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Posts Tagged ‘chess’

Exmouth March On In Division 2

Exmouth had their first home match of the season when they entertained old rivals Teignmouth to the town. It was not quite a home match as the Club’s new base, the Royal Beacon Hotel, had a Christmas party booked. But the Manor Hotel, just down the road, on the Beacon, came to the rescue and offered their small “Writing Room” as a suitable area. They also had a function booked, the annual meeting of the local Euchre League (don’t ask – it’s a strange American card game that has survived in Exmouth for generations). But both activities were ‘low maintenance’ and didn’t interfere with each other. It must be said that over the past 2 decades the managements of both hotels have been very good to the chess community, both local and national, and it is hoped will continue as it’s of mutual benefit.

After c. 90 minutes play, the match seemed to be going the visitors’ way, as Boards 1 and 4 were definitely looking bad for Exmouth, but two blunders in those games came to the rescue and turned what could have been a 3-1 defeat into a 3-1 victory.

  Mamhead Cup Div 2     29.11.2014  
  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 John Stephens 194 1 0 Bill Ingham 176
2 Jon Underwood 179 ½ ½ Alan Brusey 176
3 Oliver Wensley  149 ½ ½ Kevin Hindom 145
4 Simon Blake 102 1 0 Norman Tidy 137
  totals 624 3 1   634

Two turning points from the match:

Stephens vs Ingham

Above: Black has just played …h5, possibly expecting the g-pawn to move, but  f5! wins immediately as Black can’t prevent a passed pawn being created.

Below: White has been asking all the questions so far in the game, and has just played Rd7, threatening Black’s f-pawn and possibly with thoughts of doubling his rooks on the open file at some point. But …Bc8 wins a piece and Black’s bishop pair boss the game from then on.

Position after Rd7

Exmouth now have to face Tiverton (A) and Newton Abbot (H) in this league in the New Year.

Home captain, Oliver Wensley, makes his move, with Tidy vs Blake in the background.

John Stephens vs Bill Ingham (nearest) and Dr. Jonathan Underwood vs Alan Brusey.

Not the WMN (08.11.2014) 813

The Chipping Sodbury RapidPlay was held recently at the Old Grammar School. The winners were as follows:

Open Section: 1st James Cobb (228) Bristol& Clifton 5/6 pts. 2nd= Chris Beaumont (214) Bristol & Clifton & Jerry Humphries Downend & Fishponds 4½.

Major Section (U-155): 1st= Andrew Munn (150) & David Tipper (143) both Downend & Fishponds, and David Dugdale (151) Thornbury all 4½.

Minor Section: Dorota Pacion (117) S. Bristol 5½. 2nd=  Jack Walpole (90) & Richard Port (113)  both University and Kevin Langmaid (112) Yate & Sodbury all 4 pts. Dorota Pacian was the only female player in the tournament.

While the 15th Beacon Seniors tournament was played out during the week, the World Seniors Championship was due to finish on Wednesday at Katerini, Greece. Millionaire chess player, Terry Chapman, had organised a team of four English players, himself incuded, to have a concerted effort for one of them to win the title.

This was the 8th round game between two of the contingent.

White: Keith Arkell (2450). Black: Mark Hebden (2540).

King’s Indian Defence [E62]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 0–0 5.g3 d6 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0–0 Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 Nh5 10.Bb2 e6 11.Nc3 b5 12.d5 Ne7 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.c5 dxc5 15.Qc2 Nc6 16.Rad1 Nd4 17.Nxd4 cxd4 18.e3 e5 19.exd4 exd4 20.Nd5 d3 21.Qc1 Bf5 22.Bxg7 Nxg7 23.Qxc7 Qxc7 24.Nxc7 White has now won a pawn and has a distinct advantage considering Black’s isolated pawn and inferior piece placement. 24…a5 25.Nd5 Rf7 26.Ne3 Rd7 27.Rd2 a4 28.Nxf5 Nxf5 29.Rfd1 axb3 30.axb3 Black must lose at least one of his 2 queenside pawns. 30…Rbd8 31.Bc6 Rd4 32.Bxb5 Now the other must fall as well. 32…g5 33.Rxd3 Kg7 34.Kg2 R8d6 35.Rxd4 Nxd4 36.Bc4 Kf6 37.b4 Ke5 38.Re1+ Kf6 39.b5 Nf5 40.Rb1 Rb6 41.Bd3 Nd6 42.Rb4 h6 43.h4 Nf7 44.Ra4 Ke5 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.Ra6 Rb8 47.Rg6 Kd4 48.Be2 Ke5 49.Bc4 1–0. Now Black’s last pawn must go, leaving him in a hopeless position. Arkell won again in the next round, putting him in the joint lead with 2 games to play, and Hebden and Nunn just behind. The chances of having an English World Seniors Champion look good.

In last week’s miniature problem White wins by 1.Qg7! from where it can go to either a7 or a1 to give mate, depending on which way the Black king goes.

This position comes at the end of a blitz game earlier this year. White is 2 pawns down but might have winning chances; if only he had more than a few seconds to think about it…

White to play and win.

Not the Western Morning News! 1st Nov. 2014 (812)

As you might have realised by now, Western Morning News has, as from 1st November 2014, been forced to cut in half the Westcountry Life supplement in its Saturday edition, and with it has gone the chess column. They are due to monitor the situation in January, when further decisions will be made on future developments. In the meantime, the editorial staff will welcome views on the future of the column. Letters should be addressed to:- The Editor, Western Morning News, 3rd Floor, Studio 5-11. Millbay Road, Plymouth PL1 3LF.  During that interim period, I’ll be posting a weekly column in the WMN slot on this website, even though it will not appear in the paper itself.  The code number (812) refers to the number of columns I’ve written since starting about 17 years ago. If the WMN column is not restored in January, I may have to reconsider.

