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British Championships @ Llandudno (15.07.2017.)

No sooner have the club and inter-county competitions ended for the season, than the British Championships loom on the horizon. This year’s event starts a fortnight today at Venue Cymru, a spectacular development on the Llandudno seafront, which is proving popular with players, if the current list of entries is anything to go by. With more coming in every day, total entries have already reached 859, of which 92 are in the main event, the British Championship. The top seeds are David Howell, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane, while Devon-based players include Keith Arkell, Jack Rudd and Brian Hewson. John Nunn has entered the 50+ Seniors section.

The healthy entry may be something to do with the fact that the schedule has been shortened from 11 rounds to 9. The previous formula consisted of 2 full weeks with a rest day in between, totalling at least 2½ weeks away from home, which is a big commitment in time and money, while the new arrangement means it will last just over one week.

Anyone can keep up to date with developments throughout on the event website britishchesschampionships.co.uk where games may be followed as they are being played.

Here is another of Devon’s four wins in their recent U-180 Championship Final against MIddlesex.

White: Bill Ingham (165). Black: D. Jagdeep (161)

Queen’s Pawn Opening – Mason Variation.

1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Mason’s Variation, named after the Irishman, James Mason (1845 – 1905) who played it regularly. 2…Nf6 3.e3 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.c4 c6 6.Qb3 Qb6 7.c5 Qxb3 8.axb3 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Nh5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.Bg3 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Bg7 14.b4 White’s freedom to expand on the queenside and the greater flexibility of his rooks along the board edges are keys to his win. 14…0–0 15.b5 White sensibly seeks to eliminate his weaker doubled pawn. 15…Rfb8 16.Kd2 e5 17.b4 exd4 18.Nxd4 Bxd4 19.exd4 Kg7 20.Bd3 Bxd3 21.Kxd3 Nf6 eyeing up g4. 22.Rhe1 Kf8 23.Ra2 Re8 24.Rea1 Black is unable to double his rooks on the e-file without losing pawns, so White can afford to leave his king to guard that. 24…Ne4 25.Nxe4 dxe4+ 26.Ke3 securely blocking the e-file. Now White’s rooks can get to work. 26…cxb5 27.Rxa7 Rab8 28.R1a5 b6 29.R5a6 Kg7 30.Rxb6 Rxb6 31.cxb6 Rb8 32.b7 f5 33.d5 Kf6 Allowing White’s rook to get where it needs to be … behind his pawn, but there seems nothing much better. 34.Kd4 h5 35.Ra6+ Ke7 36.Rb6 Resigns, as White will shortly have 3 passed pawns supported by rook & king, while Black’s 4 pawns will not be able to break through on the other wing. 1–0

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Bb4! and any move by the e-pawn next move will be mate or if 1…d3 2.Qa1#.

In this ending from a game played last year, Black is all set to checkmate, if it was his move – but it’s not. What, if anything, can White do about it?

It's White's Move

Pull Over for a Pit-Stop (14.07.2017.)

G’Day all,

Following the huge success of last year’s “Blitz at the Pits”, we’ll be running the event again this coming Friday (14 July 2017) at the Pit-Stop Cafe in Marsh Barton, Exeter.

Please see below for full details!

[Club captains / presidents / secretaries - please help spread the word about the event... thank you!]

*  *  *  *  *  *
Exeter Chess Club presents…

*BLITZ AT THE PITS*

A fun evening of fast chess, open to all (and free!)

7-10pm on Friday 14th July 2017,

at the Pit-Stop Cafe

(25 Marsh Green Road East, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8PQ)

Venue website: www.pitstopcafeexeter.co.uk

[Arrive 6:45pm for a 7pm start. Plenty of parking available.]

Format
Up to 40 places are available.

Two large balanced teams will be formed from the entrants, and you’ll get to play two blitz games (20min/game)
plus two blitz “chess variants” (15min/game) against different opponents.

Full details on the night!
Games will not go for grading.

