). 13. Richard Smith (153) 1-0 d/f. 14.Adam Hussain (145) 1-0 d/f. 15.Jan Rodrigo (141) 1-0 d/f.16.Jeff Nicholas (140) 1-0 d/f.

Most of the Cornish wins were long affairs, but not this one.

White: Chris Mattos (Stroud – 190). Black: John Hooker (Camborne – 178)

1.d4 d6 The Pillsbury Defence, named after the great American Harry Nelson Pillsbury (1872 – 1906) who died young but played in Devon on several occasions. 2.Nf3 Nd7 3.Bf4 Ngf6 4.h3 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Bc4 0–0 7.0–0 c5 8.c3 d5 9.Bd3 Qb6 Asking the first of several questions: i.e. attacking White’s b-pawn  10.b3 Ne4 11.Nfd2 f5 12.f3 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Kh1 Be6 16.Bg3 Rad8 17.Bf2 c4 18.Bc2 Qa6 19.b4 Nc6 A 2nd question is posed. 20.a4? Not the right answer as it overlooks… 20…Nxb4 21.Na3 Nxc2 22.Nxc2 Qd6 23.Rfb1 Rd7 24.a5 g5 25.Nd4 g4 26.Nb5 Qe5 27.f4 Qf6 28.h4 Re8 29.g3 Bf7 30.Ra3 Qe7! And finally, threatening to lay a trap for both rooks: e.g. 31…a6 would attack one rook’s sole defender. 31.Ra2?? White sees that threat but not the more serious  one. 31…Qe4+ Forking king and rook. 0–1

The Camborne Club are organising their annual Christmas RapidPlay tournament next Friday at their venue, the Bickford Smith Bowling Club, Tuckingmill. There’s no need to enter in advance but entrants should arrive by 7 p.m. for a 7.15 start. The competition will consist of a 5 round Swiss with 12 minutes each on the clock. The games will not be graded. There will be a vast quantity of prizes to give out afterwards. It is intended that play will end at 10.15 p.m with the prizegiving following immediately. Seasonal refreshments after round 2 with tea, coffee, biscuits, etc. available throughout. They hope to welcome a large entry from around the county to this popular event.

Last week’s 2-mover was supposed to be a little more difficult than usual, but not to the point of impossibility, as the white pawn on b4 was inadvertently omitted. Here it has been corrected, so should now still be difficult, but at least possible. Apologies for the error.

Somerset & Devon in Close Fight (02.12.2017.) 962

Devon and Somerset’s 1st and U-160 teams met on Saturday at Sampford Peverell Village Hall, the latter fielding their strongest team for several seasons. On paper, bds 1-8 looked competitive, while Devon seemed likely to run away with it on bds 9–16. However, that’s not how it worked out, as Devon were left scrambling right to the end in order to scrape home by the narrowest of margins, 8½ – 7½. The details were as follows (Devon names 1st in each pairing): 1. W. Braun (203) 0-1 J. Rudd (215). 2. D. Mackle (198) 0-1 B. Edgell (202). 3. G. Bolt (196) 0-1 P. Krzyzanowski (197). 4. J. Underwood (192) 0-1 A. Wong (189). 5. P. O’Neill (188) 1-0 A. Gregory (175). 6. S. Martin (186) 1-0 A. Cooper (174). 7. J. Wheeler (185) ½-½ D. Painter-Kooiman (163). 8. B. Hewson (184) ½-½ L. Bedialauneta (159). 9. T. Paulden (183) ½-½ R. Radford (157). 10. S. Homer (181) ½-½ D. Freeman (156). 11. C. Lowe (176) ½ -½ G. Jepps (156). 12. D. Cowley (173) 1-0 R. Knight (156). 13. P. Hampton (172) 1-0 D. Peters (156) 14. O. Wensley (172) 1-0 A. Conway (150). 15. J. Haynes (171) 1-0 A. Champion (147). 16. P. Brooks (170) 0-1 C. Purry (147).

It was more clear cut in the grade-limited match where Devon’s strength in depth got them through comfortably, 8½-3½.

