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Posts Tagged ‘chess’

Klein’s Last Game (30.04.2016.)

Back in 2000, the Paignton Congress hosted the Golombek Memorial Tournament, celebrating the life of the great player and writer. In addition, there was a display of Golombek memorabilia donated by his friend, Gerry Walsh, who was acting as Arbiter for the main event. Among the items was an extraordinary letter, which read thus:

“10th July 1952.  Dear Mr. Golombek,  Do you really think you can escape responsibility for the article of A. H. Trott (in the Times). You are a Director of the magazine (BCM) and its Games Editor. Moreover, you saw my game with Euwe played, analysed it – without consulting me, of course, as you usually do – and wrote a report in the Times. This report concerning my game was false and deliberately misleading. It was your job to see that such a ghastly untruth was stopped… and insinuating on top of it that I did not play the second game because I was afraid. I assure you, I’ll make you pay for this insolence of yours and your associate intrigrants.

Yours truly, E. Klein.”

What on earth was it all that about?

Ernst Klein (1910-1990) was the British Champion at the time and had just played Bd. 1 in the 1st round of an Anglo-Dutch match against the former World Champion, securing a draw after Euwe lost the exchange. Several writers reported that Klein had been “very lucky”, and it was this perceived slight that so incensed him. In protest, he not only withdrew from playing the 2nd game but didn’t play again for over 20 years. Although an extreme reaction by Klein, he was known for his short fuse and acerbic tongue.

This was that controversial game.

White: M. Euwe. Black: E. L. Klein.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.0–0 Nbd7 7.Nc3 c6 8.e4 Qc7 9.Re1 Rd8 10.h3 a6 11.Qc2 e5 12.Be3 exd4 13.Nxd4 Nc5 14.Rad1 Bd7 15.g4 Be8 16.Bf4 Nfd7 17.Bg3 Ne5 18.Nce2 Qa5 19.f4 Ned7 20.Kh1 Nf8 21.Rf1 b5 22.a3 Qb6 23.cxb5 axb5 24.Bh4 Rdc8 25.Be7 Nb7 26.f5 c5 27.f6!? cxd4 28.fxg7 Ne6 29.Qd2 Na5 (see diagram) White now played

What did Euwe (W) play next?

30.Nxd4? B. H. Wood, no great friend of Golombek, wrote in Chess Klein saw deeply into a complicated position. Even had Euwe not taken the pawn that lost him the exchange, playing, for instance,  30.Bf6 how is he to answer 30…Nc4?” du Mont in The Field suggested 30.Qh6 Nxg7 31.Bf6 Ne6 32.g5 Nb7 33.Rf4 with the unanswerable threat of 34. Qxh7+ Kxh7 35.Rh4+ Kg8 36.Rh8 mate, but this begs a lot of questions. Euwe himself pointed out that 30.Qh6! wins. e.g. 30…Nc4 31.Nf4! Nxf4 32.Rxf4 after which he could see nothing better for Black than 32…Ne3 33.g5! and if 33…Nxd1 34.Qxh7+ Kxh7 35.Rh4+ Kxg7 36.Bf6+ Kf8 37.Rh8#. The game itself then finished… 30…Qxd4 31.Qxd4 Nxd4 32.Rxd4 Nc6 33.Bf6 Nxd4 34.Bxd4 Ra4 35.Rd1 Rac4 36.Bc3 Rxc3 37.bxc3 Rxc3 38.e5 d5 39.Rxd5 Kxg7 40.Rd8 Bc6 41.Bxc6 Rxc6 42.Rd5 ½–½.

Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Ph8=Q!

Beer & Blitz – A Celebration In Memoriam (23.04.2016.)

A number of leading chess players have died in recent months, among them England Olympiad veteran Peter Clarke (81) from north Cornwall; financier Jim Slater (86) who called Bobby Fischer a “chicken” in the run-up to his famous 1972 world championship match with Spassky, which, together with a £5,000 bonus from Slater, stung the American into actually turning up; Jeremy James (79) who presented chess tournaments on BBC TV in the 1970s under the title “The Master Game”; writer Dr. Colin Crouch (58) and problemist Sir Jeremy Morse (87), former Chairman of Lloyd’s Bank.

A good advert, incidentally, for the longevity of chessplayers.