Entry fee?

Entry is free! You are encouraged to purchase refreshments from the venue

(which are subsidised by £1 per entrant).
And you might even go home slightly richer than you arrived, as there will be a free raffle with a £10 cash prize to the winner!

How to enter

All players from all Devon clubs (and beyond!) are welcome to come and play, but please notify Brian Aldwin in advance [by Thursday 13 July] if you’d like to participate!

Brian’s details are:
brianaldwin@yahoo.com

07435 317941

Transport?


Finally, if would like to offer a lift to/from the venue, or are in need of one, please mention this to Brian when you contact him.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday for what should be a very fun evening of chess!

*  *  *  *  *  *

Devon Win National U-180 Championship (08.07.2017.)

Devon faced Middlesex in the Final of the U-180 Championship at Leamington Spa on Saturday. Both teams were very closely matched and it was clear every half point would count. The initiative swung back and forth, between very tight limits, and in the end the match finished 8-8. In these situations, the tie-break is determined by adding together the numbers of the boards on which wins were achieved, and the team with the lower total is deemed to have won the match by virtue of having won on the higher boards. Using this formula Devon got 1+ 3 + 13 + 14 = 31, compared to Surrey’s 6 + 8 + 11 + 15 = 40.

The details were as follows (Devon names 1st in each pairing) :-

1.John Fraser 1-0 B. Kelmedi. 2.John Wheeler ½-½ S. Coles. 3.Mark Abbott 1-0 M. Grigorian. 4.Chris Bellers ½-½ I. Calvert. 5.Dennis Cowley ½-½ G. Bachelor. 6.Dave Regis 0-1 A. Hayler. 7.Paul Hampton ½-½ M. Dydak. 8.Oliver Wensley 0-1 A. Fulton. 9.Jos Haynes ½-½ R. Campbell. 10.Alan Brusey ½-½ R. Walczak. 11. Alex Taylor 0-1 J. White. 12.Paul Brooks ½-½ P. Kennelly. 13.Bill Ingham 1-0 J. Dhemrait. 14.Meyrick Shaw 1-0 J. Hudson. 15.Steve Dean 0-1 J. Rubek. 16.Brian Gosling ½-½ R. Thursby.

Here is the top game of the day.

White: J. Fraser (178). Black:  B. Kelmendi (183)

Sicilian Defence – Dragon Variation – Yugoslav Attack  [B76]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f3 Qa5 9.0–0–0 White’s moves of Be3, f3 and castling long constitute the Yugoslav Attack in which White establishes a firm grip on the centre before storming the kingside. Black must counter on the other wing especially down the c-file, “leading to fierce struggles and opportunities for both sides” (Tony Miles). 0–0 10.Kb1 Bd7 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.Bh6 Rfc8 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.g4 Be6 15.h4 Ne5 16.Nd4 Nc4 17.Bxc4 Qxc4 18.h5 Ng8 19.hxg6 fxg6 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.exd5 h6 22.Ne6+ Kf7 23.c3 b5 24.Qc2 Qa4 25.Qe2 Rab8 26.Rd4 Rc4 27.b3 Qa5 28.Rxc4 Probably too risky at this stage was 28.bxc4? although after bxc4+ 29.Qb2 Rxb2+ 30.Kxb2 leaves White with 2 rooks for his queen. 28…bxc4 29.Qxc4 Nf6 30.Rxh6 Qxd5 31.Ng5+! Effectively the winning manoeuvre. 31…Kg7 32.Rh7+ Black’s knight is overloaded. 32…Kg8 33.Qxd5+ Nxd5 34.c4 Nb6 35.Rxe7 White goes 2 pawns up and the rest is a matter of technique. 35…Nxc4 36.Rxa7 Ne5 37.Ne4 Rb4 38.Ra4 Rb6 39.Rd4 Nf7 40.Kb2 Kf8 41.a4 Ke7 42.a5 Ra6 43.b4 Ne5 44.Nd2 Kd7 45.Kb3 Kc7 46.Ka4 Nc6 47.Rd3 Ra8 48.Nc4 Rd8 49.b5 Ne7 50.Ne3 d5 51.b6+ Kb7 52.Kb5 d4 53.a6+ Kb8 54.Kc5 Rc8+ 55.Kxd4 Nc6+ 56.Ke4 Re8+ 57.Kf4 Rf8+ 58.Kg5 Nb4 59.a7+ Kb7 60.Rb3 Nc6 61.Nd5 Nd4 62.Ra3 Nxf3+ 63.Rxf3 Rxf3 64.Nc7 Resigns in view of 64…Rf8 65.a8Q+ Rxa8 66.Nxa8 Kxa8 67.Kxg6 and White’s g-pawn will queen. 1–0

