Posts Tagged ‘Devon chess’
Devon met Hampshire at the weekend and the new venue of Ilchester Town Hall, brought a new result (a 9-7 win) after a series of Devon losses in recent years Devon names first:- 1. S. Homer ½-½ I. Thompson. 2. J Stephens 1-0 W. McDougall. 3.P. Sivrev ½-½ D. Tunks. 4.D. Regis ½-½ C. Bellers. 5.J. Fraser ½-½ P. Cooper. 6.B. Hewson 0-1 D. Fowler. 7. J. Wheeler ½-½ A. McDougall. 8.A. Brusey ½-½ F. McLeod. 9. M. Shaw ½-½ S. Knox. 10.J. Underwood 1-0 D. Thompson. 11.T. Thynne 0-1 C. Priest. 12. W. Ingham 1-0 S. Smith. 13. P. Brooks ½-½ G. Jones. 14. S. Martin 1-0 Miss G, Moore. 15. M. Stinton 0-1 B. Kocan. N. Rahimili 1-0 J. Chilton.
Dr. Underwood’s early win gave Devon an early lead and they were never headed, though the match result still depended on this last game to finish. If White had won, Hampshire would have drawn the match. After a long positional game the game ends suddenly.
White: W. M. McDougall (192). Black: J. K. Stephens (186).
Queen’s Gambit – Slav Defence [D12]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Qb3 Qc8 8.Bd2 Nbd7 9.Rc1 a6 10.Be2 Bd6 11.0–0 Qb8 12.g3 Ne4 13.Nxe4 Bxe4 14.Bb4 0–0 15.f3 Bg6 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rfd1 Nf6 18.Kg2 Bxb4 19.Qxb4 Qc7 20.a4 a5 21.Qb3 Rfe8 22.f4 Rad8 23.Bf3 Qe7 24.c5 Qc7 25.Qc3 Ra8 26.Rb1 Ra7 27.b4 axb4 28.Rxb4 Rea8 29.Qb3 Nd7 30.Rb1 Rb8 31.g4 f6 32.Qc2 Kf7 33.Be2 Rh8 34.Qb3 Rb8 35.Qd3 Rh8 36.Qb3 Rb8 37.Bd1 g5 38.fxg5 fxg5 39.Bc2 Nf6 40.Rf1 Rh8 41.h3 Ke7 42.Bg6 Rh6 43.Qb1 Qd7 44.Rf2 Kd8 45.Rfb2 Kc8 46.Bd3 Qc7 47.Qd1 Kb8 48.Qe2 Ka8 49.Rb1 Rh4 50.Rf1 Ra5 51.Rh1 e5 52.e4 White has 2 minutes left for all his moves yet must avoid losing or the team will miss a vital win. No pressure, then. 52…dxe4 53.Bxe4 exd4 54.Bf3 Qf4 55.Rd1 Rxc5 56.Rdxd4 Qc1 57.Rd8+ Ka7 58.Rbd4 Rc2 59.Rd2 Rxd2 60.Rxd2 Qc5 61.Rb2 Nd5! Having remained stationary for 44 moves the knight springs to the rescue. White sees the threatened fork on f4 but not the even greater danger on h6. 62.Qd2 Nf4+ 63.Kh2 Rxh3# 0–1
The 2nd team match was reduced to four games after Hants defaulted on most boards, handing Devon a 10-2 win. 1. O. Wensley ½-½ T. Chapan. 2. B. Gosling ½-½ K. Steele. 3. A. Kinder ½-½ J. Young. 4.C. Scott ½-½ D. Culliford.
In last week’s position, although Black was a rook down, he had 1…Bb2+! Taking it would leave his queen defenceless, so White has to reply 2.Ka4 to which Black replies 2…b5+ forcing 3.Ka5 allowing 3…Bc3 pinning queen against king so that 4.QxQ is impossible.
With love in the air this weekend, here is a heart-shaped 2-mover by Mrs. Baird (née Winter-Wood) who died in Paignton 90 years ago this month.
Devon have experienced several defeats at the hands of Hampshire in recent years, so it was of some interest to see whether changing the venue from Wincanton to the old Roman town of Ilchester might have some effect on the eventual outcome. Ilchester, the only Roman town in Somerset apart from Aqua Sullis, situated as it is beside the old Fosse Way at its junction with the A303, seems to have changed little since its historic heyday, with the Town Hall probably built on the site of the Roman Forum.