David Norwood, a grandmaster who abandoned a career in chess to amass a fortune in commodity trading, took it upon himself to commemorate their lives and achievements in the game by organising and underwriting a very strong blitz chess tournament at the King’s Head pub in Bayswater on 27th February. Sixty four of England’s strongest players played in 8 All-Play-All leagues in the early rounds, changing to knockout when it was down to the last 16 players.

The rate of moves was 3 minutes per player for all moves, but with the digital clocks being used, 2 seconds were added each time a move was made. Unfortunately, electronic boards were not available to record the moves automatically, being played at almost lightning speed, but the later games were videoed and may be seen on-line; just visit www.youtube.com and search for “Beer and blitz – Celebration in Memoriam”.

Four grandmasters made the semi-finals, in which Michael Adams beat Luke McShane and Mark Hebden beat Simon Williams. In the final, Cornishman Adams beat Hebden in Game 1 with Black against a Ruy Lopez, and drew Game 2, netting him the £700 first prize. It was another example, if ever one was needed, of Adams’ supreme chess skill – speed of thought and deep knowledge of the game.

Last week’s position was an illustration of the “power of the check”. Whatever else is possible, a check must be dealt with first, which allows White to win a piece with 1.QxB+ KxQ 2.RxQ.

Sir Jeremy Morse, was something of a polymath. After Winchester, he took a Double First at Oxford, and was elected a fellow of All Souls. Not only one of the finest minds of his generation in the City, he was, amongst other things, a classics scholar, a pianist, a lover of poetry and a solver and composer of cryptic crosswords. He was an international chess judge, and in retirement published Chess Problems: Tasks and Records, (Faber & Faber 1995) a collection of some 837 problems, about 50 of them of his own devising. His speciality was the 2-mover, the “purest of all chess exercises”. Here is one of his own compositions from that book.

White to move and mate in 2.

White mates in 2

Evans Above! (16.04.2016.)

As reported earlier, the appearance of the Dutchman, Thomas Broek, added to the interest in the Championship section of the recent WECU Congress, with some enterprising, uninhibited play, as in this last round game.

White: Thomas Broek. Black: Jack Rudd. Evans Gambit [C51]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 The signature move of the Evans Gambit, devised by Capt. William E. Evans (1790 – 1872) as he commanded the Royal Mail’s first steam packet between his native Milford Haven and Waterford. It became a highly popular variation of the Giuoco Piano or Italian Game, described by a contemporary as “A gift of the gods to a languishing chess world”. Both players here knew it well and rattled off the first 12 moves in a matter of seconds. 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qf4 Nd5 11.Qg3 0–0 12.Bh6 Now it begins to get really interesting. 12…g6 13.Bxf8 Qxf8 Although White’s queen has done a job in helping to win the exchange, it’s virtually trapped in a corner. 14.0–0 d6 15.c4 Ndb4 threatening …Nc2 winning the rook. 16.Nc3 dxe5 17.Nd5 e4 18.Nd2 Nd4 19.Bd1 Bd6 20.Qh4 Nxd5 21.cxd5 f5 22.Nb3 Nxb3 23.Bxb3 f4 24.Rac1 Kg7 25.Rc4 Bf5 26.Rfc1 Rc8 27.g4 fxg3 28.hxg3 b5 29.Rc6 a5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Bxa4 Qf7 32.Bb3 Rb8 33.Bc2 Rb4 34.Qg5 a4 35.Qe3 It’s taken 22 moves, but White’s queen can finally escape to the centre of the board. 35…Qxd5 36.Qc3+ Qe5 37.Rxc7+! exploiting the fact that Black’s bishop is overloaded, trying to defend both queen & rook. 37…Bxc7. If 37…Kf6 38.Rd1 Qxc3 39.Rxc3 Be5 40.Rc6+ Kg5 41.Ra6. 38.Qxb4 e3 39.Bxf5 exf2+ 40.Kf1 Ba5 41.Qb7+ Kh6 42.Qh1+ Kg5 43.Be4 Qb5+ 44.Kg2 1–0 White tucks his king away, rather than expose it to risk by 44.Kxf2 Bb6+ 45.Kf3 Qb3+ 46.Kg2 Qb2+ etc. It also threatens 45. Qh4 mate, thus forcing 44…f1Q+ 45.Qxf1 not 45.Rxf1 Qe2+ 46.Kh3 Qh5+ 47.Kg2 Qe2+ 48.Rf2 Qxe4+ etc.

