December 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘Devon chess’

Devon Successes at World Seniors’ Championships (28.11.2015.)

Acqui Terme, midway between Genoa and Turin, is said to be one of the prettiest towns in Italy, and for most of November has been hosting the World Seniors Chess Championships. The bulk of the English entry in the one hundred strong 50–65 yrs section, was made up of three adopted Devonians; Keith Arkell (Paignton), who came 1st= last year, Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth) and Brian Hewson (Tiverton). This time, however, Arkell (4th seed) couldn’t quite maintain his previous form and finished 12th= on 7/11 points, and not very far behind him were Shaw (60th seed) 30th= on 6 pts and Hewson (53rd seed), 45th= on 5½, which made Shaw’s the stand-out performance. In Rd. 1 he was paired against a Grandmaster.

White: M. Shaw (2020). Black: GM Jens  Kristianson (2420).

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 4.Nbd2 Bb7 5.c3 Be7 6.Qc2 c5 7.e4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Normally one would retake towards the centre with  8.cxd4 but the text is slightly better. 8…Nc6 9.Nxc6 Bxc6 10.Rd1 0–0 11.Bd3 Nh5 12.Bg3 h6 13.Nc4 Nxg3 14.hxg3 This time it’s appropriate to take towards the centre as it opens the h-file, allowing the rook to focus on the enemy king’s position. 14…Qc7 15.f4 d6 16.Ne3 Bringing forces over to the kingside. 16…Rad8 17.Qe2 Qb7 18.Ng4 Rfe8 The critical position 19.Rd2? White missed the chance of a possible win if he had proceeded with his sacrificial attack immediately.19…e5 Black would like to bring his bishop to g5 with the dual purposes of shoring up his defences and attacking along the dark diagonal. 20.Nxh6+! gxh6 21.Qg4+ Kh7 22.Qf5+ The king must remain in contact with his h-pawn. For example, if 22…Kg7 22…Kg8 23.Rxh6 and White has a number of different mating combinations. 23.Qg4+ Kh7 24.Qf5+ Drawn by forced repetition of moves. A good start in the tournament for the club player. His Rd. 7 game went like this:

White: M. Shaw (2020). Black: Brian McLaren (2176)

Dutch Defence [A80]

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 e6 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.c4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 0–0 9.Qb3 d6 10.c5 Bd5 11.c4 Be4 12.cxd6 cxd6 13.Be2 Nc6 14.Qa3 A double hit on d6. 14…e5 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Black has lost a pawn so far in these exchanges and seeks to catch up, but there’s an old adage about the danger of snatching at knights’ pawns. 17…Bxg2 18.Rg1 Bc6 19.Rd1 Suddenly all White’s pieces have long files and diagonals to exploit. 19…Qc8 20.Qd6 Ne8 21.Qh6! piling on the pressure. 21…Qb7 22.Bh5 Qe7 23.Qxc6 Qxe5 24.Qxa8 Qxh2 25.Rh1 1-0 Black is a whole rook down with no compensation.

Last week’s 2-mover was solved by 1.f4! and if Black tries to prevent 2.Qe4 mate with 1…Rh5, it allows 2.Bf3 mate.

Simon Bartlet (Newquay) and Andrew Footner (Yeovil) are regulars on the congress circuit, and here they are at the Paignton Congress in 2003. Bartlett (W) has had his opponent on the back foot for some time, but is still a pawn down. How can he win immediately?

White to play and win.

Winning Devon Game (01.08.2015.)

This was Devon’s top win in their recent National U-180 Final, and was the last game to finish in a tense finale. Mark was the only player to win all three of his games in the National Stages, a fine performance.

White: M. V. Abbott (171). Black: C. Mackenzie (175).