1. A. Brusey (158) 1-0 P. Chapman (141). 2. C. Howard (155) 1-0 C. Fewtrell (146). 3. B. Gosling (154) 1-0 C. McKinley (144). 4. N. Butland (150) 0-1 C. Strong (144). 5. P. Halmkin (148) ½-½ T. Wallis (144). 6. A. Kinder (147) 1-0 U. Effiong (142). 7. M. Quinn (146) 1-0 J. Fewkes (141). 8. J. Blackmore (143) 1-0 N. Mills (133). 9. R. Wilby 140 ½-½ B. Radford (133). 10. A. Hart-Davis (135) ½-½ M. Baker (130). 11. J. Allen (134) 0-1 C. Lamming (129). 12. R. Jones (128) 1-0 M. Willis (129).

Here is the top game of the day.

White: W. Braun. Black: J. Rudd.

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bg7 5.h3 0–0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.g4 Nc5 9.Bd3 At this point, Rudd had his longest think, wondering about the wisdom of exchanging his active knight for the blocked bishop. Often pieces blocked out of the action for long periods have a nasty habit of wreaking havoc once they have broken their bonds. However, Rudd decided not to risk this possibility. 9…Nxd3+ 10.Qxd3 Ne8 11.g5 f5 12.gxf6 Nxf6 13.0–0–0 Black immediately acts against the enemy king’s position. 13…a6 14.Nge2 b5 15.c5 b4 16.Na4 a5 17.Ng3 Ba6 18.Qc2 h5 19.Kb1 h4 20.Nf1 Nh5 21.cxd6 cxd6 22.Qc6 Be2 23.Nd2 If 23.Re1 Bd3+; or 23.Rd2 Bf3 Either way White’s position is unravelling. 23…Rc8 24.Qb6 Qd7 25.Qxa5 Bxd1 26.Rxd1 Qxh3 27.Nb6 Qg4 clearing the path for the passed pawn with a threat. 28.f3 Rxf3 29.Nxc8 Rxe3 30.Ne7+ Kh7 31.Rc1 Re2 32.Qxb4 Qg2 33.Rd1 The Private is just three steps from a Field Marshall’s baton 33…h3 34.Qxd6 h2 35.Qe6 h1=Q 0–1

In last week’s position, Timman lost to 1.Rxe5 leaving the queen no meaningful move. If 1…QxR there follows 2.Qf3+ Kh2 3.Qf2 Kh3 4.Bc8+.

Here is a traditional but more difficult 2-mover.

White to mate in 2.

51st Torbay Congress Report (25.11.2017.) 961

Within hours of the Seniors Congress finishing in Exmouth, the scene of action moved across the Exe to the Torbay Congress in Torquay, with another 5 games to be played and prizes to be won. The successful players included the following, several of whom had won a prize at the earlier event: (scores out of 5).

Open Section: 1st= S. Berry & D. Mackle (4). 3rd= M. Waddington & S. Dilleigh (3) Grading Prize (U-187) 1st= J. Wheeler; D. Littlejohns & J. Forster all 2½.

Major Section (U-170): 1st= R. Taylor & P Sivrev (4½). 3rd= Y. Tello & R. Goodfellow (4). GPs (U-160) 1st= M. R. Wilson & M. J. Harris (3½). (U-155) 1st M. Stinton-Brownbridge (3½). (U-144) S. Williams (3).

Intermediate Section (U-140): 1st= E. Hurst & A. K. Riley (4½). 3rd D. J. Jenkins (4). GPs (U-120) 1st M. Schroeder. (U-132) 1st= I. Blencowe; R. Livermore & N. Fisher (3).

Foundation Section (U-120): 1st Y. Wang (5). 2nd= J. Madden; A. Proudfoot & C. Constable (4). GPs (U-107) 1st= A. Stonebridge: J. P. Fursman & N. F. Tidy (3½). (U-98) 1st= K. Ashby; P. Broderick & J. Carr (3). (U-82) 1st= E. Holliday & J. Gibbs (2½).

Steve Dilleigh of Bristol was in fine form throughout both tournaments, coming clear 1st in the very strong Junior section at Exmouth, and a 3rd prize here. He plays steady, patient chess and will take advantage of any chances coming his way.