The playing room is comfortable, warm and well-lit, with a small analysis area and kitchen adjacent. The only disadvantage was that it was an upstairs room, making the carrying of equipment somewhat more onerous.
The first result in was a quick draw between former colleagues Regis and Bellers, but closely followed by a win for Jonathan Underwood, and Devon were never headed from then on, although never by more than 1 or 2 points. Eventually, with the last game in progress, Devon led 8-7, but with Stephens down to his last 2 minutes, abandoning his recording and having to move almost instantly in a complex unclear position. Yet somehow he managed to coordinate his remaining 3 pieces, Queen, rook and a knight had hadn’t moved for 44 moves, into a mating net. Match won 9-7.
|Devon 1st||Hampshire 1st|
|1||S. J. Homer||189||½||½||I. D. Thompson||217|
|2||J. K. Stephens||186||1||0||W. M. McDougall||192|
|3||P. D. Sivrev||183||½||½||D. R. Tunks||188|
|4||Dr. D. Regis||180||½||½||C. J. V. Bellers||186|
|5||J. Fraser||180||½||½||P. F. Cooper||182|
|6||B. W. R. Hewson||179||0||1||D. W. Fowler||181|
|7||J. F. Wheeler||176||½||½||A. McDougall||173|
|8||A. W. Brusey||167||½||½||F. N. McLeod||168|
|9||M. Shaw||176||½||½||S. W. Knox||167|
|10||Dr. J. Underwood||171||1||0||D. F. Thompson||160|
|11||T. F. Thynne||166||0||1||C. P. A. Priest||158|
|12||W. H. Ingham||169||1||0||S. J. Smith||158|
|13||P. Brooks||163||½||½||G. A. Jones||158|
|14||S. Martin||166||1||0||Miss G. A. Moore||147|
|15||M. Stinton-Brown.||155||0||1||B. A. Kocan||146|
|16||N. Rahimili||148||1||0||J. I. Chilton||139|
|Devon 2nd||Hampshire 2nd|
|1||O. E. Wensley||157||½||½||T. J. Chapman||135|
|2||B. G. E. Gosling||152||½||½||K. G. Steele||134|
|3||A. S. Kinder||152||½||½||J. G. Young||133|
|4||C. J. Scott||145||½||½||D. Culliford||131|
Here are some views of the match in progress.
Devon took note of Cornwall’s good results this season and fielded a strong team in their match at Ashtorre Rock, Saltash at the weekend, eventually running out 11½ – 4½ winners, a score that rather belies the closeness of the contest. Cornish names first in each pairing:-
1.M. Hassall 0-1 D. Mackle. 2.J. Menadue ½-½ A. Boyne. 3.R. Kneebone ½-½ J. Stephens. 4.S. Bartlett 0-1 T. Paulden. 5.D. Saqui 0-1 P. Sivrev. 6.L. Retallick 0-1 D. Regis. 7.G. Healey 0-1 A. Brusey. 8.T. Slade 1-0 J. Fraser. 9.C. Sellwood 1-0 J. Underwood. 10.G. Trudeau 1-0 M. Shaw. 11.J. Hooker 0-1 B. Hewson. 12.J. Nicholas ½-½ T. Thynne. 13.J. Wilman 0-1 P. Brooks. 14.M. Hill 0-1 W. Ingham. 15.B. Parkin 0-1 N. Rahimili. 16.D. R. Jenkins 0-1 M. Stinton-Brownbridge.
This game from Board 4 demonstrates (a) the importance of acting quickly against the enemy king and (b) the power of the check.
White: S. Bartlett (174). Black: T. J. Paulden (186).
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 a6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5 6.Bd3 Nh6 7.Qf3 c6 8.Nge2 Bg4 9.Qf2 e6 10.Be3 Nd7 11.0–0–0 White chooses to castle long, so Black responds immediately. 11…Qa5 12.h3 Bxe2 13.Bxe2 b5 14.a3 b4 15.Nb1 bxa3 16.Nxa3 Bf8 17.Bd2 Qb6 18.Nb1 Nf5 19.Bc3 c5 20.g4 hxg4 21.hxg4 Rxh1 22.Rxh1 Nxd4 winning a pawn 23.Bxd4 cxd4 24.Nd2 Rb8 25.b3 Ba3+ 26.Kd1? d3 White must do something about his undefended queen, allowing PxB+ next move. 0–1
The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Ke2! forcing 1…Ke3 and then 2.R1c4 mate.