Two Westcountry congresses now follow each other in quick succession. Firstly, the 27th Frome Congress takes place Friday 13th–15th May at Selwood Academy. One can now enter on-line at their website somersetchess.org.

Then there is the 48th Cotswold Congress held over Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 28th – 30th May at King’s School Gloucester. More information may be found on their website,  cotswoldcongress.co.uk.

Last week’s position ended in a queen sacrifice viz 1.Qg8+ and it can only be taken by 1…Raxg8 which leaves the knight free to come to f7 mate because the other rook is pinned and the king is hemmed in by his own pieces. This is known in the trade as a “smothered mate”.

This position is also from the London Classic. The position is complicated, with both queens en prise.  There is no clever mate here, so how does White cut through the Gordian Knot of complex variations and keep it simple.

White to play and win

Menadue Makes It (09.04.2016.)

Jeremy Menadue of Truro won the Grading Prize at the recent West of England Congress and also qualified for the British Championship, due in no small measure to this last round win.

The opening is named after the Hungarian, Richard Reti (1889 – 1929) who was a pioneer of the “Hypermodern” school of chess theory after WWI. The need for control of the centre of the chessboard is paramount, but whereas the 19th century “Romantics” believed this was only possible through occupation of the central squares with pawns supported by pieces, these conventional ideas broke down after the Great War, in chess much the same as in many other areas of the Arts. The Hypermoderns were happy to cede the centre in the opening, and then undermine it from the flanks. A new idea that caught on and is still with us, being by far the most popular opening amongst today’s top players, though it didn’t do much good for White in this game.

White: Graham Bolt (187). Black: J. F. S.  Menadue (187).

Reti Opening [A07]

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.0–0 e6 6.Nbd2 h6 7.Re1 Be7 8.b3 0–0 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.e4 dxe4 11.dxe4 Bh7 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.h3 Rfd8 14.e5 Nd5 15.Ne4 a5 16.c4 Nb4 17.a3 Na6 18.Qe3 Bxe4 19.Qxe4 Ndc5 20.Qc2 Nd3 21.Red1 Nxb2 22.Qxb2 Qb6 23.Bf1 Nc5 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Rb1 Ne4 The start of a concerted attack against f2. 26.b4 axb4 27.axb4 Rd2! 28.Qxd2 The least worst option. If 28.c5 Rxb2 and White’s rook is left hanging. 28…Nxd2 29.Nxd2 Qd4 30.Nf3 Qe4 31.Rb3 g6 32.c5 Kg7 33.Kg2 Qc2 34.Rd3 Qb2 35.Rd7 Kf8 36.Rxb7?? White had to defend his b-pawn with 36.Rd4 36…Bxc5! A variation of the earlier attack on f2. White cannot now avoid mate, after 37…Qxf2+ 38.Kh1 Qxf3+ 39.Kh2 Qf2+ 40.Kh1 Qg1 mate. 0–1.

This 2nd round game involved castling on opposite sides of the board, which usually involves a race to attack.

White: J. Fallowfield. Black: J. Rudd.

1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 c6 4.c4 e5 5.d5 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Nc3 0–0 8.Qd2 a6 9.0–0–0 Qa5 10.Kb1 c5 11.g4 b5 12.h4 h5 13.Bh6 Nbd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qg5 Rh8 16.Rc1 hxg4 17.h5 Rxh5 18.Rxh5 Nxh5 19.fxg4 f6 20.Qh4 Nf4 21.g5 fxg5 22.Qxg5 Nf6 23.Nge2 Nd3 24.Rc2 Ne1 25.Ng3 Nxc2 26.Nf5+ Bxf5 27.exf5 Na3+ 28.bxa3 Rf8 29.Qxg6+ Kh8 30.Kb2 b4 31.axb4 cxb4 32.Ne4 Qa3+ 33.Kb1 b3 0–1

In last week’s position, Broek won the game by 1…Qb4+! If White takes the queen Black has 2…Nf5 mate, and if he does anything to avoid that, he loses his queen.