In last week’s position White played 1.Re6! PxR 2.BxB+ etc.

Here is a new 2-mover by Dave Howard.

White to move and mate in 2

Devon Win National U-180 Title (03.07.2017.)

Devon took the English U-180 Championship in the Finals at Leamington Spa on Saturday. Here is the report of Captain on the day, Paul Brooks.

Match report: Devon vs Middlesex – U180 Final:
Devon won the toss and had white on odd boards. The first three hours of the match went well for Devon with a very good positional victory for Bill Ingham and solid draws for Brian Gosling, Dennis Cowley, Jos Haynes and Paul Brooks. John Fraser had the better of his opponent’s Sicilian defence and Steve Dean was looking in control of his game with excellent outposts for his knights and a good space advantage. I then looked at Steve’s clock and noticed he had 5 minutes to play about 17 moves! By the time he reached the time-control the outposts had gone, he was a pawn down and his bishop was buried behind a solid wall of pawns, so he was facing an uphill struggle.
Debutant Alex Taylor played a King’s Gambit where chances seemed to be fluctuating from one side to the other, while Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley were both under fairly strong pressure. Meyrick Shaw, on the other hand, created an excellent position with a kingside attack, doubling rooks on the h file.
Chris Bellers and Alan Brusey both achieved well-earned draws and a few minutes later John Wheeler had neutralised his opponent’s slight pressure and another draw was agreed.
Alex Taylor having fought to reach an position where he had 3 pawns for a bishop was unfortunate that his opponent was able to co-ordinate his rooks and bishop successfully in an attack where Alex had to give up a rook or be mated.
Mark Abbott took advantage of opposition time pressure to win a good game, but things were looking bad for Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley, who both reached positions where their opponents had endgames with a couple of extra pawns. After a hard fight both players were forced to resign.
Steve Dean also succumbed in the endgame, so with 3 matches still to be decided Devon were 2 points in arrears. It was clear that 2 wins and a draw would enable Devon to win on board count, so there was still all to play for.
Meyrick Shaw played well to exchange into a rook and pawn endgame where he was 3 pawns up and after a short fight his opponent was forced to resign. On top board, John Fraser played an excellent attack which forced his opponent to exchange into an endgame where John was two pawns up and these were both passed and connected on the sixth rank. John played a clever combination which allowed his opponent to win a pawn, but the consequence was that a couple of moves later he was forced to liquidate into an endgame where John had a single unstoppable g pawn.
So the match was all-square and everyone’s attention shifted to Paul Hampton’s game. This had been very close all the way through, but, with both players down to their last 10 minutes, the Middlesex player seemed to have an edge, holding the slight material advantage of rook and 2 pawns to Paul’s knight and 3 pawns. The fact that all the pawns were on the kingside meant that we had hopes that Paul could hold the draw. Paul’s opponent looked as though he was taking control with his advanced king and rook on the seventh rank, but Paul kept cool, swapping off a pawn and creating a fortress which meant that his opponent was never going to be able to force his final pawn through. In the end, Paul was able to create a passed pawn himself which advanced to the seventh rank where his opponent had to sacrifice his rook and leave Paul with a bare knight and a draw.
So a very tough encounter finished 8-8, but as Devon’s wins had come on higher boards Devon were victorious on board count. A great victory to follow up an excellent season!
Devon grd Middlesex grd
1 John Fraser 178 1 0 B. Kelmendi 179
2 John Wheeler 174 ½ ½ S. Coles 176
3 Mark Abbott 172 1 0 M. Grigorian 175
4 Chris Bellers 173 ½ ½ I. Calvert 177
5 Dennis Cowley 169 ½ ½ G. Batchelor 174
6 Dave Regis 175 0 1 A. Hayler 170
7 Paul Hampton 161 ½ ½ M. Dydak 169
8 Oliver Wensley 168 0 1 A. Fulton 173
9 Jos Haynes ½ ½ R. Campbell 168
10 Alan Brusey 166 ½ ½ R. Walczak 173
11 Alex Taylor 165 0 1 J. White 171
12 Paul Brooks 161 ½ ½ P. Kennelly 167
13 Bill Ingham 162 1 0 J. Dhemrait 161
14 Meyrick Shaw 163 1 0 J. Hudson 154
15 Steve Dean 160 0 1 J. Rudeck 161
16 Brian Gosling 159 ½ ½ R. Thursby 154
8 8
Board count 31 40
A few photos of the happy occasion……
The team after the presentation, clutching their golden trophies.