An inter-area match between the Torbay-based South Devon team and Plymouth-based West at the Plymouth Chess Club finished in a win for the hosts, by 6½ – 5½.
This position appears in Grandmaster Glenn Flear’s latest book, Tactimania, (Quality Chess 2011) in which he gives hundreds of instructive positions from his own games. It’s taken from a 1986 game in France against Trefor Thynne, not J. Thynne as given in the book. The whole game was as follows:
White: G. C. Flear. Black: T. F. Thynne. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.0–0 dxc4 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Qxc4 c6 9.Rd1 Nb6 10.Qc2 Bd7 11.Ne5 Rc8 12.Nd3 Nbd5 13.a3 Be8 14.e4 Nc7 15.Nc3 Na6 16.b4 Nh5 17.e5 g6 18.Ne4 Kh8 19.Ndc5 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Qc7 21.Nd6 Rb8 22.Bh6 Rg8 23.g4 Ng7 24.Qc3 b6 25.Rac1 b5 26.Rc2 Ra8 27.Rcd2 Rd8 28.Qf3 Bxd6 29.Rxd6 Ra8 30.Qf6 a5 31.Rd8 Rc8. From this position, how did White now force a win, with a possible mate in 4?
Devon beat Gloucestershire in their match in West Buckland at the weekend, but not by the margin that their overall superior strength might have suggested, the score being 9½-6½. Here are the details – Devon names first.
1.D. Mackle 0-1 J. Stewart.
2.K. W. Derrick 0-1 N. Hosken.
3.A. Boyne 1-0 D. Lambourne.
4.J. K. Stephens 0-1 J. Jenkins.
5.S. J. Homer 1-0 M. Ashworth.
6.D. Regis 0-1 P. J. Meade.
7.A. W. Brusey ½-½ P. Dodwell.
8.J. Underwood 1-0 G. Taylor.
9.M. Shaw ½-½ A. Walker.
10.B. W. R. Hewson ½-½ B. Whitelaw.
11. T. F. Thynne 1-0 P. Baker.
12.P. Brooks 1-0 J. Carterer.
13.G. Body ½-½ A. Richards.
14.W. Ingham 1-0 R. Ashworth.
15.N. Rahimili ½-½ I. Blencowe
16.S. Martin 1-0 P. Bending.
Former Gloucestershire Captain and Bristol League President, Ken Derrick, plays for Devon these days, but provided a bright spot for his former county.
White: N. Hosken (191). Black: K. W. Derrick (206).
Dutch Defence – Leningrad System.
Notes by Ken Derrick.
1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 f5 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.b3 0–0 7.Bb2 c6 8.0–0 Re8 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.Nbd2 e5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.e4 Challenging Black’s “Dutch” f5 pawn. 12…Nc5 12…fxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nc5 seems to be a playable alternative. 13.Rad1 Qc7 14.Nh4 Nfxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 fxe4 17.Qxe4 Bh3 18.Rfe1 Rad8 19.Nf3 Bf5 20.Qe3 Rxd1 21.Rxd1 Bg4 22.Re1 e4 Black had planned 22…Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Qa5 with good counterplay, but couldn’t bring himself to swap off his good bishop. The text accepts the loss of the e-pawn in the hope of benefitting from the weak white squares around the king. 23.Bxg7 Qxg7 24.Nd2 Bf5 25.f3 Bringing further pressure against the isolated pawn. 25…Qb2 26.a4? 26.Nxe4 was better. 26…Rd8? Too hasty – missing the chance to justify his 22nd move. If 26…Bh3! the e4 pawn cannot be taken. 27.Nxe4 Bxe4 28.Qxe4 Rf8 Black could not regain his pawn with 28…Qxb3 because he would lose his rook to 29.Qe6+ Kf8 (Or 29…Kh8 30.Qf6+) 30.Qe7+; 28…Rd2?? hands White a forced mate. 29.Qe3 Qf6 30.Kg2 Kg7 31.Qe5 Rf7 32.f4 Rd7 33.Kf3 Rd3+ 34.Re3 Rxe3+?? 35. Kxe3 1-0 Lack of time caused this oversight. The resulting K+P ending is an easy win for White.
Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.Ba7! threatening 2.RxR mate, and if 1…RxR then 2. PxR=Q mate.