White: S. P. Dilleigh. Black: D. Simpson Queen’s Gambit – Semi-Slav Def. [D45]

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Be7 6.Qc2 0–0 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Qc7? Overlooking the pin. 12.Nxb5 Qb6? 13.Nc3 Rfc8 14.Na4 Qc7 15.Bd2 a5 16.Rac1 h6 17.Nc5 Nxc5 18.dxc5 Nd7 19.b4 axb4 20.Bxb4 Ba6 21.Bc4 This blocks 2 pieces from defending c5, but Black is mistaken in thinking this allows him to win the c5 pawn. 21…Nxc5? 22.Bxc5 Bxc4 23.Qxc4 Bxc5 24.Qxc5 Black has simply lost a knight for very little. 24…Rxa2 25.Qd6 White now rightly aims to make equal exchanges, which Black needs to avoid, but not at all costs. 25…Qb7 26.Qd7 Qa6 27.Ne5 Rb8 Black needed to hang on with… 27…Rf8 and if 28.Nxc6 Qe2 29.Rf1. 28.Qxf7+ Kh7 29.Rd7 1–0

Many more games from the event may be found on chessdevon.org. while details of how all competitors did are on the event website torbaycongress.com.

This afternoon Devon’s 1st and 2nd teams meet their Somerset counterparts at Sampford Peverell Village Hall. The 2nd teams are comprised of players all graded U-160, and with Cornwall make up a triangular tournament for the right to progress to the National Stages of the U-160 Section.

In last week’s position, White won after 1.Qa2+! and although either Q or R can take it, 2.Nb3 is double check and mate.

In this position, Black is playing the fine Dutch player, Jan Timman, and has sacrificed a couple of pawns in order to get some attacking chances, a plan that succeeded. How did Black force his way to mate in 6 moves?

Black to move against Jan Timman

18th Royal Beacon Seniors’ Congress Results(18.11.2017.) 960

Last week saw the 18th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress held in Exmouth, with a long list of winners – over a third of the players took home prizes, and here are some (all points out of 5):

Seniors Section (65+): 1st Ivan Myall 4½ (£100); 2nd= Steve Berry; Mike Wiltshire & Bill Ingham (Teignmouth) all 4 (£60). Grading Prize (U-155) 1st= Brian Gosling (E. Budleigh) & A. Hibbitt both 3½ (£25) .

Junior Section (50–64): 1st Steve Dilleigh (Bristol) 4 (£100). 2nd= Alan Brown; Mike Waddington (Dorchester) & Jon Wells. All 3½ (£60). Grading prizes: (U-175): 1st= Steve Dean (Seaton) & Tim Spanton both 3. U-160 1st Paul Jackson 3 (Bournemouth). (U-135) 1st= Ian Blencowe (Gloucester); Graham Hillman (Wimborne) & Susan Selley (Exmouth) all 2½.

One of the biggest surprises of the week occurred in Rd. 2 of the Seniors section. Stephen Berry was the top graded player and expected to win, but came a cropper here.

White: W. Adaway (165). Black: S. Berry (202).

Alekhine’s Defence [B05]

1.e4 Nf6 Alekhine’s Defence, tempting White’s pawns forward so they possibly overreach themselves and become weak targets. 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 6.0–0 Be7 7.h3 Bh5 8.c4 Nb6 9.exd6 cxd6 10.Nc3 0–0 11.Be3 N8d7 12.Rc1 Bxf3 13.gxf3 If 13.Bxf3 White loses a pawn to 13…Nxc4. 13…e5 14.f4 exd4 15.Qxd4 Nc5 16.Rfd1 Qc8 17.Kh2 Rd8 18.Rg1 Ne6 19.Qe4 Bf6 20.Bxb6! Bxc3 Black seems to have made a grave miscalculation which loses material, though little better was 20…axb6 21.Nd5 threatening either to win the bishop or fork queen & rook on the other wing. 21.Bxd8 Bxb2 22.Rc2 Bd4 23.Bh4 Black emerges from the skirmish a whole rook down and in deep trouble. Can White hold his nerve, as there is activity all over the board? 23…Qc5 24.Bg4 Nxf4 25.Bg3 Ng6 26.Rd1 Be5 27.Bxe5 dxe5 White’s rook pair now take control. 28.Rd5 Qb6 29.Bf5 Rf8 30.c5 Qb1 Equal exchanges will greatly help White’s cause…. 31.Bxg6 hxg6 32.Rxe5 Qd1 33.Qe2 Qd4 34.Qe3 …. but not Black’s. 34…Qa4 35.Rd2 Kh7 36.Re4 Qb5 37.a4 Black has no counterplay and can only dodge the bullets. 37…Qc6 38.Rd6 Qc7 39.Rh4+ Kg8 40.Re4 b6 41.Re8 bxc5 42.Rxf8+ Kxf8 43.Qe5 Kg8 44.Rd5 Qa5 45.Qb8+ Kh7 46.Rd8 g5 47.Rh8+ Kg6 48.Qd6+ f6 White has a mating net based on the white squares. 49.Qd3+ Kf7 50.Qd5+ Kg6 51.Qe4+ Kf7 52.Qe8#