End of Season Review (01.07.2013.)

The passing of June means the end of the chess season, with club and county AGMs and the handing out of silverware throughout the Westcountry.

The Cornish AGM will be held at 7 p.m. in Carnon Downs Village Hall (TR3 6GH) on Wednesday 19th July, where Carrick A will receive the County Shield for winning Division 1, and the Camborne delegate with receive the Roberts Cup (Div. 2). Their county team had a good season, beating and drawing respectively against Gloucestershire and Somerset. This enabled them to participate in the Quarter Finals of the Minor Counties section of the National Stages, where they were drawn against Leicestershire, which was played at Mark, near Brent Knoll. The Midland county might have been fancied to win the match anyway, but they left nothing to chance and fielded a very strong team, winning all but 2 games. Only Andrew Greet on Bd. 1 was able to keep the Cornish flag flying.

Devon had an excellent season by any standards, winning the WECU hat-trick of Jamboree, 1st & 2nd s. In the National Stages U-180 section, they beat Notts in the ¼-Final and Surrey in the Semi and now face Middlesex in the Final. At Devon’s AGM, cups were awarded as follows: Div. 1 (Bremridge Cup) – Exeter; Div. 2 (Mamhead Cup) – Exmouth; Div. 3 (Schofield Cup) -  Barnstaple; Div. 4 (Moyle Cup) – Newton Abbot; Team Knock-out (Rooke Cup) – Newton Abbot; RapidPlay (Newman Cup) – Tiverton. Junior League (Bloodworth Cup) – Sidmouth Juniors.

Retiring county captain, Brian Hewson, named Oliver Wensley as his Player of the Year. Here is his game against S. Hams back in March in which he executes a short, sharp kingside attack.

White: O. Wensley. Black: S. Levy.

1.e4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.d4 Bb4 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Qe2 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Bd2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Be7 10.0–0 0–0 11.a4 Getting the isolated pawn to become active. 11…Nd7 12.a5 c5 13.Bf4 Bf6 14.Rfd1 Qc8 15.Ne5 Bxe5 16.dxe5 f5 17.Bb5 White also had the choice of 17.Bc4, possibly slightly stronger. 17…Rf7 18.a6 Bc6 19.c4 h6 threatening …g5 and …f4 20.h4 Nf8 21.h5 g5 22.hxg6 e.p. Nxg6 23.Bxh6 a kingside breakthough 23…Rh7 24.Bg5 Qe8 25.Rd6 Bxb5 26.cxb5 solving White’s weak queenside pawn formation. 26…Rc8 27.c4 Nf8 28.Ra3 All White’s pieces are now poised to attack Black’s weakened king’s position. 28…Rcc7 29.Bf6 Rh6 hoping to double up the rooks. 30.Rg3+ Rg6 31.Rd8 Qf7 32.Qh5 with threats, including mate on h8, that Black cannot withstand. 1–0.