In this position, White is 2 pieces down, but at least his forces are active. Can he force the issue before Black completes his piece development?
Exmouth’s first match of the season was a home encounter vs Tiverton. It involves 4 players whose grades total U-640, and on this occasion the teams could hardly have been more closely matched.
Exmouth lost the toss, and it went downhill from there on. First, Simon Bartlett, who has been having an excellent spell in recent months, overcame his opponent in 26 moves. Steve Murray lost a piece on move 15 and Duckham gradually got a stranglehold on the position, not allowing his opponent any counter-play. This left Abbott and Gosling trying to rescue the match without having any positional or material advantages, much too tall an order given the strength of the opposition. Eventually, both did well to hang on for a draw at about the 50-move mark.
|Devon Div. 2||Mamhead Cup|
|1||Meyrick Shaw||172||0||1||Simon Bartlett||174|
|2||Mark Abbott||165||½||½||Brian Hewson||165|
|3||Brian Gosling||151||½||½||Ivor Annetts||152|
|4||Steve Murray||148||0||1||Jon Duckham||146|
Devon’s Team Blitz Tournament was held on Sunday at the Newton Abbot Club and there were several prizewinners. Overall winners were Newton Abbot “A” who took the Thomas Cup. Teignmouth “A” won the Hodge Cup for the highest score by a team with a total grade of Under-600, while Newton Abbot “B” took the cup for U-450s. The only undefeated team was Exmouth Eagles whose Meyrick Shaw took the new trophy for the highest individual score.
A new Plymouth-based organisation has recently started operations in the westcountry, although their ambitions stretch far beyond these shores. They are called Mind Sports International, a subsidiary of Living it Loving it Ltd., and their aim is to harness modern technologies like web TV and live streaming to tournaments involving chess, scrabble, poker etc. making them more accessible to a viewing public. Their ultimate goal is to have 12 festivals happening every year – 4 in Europe, 4 in North America and 4 across Asia and the rest of the World. They have events planned for Las Vegas and Prague in December but much nearer to home is one to be held at Plymouth Guildhall on the 16th & 17th November involving a range of games including chess. Visit their website (mindsportsinternational.com) to find out more.
The 14th Senior Congress at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, starts a week on Monday. Entries are filling up fast, but there is still space for a few latecomers. For details contact me on 01395-223340.
Here is a game by the winner of last year’s Bournemouth Congress.
White: David Howell. Black: Francis Rayner
English Opening [A34]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e5 5.d4 cxd4 6.exd4 e4 7.Ne5 Bb4 8.Be2 0–0 9.0–0 Re8 10.Bf4 d6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Qa4 c5 13.Rad1 Bd7 14.Qb3 Qb6 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.Rd6 Qa5 17.Rxf6 gxf6 18.Nd5 Kh8 19.Nxf6 Bd2 20.Qg3 Bxf4 21.Qxf4 White now finishes off in style. 21…Re7 22.Qh6 Bf5 23.Nh5 Black is now faced with mate on g7 or losing his rook to 24.Qf6+ 1–0
The general rule is that knights should avoid getting stuck on the edge of the board where they tend to be least effective, (“knights on the rim are dim”) but in the case of last week’s problem 1.Nd1! was, in fact, the key move, as Black has no way of avoiding all the various mates next move.
In this position, White has an easy knight fork that wins the exchange, but there may be a quicker way to finish the game off.
Devon’s Team Blitz Tournament was again hosted by the Newton Abbot Club, with 10 teams competing for a record number of trophies. 12 minutes per player per game.
Newton Abbot’s 1st team, the Abbots, and previous winners, Exmouth Eagles, were the two top-rated teams by some margin , and their final position, after 6 rounds, reflected this. The Eagles’ consolation was to be the only undefeated team and to win the new Best Individual trophy, going to Meyrick Shaw for his 5 wins and a draw. Top-graded Dominic Mackle was denied a maximum score by losing to Kevin Hurst of the Eagles. Other players on 5/6 were Paul Brookes, Chris Scott, Alan Brusey, Trefor Thynne & Andrew Kinder.
The scratch team, Exmouth Egrets underperformed. They had regrets – but then again, too few to mention.
The event was organised by Trefor Thynne (Newton Abbot) and controlled by Ray Chubb (Teignmouth). Refreshments were provided by Mrs. Mackle and friend.