The previous week’s problem by Dave Howard was solved by moving either knight to e6, after which, no matter what Black tries, there will be a range of different mates. Check them out.

This position is taken from the London Classic in December 2015, immediately before White’s winning move. It’s a well-known idea that rarely comes up in practice.

White to play and win.

WECU Congress Results & Games (02.04.2016.)

The West of England Congress at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, concluded on Monday with these players featuring in the prizelist. (points out of 7).

Open Section: 1st K. C. Arkell (2451) Paignton. 6½ pts. 2nd R. McMichael (2189) King’s Head 6. 3rd=J. Fallowfield  (2112) Stourbridge (2112); A. P. Smith (2127) Bourne End; T. Broek (2180) Holland & S. P. Dilleigh (2072) Horfield all 4½.

Grading prize (U-2022) J. F. Menadue (2021) Truro 4½. So Keith Arkell became West of England Champion, while Jeremy Menadue was awarded the Qualifying Place for the British Championship in Bournemouth.

Major Section (U-1950) 1st I. S. Annetts (1875) Tiverton 5½. 2nd= J. McDonnell (1942) Streatham and J. Forster (1809) Southbourne both 5. Grading Prize (U-1810) J. Nyman (1794) King’s Head 4½.

Best Junior Prize: L. Hafstad (1413) Exeter Juniors 4.

Minor Section (U-135) 1st J. Stone (100) Horley 7. 2nd R. Whittington (132) Exeter Juniors 5. 3rd= K. Alexander (131) Seaton; M. Roberts (132) Holmes Chapel; N. Dicker (128) Glastonbury; G. Taylor (128) Gloucester; G. Neil (124) Nomads; P. Foster (123) Medway; V. Jamroz (123) Kent Juniors; and  G. Parfett (119) Athenaeum, all 4½. Grading prize: A. Richards (121) Cheltenham 4.

There were many regulars among the entries, but a new face was that of Thomas Broek from Holland, whose sharp style of play kept his seven opponents on their toes throughout. He made his presence felt right from the off, with this Rd. 1 win over a local player who was joint winner of the East Devon Open a couple of years ago.

White: T. Broek. Black: O. E. Wensley.

Two Knights Defence [C58]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 h6? Here Blackburne played 8…cxb5 9.Qxa8 a6 10.0–0 Be7 etc. Another alternative is 8…Rb8. 9.Ne4 Nd5 10.Nbc3 Bb7 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Nf6+ 1-0 winning Black’s queen.

He followed this up with a longer battle in the following round, but with a sharp finish.

White: Roger de Coverley. Black: T. Broek.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.0–0 d6 6.c3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.d3 Nge7 10.a4 0–0 11.Na3 d5 12.Qe2 Qd7 13.f4 a6 14.Bd2 Na5 15.Rae1 dxe4 16.dxe4 Qxa4 17.g4 b5 18.f5 b4 19.Nb1 bxc3 20.Nxc3 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Qc4 22.Qf3 Nec6 23.f6 Rab8 24.Qf4 Rxb2 25.Qh6 forcing 25…Bxf6 26.Rxf6 Qd4 27.Nb1 Rxd2 28.Nxd2 Qxf6 29.e5 Nxe5 30.Ne4 Qg7 31.Qe3 Nac4 note how Black’s knights combine to create multiple threats. 32.Qe2 Rd8 33.g5 h6 34.Nf6+ Kf8 35.h4 hxg5 36.hxg5 Qh8+ 37.Kg1 Qh4 38.Ne4 Qg4 39.Qf2 Rd1 40.Qxc5+ Kg7 41.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 42.Kh2 Ng4+ 43.Kh3 Qd3+ 44.Ng3 Nce3 45.Bb7 Qd2 46.Nf1 Nf2+ 47.Kh4 See diagram. Broek now had a move to win immediately.  Can you see it?

Black to play and win.

West of England Chess Championship 016 – Rd. 1

88 players foregathered at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth on Good Friday for the annual WECU Congress. A new development this year was in extending the FIDE rating rules to the Major as well as the Open, and using the latest digital clocks for both sections, which added a 30 second increment each time a move was made.

Many of the faces were returnees, familiar with the town, the venue and the congress routine. However, it’s always good to have a few new people around, if only to add interest to the mix. One such in the Open was Thomas Broek from the Wisver Turen club in the Netherlands, while at the other end of the scale, John Stone from Horley, with an estimated grade of 100, entered the Minor.