So, here goes……

The new President of the English Chess Federation is Dominic Lawson, former Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, son of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson and brother to Nigella. He is a strong and active player who is likely to use his professional contacts to raise the profile of the game in the national consciousness. To this end he has, all this week, been involved in a second series on Radio 4 in which, while playing a game with them, he talks to a number of diverse public figures for whom chess has played a part in their lives. On Monday it was the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and on Thursday it was Sol Campbell, former Arsenal and England footballer. He did a 1st series earlier this year which included boxing champion Lennox Lewis. All ten broadcasts will remain available on the BBC website for at least a year.

By way of introduction, writing in the Radio Times, Lawson links this with the film The Imitation Game, shortly due for UK release, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the part of the mathematician Alan Turing. It concentrates on Turing’s work at Bletchley Park cracking the “unbreakable” Nazi codes, where his line managers included British Chess Champion Hugh Alexander and Sir Stuart Milner-Barry.

Turing was not in their league as a player but left an even greater legacy to the chess world when, in 1952, he developed the first chess program, which he called “Turochamp”. It took half an hour to execute the instructions for each move but it worked, and 45 years later its direct descendant “Deeper Blue” defeated Kasparov himself.

This begs the question as to whether the silicon algorithms have taken over and are killing human creativity. While there is no substitute for human vs human competition, the best players will always be those that harness the computer to help develop their innate skills; to be its master rather than its slave.

Here is the 1997 game in which a computer defeats a world champion in a match for the first time.

White: Deeper Blue. Black G. Kasparov Caro-Kann Defence – Steinitz Var. [B17]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.N1f3 h6?? The blunder that sealed the human’s fate as it allows a known winning sacrifice 8.Nxe6! Qe7 9.0–0 fxe6 10.Bg6+ Kd8 11.Bf4 b5 12.a4 Bb7 13.Re1 Nd5 14.Bg3 Kc8 15.axb5 cxb5 16.Qd3 Bc6 17.Bf5 exf5 18.Rxe7 Bxe7 19.c4 1–0

Last week’s short game ended with 1.Bxf7+ Should Black take the bishop and try to hang on – or not? Black chooses the former 1…Kxf7?? 2.Ng5+ Ke8 and 3.Ne6 traps the queen, a move that Black clearly overlooked. But even if 1…Kf8 2.Ng5 Ndf6 3.Bb3 Nh6 etc. his position is a mess.

In this position from 1882, how does White win in two moves?

White to play and mate in 2

48th Torbay Congress 2014

The 48th Torbay Congress went back to one of its earlier venues, the Toorak Hotel, Torquay, just over the road from its home of recent years, the Riviera Centre. It took place in awful, wet weather, but was well-supported, with 149 players distributed throughout the four sections.

The Open had no GMs this year and was, perhaps, former Devon Champion Dominic Mackle’s best chance to take 1st place. Ali Jaunooby being the only higher graded player, gave Mackle the chance to start and finish with the white pieces. Also in his favour was the fact that his opponent, Graham Bolt, had barely recovered from a nerve-shredding finish against John Stephens in the morning round, and Mackle was able to create a crushing position early on, to finish up clear winner. (photo below)

In joint 2nd place, both Menadue and Wheeler went through without losing, but perhaps the more impressive performance was by Shaw who was the only player in the section to finish with 3 wins, and move up the field from half a point from 2.

  OPEN              
  Name Grd 1 2 3 4 5 Pts
1 Mackle, Dominic 203 w19= b24+ w7= b6+ w5+ 4
2 Menadue, J. F. 189 w23+ b9= w12= b14= w6+
3 Shaw, Meyrick 170 bye= b7- w23+ b18+ w14+
4 Wheeler, John F. 181 w14+ b12= w5= b7= w15+
5 Bolt, Graham 180 bye= w15+ b4= w20+ b1- 3
6 De Coverley, R 190 b16+ w10+ b8+ w1- b2- 3
7 Dilliegh, S. P. 182 b15 w3+ b1= w4= b8= 3
8 Woolcock, C. 163 b22+ w20+ w6- b12= w7= 3
9 Archer-Lock A. 183 bye= w2- b20- w11+ b13=
10 Bartlett, Simon 169 w18+ b6- b22= w13= b17=
11 Brusey, Alan W 176 w12- b23= w24+ b9- w22+
12 Fairbairn, S. 199 b11+ w4= b2= w8= w/d
13 Fraser, John 182 w24= b17= w18= b10= w9=
14 Jaunooby, Ali R. 205 b4- b19+ w17+ w2= b3-
15 Macreamoinn, B 162 w7= b5- w19+ b22+ b4-
16 Saqui, David A 173 w6- b18- b21+ w17= b23+
17 Abbott, Mark V. 173 bye= w13= b14- b16= w10- 2
18 Homer S. J. 188 b10- w16+ b13= w3- b19= 2
19 Littlejohns, D 178 b1= w14- b15- w24+ w18= 2
20 Stephens, J. K. 194 w21+ b8- w9+ b5- w/d 2
21 Ingham, H. W. 176 b20- w22- w16- b23= b24+
22 Sivrev P. D. 187 w8- b21+ w10= w15- b11-
23 Barton, R. Alan 170 b2- w11= b3- w21= w16- 1
24 Wettasinha, V. 138 b13= w1- b11- b19- w21- ½