In last week’s position White could win by sacrificing with 1.Rh8+ forcing 1…KxR 2.Qf8 mate.

This position is taken from a game played 8 years ago and White is looking for a way to break though to the Black king. It wasn’t easy to find the key move, but once he did, everything fell into place.

White to play and win

Is This The Breakthrough? (24.06.2017.)

Many chessplayers are also keen on, and good at, contract bridge, and the two games have similar appeals as both are excellent mental and socialising activities. For decades, the English Bridge Union and ECF have tried, and failed, to convince HMRC that the games should be categorised as sports, thus becoming exempt from having to pay VAT on tournament entry fees. In 2015 the High Court ruled that bridge and chess were not sports eligible for lottery funding, with lawyers acting for Sport England telling the Court that the games were no more a sport than “sitting at home reading a book”.

Consequently, as reported earlier, the long-time organiser of the world’s biggest tournament for junior chessplayers, Mike Basman, was declared a bankrupt for his failure to collect VAT.

Recently, however, the English Bridge Union took their case to the European Court of Justice, and one of its most senior lawyers, the Advocate General, Maciej Szpunar, argued that sport should be understood as something that involved the “training of mental or physical fitness in a way that is generally beneficial to the health and well-being of citizens”, and recommended that Bridge be exempted from VAT in the UK.

He also noted that the International Olympic Committee was among organisations that “expressly include mental sports or endorse activities without a physical element”, having classified Bridge as a sport in 1998.

Also, the 2011 Charities Act adopted a definition of sport as “activities which promote health involving physical or mental health or exertion”, which specifically included “mind sports”.

Advocate Generals’ recommendations are not necessarily binding, but the courts rarely go against their rulings.

Where Bridge leads, English Chess Federation officials must now surely follow, and quickly, to make sure Chess does not miss out. But can it be done before Brexit?

Devon’s opponents in the U-180 team championships will be Middlesex who squeezed past Essex after an 8-all draw and tie-break rules were applied. This will take place at Warwick next month, and will be Brian Hewson’s last match as Devon Captain, having won the West of England hat-trick of the Jamboree in the Autumn, and the 1st & 2nd divisions of the inter-county championship. It would be a great treat to win the National title as well. His final award of Devon Player of the Year went to Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) for his unbeaten run of games against strong opposition.

There’s only room for a short game this week. White: R. Combe. Black: W. Hasenfuss. (Folkestone 1933). 1.d4 c5 2.c4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Nxe5?? Qa5+ winning the knight. Combe had the last laugh by wining the 1946 British Championship at a canter in the greatest upset in the history of that event.

In last week’s position (above) Black could play 1… Rd2! with threats of a back rank mate.

In this position, Black is a piece up with a free-wheeling queen. Is there anything White can do about it?

White to play

E. Devon League’s End of Term Jolly (06.06.2017.)

On Tuesday evening the local league held their annual end-of-term prizegiving and match at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by kind invitation of the new Management.

Proceedings started with the presentation of trophies by the League President, Brian Aldwin. Pictures may be found below, but in summary they were as follows:

Cup___________ For Winning_________ Team________Recipient

RapidPlay Cup:    RapidPlay League        Exmouth Eels           Alan Dean

Cottew Cup:       Div 1 Champions         Sidmouth Scorpions     Charlie Keen

Turner Cup        Div. 1 Grading prize       Exmouth Eagles        Steve Murray

Polsloe Cup        Div. 2 Champions           Just Seaton                  Hazel Welsh

Mainstay Cup    Div. 2 Grading prize     Tiverton Thinkers       Greg Fotheringham

This bit didn’t take long, and then it was time to sort out the 28 players present into two teams of roughly equal ability, ready for two rapidplay games of 30 minutes per player per game. This finished as follows.