Berry felt a little hurt by this unexpected upset until I pointed out to him that William Adaway was not just an average club player. Before his lengthy absence from the game while he pursued a career, he had had some outstanding results including a draw against the famous Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch in a big London congress and a win against GM Adrian Hollis. He didn’t feel quite so bad knowing that.

Last week’s position was solved by 1.Bf8 after which only Black’s knight can move, and it’s the only piece preventing 2.Qh6 mate.

Here is a similarly deceptive 2-mover. White to play.

White to mate in 2

The Royal Beacon Seniors Congress – A Look Back and Forward.

As is generally known, the Royal Beacon Seniors Congress has been held at the hotel from the very beginning in 2000. That year, Stewart Reuben expressed the opinion that it was probably the first event of its kind in England. Since then Seniors events have sprouted up all over the globe. When FIDE made a move to split the category into 2 (a) 50 – 64 and 65+, Exmouth got in first and formalised its “Junior” section to fit into the same age parameters. This way, some of the youngest Seniors, to their great amusement, were able to go back into the Juniors for a year or two.

Since 2000 the hotel has been owned first by local businessmen, John Fowler and then George Nightingale, both happy to host a midweek event in the first week of November, not usually noted as a high point in hotel activity, even at the sea-side. Earlier this year, however, the hotel was acquired by the Robertson Hotel Group, who are proactive in generating a wide range of activities; weddings, Murder nights, naked body painting etc. (don’t ask!) and for a time it was feared that they might raise the room hire charge to an unsustainable level, as far as this event is concerned, as has happened to the WECU Easter Congress, which next year will be held down the road at the Manor Hotel.

I spent several sessions negotiating with the new local Events Manager, arguing the economic good sense of keeping things the same. At the last minute, the good news came through that our argument has won the day – for the time being at least. Therefore the 19th Congress will be held from Monday 5th November to Friday 9th November 2018 – all arrangements unchanged. As this year, the Torbay Congress will follow closely on.

Meanwhile, last but certainly not least, many thanks to all who made donations large & small to ensure the events viability in these uncertain times.

Donations

Many thanks to all who made donations large and small to help keep the event viable,

including the following.

William Adaway Ivor Annetts Ian Farrow
Eddie Fierek Paul Foster Raymond Gamble
Brian Gosling Robert Hurn Norman Hutchinson
Sid Jones Ray Kearsley Stan Lovell
Peter Lucas Omer Namouk Martin Page
Malcolm Roberts John Shaddick Alan Sherriff
Richard Smith Hazel Welch Michael Wiltshire
Ronnie Burton Steve Dilleigh Dave Rogers
Colin Sellwood Dinah & Ken Norman

WECU Inter-County Championship – U-160 Section. (04.11.2017.)

Three WECU counties decided to enter the U-160 section of the ECF’s Inter-County Championship. These were Devon and their two neighbours, Cornwall and Somerset. Devon’s first match was against Cornwall, with the latter being deemed the home side. Non-playing captain, Mark Hassall, wanted to avoid the parking problem, often experienced in the town centres of Plymouth and Launceston on a Saturday afternoon, and went for the small village of Altarnun, near the A30 south of Bodmin Moor. The village hall was spacious, warm, well-lit and well provided for refreshments.

The top 11 boards were well-matched and Mark Hassall felt at one point that Cornwall had rather the better of things, and in fact Devon only won by 6-5 on Bds 1 – 11. However, from then on down, the grade differential increased significantly, and Devon won all 5 games, making the fnal score 5-11, which somewhat belies the struggle on the higher boards.