Here is a summary of the results. Photographs will appear a.s.a.p..
|1st||Newton Abbot Abbots||698||19½||Thomas Cup||Highest team score|
|2nd||Exmouth Eagles||675||17||Knight Trophy||Highest individual score|
|3rd=||Teignmouth “A”||594||14||Hodge Cup||Best U-600 team score|
|3rd=||Newton Abbot Nunns||432||14||Graded Cup||Best U-450 team score|
|5th=||Torquay Boys’ G. S.||465||13½|
|1||N. A. Abbots||vs ►||8||5||6||2||4||3|
|3||T. F. Thynne||165||1||1||0||1||1||1||5|
|2||Exm. Eagles||1||K. J. Hurst||184||0||0||1||1||½||0||2½|
|3||T. L. Slade||162||1||1||1||0||1||0||4|
|4||C. J. Scott||142||1||½||½||1||1||1||5|
|3||Teignmouth A||1||A. W. Brusey||181||1||1||1||1||1||0||5|
|2||J. G. Gorodi||157||0||0||1||1||1||½||3½|
|4||N. F. Tidy||123||0||½||1||1||1||0||3½|
|4||N. A. Nunns||1||A. Kinder||150||1||1||1||1||0||1||5|
|5||T. B. G. S.||1||J. Fraser||167||1||0||0||1||1||1||4|
|2||I. S. Annetts||152||1||1||½||1||0||1||4½|
|3||K. P. Atkins||143||1||0||1||1||0||1||4|
|2||R. H. Jones||132||0||1||1||0||0||½||2½|
|10||Teignmouth B||1||M. Rickard||102||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
In spite of several key absentees, Somerset managed to inflict a heavy defeat over rivals Devon last Saturday, by 10½ – 5½.
Devon names first: 1. D. Mackle 0-1 P. Krzyzanowski. 2. A. Boyne 0-1 P. Chaplain. 3. J. Stephens 0-1 D. LIttlejohns. 4. S. Homer 0-1 M. Payne. 5. T. Paulden 0-1 A. Wong. 6. P. Medina 1-0 C. Purry. 7. K. Hurst 0-1 A. Footner. 8. D. Regis 1-0 J. Fewkes. 9. A. Brusey 0-1 G. Crockart. 10. J. Underwood 0-1 P. Cusick. 11. B. Hewson 0-1 G. Jepps. 12. J. Fraser 1-0 D. Peters. 13. T. Thynne 1-0 A. Champion. 14. P. Brooks 0-1 M. Baker. 15. G. Body 1-0 D. Freeman. 16. S. Martin ½-½ N. Senior.
Devon fared better in the 2nd team match, winning 8-4. 1. J. Gorodi 1-0 C. McKinley. 2. M. Stinton-Brownbridge 1-0 R. Knight. 3. A. Kinder 0-1 C. Strong. 4. I. Annetts ½-½ T. West. 5. B. Gosling ½-½ U. Effiong. 6. J. Duckham 1-0 G. Daniel. 7. S. Murray ½-½ R. Challoner. 8. K. Atkins 0-1 C. Fewtrell. 9. R. Wilby 1-0 J. Wilkinson. 10. N. Mills ½-½ S. Pickard. 11. P. Dobber 1-0 N. Mills. 12. W. Taylor 1-0 R. Fenton.
This win by a Bath University student was an impressive start to his Westcountry chess career.
White: S. J. Homer (188). Black: M. J. Payne (184).
French Defence – Guimard Var. [C04]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Bd3 f6 7.Ng5 “Beware Greeks bearing gifts” – Black would be in terrible trouble if he took the knight e.g. 7…fxg5 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Bxg6+ Ke7 10.Qxg5+ forcing 10…Nf6 11.Qxf6+ Kd7 12.Qxh8 etc. 7…Ndxe5 Black can afford to ease the pressure by taking on e5, and also releasing d7 for his king, if required. 8.dxe5 fxg5 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Bxg6+ Kd7 11.Bd3 Nxe5 12.Nf3 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 h6 14.0–0 Bd6 15.Bd2 Qf8 White is much better developed at this point, but now helps Black’s cause. 16.Qg4 Kd8 17.f4 e5 18.f5 Qf6 19.h4 e4 20.hxg5 Qd4+ 21.Rf2 Bc5 22.Raf1 exd3 23.Qh5 dxc2 24.Bc1 Bxf5 Black’s bishops proceed to work well from the centre of the board. 25.g6 Qg4 26.g7 Rg8 27.Qf7 Be6 28.Qf6+ Kd7 29.Bxh6 Bd4 White must now exchange his queen and lose a rook. 0–1
Probably the shortest ever game in the history of the championship was this one. White: D. Freeman (151). Black: G. Body (160). 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Nxe5?? Qa5+ winning the knight 0-1.