Nimzo-Indian Defence [E49]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3 0–0 9.Ne2 b6 10.0–0 Ba6 11.f3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Re8 13.Ng3 Nc6 14.Bb2 c4 15.Qd2 Qd7 16.Rae1 Re6 17.Bc1? Better might be 17.e4 threatening the knight. 17…Ne8 (17…dxe4 18.fxe4). 17…Rae8 18.Qc2 b5? 19.e4 a5 20.e5 Qa7 21.Qf2 Nd7 22.f4 b4 23.f5 R6e7 24.f6 Re6 25.fxg7 White could bring pressure to bear after 25.Nh5 bxc3 26.Be3 g6 27.Qf4 Kh8 28.Ng7 Nd8 29.Rf3 Rg8 30.Rh3 Nf8 31.Nxe6 Ndxe6 32.Qf3 etc. 25…Ndxe5 Black sacrifices a piece in order to (a) get some activity for his pieces, and (b) create a 4-2 queenside pawn majority. 26.dxe5 Qxf2+ 27.Rxf2 Nxe5 28.Ref1 bxc3 29.Nh5 R8e7 If 29…d4 30.Nf6+ Rxf6 31.Rxf6 d3 32.Bg5 d2 30.Nf6+ Kxg7 31.Nxd5 Rb7 32.Nf4 Rd6 33.Nh5+ Kf8 34.Nf6 Nd3 35.Bh6+ Ke7 36.Re2+ Kd8 37.Re8+ Kc7 38.Re7+ Kc6 39.Rxb7? 39.Re4 Nb2 40.Bg5. 39…Kxb7 40.Be3 Re6 41.Rb1+ Kc8 42.Nd5 c2 43.Rf1 Kd7 43…Rxe3 44.Nxe3 c1Q 45.Rxc1 Nxc1 46.Nxc4 Nb3 44.Bc1 Kc6 45.Nc3 Kc5 46.Rf5+? Kc6? Better is 46…Kd4 as White’s king needs to be up in support of his dangerous pawns. 47.Rf1 Can Black now start to exploit his passed pawns, or will White’s extra piece be enough to prevent this? It’s a close call. 47…Kc5 48.Bd2 Kd4 49.Nb5+ Kc5 50.Nc3 Kd4 51.Na2 Re2? 52.Bxa5 Re7 53.Bb6+ Ke4 54.a4 Rb7 55.a5 f5 56.g3 h5 57.Kg2 h4 58.Nc3+ Ke5 59.Ne2 hxg3 60.hxg3 Ke4 61.Nc3+ Ke5 62.Ne2 Ke4 63.Nc1 Nxc1 64.Rxc1 Kd3 65.Kf3 Kc3 If 65.Kd2 in support of the forward pawn, there follows 66.Be3+ Kc3 67.a6 and Black has lost time. 66.Be3 Rd7 67.a6 Kb2 68.Ke2 Re7 69.Rf1 c3 70.Kd3 Rd7+ 71.Ke2 Re7 72.a7 Re8 73.Kd3 Rd8+ 74.Kc4 Rc8+ 75.Kb5 Re8 76.Bc1+ Kb3 77.Bf4 Kb2 78.Bb8 c1=Q 79.Rxc1 Kxc1 80.a8=Q The 4th queen of the game – will there be the chance of a 5th? Re2 81.Qh1+ Kb2 82.Bf4 c2 So near and yet so far. 83.Qc1+ Kb3 84.Bd6 Re6 85.Qa3 mate.

The British Championships started at Warwick University on Monday and finish next Friday. Games may be followed live on the event website, as well as updates results in all sections. There are 74 entrants in the top section, with local interest focussing on K. Arkell (Paignton – 4th seed); J. Rudd (Bideford – 18th); J. Menadue (Truro – 52nd ); T. Slade (Marhamchurch – 64th) and M. Ashworth (Gloucester – 69th).

In last week’s position, White may have allowed his queen to be taken because he could see the combination 1.Nf6+ forcing gxf6 and then 2.Bf7 mate.

Here is a conventional 2-mover by Arthur Ford Mackenzie (1861 – 1905). This is one for serious solvers.

White to mate in 2

Devon’s Narrow Loss in National Final (11.04.2015.)