 

  MAJOR (U-170)              
  Name Grd 1 2 3 4 5 Pts
1 Archer-Lock C 168 bye= w37+ b3= w30+ b13+ 4
2 Cordner, D. A. 167 b24+ w4= b16+ w7+ b3= 4
3 Stinton-Brownbridge 164 w25+ b26+ w1= b21+ w2= 4
4 Dugdale, David 160 w15+ b2= w14= b11= w18+
5 Smith Richard A 149 bye= b11= w17= b37+ w21+
6 Atkins, Keith A 157 w31- b33+ w26= b19= w22+ 3
7 Body, Giles 169 w23+ b22+ w21= b2- w8= 3
8 Burton, Ronnie 152 w14= b28= w36+ bye= b7= 3
9 Dean Steve K 167 bye= w17= b20+ b22= w14= 3
10 Desmedt, Richard 161 w26- b15+ w28+ b14= w11= 3
11 Fewkes, James E. 150 b30= w5= b35+ w4= b10= 3
12 Gamble Raymond 161 b37= w34+ b30= w13= b16= 3
13 Harris, Martyn J. 163 b20+ w16= w19+ b12= w1- 3
14 Heard Andrew H. 136 b8= w29+ b4= w10= b9= 3
15 Papier, Alan R. 145 b4- w10- bye= w35+ b30+ 3
16 Sellwood, Colin 156 w32+ b13= w2- b26+ w12= 3
17 Ayres, Jonathan 136 w27= b9= b5= bye= w23=
18 Greatorex, Roger 150 w35= b19- b34+ w24+ b4-
19 Hamilton, Selwyn 136 bye= w18+ b13- w6= b20+
20 Hibbitt, Arthur M 147 w13- b23+ w9- b31+ w19=
21 Jackson, Paul G 163 b33+ w31+ b7= w3- b5-
22 O’Gorman, Brendan 157 b36+ w7- b31+ w9 b6-
23 Wilson, Matthew 148 b7- w20- w33+ b36+ b17=
24 Brodie, Eric J 147 w2- b32+ w27= b18- w28= 2
25 Cross, Ian K 147 b3- w36- b32- w34+ b35+ 2
26 Hindom, Kevin 145 b10+ w3- b6= w16- b32= 2
27 Nyman, John C 153 b17= w30- b24= w32= b29= 2
28 Pope, Sean 144 bye= w8= b10- w29= b24= 2
29 Rogers, David R 158 bye= b14- w37= b28= w27= 2
30 Ross, Stuart 135 w11= b27+ b12= b1- w15- 2
31 Wilby, Rob G 140 b6+ b21- w22- w20- bye= 2
32 Willett, Greg 140 b16- w24- w25+ b27= w26= 2
33 Williams, Stephen 143 w21 w6- b23- bye= w36+ 2
34 Nielsen, Jorgen 149 bye= b12- w18- b25- w37+
35 Gorton, John M. 107 b18= bye= w11- b15- w25- 1
36 Keen, Charles, E 141 w22- b25+ b8- w23- b33- 1
37 Matthew, Ian, G 145 w12= b1- b29= w5- b34- 1

 

  INTER (U-140)              
  Name Grd 1 2 3 4 5 Pts
1 Mills, Nathan 132 b12+ w10+ b17+ w7+ b5+ 5
2 Georgiou, G 139 b24+ w16= b7= w27+ b11+ 4
3 Woolgar, S. G. 122 b37+ w7- b23+ w17+ b10+ 4
4 Brackner, Paul 138 bye= w5= b6= w32+ b20+ 3
5 Plumb, M. D. 132 w28+ b4= w32+ b21+ w1-
6 Sandercock, E. B. 130 bye= b15= w4= b31+ w21+
7 Webb, Chris 133 w14+ b3+ w=2 b1- w15+
8 Foster, Paul 132 bye= w35+ b20= w10- b27+ 3
9 Ramesh, V. 131 b35= w34= b13= w16+ b17= 3
10 Turowski, M. K. 136 w27+ b1- w22+ b8+ w3- 3
11 Willoughby, R 133 b16- w26+ b34+ w30+ w2- 3
12 Woodbridge, L 120 w1- b18= b29+ w23= b24+ 3
13 Alexander, Ken 126 bye= b19= w9= b12= w18=
14 Barber-Lafon, J 121 b7- b27- bye+ w23= w31+
15 Bland, Paul A 133 b22= w6= b33+ w20= b7-
16 Doidge, Charles 121 w11+ b2= w21- b9- w33+
17 Galloway, J. H. 134 w25+ b33+ w1- b3- w9=
18 Greenaway, T. 130 b20- w12= b35= w34+ b13=
19 Hill, Michael 133 b34= w13= b27- w35+ w22=
20 Hunt, Ray K 124 w18+ b21= w8= b15= w4-
21 Tidy, Norman F. 137 b26+ w20= b16+ w5- b6-
22 Woodbridge, T 123 w15= bye+ b10- w24= b19=
23 Adams, Martyn 130 bye= b31= w3- b14= w25= 2
24 Blencowe, Ian 130 w2- b28+ w31= b22= w12- 2
25 Hadfield, Roy 123 b17- w29= b30- w26+ b23= 2
26 Ludlow, Roy A. 128 w21- b11- w28+ b25- w35+ 2
27 O’Brian, Megan 128 b10- w14+ w19+ b2- w8- 2
28 Spooner, Keith 113 b5- w24- b26- w29+ b32+ 2
29 Crouch, T. J. 137 w33- b25= w12- b28- b34+
30 Gilbert, D. J. 132 w31= b32- w25+ b11- wd
31 Jones, M. E. 121 b30= w23= b24= w6- b14-
32 Whittington, Reece 123 bye= w30+ b5- b4- w28-
33 Wilkinson, B 129 b29+ w17- w15- bye= b16-
34 Allen T. S. 121 w19= b9= w11- b18- w29- 1
35 Peach, Clifford 110 w9= b8- w18= b19- b26- 1
36 Dimond, Peter 133 w3-         0