E. Devon League Prizegiving – 2017
RapidPlay Details
Bd President’s XIV 1st 2nd Secretary’s XIV 1st 2nd
1 J. Underwood 0 0 T. Paulden 1 1
2 T. F. Thynne 1 1 M. Shaw 0 0
3 I. Gregory 1 0 G. Body 0 1
4 I. S. Annetts ½ ½ S. Dean ½ ½
5 B. G. Gosling ½ ½ C. Keen ½ ½
6 A. Dean ½ 0 J. Duckham ½ 1
7 J. S. Murray 0 ½ J. Amos 1 ½
8 W. Marjoram 1 ½ R. H. Jones 0 ½
9 P. Dillon 0 ½ G. Fotheringham 1 ½
10 R. Scholes 1 1 M. Haines 0 0
11 B. Newcombe 1 0 M. Hussey 0 1
12 B. Perchard 1 0 S. Honeyball 0 1
13 H. Welch 1 1 G. Jenkins 0 0
14 P. Leask 1 1 R. Greenall 0 0
……………………… ………………………
TOTALS
16 12
Charlie Keen receives the Cottew Cup on behalf of the Div. 1 Champions, Sidmouth Scorpions
Alan Dean takes the RapidPlay Cup for Exmouth Eels, a slippery lot when it comes to quickplay!

Steve Murray collects the Turner Cup for Exmouth Eagles.

Hazel Welch takes the Polsloe Cup for Just Seaton.

Greg Fotheringham takes the Mainstay Cup for Tiverton.

Jupiter Bring In The Stars (03.06.2017.)

Chess events are often run on a financial  shoestring, so it’s nice to see private enterprise stepping in to support tournaments from time to time. Winton Capital Management, for example, have for several years lent their name to the annual British problem-solving Championship, the latest version of which starts this week (see below).

As reported last week, Jupiter Asset Management organised an even more unusual event. They got the services of Daily Telegraph chess columnist, Malcolm Pein, to round up 8 top players, each one of whom would partner a Jupiter employee, in a Pro-Am blitz knockout tournament. The professionals comprised World Championship finalists, Nigel Short and Michael Adams; world top amateur GM Luke McShane; GM Gawain Jones and his wife Sue; GMs David Howell & Peter Wells, and English Ladies Champion, Kanwal Bhatia.

Malcolm Pein paired the players off, which led to Cornishman Adams joining up with Jupiter IT expert and former Exmothian, Chris Hunter-Jones, to form a Westcountry team. The rules were: to make alternate moves; no conferring and 15 minutes per team for all moves.

In the quarter-final the Westcountry team beat Sue Jones’s team and went on to meet Nigel Short and Edward Bonham Carter in the Semi. Their first game was drawn with only seconds to spare, but lost the tie-break game. This consisted of a 5 minute game by just the amateurs, in which Carter played a King’s Gambit and Hunter-Jones blundered in the opening (easily done in those circumstances) and it was quickly over. The Short/Carter team then lost in the Final to Peter Wells and Alastair McFie. The chess was often crazy – but great fun.

The solution to last week’s position (above) was 1…Qg3+ and if 2.hxQ Ng2 mate, while if 2.Rf2 QxR mate.

The road to discovering who will be next year’s Winton British Solving Champion starts here, as this week’s position is the starter problem. It’s White to play and force mate in 2 moves against any Black defence. There is no entry fee and the competition is open to British residents only. Competitors need only send White’s first move, known as the “key move” and this may be done in 2 ways. (a) by post to Nigel Dennis, Boundary House, 230 Greys Road, Henley-on-Thames RG9 1QY , or (b) by e-mail to winton@theproblemist.org.