Devon got close to getting a result against Middlesex on Saturday in the final of the National Under-180 Championship at Warwick, but fell tantalisingly short, finishing the losers by 7½-8½. The details were as follows (Devon names first in each pairing);

1. J. Underwood (180) ½-½ M. Tasker (187). 2. D. Regis (181) ½-½ C. Nettleton (169). 3. A. Brusey (181) 0-1 N. Chan (179). 4. B. W. Hewson (176) ½-½ I. Calvert (176). 5. S. Martin (175) 1-0 M. Crichton (176). 6. M. Abbott (171) 1-0 C. Mackenzie (175). 7. M. Shaw (173) ½-½ R. Kane (173). 8. W. Ingham (168) ½-½ W. Taylor (173). 9. M. Stinton-Brownbridge (168) ½-½ M. Dydak (170). 10. S. Dean (167) ½-½ G. Dickson (167). 11. K. Atkins (160) 0-1 A. Fulton (173). 12. N. Butland (158)  0-1 L. Fincham (166). 13. I. Annetts (157) ½-½ D. White (165). 14. O. Wensley (151) 0-1 C. Kreuzer. (167). 15. C. Scott (154) ½-½ J. Kay (160). 16. P. Brooks (152) 1-0 L. Boy (159).

It’s almost inevitable that in such a tense situation players on both sides will let the pressure get to them and mistakes will follow, as in this game. Notes based on those by the winner.

White: M. Crighton (176). Black: Steve Martin  (175).

English Opening – 4 Knights Var. [A29]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Bc5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 Re8 7.d3 h6 8.Nd2 d6 9.Nde4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Bb6 11.Nc3 a6 Black is trying to limit the scope of White’s minor pieces. 12.a3 Rb8 Defending the b-pawn before developing his other bishop. 13.b4 Bg4 14.h3 Bh5 15.Kh2 Bd4 16.Bd2 f5 Black is trying to build kingside pressure. 17.Rc1 Ne7 en route to the kingside. 18.Qe1 c6 Blocking the white-square bishop and so releasing Black’s rooks. 19.e3 Ba7 20.e4 Bg6 Also playable was 20…fxe4 21.f4 Qd7 22.Be3 Bxe3 23.Qxe3 Rbd8 White stands slightly better at this stage as his pieces are less constricted. 24.Rcd1 Kh7 25.Rf2 Ng8? The idea was to open the file for the rook to threaten the queen and give his knight a good post on c6, but White’s rooks are becoming more active. 26.Rdf1 exf4 27.Qxf4 fxe4 28.Nxe4 Re5 Although White looks threatening on the f-file it is difficult to see how he can break through with f7 defended by the bishop. 29.c5 Overlooked by Black. It loosens Black’s grip on the centre who responds by giving up his best defender. 29…Bxe4 30.Bxe4+ Kh8 31.cxd6? Better was 31.d4. 31…Qxd6 32.Qh4 Ree8 33.Rf7 33…Rf8 White now has mating chances e.g. 34.Qg4 Rxf7 35.Rxf7 Qe5 36.Qg6 Qb2+ 37.Kg1 Qc1+ 38.Rf1 etc.  But the strain of 5 hours concentration does strange things to one’s brain. 34.Qxd8?? White had assumed Black would retake with the queen and completely overlooked the rook. 34…Rxd8  0–1.

Last week’s game ended with 1.Bxh7+

Kxh7 2.Qh4+ Kg8 3.Ng5 and Black resigned in view of 3…g6 4.Rd7 and Black must lose his queen.

In this position, Black is lined up to either mate on h2 or win the bishop on b2, but it’s not his move. What can White do about it?

Can White avoid defeat?

So Near – So Far For Devon U-180 Team

Having got through the Quarter- & Semi-Finals of the National U-180 Inter-County Championships, Devon met Middlesex in the final at Warwick yesterday, and a tense affair it proved to be.

Team Captain, Brian Hewson, tells the story of the afternoon thus:- 

Unfortunately Devon lost 7.5-8.5. We were outgraded on the bottom 6 boards and half way through the match we looked like losing by more. We were 2 down with half the games complete; draws from Annetts, Ingham, myself, Shaw, Scott and Underwood but losses for Atkins and Wensley. Then Steve Martin won, Dean and Stinton-Brownbridge drew and Paul Brooks won. So we were level with 4 to play. Unfortunately boards 2,3 and 12 looked dodgy and Mark Abbott was in an intense battle despite being a piece up as his opponent had a pawn on the 7th. However Dave Regis pulled off a draw but then Alan Brusey lost. That left us with the prospect that if Mark won and Nick Butland drew we would win 8-8 on board count. Unfortunately Nick, despite a valiant effort, could not hold his game. Mark eventually won his tough game with a throng of players onlooking.  