 

  MINOR (U-120)              
  Name Grd 1 2 3 4 5 Pts
1 Cuggy, Mike J 107 b39+ w14+ b37+ w4= w7+
2 Hughes, Peter J 95 b45+ bye= w3= b19+ w20+ 4
3 Kelly, Edmund 107 bye= w46+ b2= b23+ w24+ 4
4 McConnell, Phil 102 bye+ w16+ b18+ b1= w5= 4
5 McGeeney, D 113 bye= w43+ b25+ w9+ b4= 4
6 Fraser, Alan R. 105 w41+ w18- b21= b25+ w27+
7 Greenhalgh, Roy 97 bye= b29+ w44+ w18+ b1-
8 Loyden, G 112 b24= w40= b34+ w37+ b10=
9 May, Philip 99 b17+ w34+ w10= b5- b29+
10 Saunders, Peter 103 b50+ w33+ b9= w12= w8=
11 Spargo, Philip 107 bye= w21= b30+ w13= b12+
12 Constable, John 112 bye= b31+ w38+ b10= w11- 3
13 Crickmore, E. A. 117 bye= b26+ w20= b11= w15= 3
14 Hafstad, Elnar 82 w22+ b1- b16- w33+ w35+ 3
15 Hafstad, Leif 110 b29= w25- b43+ w46+ b13= 3
16 Knott, Jim A 109 w42+ b4- w14+ b24- w31+ 3
17 Langmaid, K. 112 w9- b51= w26+ b31= w37+ 3
18 Mackie, Norman 107 w51+ b6+ w4- b7- w39+ 3
19 Mill-Wilson, G 111 b23+ w37- b42+ w2- b34+ 3
20 Pope W.W. 108 b43= w47+ b13= w39+ b2- 3
21 Rescorla, Ian R. 123 w31= b11= w6= b35= w40+ 3
22 Wallman, James 109 b14- w50+ b39- w47+ b41+ 3
23 Webster, Alan F 92 w19- b49+ b33+ w3- b46+ 3
24 Welch, Hazel 96 w8= b27= b45+ w16+ b3- 3
25 Archer-Lock, Helen 99 bye= b15+ w5- w6- b51+
26 Cox, Reg 80 b32= w13- b17- w50+ w44+
27 Dean, John E 119 bye= w24= b46= w30+ b6-
28 Gardiner, Colin J 114 w30= b44- w29- b51+ b50+
29 Holmes, Nick, D 87 w15= w7- b28+ b38+ w9-
30 Narayanan, N 101 b28= w35+ w11- b27- w42+
31 Carr, John W 101 b21= w12- b40+ w17= b16- 2
32 Childs, Barry 107 w26= b38- w36= b41- b48+ 2
33 Cox, Marian 110 w47+ b10- w23- b14- b49+ 2
34 Dengler, Terry 99 w48+ b9- w8- b44+ w19- 2
35 Donovan, J. P. 108 bye= b30- w51+ w21= b14- 2
36 George, John M 116 b37- w42- b32= w43+ w38= 2
37 Healey, David J 101 w36+ b19+ w1- b8- b17- 2
38 Maber, Martyn 99 bye= w32+ b12- w29- b36= 2
39 Overshott, Ken 80 w1- b48+ w22+ b20- b28- 2
40 Walsh, Shaun 106 bye= b8= w31- w45+ b21- 2
41 Wells, Yannis 56 b6- w45- bye+ w32+ w22- 2
42 Ashby, Ken 83 b16- b36+ w19- w48= b30-
43 Brinkley, Alan 70 w20= b5- w15- b36- bye+
44 Constable, Chistine 107 bye= w28+ b7- w34- b26-
45 Jenkins, Geoff J 111 w2- b41+ w24- b40- b47=
46 Thorpe-Tracey, S 103 w49+ b3- w27= b15- w23-
47 Tigue, Kevin J 90 b33- b20- w49+ b22- w45=
48 Broderick, P. G. 104 b34- w39- bye= b42= w32- 1
49 Carr, Wendy 0 b46- w23- b47- bye= w33- 1
50 Brightman, F 41 w10- b22- bye= b26- w25- ½
51 Leggett, Peter 79 b18- w17+ b35- w28- w25- ½
Summary of prizewinners:
 
    Name Grd Club Pts
Open 1st D. Mackle 203 Newton Abbot 4
  2nd= J. Menadue 189 Truro
    M. Shaw 170 Exmouth
    J. F. Wheeler 181 Cosham
GPs U-184 S. P. Dilleigh 182 Horfield  
    G. Bolt 180 Railways  
  U-176 C. Woolcock 163 Barry 3
           
Major U-170        
  1st= D. Gordner 168 Cosham 4
    M. Stinton-Brown. 164 Plymouth 4
    C. Archer-Lock 168 Maidenhead 4
           