Full details were:-

WECU Inter-County Championship

Bd Cornwall U-160 Grd Devon U-160 Grd
1 Colin Sellwood 155 0 1 Alan Brusey 158
2 Richard Smith 153 1 0 Charles Howard 155
3 Gary Trudeau 148 0 1 Brian Gosling 154
4 Jamie Morgan 146 1 0 Matthew Best 154
5 Adam Hussain 145 0 1 Mike Stinton-Brown. 154
6 Percy Gill 144 0 1 Sam Coutu-Oughton 151
7 Jan Rodrigo 141 0 1 Nick Butland 150
8 Jeff Nicholas 140 1 0 Andrew Kinder 147
9 Mick Hill 139 ½ ½ Steve Murray 147
10 Richard Clark 137 ½ ½ Steve Clarke 143
11 John Wilman 136 1 0 Rob Wilby 140
12 Stephen Pearce 126 0 1 Ben Wilkinson 138
13 David Jenkins 121 0 1 Adam Hart-Davis 135
14 Ian Renshaw 121 0 1 John Allen 134
15 Martin Jones 116 0 1 Robert Jones 128
16 Sam Edwards 100 0 1 Richard Smith 124
Totals 2168 5 11 2312

Start time approaching and waiting for sets.

The top boards soon after kick-off

The lower boards

Bd. 1: Alan Brusey vs Colin Sellwood.

Bd. 5: Mike Stinton-Brownbridge vs Adam Hussain.

Bd. 7: Nick Butland vs Jan Rodrigo

Standing in the hall doorway one can see the impressive facade of the Wensleyan Chapel, marking a spot where John Wesley regularly used to stop on his travels to preach to Cornwall's industrial workers further south.

Although Altarnun is a small village, its parish is, in fact, the largest in the county, encompassing over 15,000 acres of Bodmin Moor, coniferous forest etc. This large wall map, done for the Millennium and hanging in the hall, marks out the Parish boundary in yellow, and shows many features to be found within.

A Busy Fortnight Ahead. (04.11.2017.) 958

It’s certainly proving to be a busy start to the season, with Devon’s Team Blitz tournament, a county match, and two congresses… and that’s just in the space of a fortnight.

Devon’s Team Blitz tournament has been a regular calendar item for decades, but has recently proved increasingly attractive, with teams, greater in number and strength entering year on year. This time, thanks to the efforts of the organiser, Trefor Thynne, there were 15 teams of 4 players assembling at the Newton Abbot Chess Club, eager for 6 rounds of mayhem, and just 12 minutes per player thinking time for all moves. After a brain-addling afternoon the winning team was Exeter Ninjas (20/24 pts) thus retaining the Thomas Cup, and comprised Tim Paulden, Paul O’Neill, Graham Bolt & Giles Body. 2nd Bideford (15); 3rd Exeter University “A” (14½); 4th Newton Abbot “A” (14); 5th Exmouth Eagles (13½); 6th Exeter Uni. “B” (13) winning the Hodge Cup for the highest score by a team graded U-600; 7th= Tiverton; Weymouth & Dorchester and Sidmouth (all 12½); 10th= Seaton & Torquay Boys’ G.S. (both 12). 12th Newton Abbot “B” (11½); 13th Torquay (11); 14th= Barnstaple & Exmouth Egrets (9). The only player to win all 6 games was International Master, Jack Rudd, of the Bideford team. But interestingly, the title of the cup-winning Sidmouth team concealed the fact that it comprised just one family, Julian Bacon and his 3 sons Nicky (16), Ollie (13) & Benny (10) – a remarkable achievement. A fuller report with charts & photographs of this and the other events may be found on keverelchess.com.

This afternoon, Devon and Cornwall will be meeting at Altarnum Village Hall, just off the A30, in an U-160 match – the first step on the road to the ECF Inter-County U-160 team final next June. On Monday the Royal Beacon Seniors’ Congress starts in Exmouth, finishing on Friday, and that evening the Torbay Congress starts at the Livermead House Hotel, and continues through the weekend. They were placed back-to-back, and informally called the South Devon Chess Festival, so that players travelling from north and east of the Watford Gap can enjoy a full week of chess with 10 games making the long journey more worthwhile.