In last week’s position, White can win immediately with 1.Kc3 when 2.Qb2 mate cannot be avoided.
This week’s position is a hitherto unpublished 2-mover by reader David Howard of East Harptree.
In their annual match in the WECU Inter-County Championship, Somerset were weakened by the absence of their top player, Jack Rudd and team Captain, Ben Edgell, both attending a crucial ECF meeting. Any pre-match hopes that Devon might have nurtured about the possibility of a rare win were stoked by the fact that they outgraded their opponents on every single one of the 28 boards. Added to that, Somerset gifted their opponents an early point after a few minutes, when Darren Freeman blundered a piece on move 5 and resigned immediately, creating what must surely be the shortest game in the history of the competition. What an opportunity!
However, it was all downhill for Devon from then onwards as they contrived to lose game after game using a variety of methods; weak opening moves, blunders losing a piece or overstepping the time control. Somerset won 9 of the top 11 games, a remarkable sequence. The concession of 3 losses on the lower boards did little to lighten the gloom for Devon. There was an impressive performance by a Somerset newcomer, Matthew J. Payne, recently enrolled at Bath University and formerly of Worthing and a product of the Sussex Juniors chess machine. His grade of 184 is 12 points up from his January grade, indicating he’s on a steep upward trajectory, backed up by his 195 rapidplay grade. He’s one to watch.
Devon’s U-160 team fared much better, losing only 2 of their 12 games, and running out 8 – 4 winners.
|Devon 1||Grd||Somerset 1||Grd|
|1||D. Mackle||204||0||1||P. Krzyzanowski||197|
|2||A. K. Boyne||197||0||1||P. E. Chaplin||190|
|3||J. K. Stephens||190||0||1||D. P. Littlejohns||186|
|4||S. J. Homer||188||0||1||M. J. Payne||184|
|5||Dr. T. Paulden||186||0||1||A. V. Wong||181|
|6||P. Medina||180||1||0||C. S. Purry||177|
|7||K. J. Hurst||184||0||1||A. F. Footner||176|
|8||Dr. D. Regis||176||1||0||J. E. Fewkes||163|
|9||A. W. Brusey||181||0||1||G. N. Crockart||162|
|10||Dr. J. Underwood||172||0||1||P. W. Cusick||159|
|11||B. W. R. Hewson||165||0||1||G. N. Jepps||156|
|12||J. Fraser||163||1||0||D. Peters||156|
|13||T. F. Thynne||165||1||0||A. W. Champion||156|
|14||P. Brooks||167||0||1||M. R. Baker||152|
|15||G. Body||160||1||0||D. Freeman||151|
|16||S. Martin||162||½||½||N. N. Senior||149|
|Devon U-160||Somerset U-160|
|1||J. G. Gorodi||159||1||0||C. J. S. McKinley||148|
|2||M. Stinton-Brown.||158||1||0||R. D. Knight||148|
|3||A. S. Kinder||150||0||1||C. M. Strong||144|
|4||I. S. Annetts||152||½||½||T. West||138|
|5||B. G. E. Gosling||151||½||½||U. Effiong||137|
|6||J. Duckham||146||1||0||G. Daniel||137|
|7||J. S. Murray||148||½||½||R. Challoner||136|
|8||K. P. Atkins||142||0||1||C. Fewtrell||130|
|9||R. G. Wilby||141||1||0||J. I. Wilkinson||125|
|10||N. Mills||140||½||½||S. Pickard||122|
|11||P. Dobber||136||1||0||N. Mills||124|
|12||W. R. P. Taylor||136||1||0||R. Fenton||121|
John Doidge passed away recently at the age of 78, his funeral service being held at Torquay on 26th June.
He was born in Tavistock, the 3rd son of Edith and Charles Doidge, who themselves had been born in the town. The older brother died in infancy and John was brought up with his brother Bill. A fourth boy, David, appeared nine years later, about nine months after a family holiday to Falmouth.