Inter U-140        
  1st N. Mills 132 Brixham 5
  2nd= S. Woolar 122 Patchway
    G. Georgiou 139 Swindon
GPs U-127 M. Plumb 130  
    E. B. Sandercock 132  
  U-125 L. Woodbridge 120 Devon 3
           
Minor U-120        
  1st M. Cuggy 107 Brixham
  2nd= P. McConnell 102 South Hams 4
    P. J. Hughes 95 Mutual Circle 4
    E. B. Kelly 107 Exeter Juniors 4
    D. McGeeney 113 Bristol Cabot 4
GPs U-108 A. Fraser 105 Beckenham
    P. May 99 Godolphin
    P. Saunders 103 Patchway
    P. J. Spargo 107 Camborne
  U-99 R. Greenhalgh 97 South Hams
           

 

British Ch. 2015 Qualifier Dominic Mackle
   
Torbay     League Individual     Champions
   
Open:             Basil Wallis Cup Dominic Mackle
Major:               Challenge Cup Mike Stinton-Brownbridge
Inter:             Intermediate Cup Nathan Mills
Minor:             Candidates Cup Mike Cuggy
Best score:         Newman Cup Nathan Mills
Best Junior:        Whitfield Cup Edmund Kelly
Team event: Truro

 

General view of the playing area - Atkins vs Wilby nearest camera.

General view of the Minor Section

Steve Homer waiting for Simon Bartlett to make a move in Rd. 1

Drawn together in Rd. 2, but destined for top and bottom places - Vesanta vs Mackle.

Rd. 3: Top game in the Major - O'Gorman vs Body.

Rd. 3: Jaunooby (205 ) vs Abbott (173) - game drawn. John Stephens looks on with interest.

Rd. 4: Joint leaders de Coverly and Mackle meet in a key game.

Rd. 5: Mackle has his 3rd white against Bolt who is still recovering after a tense finish 60 minutes earlier.

The bookstall's noticeboard.

A happy Mackle receives the Torbay League cup from arbiter Ray Chubb.

Mike Stinton-Brownbridge was the only one of the joint winners of the Major to qualify for the League trophy, here presented by his clubmate and arbiter, Tony Tatam (l).

Exmouth Open Account in Div. 2

Exmouth’s first match in the Devon Leagues involved the longest trip of the season, to Barnstaple, where they expected to be facing a team headed up by IM Jack Rudd or Theo Slade – or both. As it turned out, neither was available, for reasons that will become apparent. So the home team’s strength was somewhat below what was expected.

The Barnstaple captain, Steve Clarke, got into terrible trouble in the opening and faced with two ways of losing material, he prevented both with a move that allowed mate on move 13. That’s the problem with being a playing home captain - one’s head is full of potential problems e.g. is the premises going to be unlocked; is everyone going to turn up; are the refreshments organised etc. So much so that once play starts one’s head is elsewhere.

In the Scott-Oughton game, a lot of material came off the board early on, and with no discernable advantage to either side a draw was agreed. On Board 3, team captain Oliver Wensley secured Black’s d- and e-pawns and was able to force the issue down those central files with his extra pawn, backed by rooks, advancing with unanswerable threats. Malcolm Belt, usually a buccaneering cut & thrust merchant, found himself in a long attritional game in which, python-like, he gradually deprived his opponent of the oxygen of space, and kept him restricted to his back 2 ranks until the win was secured.

It may have been a relief not to be facing Rudd and/or Slade, but the reason for their absence was that, aparently, they were playing for Tiverton in the Bremridge Cup Div. 1, which is not such good news for Exmouth’s 1st team later in the season. Tiverton’s team list that day can only be wondered at.

  Mamhead Cup Div 2     08.11.2014  
  Barnstaple Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Clarke 133 0 1 Meyrick Shaw 170
2 Rob Oughton 131 ½ ½ Chris Scott 157
3 Jon Munsey 128 0 1 Oliver Wensley 149
4 Mike Dow 115 0 1 Malcolm Belt 128
  totals 507 ½   604

WMN Chess Column Suspended (November 2014)

Newspapers all over the country, if not the whole world, are struggling to adapt to the challenges brought about by the new media – multiple channels of 24 hour rolling news - twitface – etc. etc.  Added to that, the printed media’s lifeblood, advertising income, has been depressed throughout the banking and general financial crisis of recent years.

The Western Morning News cannot be immune to these factors, and must adapt to survive. One thing it has done is to sell off its award-winning flagship offices, built in the shape of a galleon, and move to premises near the docks.  Another idea was the addition of a Sunday edition. However, circulation figures are not as predicted, as folk are probably already locked in to their favourite Sunday titles, and loth to either switch or add another paper to the already heavy bundle the paper boy delivers. But the experiment was committed until the end of January 2015 when it will be assessed. Until then, economies have to be made and the cutting in half of the Westcountry Life supplement on a Saturday is one of them.

With it went the chess column.  That is the reason it has not appeared since October. In answer to the several enquirers I’ve already had, I am not too ill to write, or dead – far from it. Not yet, anyway.

The WMN chess column is one of the oldest provincial columns in the country. It started in 1891 under the editorship of Carslake Winter-Wood, writing under the nom de plume “Queen’s Knight”, in contrast to the contemporary Exeter columnist “King’s Knight”.  In March 1906 the column switched to the Illustrated Western Weeky News.   A. R. Cooper ran it from 1927 – 1939. Writing in the March 1939 issue of Chess, the eminent problemist, C. S. Kipping, observed that “the three British columns which have international reputations for their composing tourneys are (1) the Grantham Journal,  (2) the Falkirk Herald and (3) the Western Morning News”. After the war it was taken on by former British Champion, R. J. Broadbent (1948 & 1950) but it was mostly devoted to problems. That is, until the arrival from Lichfield of J. E. Jones in 1956, who took the paper to task and insisted there should be real local news, so a chess column appeared twice a week, one by Broadbest and a new one by Jones (no relation).