Both gave a statement of intent from the off, when Broek beat a local player, Oliver Wensley, in just 12 moves, Wensley having been joint winner of the East Devon Open just a couple of years before. Stone not only won his Rd. 1 game but went on to carve up the field with 7 straight wins, making him the only one to score a maximum, and casting some doubt on the accuracy of his grade estimate.

Everything went according to form, as the day finished with the 5 top seeds in the Open, being the only ones on 2/2 – Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd, Richard McMichael, Thomas Broek and Russell James.

Details:-

White Black
1 Bolt, Graham 2028 0 1 Arkell, Keith 2451
2 Rudd, Jack 2263 1 0 Menadue, Jeremy 2021
3 Gamble, Raymond 1996 0 1 McMichael, Richard 2189
4 Broek, Thomas 2180 1 0 Wensley, Oliver 1983
5 Woodward, Tim 1975 0 1 James, Russell 2168
6 Smith, Andrew 2127 1 0 Burton, Ronnie 1952
7 Hickman, John 1920 0 1 De Coverley, Roger 2075
8 Jamroz, Krzysztof 2073 ½ ½ French, Max 1857
9 Benson, Sean 1779 0 1 Dilleigh, Steve 2072
10 Bass, John 2035 1 0 Wilson, Matthew 1754
11 Snook-Lumb, Chris 1741 1 0 Shaw, Meyrick 2031
12 Fallowfield, Jeremy 2112 1 0 Bye
13 Littlejohns, Dave 1998 ½ - Bye
14 Bartlett, Simon 1953 ½ - Bye

General view of the playing hall from the stage.

General view from the other end.

Gamble vs McMichael (nearest) and Broek (W) about to record a quick win against Wensley.

West of England Chess Championship – Games From the Past (26.03.2016.)

The West of England Championship and Congress started yesterday at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, and finishes at lunchtime on Monday after 7 hard-fought rounds. Top seed is Grandmaster Keith Arkell, but, as the recent East Devon Congress demonstrated, nothing is pre-determined in chess.

This game is from the first official WECU Championship in 1947, which consisted solely of 8 invited players. Both finished 2nd= on 4/7 behind the winner A. R. B. Thomas. Notes are a synthesis of those by C. H. O’D Alexander in the British Chess Magazine & Capt. P. D. Bolland.

White: Francis E. A. Kitto.  Black: Harold V. Trevenen.

Caro-Kann Def. – Knight Variation. [B15]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 This pawn sacrifice, as played in the game Alekhine-Winter (Hastings 1937), offers White adequate compensation for the pawn.  5…Qxd4 Black grabs the pawn, but has to be very careful – the least slip leading to disaster, as in this game. 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nd7 Here Black could have got rid of White’s dangerous king’s bishop by 8…Bf5 9.Bxf5 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qxf5 11.0–0–0 Nd7 but White is well ahead in development. 9.0–0 Nf6 10.Bg5 Bg4 11.Rfe1 e6 12.Rad1 Qc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.h3 Bh5 15.Rd3 Bd6 16.Qe3 Ke7? Black has defended himself reasonably well so far, but the text move is wrong. He must exchange off his queen’s bishop, which is merely a liability, for the knight, and he cannot afford to leave his king in the centre. So   16…Bxf3 17.Bxf3 (If 17.Qxf3? f5! 18.Bxf5 0–0–0 winning a piece.) 17…0–0–0 18.Qxa7 Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Rxd3 20.cxd3 Rd8 with equal chances. After 16…Ke7 Black is lost and White finishes the game off in excellent style. 17.Nd4 Qb6 18.Qh6 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Rxe6+! Kd7 If 20…fxe6 21.Qg7+ winning a rook. 21.Rxd6+ Kxd6 22.Nf5+ Ke6 23.Re3+ Kd7 If 23…Kxf5 24.g4#. 24.Re7+ Mate follows quickly. 1–0

Here is a miniature from the 1962 event.

White: F. Kitto. Black: A. R. B. Thomas.