John went to Tavistock Grammar School, where he won school colours at football, hockey, athletics, cricket (at which he was vice captain) and becoming school cross-country champion.
On leaving school he joined the South West Electricity Board as a junior clerk, and on subsequently being called up to do National Service he opted for the R.A.F. where he greatly enjoyed the opportunities this offered. At the end of the 2 years he was offered a commission by the R.A.F. but his parents could not afford the expenses involved, so he had to return to his job at SWEB.
At this time he became an expert at English country dancing and was recognised as a teacher of the art by the County Council.
At the age of 21, he was appointed Assistant Manager of a Tavistock firm of coal merchants. The manager was a keen chess player and introduced John to the game and the town club that met at Perraton’s Café in The Square. The members included an extraordinary trio of elderly siblings originally from the West Midlands, George Hadgkiss and his two spinster sisters, all of whom were strong players and lived together. Tavistock teams at this time often consisted of the three Hadgkisses, John and any one other. By 1960, John had succeeded D. H. Treloar, as club secretary.
In 1966 he left the coal business and returned to the Tavistock branch of SWEB, staying with them until his retirement in 1990. He had married for the first time in 1962 and a son, Stephen, was born the following year.
Alongside his chess, he continued to play cricket and was at times secretary, treasurer and chairman of the Whitchurch Wayfarers club, situated in the grounds of Whitchurch House, near Tavistock, and was secretary of the Tavistock Cricket Club from 1972 – 76. During this period he was largely responsible for getting the Gloucestershire team to play at the club. In one particular match, he was picked to play against a representative XI and, when the legendary Ken Barrington came in to bat, (131 innings for England at an average nearly 60), John dropped him first ball. He consoled himself with the knowledge that the crowd had come to see Barrington bat, not hole out in the deep.
John was made Manager of the Tavistock branch of SWEB and, such was the esteem in which he was held by the community, was invited to apply to become a magistrate. He was not selected but at the same time he was invited to join the Board of Visitors at Dartmoor Prison. This was an independent body reporting directly to the Home Secretary, and with a magisterial function within the prison. The prison had an almost legendary status in the national consciousness in general and the criminal fraternity in particular, although at this time it had been downgraded to a Category B institution, one level down from the very hardest regime. During his 13 years in this role, he became very involved not only in the magisterial side of the job, but also the parole side and other committees set up by the Home Office. In 1990 he was invited by Kenneth Baker, the then Home Secretary, to become Chairman of the Board, a position he held until he retired in 1993.
During his first week as Chairman, he was phoned by the prison governor to say prisoners were staging a sit-in in the exercise yard. John came in and prepared a report for the Home Office on how it was being dealt with. There is no suggestion that the protests were anything to do with John’s appointment, but 8 weeks later a full scale riot broke out, and John and his colleagues spent many weeks monitoring the situation and making recommendations to the Government. Eventually, he was called to give evidence to the Lord Justice Wolfe Inquiry that was looking into the prison unrest of the time, including those in Manchester Strangeways.
In 1984 his marriage broke up after 25 years, a period of great sadness, brought to a sudden end the following year when he met Elizabeth whom he married in 1986. Incidentally, Elizabeth was a twin, one of 5 sets of twins all on the roll at the small Kingsteignton Primary School, a fact that excited a certain amount of interest in the national press at the time. Another set was the identical Les and John Nicks, well-known to the writer.
After this marriage he was offered the managership at Paignton SWEB. In 1990 they made him a retirement offer he couldn’t refuse, as it enabled him to take on the onerous Dartmoor job. Later in the1990s he started to get heart problems, with a heart attack in 1997 and another in 1999. Even with a pacemaker fitted in 2000 he had to take it easy.
However, he couldn’t stay inactive for long and in 2005 the Newton Abbot Chess Club was revived after many years and his former interest was rekindled. In no time at all he was elected the Club’s Competition Secretary and Secretary of the Torbay League. He wrote a monthly chess column for the Torbay Herald, and when the British Championships came to Torquay in 2009, he cooperated with the events Publicity Officer in filing a daily article for the paper. In 2011 he became Competition Secretary of the Devon County Chess Association.
At this time he found he had developed cancer of the oesophagus, untreatable because of his other conditions, an illness bravely borne.
All his chess activities were characterised by his conscientiousness in wanting to do a thoroughly good job of the task in hand, and I suspect his many other roles were done to exactly the same level.