However, Jones ran his column on the same lines as Howard Staunton ran his, a century earlier – that is, as a pulpit  from which he would admonish any chess official who could not live up to his own high standards. In 1963 Jones moved away and when Ken Bloodworth took over he was quietly advised to keep it all low key. Which, of course, he did for the next 35 years. When he was approaching his late 80s, he wished to retire, but was keen that there should be no break to give the management an opportunity to end the sequence, and he recommended me to them, and the switch was smoothly made. I have now written 812 weekly columns.

There is now a hiatus until the end of January 2015 when further decisions will be made. If you wish to convey your personal opinion on the future of the column, I’m sure the decision-makers would listen attentively. 

Their address is: Western Morning News, Studio 5-11,  Millbay Road, Plymouth. PL1 3LF.

Chipping Sodbury RapidPlay Results (8th Nov. 2014) 813

The Chipping Sodbury RapidPlay was held recently at the Old Grammar School. The winners were as follows:

Open Section: 1st James Cobb (228) Bristol& Clifton 5/6 pts. 2nd= Chris Beaumont (214) Bristol & Clifton & Jerry Humphries Downend & Fishponds 4½.

Major Section (U-155): 1st= Andrew Munn (150) & David Tipper (143) both Downend & Fishponds, and David Dugdale (151) Thornbury all 4½.

Minor Section: Dorota Pacion (117) S. Bristol 5½. 2nd=  Jack Walpole (90) & Richard Port (113)  both University and Kevin Langmaid (112) Yate & Sodbury all 4 pts. Dorota Pacian was the only female player in the tournament.

While the 15th Beacon Seniors tournament was played out during the week, the World Seniors Championship was due to finish on Wednesday at Katerini, Greece. Millionaire chess player, Terry Chapman, had organised a team of four English players, himself incuded, to have a concerted effort for one of them to win the title.

This was the 8th round game between two of the contingent.

White: Keith Arkell (2450). Black: Mark Hebden (2540).

King’s Indian Defence [E62]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 0–0 5.g3 d6 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0–0 Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 Nh5 10.Bb2 e6 11.Nc3 b5 12.d5 Ne7 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.c5 dxc5 15.Qc2 Nc6 16.Rad1 Nd4 17.Nxd4 cxd4 18.e3 e5 19.exd4 exd4 20.Nd5 d3 21.Qc1 Bf5 22.Bxg7 Nxg7 23.Qxc7 Qxc7 24.Nxc7 White has now won a pawn and has a distinct advantage considering Black’s isolated pawn and inferior piece placement. 24…a5 25.Nd5 Rf7 26.Ne3 Rd7 27.Rd2 a4 28.Nxf5 Nxf5 29.Rfd1 axb3 30.axb3 Black must lose at least one of his 2 queenside pawns. 30…Rbd8 31.Bc6 Rd4 32.Bxb5 Now the other must fall as well. 32…g5 33.Rxd3 Kg7 34.Kg2 R8d6 35.Rxd4 Nxd4 36.Bc4 Kf6 37.b4 Ke5 38.Re1+ Kf6 39.b5 Nf5 40.Rb1 Rb6 41.Bd3 Nd6 42.Rb4 h6 43.h4 Nf7 44.Ra4 Ke5 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.Ra6 Rb8 47.Rg6 Kd4 48.Be2 Ke5 49.Bc4 1–0. Now Black’s last pawn must go, leaving him in a hopeless position. Arkell won again in the next round, putting him in the joint lead with 2 games to play, and Hebden and Nunn just behind. The chances of having an English World Seniors Champion look good.

In last week’s miniature problem White wins by 1.Qg7! from where it can go to either a7 or a1 to give mate, depending on which way the Black king goes.

This position comes at the end of a blitz game earlier this year. White is 2 pawns down but might have winning chances; if only he had more than a few seconds to think about it…

White to mate in 2

15th Royal Beacon Seniors Congress – Final Day

Before play started there were the usual opening remarks, and on this occasion the focus was on our Controller, Ewart Smith, whose last event this was. Ten years ago, he had come in at short notice when the event’s orinator, Steve Boniface, had died about 2 weeks before the 6th Seniors was due to start. Ewart has since done the last 10 events, in additon to the Paignton, Torbay, Dorset and other congresses around the westcountry. He had spent a couple of years gradually cutting down on this workload, and this the final curtain. When asked to show their appreciation the players all gave him a fulsome round of applause that was clearly genuinely felt. He responded modestly before saying, for what we estimated was about the 500th time, “Start White’s clock”, and the final round was off. It finished as follows:- 

  “Juniors”           Rd. 5    
                   
1 J. Wells 182 (2½) 0   1 I. Heppell 174 (3)
2 R. Wynarczyk 173 (2½) 1   0 S. Bartlett 169 (2½)
3 S. K. Dean 167 (2½) ½   ½ S. Dilleigh 182 (3)
4 T. F. Thynne 161 (2) 1   0 R. Burton 152 (2)
5 A. Brown 185 (2½) ½   ½ I. Cross 147 (2½)
6 I. McAllan 170 (1½) 1   0 M. Roberts 145 (1)
7 D. R. Rogers 158 (1) ½   ½ D. Sheppard 147 (1)
8 I. Blencowe 130 (1½) ½   ½ C. Sellwood 156 (1)
  M. Maber 99 (1½) ½   ½ D. Orr 127 (1½)

 It was Heppell, who had a win/win finish to draw ahead of a distinguished pack. Local player Steve Dean did well to thwart Steve Dilleigh who had had a good season to date. Ian Blencowe, who was the whipping boy last year (not that he minded that one bit) he was clearly building up experience for the future, and he came away declaring this was his best congress result ever, and he plays a lot of congresses.