Vienna Game [C29]

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Qf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Nxc3 7.Bxc6+ This leads to great complications, which prove very much in Black’s favour. 7…bxc6 8.Qxc3 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qe4+ 10.Kf2 c5! 11.Nf3 d4 12.Qb3 Be6! The start of a subtle Bishop manoeuvre. If 12…Bb7 13Re1 and…Qf5 cannot be played as it would leave the Bishop en prise. As played, the Bishop gets onto the long diagonal at c6  13.Qa4+ Bd7 14.Qb3 Bc6 15.Re1 Qf5 16.e6 This attack is finely refuted by Black but White can’t save the game now. The fatal weakness is his inability to develop by d3  16…0–0–0 17.e7 Bxe7 18.Rxe7 c4 19.Qa3 Rhe8 0–1

In last week’s 2-mover by Sam Loyd, White plays 1.Rg4! If Black’s queenside knight moves anywhere, there is 2.Bd4 mate. If 1…Nf3 2. Nh3 mate. Wherever else it moves, there follows 2.g5 mate.

This week’s 2-mover is another world premier poser by Dave Howard.

White to mate in 2

Devon’s Hat Trick (19.03.2016.)

The final rounds of the West of England inter-county tournament have been taking place recently. On Saturday Devon met Wiltshire in a 2nd team match at West Buckland. Devon’s 10½-5½ victory means they have won the 2nd division, the Wayling Cup, for the 18th consecutive year, to add to the 1st Division championship, the Harold Meek Cup, as well as the Inter-Area Jamboree back in September – a marvellous hat trick of wins, rarely achieved by any county. Details as follows (Devon names first in each pairing). 1.W. Ingham (161) ½-½ M. Bowhay (158) 2.P. Brooks (159) 1-0 D. O’Byrne (153). 3.B. G. Gosling (157) ½-½ Mrs. Fenella Headlong (141). 4.M. Stinton-Brownbridge (151) 0-1 G. Georgiou (141). 5.M. Quinn (151) ½-½ C. Callow (135). 6.N. Butland (153) ½-½ G. Williams (130). 7. M. Best (150) 1-0 Ben Headlong (126). 8. K. Hindom (153) 1-0 R. Morris (123). 9. I. S. Annetts (151) ½-½ R. Carver (118). 10. C. J. Scott (150) 1-0 G. Chapman (111). 11. A. Frangleton 1-0 Default. 12. V. Ramesh (146) 0-1 A. Copping (110). 13. N. Hodge (144) 1-0 M. Walters (102) 14. R. Wilby (140) 1-0 D. Brown (96). 15. Nicolas Bacon (126) 0 -1 Georgia Headlong (91). 16. R. H. Jones (118) 1-0 R. Sparks (85).

The match seemed closer than the final score suggests, and with only 4 games to finish, Devon had still not passed the winning line. One bright spot for Wiltshire was the performance of 10 year old Georgia Headlong, who played with a self-possessed aplomb to beat her more highly rated opponent in an endgame involving 4 knights.

White: N. Bacon (126). Black: G. Headlong (91).

Albin Counter Gambit [D08]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 The Albin Counter Gambit, a provocative reply to the Queen’s Gambit. 3.e3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Qxd7 7.exd4 Qxd5 8.dxe5 Qxe5+ Best. If 8…Qxg2 9.Qf3 Bb4+ 10.Ke2 Qxf3+ 11.Nxf3 9.Qe2 Qxe2+ 10.Nxe2 Nc6 11.0–0 0–0–0 12.Nbc3 Nf6 13.Bg5 Be7 14.Rad1 Rhe8 15.Rfe1 h6 16.Bh4 g5 17.Bg3 Bb4 18.f3 Bc5+ 19.Bf2 Bxf2+ 20.Kxf2 g4 21.Ng3 Rxe1 22.Rxd8+ Kxd8 23.Kxe1 Now there are just the 4 knights left. 23…Kd7 24.Ke2 Ke6 25.Ke3 a6 26.Nce4 Nd5+ 27.Kf2 gxf3 28.Kxf3 Ne5+ 29.Ke2 b6 30.Nh5 Kf5 31.Neg3+?  Much better was 31.Nhg3+. 31…Kg6 Now neither of White’s knights can move without the other being taken. Black shows an understanding of the subtleties of the position beyond her years. 32.Kf1 f5 33.Ng7 She correctly ignores the temptation just to grab the en pris knight. 33…Ne3+ 34.Ke2 f4 35.N3h5 Nxg2 36.Kf2 f3 37.Ne6 Kxh5 38.Nd4 Kg4 39.Nxf3 Nxf3 40.Kxg2 Ng5 41.b4 h5 42.a4 h4 43.b5 axb5 44.axb5 h3+ 45.Kf2 Ne4+ 46.Ke3 Nc30–1. White must lose his b-pawn and will be unable to ward off Black’s advancing pawns.