I was able to present the Team’s Best Board Trophy for the season as a whole to Jonathan Underwood at the event. Jonathan travelled a long way for every match, showing great commitment and achieved a very good 6.5/8 in the season, with no losses, on the high boards. 

I would like all those who played and endured the long journey to Warwick and a very long tiring day.

Details of individual results at the end of this report.

Brian Hewson (r) presents DCCA's Best Player trophy to Dr. Jonathan Underwood before the match.

Underwood (l) gets down to some serious thought.


The details were as follows:

    DEVON  Grd Score   Score MIDDLESEX Grd
1 B Underwood, Jon 180 ½   ½ Tasker, Michael 187
2 W Regis, David 181 ½   ½ Nettleton, Charlie 169
3 B Brusey, Alan W 181 0   1 Chan, Nevil 179
4 W Hewson, Brian 176 ½   ½ Calvert, D Ian 176
5 B Martin, Steven 175 1   0 Crichton, Martin 176
6 W Abbott, Mark V 171 1   0 Mackenzie, Colin 175
7 B Shaw, Meyrick 173 ½   ½ Kane, Robert 173
8 W Ingham,  William 168 ½   ½ Taylor, William J 173
9 B Stinton-B, Michael 168 ½   ½ Dydak, Mateusz 170
10 W Dean, Steve K 167 ½   ½ Dickson, George 167
11 B Atkins, Keith P 160 0   1 Fulton, Anthony 173
12 W Butland, Nick J 158 0   1 Fincham, Leon 166
13 B Annetts, Ivor S 157 ½   ½ White, David J 165
14 W Wensley, Oliver 151 0   1 Kreuzer, Chris 167
15 B Scott, Chris J 154 ½   ½ Kay, Jonathan 160
16 W Brooks, Paul 152 1   0 Boy Lazoni, Victor 159

Devon Reach National U-180 Final (13.06.2015.)

On Sunday, Devon met Lancashire at Worcester in the semi-final of the Inter-County Championship U-180 grade section. It was a close match that finished 8-8, with 4 wins to each team and 8 drawn games. As replays are not possible a tie-break rule called board count is invoked. Under this system the score of the bottom game is discounted, until a clear winner emerges. As Lancs won the game on Bd. 16, that win was eliminated, leaving Devon the winners, going through to the Final in Warwick on July 4th.  The details were: (Devon names 2nd in each pairing) 1. J. Cooper ½-½ Dr. J. Underwood. 2. S. Riley 1-0 Dr. D. Regis. 3. R. Newton 0-1 A. Brusey. 4. M. Whitehead ½-½ B. W. R. Hewson. 5. M. Parker 0-1 S. Martin. 6. P. Jackson 0-1 M. Abbott. 7. R. Ashcroft  ½-½ M. Shaw. 8. J. Lyth ½-½ W. Ingham. 9. A. Clarkson 1-0 M. Stinton-Brownbridge. 10. C. Rutlidge ½-½ K. P. Atkins. 11. P. Taylor 0-1 Dr. D.Toms. 12. R.Collins ½-½ O. E. Wensley. 13. D. Owen ½-½ C. J. Scott. 14. C. Fisher ½-½ P. Brooks. 15. W. O’Rourke 1-0 A. Kinder. 16. N. Jayawarna 1-0 V. Ramesh.

The ending to last week’s game was 1…Rxc3+ smashing open the White king’s position. If 2.b2xc3 then Ba3 is mate.

The Hungarian Laszlo Polgar was an assiduous collector of chess material that he used in the early tuition of his 3 daughters, Susan, Sofia and Judith. He later published this material in two large tomes, one on problem-like mates and another on winning middlegame combinations, the latter consisting of 4,158 positions in its 1,015 pages. From it, this position caught my eye, marked up only as “Aitken – Keffler: Newquai 1951”. This sparked a hunt for the actual game score from which the diagram was taken. I guessed it probably referred to a West of England Championship, held at the Penolver Hotel, Newquay at Easter 1951, but the problem was that neither Aitken nor Keffler played in that event. However, the Championship did return there 3 years later, and Aitken became joint champion with A. R. B. Thomas. Thomas was unbeaten but Aitken did lose one game – in Rd. 4 to Peter Yvon Keffler, then of Somerset. Polgar simply got the year wrong. The full game score, taken from the souvenir bulletin, was as follows:

White: J. M. Aitken. Black: P. Y. Keffler.

