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Cotswold Congress Results (04.06.2016.)

Keith Arkell was the first Grandmaster to enter the Cotswold Congress for many years, and on Monday he hit the chess headlines in the Daily Telegraph when their correspondent, Malcolm Pein, noted the fact that Arkell had achieved the remarkable feat of coming 1st in his last 7 consecutive weekend events, namely Bristol, Exeter, Exmouth (the West of England Championship), Hereford, Nottingham, Great Yarmouth and Rhyl. Such was his current form and the relatively modest opposition, by his standards, that one could be forgiven for expecting him to make this his 8th success.

Yet it was not to be. In Round 3 he faced his nearest opponent, Chris Beaumont, who was not prepared to go down without a fight and proceeded to win with the white pieces. He conceded a draw in the following round, but didn’t allow Arkell to catch him, finishing a half point ahead.  The full prizelist was as follows (all points out of 6)

Open Section: 1st Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton) 5½. 2nd Keith Arkell (Paignton) 5.  3rd Matt Gillings (Wimbourne) 4.  U-170 grading prize: William Phillips (Hatchend) 3. 16 players competed.

Major (U-155) 1st Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham) 5. 2nd= Robert Ashworth (Wotton Hall); Ian Bush (Magdalen College School, Oxford) & Martyn Harris (Newcastle under Lyme) 4½. Grading Prize (U-138) Rich Wiltshir (Rushall) 3½. (U-120) David Williams 3½. 37 players competed.

Minor (U-125). 1st Mark Forknall (Cheltenham) 5½. 2nd= Steve Clare (Wallasey) & Rezza Gorsi Pour (Gloucester) 5.  Grading Prizes (U-102) Douglas Bramley (Spondon) 4.

U-100: Paul Broderick 3½. 35 competed.

As a way of raising funds for their forthcoming trip to Borneo, pupils from the host venue, King’s School Gloucester, provided a service to the players by running the refreshment stall.

In the recent Frome Congress, father & son George and Scott Crockert, both won with Black in the final round, to qualify for the British Championship. This is one of those games.

White: P. Orgler (2132). Black: G. Crockart (2012).

Dutch Defence – Staunton Gambit [A83]

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 e6 4.e4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qh6 Nc6 9.Nf3 b6 10.c3 Bb7 11.Bd3 Qe7 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Qg5 0–0 14.Qxf6 Rxf6 15.Ne5 d6 16.Nxc6 Bxc6 17.0–0 Re8 18.Rfe1 Kf7 19.b4 g5 20.b5 Bb7 21.a4 e5 22.a5 Rfe6 23.axb6 axb6 24.Ra7 Rb8 25.Be4?? Much better was 25.Bc4 and if d5 26.Rxb7 Rxb7 27.Bxd5. Rb8 28. f4 gxf4 29. Rxe5 Rbe8 30.Kf2 Kf6 and after the pieces come off White should win. 25…exd4 26.f3 d5 0–1.

Last week’s original 3-mover by Dave Howard was solved by 1.Be4! If 1…Kg1 2.Qf3 with mate on g2. If 1…g2 2.Qg4 g1=Q 3.Qh4 mate. If 1…e2 2.Qf3 e1=Q (if 2…e1=N 3.Qh1 mate) 3.Qg2 mate.

In this position from a recent game, Black is clearly on the back foot, but White still needs a clinical finish to end all resistance.

Find White's winning move

Cotswold Congress Prizewinners (07.06.2014.)

The West of England Chess Union held their annual Council Meeting at Ilminster on Saturday under the chairmanship of John Wheeler. Jim Fewkes of Yeovil retired after 21 years as Treasurer to be replaced by Oliver Wensley of Exmouth, while all other officers were re-elected en bloc. The Harold Meek Cup was presented to Ben Edgell for Somerset’s 1st place in Division 1 and Brian Hewson received the Wayling Cup for Devon’s win in Division 2. It was the 4th consecutive time both teams had won these trophies. Cornwall were the surprise package, coming 3rd in Division 1, with the promise of more to come next season.

The winners in last weekend’s Cotswold Congress were as follows:

Open: 1st S. Berry (218 – Wimbledon) 6/6 points. 2nd= T. Slade (173 – Marhamchurch) & R. Bryant (170 – Oswestry). Grading prize (U-171) P. Asenov (170 – Witney) & C. McLaren (156 – Wotton Hall).

Major Section – (U-155): 1st P. Foley (136 – Upminster). 2nd= D. Macarthur (147 – Keynsham); D. Rogers (146 – Exmouth); M. Forknall (135 – Cheltenham) & S. Whitehead (135 – Cirencester). P. Morton – 147 – Hammersmith) & I. Lamb (137 – Bolton).  Grading prize (U-145) A. Gentry (142 – Witney) & R. Ashworth (139 – Wotton Hall).

Minor Section – (U-125): 1st= K. Langmaid (124 – Yate); S. Williams (122 – Cwmbran) & J. Lightowler (117 – Gloucester). Grading Prize (U-115) G. Mill-Wilson (112 – Yate) & S. Rees (107 – Hereford).

At the recent Frome congress, Stephen Appleby won a Grading Prize with the help of this quick win in Rd. 4.