In the seniors section, it was William G.  Adaway who took the honours. He retired to Dorset from the Home Counties 2 years ago, not having even thought about the game of his youth for 40 years. Then one day he walked past a hotel in Bridport High St. and by chance his eye caught sight of a notice beside the entrance saying the chess club met there. He was thus lured inside, and that was it -the chess virus was re-vitalised, and he has clearly lost little of his former skill. He admits his openings are rusty and several times he reached the middle game in difficulties, but then his old abilities kicked in. Perhaps opponents should be aware he was graded c. 200 in the early 1970s and has a draw on record against GM Bill Hartston in the 1972 Islington Open. Local player David Toms has undergone a series of illnesses in recent years, but is now back to a reasonable, stable state of health, and this showed itself in his 4 wins.

  Seniors 65+         Rd. 5    
                   
1 W. Adaway 186 (3½) 1   0 A. Price 155 (3½)
2 D. A. Toms 151 (3) 1   0 A. Barton 170 (3)
3 R. Everson 164 (3) 1   0 J. Footner 145 (3)
4 B. Gosling 153 (2½) 1   0 M. Page 164 (3)
5 A. Footner 187 (2½) ½   ½ R. Gamble 161 (2½)
6 I. S. Annetts 162 (2) 1   0 K. Langmaid 112 (2½)
7 R. Hurn 125 (1) 0   1 D. Openshaw 155 (2)
8 J. Reinhardt 155 (2) ½   ½ A. Sherriff 153 (2)
9 A. Fraser 105 (2) 0   1 P. Morton 152 (2)
10 R. Scowen 152 (2) 1   0 R. Waters 112 (2)
11 O. Namouk 140 (2) 1   0 P. Lucas 96 (2)
12 P. Errington 134 (2) ½   ½ M. Kaye 91 (2)
13 H. Welch 96 (2) 0   1 B. Sandercock 80 (2)
14 P. Carrick 94 (1) 0   1 R. Smith 127 (2)
15 T. Maloney 70 (½) ½   ½ J. Clapp 122 (1½)
16 F. Day 96 (1) 0   1 N. F. Tidy 135 (1)
17 J. Robertson 130 (1) 0   1 R. Cox 80 (1)
18 D. Burt 112 (1) 1   0 R. Curtis 106 (½)
19 P. Gordon 118 (2) 1   0 J. Shaddick 142 (2)

 Prizes were awarded to 30 of the 58 players, as follows:-

Prize List

Seniors 65+ :

  1st     William Adaway        186     Bridport          4½/5

  2nd     Robert Everson        164     Dartford         4

Grading prizes:

U-155:  1st      Dr. David Toms        151     Sidmouth       4

U-140:  1st=   Philip Gordon            118     Braille CA

                       Barry Sandercock     130     Chalfont

                       Richard Smith           127     Barnstaple all 3 pts.

 U-115: 1st=    Mike Kaye                   91     Weymouth

                       Kevin Langmaid        112     Yateboth        2½ pts.

 Slow starter (0/2)

            `          Peter Carrick               94     Bath

                       Peter Lucas                96     Sussex

                       Norman Tidy             135     Teignmouth all 2 pts 

Special book prizes were awarded to everyone reaching 3 points or more, yet not qualifying for the above list. 

Ivor Annetts 162 Tiverton   Peter Morton 152 Hammersmith
Alan Barton 170 St. Leonards   Omer Namouk 140 Hastings
Andrew Footner 187 Yeovil   David Openshaw 155 Cavendish
John Footner 145 Telford   Martin Page 163 Insurance
Ray Gamble 161 Derby   Andrew Price 155 Leamington
Brian Gosling 153 E. Budleigh   Roger Scowen 152 Middx

 “Juniors” 50 – 64:

1st                   Ian Heppell                174                 Wimbledon    4 pts

2nd=                Steve Dilleigh            182                 Horfield both 3½

Ray Wynarczyk         173                 Newcastle upon Tyne

 Grading prize:

U-165:                       Trefor Thynne              161                 Newton Abbot 3pts 

Slow starter (½/0)     Ian Cross                   147                 Harrow           3 pts 

Book prizes to :         Alan Brown                185                 Northampton

Steve Dean                167                 Seaton 

Bd. J1: Steve Dean (W) did well to draw with Steve Dilleigh who would have been fancying reaching 4 pts.

Ian Heppell (about to move) finished Win Win to emerge from a pack on 2/3 pts to come clear 1st. In the background Simn Bartlett is about to blunder in the opening, losing quickly.

Rogers vs Sheppard (nearest) and McAllan vs Roberts.

Bd. S1 The joint leaders, Adaway (W) and Price, meet in the top Seniors game.

Two White wins in prospect here for Gosling and Everson.

Footner, A vs Gamble and Annetts vs Langmaid.

General view of the Seniors section - Reinhardt vs Sherriff nearest.

Norman Tidy will need more books than that to get up to Reg Cox's height, but at least they were level on points (2/5).

Lawson on Legacies (01.11.14.)