Bacon vs Headlong - Final Position.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qe1! threatening 2.c4 mate.  Black had 5 “tries” to avoid the inevitable but each was met with a different mate.

This 2-mover follows this week’s 4 knights theme, but with added material. It’s an 1895 composition by Sam Loyd.

White to mate in 2

 

Nicky Bacon considering his 3rd move.

West of England Congress 25th – 28th March 2016. Entries as at 16.03.2016.

  Open FIDE ECF Club
1 Keith Arkell 2451 243 Paignton
2 Richard McMichael 2189 207 King’s Head
3 Thomas Broek 2180 197 Wisver Turen
4 Russell James 2168 197 Solihull
5 Andrew Smith 2127 196 Bourne End
6 Roger de Coverley 2075 184 Bourne End
7 Krzysztof Jamroz 2073 180 Petts Wood
8 Steve Dilleigh 2072 186 Horfield
9 John Bass 2035 182 Richmond
10 Graham Bolt 2028 187 Railways
11 Jeremy Menadue 2021 187 Truro
12 Dave Littlejohns 1998 182 Taunton
13 Raymond Gamble 1996 158 Derby
14 Oliver Wensley 1983 171 Exmouth
15 Tim Woodward 1975 156 Trowbridge
16 Simon Bartlett 1953 165 Newquay
17 Ronnie Burton 1952 161 Weymouth
18 John Hickman 1920 172  
19 Max French 1857 164 Frome
20 Matthew Wilson 1754 155 Newton Abbot
         
         
         
  Major (U-170)      
1 James McDonald 1942 173 Streatham
2 Jamie Morgan 1930 164 Penwith
3 Steve Dean 1923 163 Seaton
4 Bill Ingham 1908 161 Teignmouth
5 Joseph Skielnik 1907 157 Battersea
6 Ivor Annetts 1873 151 Tiverton
7 Brian Gosling 1870 157 E. Budleigh
8 Colin Sellwood 1863 155 Camborne
9 Roger Hutchings 1841 164 Woodpushers
10 Andrew Price 1830 159 Leamington
11 Martin Page 1815 146 Insurance
12 Peter Wood 1805 148  
13 John Nyman 1794 169 Kings Head
14 Philip Walters 1773 143 Carslisle
15 Richard Wiltshire 1765 142 Rushall
16 Phil Foley 1691 147 Upminster
17 David Lawrence 1678 120 Kings Head
18 Jim Robertson 1660 139 E. Kilbride
19 Martin Worrall 1604 139 Taunton
20        
         
         
  Minor  (U-135)      
1 Peter Dimond   134 Bath
2 Ian Blencowe   133 Gloucester
3 Malcolm Roberts   132 Holmes Chapel
4 Paul Jackson   131 Bournemouth
5 Ken Alexander   131 Seaton
6 Ray Hunt   130  
7 Nigel Dicker   128 Glastonbury
8 Geoff Taylor   128 Gloucester
9 Tim Crouch   128 King’s Head
10 Tim Allen   126 Battersea
11 Graham Neil   124 Nottingham
12 Jacquie Barber-Lafon   123 Newton Abbot
13 Paul Foster   123 Medway
14 Viktor Jamroz   123 Kent Juniors
15 Paul Errington   122 Bournemouth
16 Alun Richards   121 Cheltenham
17 John Dean   120 Plymouth
18 Joshua Blackmore   120 Newton Abbot
19 Gerald Parfett   119 Athenaeum
20 Norman Tidy   119 Teignmouth
21 Michael Ingram   116 Peterborough
22 Keith Spooner   112 Wimborne
23 Barry Childs   112 Lerryn
24 Roger Waters   107 Taunton
25 Alan Fraser   106 Beckenham
26 Martyn Maber   104 Taunton
27 Peter Hughes   101 Mutual Circle
28 Dave Burt   101 Bournemouth
29 John Carr   100 Portsmouth
30 Hazel Welch   99 Seaton
31 Reg Cox   86  
32 Wendy Carr   47  
33        
34        
35        
         

E. Devon Congress 2016 Results (12.03.2016.)

The East Devon Congress concluded successfully on Sunday evening with the following emerging as winners in the various categories (all points out of 5). 