White: S. Appleby Black: F. Palm

Queen’s Pawn Game [D04]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c5 4.e3 g6 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qa4+ Bd7 7.Qxd4 Qa5+ 8.Nc3 If 8.Bd2 Black could reclaim his pawn with  8…Qxd5. 8…Bg7 9.e4 0–0 10.Bd2 Black is hampered from completing development of his kingside pieces and starts moving other material instead. 10…e6 11.Bc4 Ng4 12.e5 exd5 13.Nxd5 Qd8 14.Bg5 Nxe5 Now would have been a good time to consider unravelling his Q-side pieces with 14…Nc6. 15.Qxe5! White courageously takes the piece. 15…Qa5+ 16.Bd2 Qa4 17.Qf4 remaining a piece up. 17…Re8+ 18.Kf1 1–0 Black resigns not only because he’s a piece down, but has the problem of his trapped rook and the threatened knight fork on c7. e.g. 18…Na6 19.Bxa6 Qxa6+ 20.Kg1 and White’s threatened fork cannot be denied.

From a game played earlier this year, how does Black finish clinically?

Black to play and win by force.

Cotswold Congress Prizelist (08.06.2013.)

The 45th Cotswold Congress was held in Cheltenham over the bank holiday weekend. The winners were as follows (all points out of 6):

Open: 1st C. Beaumont (5). 2nd= S. Berry & H. Lamb (4½). Grading prize: J. Jenkins (4).

Major Section (U-160): 1st T. Slade (5); 2nd= L. Roberts, M. Ashworth, P. Wood & R. Weston (4½). Grading prizes: A. 1st= A. Farthing & E. Varley (3½). B. 1st= T. McLaren & M. Forknall (3).

Minor Section (U-120): 1st= S. Crockett, C. Mace, M. Schroeder, K. Hapeshi & D. Archer (4½). Grading prizes: (A). 1st= S. Rees, R. Waters, C. Smith & B. Headlong (3½). (B) 1st= S. Calderbank, N. Purry, R. Buxton & C. Vernon (2½).

This was Theo Slade’s best win, with his own notes.

White: T. Slade (157). Black: B. O’Gorman (155).

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 g6 4.b3 Bg7 5.Bb2 0–0 6.Be2 c5 7.0–0 cxd4 8.exd4 Nc6 9.Re1 Nh5! 10.c4 Nf4 11.c5? Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2 Bg4 13.Rd1 Re8? 13…e5! 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Nxd4 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 e5 16.dxe5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Bxe5 17…Rxe5! doesn’t look natural but actually keeps Black’s advantage. 18.Nc3 Qa5 19.Rac1 Bxc3 In hindsight 19…d4 would have been better. The text move presents White with a small advantage. 20.Qxc3 Qxa2 21.Rxd5 Rad8? The decisive error which makes White’s task easier. 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Ra1 Rd3 This move must be tried, but unfortunately White wins after 24.Qf6! Qxb3 25.Rxa7 Qd1+ 26.Kh2 Rd8 27.Rxb7 27…Rf8 28.c6 Qd5 29.Rd7 Qb5 30.Rd8 Qb6 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Qd6+ Kg7 33.Qe5+ Kh6 34.c7 Qc6 35.Qe7 1-0

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qa5+ threatening 2.Nb3 mate.

This week’s 2-mover is the starter problem for the 2013-14 British Solving Championship. Work out White’s only move (the key) that leaves Black unable to avoid mate next move. Send the solution to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, together with a cheque or postal order for £3 made payable to the British Chess Problem Society. Please provide an e-mail address if you have one. All entries should be postmarked no later than 31st July 2013. Don’t forget to mention that you saw the position in this paper. After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution and a free copy of The Problemist. Those who got the correct solution will also receive the Postal Round, comprising 8 positions of slightly greater difficulty and variety. In due course, the best competitors from the postal round will be invited to the Final at Eton College in February.

British Solving Championship 2014 - Starter problem - a 2-mover.

Cotswold Congress Results

Phil Meade has just sent the prizelist for the recent Cotswold Congress, held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, which featured two notable successes for Exmouth players, namely Mark Abbott’s 3rd place in the Open against some fearsome opposition, and Dave Rogers’ clear 1st in the Major. Well done to them, and all the winners.

Here’s the full prizelist:


1st                Stephen Berry (Wimbledon)               5½

2nd            Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton)    5

3rd=           Mark Abbott (Exmouth)                      4

                    Richard Jones (Swansea)                     4

                    Chris Purry (Frome)                             4

Grading      Geoff Taylor (Gloucester)                   3½

R1 Loser     Dominic Bennett (Bristol & Clifton)   3½

Best Lady   Lynda Roberts (Thornbury)                 1½ 

Major (U-160) 

1st                 David Rogers (Exmouth)                     5

2nd=            Carl Gartside (High Peak)                   4½

                     Megan Owens (Downend & Fishponds)   4½

                    Neil Tomkin (Kings Head)                  4½

Grading       Nigel Dicker (Glastonbury)                 4

                    Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham)          3½

R1 Loser     Mark Forknall (Cheltenham)               4

Best Junior  Oskar Hackner (Rotherham)               2½ 

Minor (U-120) 

1=               Kevin Bendall (Wotton Hall)               5

                   William Curry (Fareham)                     5

3=                Stephen Billett (Portsmouth)               4½

                    Gary Brown (Stroud)                           4½

                    Alan Fraser (Beckenham & Bromley)  4½

Grading       Michael Bolan (Ashtead)                     4

                    Chris Constable (Coulsdon)                 4

                    John Machin (Pudsey)                         3½

R1 Loser     Geoff Gammon (Downend & Fishponds)    3½

Best Junior  Matthew Claypole (Cheltenham)         3½

                    Kyle Reed (Hagley)                              3½

                    Thomas Thorpe (Bristol)                      3½