Here is a game from the winning team of the Blitz tournament on Sunday.

White: T. Paulden. Black: J. Stephens.

1.b3 Larsen’s Opening: when there is so little time to think, it’s a good idea to try something a little off the well-beaten track. 1…e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 a6 4.Ne2 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.Nxd4 d5 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Be2 Bd6 9.Nd2 Bf5 10.Nf3 0–0 11.0–0 Re8 12.c4 a5 13.Rc1 Ne4 This loses a tempo to a mating threat, and Black seems to be on the back foot hereafter. 14.Qd4 Nf6 15.c5 Bf8 16.Ne5 Re6 17.b4 Bg6 18.f4 Be4 19.f5 Rxe5 20.Qxe5 Nd7 21.Qf4 Bxc5 22.f6 Bd6 23.Qg5 g6 24.Rxc6 Bf8 25.Rfc1 Ra7 26.Bd4 Nb6 27.Bxb6 cxb6 28.Rc8 Qd6

Which brings us to this week’s position. Black has just played Qd8–d6 to escape the attention of White’s rook. How can White now end it quickly?

White to play

Royal Beacon Seniors Congress – Latest Entries

Robert Everson has been one of our most regular competitors in the Seniors Congress from the start, one of a significant contingent coming from Kent each year.

This year, he was, as usual, one of the 1st entries in, but then I was told he was ill, and a little later, that he would be too ill to play. Now I’m told he has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and has been hospitalised.

I’m sure all our thoughts go to him and his family & friends.

I don’t know if he’s able to receive messages or e-mails, but his address is bobeversonq@gmail.com.

Beacon Seniors’ Congress 2017

Royal Beacon Hotel – Exmouth

Mon. 6th – Fri. 10th Nov.

Entries so far

Date: 2nd Nov.

4 days to go

Seniors 65+

1 202 Stephen Berry Wimbledon
194 Ken Norman Wokingham
2 181 Ivan Myall Chelmsford
3 180 Norman Hutchinson Cambridge
4 173 A. Crombleholme Walsall Kipping
5 169 Adrian Pickersgill Hastings
6 164 William Adaway Bridport
7 163 Bill Ingham Teignmouth
8 162 Ian McAllan Sidcup
9 161 Brian Valentine Leighton B.
10 159 Brian Gosling E. Budleigh
11 154 Andrew Price Leamington
12 153 Raymond Gamble Derby
13 152 David Openshaw Cavendish
14 152 Arthur Hibbitt Banbury
15 150 Martin Page Insurance
16 147 Mike Wiltshire Kent
17 142 Ivor Annetts Tiverton
18 141 Terry Greenaway Torquay
19 138 Paul Foster Medway
20 136 Malcolm Roberts Holmes Chapel
21 136 John Shaddick Basingstoke
133 Dinah Norman Wokingham
22 132 Ray Kearsley Wimbledon
23 131 Michael Cresswell Barking
24 131 Geoff Naldrett Gerrards Cross
25 131 Eddie Fierek Gloucester
26 130 Peter Lucas Sussex
27 130 Robert Hurn Caerphilly
28 130 Dave Adams Exmouth
29 129 Alan Sherriff Bexley
30 129 Stan Lovell BCA
31 128 William Harris Sidmouth
32 128 Robert Jones Exmouth
33 123 Paul Errington Bournemouth
34 123 Ray Hunt Seaton
35 119 Roger Waters BCA
36 119 Philip Gordon BCA
37 119 Malcolm Belt Exmouth
38 119 Gerald Parfett Athaeneum
39 117 Omer Namouk Hastings
40 112 David Burt Bournemouth
41 102 Sid Jones Dorchester
42 102 Ian Farrow Doncaster
43 96 Peter Carrick Bath
44 93 Hazel Welch Seaton
91 Marian Cox Southampton
81 Reg Cox Southampton