Open: 1st= K. Arkell (Paignton) & J. Rudd  (Barnstaple) 4½. 3rd A. Smith (Bourne End) 4. Grading prizes: U-180 D. Regis (Exeter) 3½. U-164 A. Waters (Rainham) 3.  The entry of 53 for this section alone indicates the event’s enduring popularity. 

Major Section (U-155): 1st  M. Harris (Newcastle-u-Lyme) 4½. 2nd= M. Best (Exeter) 4; S. Ross (Newport) 4. Grading prizes: U-142: R. Wilby (Plymouth); D. R. (Exmouth); J. Nielsen  (Wimborne) & Leif Hafstad (Exeter School) all 3. (U-131)  E. Palmer (Exeter) 3. 

Minor Section: (U-125) 1st A. Poyser (Exeter Uni.) 5.  2nd= A. Stonebridge (Wellington); N. Tidy (Teignmouth); J. Blackmore (Newton Abbot) & R. Scholes (Exeter) all 4. Grading prizes: (U-111) 1st= D. Burt (Bournemouth); K. Huntley (Salisbury): & A. Fraser (Beckenham) all 3. (U-99) 1st= Christine Constable (Bude) & G. Behan (Plymouth) both 3.   

Team Prize: Exeter Uni. A  15½/20 pts. 

Among the new faces lending a cosmopolitan flavour was Andrei Rozanov, a Russian recently arrived in Plymouth. This was his last round game in a battle for a share of 1st place. 

White A. Rozanov – J. Rudd. 

Giucco Piano – Classical Variation [C50] 

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 The classic Guicco Piano position. 5.0–0 d6 6.h3 h6 7.a3 g5 Black opts to attack the castled king’s position. 8.b4 Bb6 9.Nd5 g4 10.hxg4 Bxg4 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.Bb2 Rg8 13.b5 Na5 14.Be2 Nh5 15.d4 exd4 16.Nxd4 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 Nc4 18.Bc1 Ne5 19.f4 Ng4 20.Qe1 Qf6 21.e5 dxe5 22.fxe5 Qe7 23.Nf4 Nxf4 24.Bxf4 0–0–0 White’s king is much more vulnerable than Black’s. 25.a4 Qc5+ 26.Kh1 Rg5 threatening Rh5 mate. 27.Qh4 Kb8 28.Bxg5 hxg5 29.Qxg4 the rook threat down the h-file returns. 29…Rh8+ 30.Qh3 Qxe5 31.Qxh8+ Qxh8+ 32.Kg1 a rook pair is often slightly stronger than a queen, but here Black has an extra pawn and his queen has long open lines. 32…g4 33.Kf2 f5 34.Kg3 Qc3+ 35.Kh4 Qxc2 36.Kg5 Qxg2 37.Kxf5 g3 38.Rfd1 Qf3+ 39.Ke6 g2 40.Kd7 Qf7+ 41.Kd8 c5 42.Re1 c4 43.Red1 c3 44.Re1 c2 45.Rg1 Qd5+ 46.Ke8 Kc7 47.Ke7 Qe4+ 48.Kf6 Kd6 49.Rge1 Qf4+ 50.Kg6 Kc5 51.Kg7 Kb4 0–1 

In last week’s endgame position, White’s correct move was 1.Kb2, preventing Black from playing 1…c3. He can now hold the 2 Black pawns while White will not be able to prevent a white pawn from queening. 

The British Chess Problem Solving Championship took place at Eton College late last month, with the following familiar prizewinners: 1st John Nunn; 2nd Jonathan Mestel; 3rd Colin McNab & 4th David Friedgood. Devon was represented by David Hodge (6th) and Jon Lawrence (12th). Nunn and Mestel actually got the same number of points for solving, but Nunn completed his in 2 minutes less. 

This was probably the easier of the three 2-movers in the competition. 

White to mate in 2 moves

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