Sicilian Defence – Dragon Var. [B70]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.e5 Nd7 10.Bxc6 Rb8 11.exd6 0–0 12.0–0 Ne5 13.dxe7 Qxe7 14.Bg2 Bg4 15.Qe1 Rfe8 16.Qe3 Qd7 17.Qf4 Bh3 18.Rd1 (see diagram). White is 2 pawns up and this seems a natural enough move as it (a) unpins the fianchetto bishop (b) develops the rook and (c) attacks Black’s queen. But it’s not quite as good as it looks, as Keffler now demonstated. Peter Keffler now lives in Suffolk, aged 92, and plays for the Braille Chess Association.

Black to play and win by force

Frome Congress Prizewinners. (30.05.2015.)

The Frome Congress was held successfully recently with the following emerging as winners: Open Section:

1st= Matthew Turner (Millfield) &
Gediminas Sarakauskas (Guildford)

(4½/5). 3rd= Jane Richmond (Brown Jack), Jeremy Fallowfield (Stourbridge), Stephen Whatley (Millfield) & Allan Pleasants (Weymouth) 3½. British Championship Qualifying Places went to Fallowfield, Jeremy Menadue (Truro) & Sam Gower (South Bristol), who also got a grading prize.  

Major (U-165): 1st= M. Wilson (Torquay), A. Rossiter (Bristol Cabot), P. Jackson (Coulsdon) all 4. U-146 Grading Prizes: S. Williams (Cwmbran). Intermediate (U-140): 1st C. Snook-Lumb (Clevedon) 4½. 2nd= K. Osborne (Lewes), D. Agostinelli (Southampton), R. Rowland (London) all 4. Grading Prize U-129: A. Sage (Bath). Minor (U-115): 1st M. Cockerton (Torquay) 4½. 2nd= G. Ford (Salisbury), C. Gardiner (Falmouth), I. Stringer (Yeovil), M. Davidson (Wimbourne) & J. Macdonald (Kings Head) all 4. Grading Prizes: U-105: B. Childs (Lerryn). U-91: M. Watson (Taunton). The highest-placed Somerset players were as follows: Open: M. Turner. Major: A. Gregory (Bath). Intermediate: C. Snook-Lumb. Minor: Ivan Stringer.

Team Prizes: Millfield: (T. & E. Goldie, Whatley & French) & Yeovil 2. (A. Footner, R. Knight, T. & A.  Alsop).

Games from the event were not available at the press deadline, but here is a sample of the 37 year old Latvian’s play from the 2012 London Classic.

White: Gediminas Sarakauskas (2408). Black: Arianne Caoili (2202).

Ruy Lopez – Chigorin Defence. [C96]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 Taking the proffered e-pawn generally leads to an open game in which Black can get into a tangle trying to hang on to his extra pawn. 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 This constitutes the Chigorin Defence.11.d4 White’s almost automatic response. 11…Nd7 12.dxc5 dxc5 13.Nbd2 Qc7 14.Nf1 Rd8 15.Ne3 Nb6 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 f6 18.Nh4 Facing the threat of Qd3, Black continues 18…g6 With all Black’s pieces tied up on the opposite wing, White can afford the luxury of a sacrifice to break open the king’s defences. 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.Bxg6 Nc4 21.Qh5 Bf8 22.Re4 Ra7 23.a4 Nd6 24.Rh4 Qg7 25.axb5 Nxb5 26.c4 Nd4 27.Ra3 Ne2+ 28.Qxe2 Qxg6 29.Rg3 Qxg3 30.fxg3 Rh7 With this particular configuration of Black’s pieces, White can afford to exchange. 31.Rxh7 Kxh7 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Qg6+ 1–0 After 33…Kh8 34.Bh6. Little better is 33…Bg7 34.Bh6 Rd7 35.Qe8+.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Bg5! after which Black has 6 possible moves, each one met with a mate administered by White’s queen.