All entries must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than 31st July 2017 and must give the entrant’s name and home postcode. Don’t forget to mention that you saw this notice in either the WMN or Western Daily Press.

After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution, and those who get it right will be sent the postal round containing 8 more difficult and varied problems. In due course the best competitors and 5 best juniors (U-18 on 31.07.2017) will be invited to participate in the final at Eton College on Saturday 18th February 2018.

Best of luck to anyone who takes up the challenge.

Frome Congress Results (20.05.2017.)

Last weekend’s Frome Congress attracted 188 players from all over the South-West and beyond, of whom 36 won prizes. Details, kindly supplied by the Organiser, Gerry Jepps, as follows:

Open Section: 1st= Jane Richmond (Brown Jack); A. Pleasants, (Weymouth); S. Crockart (Didcot) 4 pts. Grading prizes U-2050: A. Gregory (Bath) 3½. U-1900 V. Stoyanov (Sandhurst) 3. Qualifying places for the British Championship were awarded to Andrew Gregory and Philip Holt (Olton).

Major Section (U-165): 1st E. Osbourn (Worcester) 4½. 2nd T. Woodward (Trowbridge) 4. 3rd= S. Jukes (Barry); R. Radford (Keynsham); B. Gosling (E. Budleigh); H. Fowler (Millfield) & C. Timmins (Bristol) all 3½. Grading prizes: U-155: A. Champion (Keynsham); G. Georgiou (Swindon) & A. Muller (Bristol) all 3. U-145: G. Williams (Swindon); P. Foley (Upminster); D. Watson (Bourne End) & I. S. Annetts (Tiverton) all 2½.

Intermediate Section: (U-140) 1st= D. McGeeney (Bristol); L. Tarbuck (Lichfield) & N. Mills (Yeovil) all 4½. GPs U-128: R. Morris-Weston (Bristol); E. Fierek (Gloucester); D. Rogers (Exmouth); A. Sage (Bath) & O. Stubbs (Downend). U-118: E. Hurst (Salisbury) all 3½.

Minor Section: (U-110): 1st J. Opie (Frome) 5. 2nd= Amanda Jones (Salisbury) & Y. Kumar (Bath) 4½. GPs (U-99) F. Cheeseman (Kent) & J. Wallman (Dorset). U-90: A. Wang (Bath) & J. Doull (Purbeck).

In the absence of any GMs to take the top prize, it was no surprise to see Jane Richmond taking a share of the spoils. She has been Welsh Ladies Champion 11 times and has played in several Olympiads. Here is her last round game, which clinched her share of 1st place.

White: O. Garcia (2062). Black: J. Richmond (2128)

Vienna Game C28

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 Signature move of the Vienna Game, in which White intends to attack on the kingside. 4…d6 5.f4 exf4 6.Bxf4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Na4 Nh5 9.Bg5 an idea that doesn’t work. 9…Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxg5 11.Bxf7+ Ke7 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.Qxh5 White recovers his piece, at the expense of… 13…Qe3+ 14.Kd1 Raf8 15.Re1 Qd4 16.Bc4 Qxb2 17.Qh4+ Kd7 18.Kd2 Qb4+ 19.Kd1 Ne5 20.Bb3 Qd4 21.Rb1 Rf2 22.Qg3 g6 23.Bd5 Rhf8 24.Qh3+ Kd8 25.Qh4+ R8f6 26.Re2 The knight now becomes a real menace. 26…Nxd3 27.Rxf2 Not 27.cxd3?? because of  27…Qxd3+ 28.Kc1 Qxe2 with mate to follow. 27…Nxf2+ 28.Ke2 Ng4! 29.Rb3 Not 29.Qxg4?? Rf2+ 30.Ke1 Qd2#. 29…Ke8 unpinning the rook. 30.Rf3 Rxf3 31.Kxf3 h5 32.h3?? 32.Qe1 was needed to keep the game going. 32…Qe3# 0–1.