The new President of the English Chess Federation is Dominic Lawson, former Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, son of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson and brother to Nigella. He is a strong and active player who is likely to use his professional contacts to raise the profile of the game in the national consciousness. To this end he has, all this week, been involved in a second series on Radio 4 in which, while playing a game with them, he talks to a number of diverse public figures for whom chess has played a part in their lives. On Monday it was the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and on Thursday it was Sol Campbell, former Arsenal and England footballer. He did a 1st series earlier this year which included boxing champion Lennox Lewis. All ten broadcasts will remain available on the BBC website for at least a year.

By way of introduction, writing in the Radio Times, Lawson links this with the film The Imitation Game, shortly due for UK release, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the part of the mathematician Alan Turing. It concentrates on Turing’s work at Bletchley Park cracking the “unbreakable” Nazi codes, where his line managers included British Chess Champion Hugh Alexander and Sir Stuart Milner-Barry.

Turing was not in their league as a player but left an even greater legacy to the chess world when, in 1952, he developed the first chess program, which he called “Turochamp”. It took half an hour to execute the instructions for each move but it worked, and 45 years later its direct descendant “Deeper Blue” defeated Kasparov himself.

This begs the question as to whether the silicon algorithms have taken over and are killing human creativity. While there is no substitute for human vs human competition, the best players will always be those that harness the computer to help develop their innate skills; to be its master rather than its slave.

Here is the 1997 game in which a computer defeats a world champion in a match for the first time.

White: Deeper Blue. Black G. Kasparov Caro-Kann Defence – Steinitz Var. [B17]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.N1f3 h6?? The blunder that sealed the human’s fate as it allows a known winning sacrifice 8.Nxe6! Qe7 9.0–0 fxe6 10.Bg6+ Kd8 11.Bf4 b5 12.a4 Bb7 13.Re1 Nd5 14.Bg3 Kc8 15.axb5 cxb5 16.Qd3 Bc6 17.Bf5 exf5 18.Rxe7 Bxe7 19.c4 1–0

Last week’s short game ended with 1.Bxf7+ Should Black take the bishop and try to hang on – or not? Black chooses the former 1…Kxf7?? 2.Ng5+ Ke8 and 3.Ne6 traps the queen, a move that Black clearly overlooked. But even if 1…Kf8 2.Ng5 Ndf6 3.Bb3 Nh6 etc. his position is a mess.

In this position from 1882, how does White win in two moves?

White to mate in 2

Bude RapidPlay Results (25.10.2014.)

All westcountry congresses depend on small groups of volunteers, who take a quiet satisfaction in running a successful event that gives pleasure to the players.

The latest of these was the 1st Bude Rapidplay Congress organised recently by John and Christine Constable. The entry was small but strong – 16 players with an average grade of 153. 1st J. Rudd (Barnstaple – 231) 6/6 pts. 2nd J. Byrne (Taunton – 165) 5 pts. 3rd G. Trudeau (Liskeard – 155) 4 pts. 4th= G. Body (Exeter – 167); T. Slade (Bude – 164) & R. Nash (Barnstaple – 124) all 3½. 7th= S. Homer (Exeter – 200); M. Richardt (Taunton – 187); D. J. Jenkins (Camborne – 132) & S. Woolgar (Bristol – 132) all 3. 11th C. Sellwood (Camborne – 158) 2½. 12th= D. R. Jenkins (Liskeard – 126); S. Bartlett (Newquay – 165) & B. Childs (Lerryn – 106) all 2. 15th= P. May (114) & M. Jones (Newquay – 121) 1.

Longer-established events need their organising committee refreshed from time to time, otherwise they risk withering on the vine. The East Devon Congress, for example, is on the brink of collapse as the committee has dwindled to two, Sean Pope and Mark Abbott, who are already highly committed with their daytime professions. They need fresh blood coming in from the Exeter region to share the load and keep it afloat, as it’s a bigger event, with a larger venue. Prospective volunteers should contact Sean on 01392-436420 or e-mail: sean.pope1@blueyonder.co.uk.

Meanwhile, here is a win by a great supporter of the Exeter Congress.

White: J. F. Wheeler Black: J. Duckham.

Benko Gambit  [A57]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 The signature move of the Benko Gambit in which Black offers a pawn in order to open up space in which his queenside pieces can operate freely. 4.cxb5 a6 5.b6 White doesn’t wish to fall in with Black’s plans. 5…g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.e4 d6 8.Nf3 Nbd7 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 Nxb6 11.h3 Bb7 12.Bf4 Nfd7 13.Qd2 f5? Leaving a big hole at the heart of his position. 14.Ng5 fxe4 15.Ne6 Qe8 16.Nxf8 Qxf8 17.Bg4 Ne5 18.Be6+ Kh8 19.Bg3 Nbc4 20.Qe2 Bc8 21.Bxc8 Rxc8 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Qxe4 c4 24.Rab1 Nd3 25.Nd1 Ne5 26.Ne3 Rc5 27.Rfc1 Qc8 28.f4 Nd3 29.Rxc4 Nxb2 30.Rxc5 Qxc5 31.Qxe7 h6 32.Kh2 Qd4 33.Rf1 Nd3 34.g3 Qb2+ 35.Ng2 Qf6 White would be delighted to simplify out, leaving him still materially ahead. 36.Qxf6 Bxf6 1–0

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Ra1! and when Black checks on h8 2.Bg8 not only blocks that check but allows the rook on a1 to administer mate at the same time.

This is not a beginners’ game but from this year’s British Championship. Four moves each have been played and now it is White to move.

White to play and win quickly