This position arose in the recent Devon vs Notts match, Steve Hunter (W) vs Mark Abbott (Devon). Black’s king is very constricted, and White played Nd5+ seeing several good reasons why that would hasten the end after the king moves. It did that, all right, but can you see how?

Devon beat Notts (23.05.2015.)

Devon enjoyed a narrow win against Notts on Saturday, by 8½-7½.

Devon names 1st in each pairing.

1.J. Underwood 1-0 T. Walker. 2.D. Regis ½-½ A. Walker. 3.A. Brusey ½-½ J. Swain. 3.B. Hewson ½-½ B. Thompson. 5.M. Shaw 0-1 J. Willow. 6.M. Abbott 1-0 S. Hunter. 7.T. Thynne ½-½ S. Burke. 8.W. Ingham ½-½ T. Poole. 9.S. Dean 0-1 M. Naylor. 10.K. Atkins ½-½ B. Hayward. 11.D. Toms 0-1 D. Flynn. 12.N. Butland ½-½ T. Lane. 13.I. Annetts ½-½ N. Graham. 14.O. Wensley 1-0 P. Brace. 15.C. Scott ½-½ P. Marshall. 16.P. Brooks 1-0 S. Scott.

This was the top game, with notes kindly supplied by the winner. N.B. Jonathan’s original annotations had to be cut right down in order to fit the newspaper column’s space, but here they are  in full.  

White: Dr. Jonathan Underwood. Black: Tim Walker.

English Opening – Sicilian Variation [A20]:

1.c4 e5 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 Challenging Black to defend his e5 pawn by advancing it, hitting the knight. 4…Nc6 Black chickens out allowing white to castle, which frees e1 for the knight. 5.0–0 e4N Black threatens to win material: e4xf3 6.Ne1 Bc5 7.d3 The point of the knight’s retreat – Black’s centre is now tottering and the capture on d3 will just give White a free move as the c5 bishop is attacked. 7…Qe7 Now the bishop’s retreat is blocked and the queen lined up against the king – which could cause problems if the e-file opens. 8.Nc2 Qe5? This was to prevent d4 which leads to problems for the bishop – but now leaves the queen vulnerable to a bishop arriving on f4. 9.Nc3 Nh5 Keeps out the bishop.. but now White’s queen eyes that knight. 10.dxe4 White grabs the pawn at the risk of a Black attack. 10…f4 11.e3 Actually, White could have taken the pawn but I was too scared and this move shuts out the bishop. 11…fxg3 Amazingly Black has used a full hour of his allotted two by this stage. 12.hxg3 White threatens f4 kicking the queen away from defending the knight. If Black castles then f4 followed by Qd5+ wins the bishop instead. 12…Bb6 Leaves the queen somewhere to escape.. but Black is in big trouble now. 13.Nd5 0–0 14.b4 14.c5 forces the bishop away from protecting c7 allowing a forced sequence which wins a rook – but it makes a mess of White’s kingside and I was too cowardly to play it! 14…Bxc5 15.f4 Qe8 16.Nxc7 Qf7 17.Nxa8 Nxg3. 14…d6 15.Nxb6? White suddenly panics as Black’s pieces are getting active – a4! would have been winning easily. 15…axb6 16.b5?! Another daft move. By this stage Black was down to about 30 minutes and I was playing quick, complicated moves to put him under pressure – unfortunately this is not very good. 16…Na5 17.f4 Qc3?? 17…Qe8!? Is the only decent move here. 18.g4 Nf6 18.Qxh5? 18.Bd2 would have won – as taking c4 leads to disaster after QxN, QxN, Qd5+ defending the bishop and allowing Rc1 18…Qb2 19.Rb1 Qxa2 20.Nb4 Qxc4 21.Qxh5. Or 18.Bd2 Qxc4 19.Qxh5 Qxc2 20.Qd5+. 18…Qxc2 19.Rf2! Qxc4 20.Bb2 White lets the pawn drop to get his bishop into the attack. 20…Qc5? 20…c6 21.e5! Bf5 21…Qxb5 22.Be4 Black can’t take the pawn as this is fatal. 22.Rc1! Qxe3 With about 5 minutes left and still 18 moves to make in a very awkward position black grabs a pawn.. but White’s rook is about to arrive on the 7th rank to menace his king. 23.Rxc7 Qe1+ 24.Bf1 Bg6 25.Qg5 Rac8 26.exd6 Rxc7 27.dxc7 White is only pawn up but it’s about to give birth a new queen – and there are also mate threats to worry Black who has only a couple of minutes left. 27…Nc4 28.Qd8 28.Re2 is lethal here but the queen is quite safe on d8 and threatens to capture the rook and allow the pawn to promote. 28…Bf5 29.Qd5+ Playing to put time pressure on Black allows him some breathing room – Bd4 would be the easier win. 29…Be6 30.Qd4 Nxb2 31.Qxb2 Rc8 32.Qd4 The pawn is quite safe – Qd8+ wins the rook if it is captured. 32…h6 The Black king gets a bit of breathing space but there is now a forced sequence to win the bishop without allowing the annoying capture on g3. 33.Qd8+ Kh7 34.Qd3+ g6 35.Re2 Qb4 36.Rxe6 Qc5+ 37.Qe3 There are lots of better moves, but this forces the exchange of queens after which Black is a piece down for nothing. 37…Rxc7 38.Qxc5 bxc5 39.Bc4 Kg7 40.Re4 Rd7 Black makes the time control with seconds to spare, but the position is completely lost. 41.Kf2 h5 42.Ke3 Rc7 43.Re6 Rd7 44.Bd3 Kf7 45.Rb6 Rc7 46.Bxg6+ 1–0