“Juniors”  50 – 64

1 203 Walter Braun Exmouth
2 197 Graham Bolt Exeter
3 191 Mike Waddington Dorchester
4 188 Steve Dilleigh Bristol
5 188 Jonathan Wells Norwich
6 185 Ian Heppell Wimbledon
7 173 Alan Brown Northampton
8 169 Tim Spanton Hastings
9 167 Ronnie Burton Weymouth
10 163 Robert Stern Pimlico
11 161 Steve Dean Seaton
12 157 Phil Kennedy Cornwall
13 155 Colin Sellwood Camborne
14 152 Nigel Livesey Marple
15 146 Jamie Morgan Cornwall
16 132 Ian Blencowe Gloucester
17 130 Paul Jackson Bournemouth
18 130 Dave Rogers Exmouth
19 120 Susan Selley Exmouth
20 116 Graham Hillman Wimbourne
21 96 William Taplin Keynsham
Name in Yellow

= Most recent entry

Devon’s Team Blitz Tournament – 2017.

Devon’s Team Blitz tournament has been a regular calendar item for decades. Back in the 1960s there were up to 20+ teamsm eeting at venues as varied as the Pretoria Hotel, Okehampton or Oldway Mansion, Paignton. The event went into a decline for some time  but has recently proved increasingly attractive, with teams, greater in number and strength entering year on year. This time, thanks to the efforts of the organiser, Trefor Thynne, there were 15 teams of 4 players assembling at the Newton Abbot Chess Club, eager for 6 rounds of mayhem, and just 12 minutes per player thinking time for all moves.

After a brain-addling afternoon the winning team was Exeter Ninjas (20/24 pts) thus retaining the Thomas Cup. Their team comprised Tim Paulden, Paul O’Neill, Graham Bolt & Giles Body. 2nd Bideford (15); 3rd Exeter University “A” (14½); 4th Newton Abbot “A” (14); 5th Exmouth Eagles (13½); 6th Exeter Uni. “B” (13) winning the Hodge Cup for the highest score by a team graded U-600; 7th= Tiverton; Weymouth & Dorchester and Sidmouth (all 12½); 10th= Seaton & Torquay Boys’ G.S. (both 12). 12th Newton Abbot “B” (11½); 13th Torquay (11); 14th= Barnstaple & Exmouth Egrets (9).

Here is a summary of how all the teams did:-

DCCA Team Blitz   –   Sunday 29th October 2017

Summary Chart

Team Grd 1 2 3 4 5 6 Trophy
1 Exeter A 675 4 12½ 16 20 Thomas Cup
2 Bideford 648 3 6 7 10½ 13½ 15
3 Exeter Uni.  A 630 4 7 10 10 13 14½
4 Newton Abbot A 678 1 6 11½ 14
5 Exmouth A 641 5 10½ 11 13½
6 Exeter Uni.  B 525 3 8 9 10 13 Hodge Cup
7 Sidmouth 364 1 4 8 12½ Graded Cup
8 Weymouth 632 3 7 10½ 12½
9 Tiverton 712 3 12½
10 Torquay B. G.S. 403 ½ 6 9 10 12
11 Seaton 695 4 5 12 12
12 Newton Abbot B 492 0 4 11½
13 Torquay 712 0 1 5 7 10 11
14 Barnstaple 444 ½ 3 7 8 9
15 Exmouth B 532 1 3 5 9 9

Before the event got under way, Devon President, Paul Brooks, took the opportunity to present John Stephens with the Winter-Wood Shield, for having won the Champion of Champions summer tournament.

There's a nervous anticipation in the air as the teams start to assemble.

Old rivals Exeter (r) and Exmouth resume hostilities after the tea break. (Rd. 4).

Everything in full swing.

To call this team "Sidmouth" is something of a misnomer, as it comprises Julian Bacon and his 3 sons. Alternative names for the team are being sought in time for next year.

The University B team won the cup for the highest total by a team graded U-600.

Paul Brooks presents the Thomas Cup back to the team that brought it along to the event, Exeter A. l-r Paul O'Neill, Graham Bolt, Tim Paulden & Giles Body.

In the old days, say 50 years ago, the organiser, Ron Bruce, would announce the winning team, and then ask "Anyone with six?", and someone at the back of the considerable crowd would shyly stick up a hand. In these enlightened times there is a trophy to be presented and a photo opportunity to be exploited. No chance of shyness here as Jack Rudd of Bideford won all 6 of his games. He has an in-built advantage as Blitz is his normal rate of moves for all forms of chess.