In last week’s position (above) Black had overlooked “the power of the check”, which overrides other threats. Hence White wins material rather than loses it after 1.Nf7+.

In this game from 1953 White’s pieces have the freedom of the board, while Black’s appear relatively cramped. His only advantage is that it’s his move. Is this enough to save the game?

Can Black save the day?

World Team Seniors 65+ (13.05.2017.)

Although most public attention was focussed on the 50+ group in the recent World Seniors team tournament in Crete, it should not be forgotten that there was a 65+ section as well. It seemed to appeal to players from Northern Europe, as of the 22 participating teams, 5 came from Sweden, 3 from England and 2 from Norway. Like the younger age group, the Russians won this section as well, winning all 9 matches.

Brian Hewson of Tiverton won this Bd. 1 game against England 1 for England II, for whom Trefor Thynne was team Captain.

White: B. W. R. Hewson (187). Black: Michael Stokes (187).

King’s Indian Defence – Fianchetto Variation.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.0–0 d6 6.Re1 Nbd7 7.c4 e5 8.Nc3 This position was reached in the game Schwartz–L. Paulsen (Wiesbaden 1880) demonstrating its long time pedigree. Ng4 9.dxe5 Ndxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qb3 c6 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Rad1 Bf5 14.Bxe5 Bxe5 15.f4 Bg7 16.e4 Bg4 17.Rd2 Rfd8 18.Qa3 Qc7 19.h3 Be6 20.Bf1 Bf8 21.Qa4 a6 22.Qc2 Qa5 23.Kh2 b5 24.cxb5 axb5 25.a3 b4 26.axb4 Qxb4 27.Nd1 Bg7 28.Ree2 c5 29.Ne3 Bb3 30.Qc1 Ra2 31.Bg2 Rda8 32.Rxd6 Bf8 33.Rdd2 Qb5 34.e5 Ra1 35.Qc3 Rc8 36.Nd5 c4 37.Nf6+ Kh8 38.Rd5 Qb6 39.Re1 Bb4 40.Qe3 Qxe3 41.Rxe3 Bc5 42.Rxc5 White had little option but to give up the exchange, in view of, for example, 42.Re2 Bg1+ 43.Kh1 Bb6+ 44.Kh2 c3. 42…Rxc5 43.Re2 In spite of having to give up the exchange, White’s 2 minor pieces  become very active, so maybe it hasn’t turned out too badly. 43…Rc8 44.Ne4 Rc1 45.Nd6 Rc7 46.Bd5 Kg8 47.e6 Kf8 48.exf7 Re7 49.Rxe7 Kxe7 50.Nc8+ Kf8 51.Nb6 Threatening to win immediately with 5.Nd7+ getting a queen back. 51…Ba4 52.Nxa4 c3 53.bxc3 Ke7 54.c4 Ra1 55.Nc5 Ra7 56.Kg2 Kf8 57.Be6 1-0 White has 3 pawns & 2 minor pieces for a rook, and Black resigned in view of the renewed prospect of 58.Nd7+.

The Frome Congress started yesterday evening and continues until Sunday tea-time. After that, the next big event is the Cotswold Congress at the King’s School, Gloucester over the Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 27th to Monday 29th May. Like Frome, they also have easy on-line entry facilities, which experience has shown tends to increase entries. Their website is dmshome.co.uk/cotswoldcongress.

Details are now out about Cornwall’s Rapidplay Championship for the Kerrier Cup, to be held at Carnon Downs Village Hall TR3 6GH, on Saturday 17th June, starting at 1.45 p.m.  Space is at a premium and a maximum of 24 entries has been fixed, so early entry is essential to be sure of playing. Further details may be found on the website www.cornwallchess.org.uk.

Last week’s 2-mover (above) by Dave Howard, was solved by Bf3! with the threat of a discovered check being too much for Black to deal with.

In this game from 25 years ago, Black played 1…Nc4 in the hope of winning material. Did he succeed?

White to play