The problemist J. Paul Taylor (1843 – 1923) spent his later life in Exeter, and published a book of his work entitled Elementary Chess Problems, From it is this 2-mover.

White to play and mate in 2.

Gold Coins Raining Down (16.05.2015.)

Cornwall’s venture into the National Stages of the Inter-County Championship ended at the first hurdle when they lost to Bedfordshire 5-11 at Weston-Super-Mare. They were outgraded on every board bar one, but not greatly so. In any case, they cannot but be delighted with their overall performance this season. Cornish names 1st in each pairing:- 1. Andrew Greet (229) 1–0 C. Ross (201). 2. Jeremy Menadue (190) ½-½ S. Ledger (195). 3. Theo Slade (178) ½-½ G. Kenworthy (190). 4. Mark Hassall (173) 0-1 A. Elwin (184). 5. Grant Healey (176) 0–1 P. Habershon (182). 6. David Saqui (170) 0-1 G. Borrowdale (181). 7. Robin Kneebone (173) 0-1 R. Freeman (178). 8. Simon Bartlett (168) 0-1 K. Williamson (177). 9. Lloyd Retallick (167) 1-0 M. Botteley (176). 10. Colin Sellwood (153) 0–1 S. Pike (176). 11. Gary Trudeau (157) 1-0 B. Valentine (166). 12. John Wilman (150) 0-1 N. Collacott (165). 13. Jeff Nicholas (150) ½-½ A. Matthews (160). 14. Richard Smith (147) ½-½ T. Lawson (154). 15. David R Jenkins (127) 0-1 C. Sollaway (140). 16. Richard Stephens U/G 0-1 B. Pike (92).

Referring back to their historic win against Devon in March and the game M. Shaw vs Wilman, given earlier, in which Black’s winning move was described by Jeremy Menadue as “what they used to call ‘a gold coins on the board moment’”. Where did that saying come from?

Apparently, it derives from the 1912 game S. Lewitzky vs Frank Marshall at Breslau. In his “autobiography”, ghosted by Reinfeld, Marshall introduces it thus:- “Perhaps you have heard about this game which so excited the spectators that they showered me with gold pieces! I have often been asked whether this really happened. The answer is – yes, that is what happened, literally”. Here is the game, shorn of most of his analysis.

White: S. Lewitzky. Black F. J. Marshall

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Be2 Nf6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Bg5 0–0 9.dxc5 Be6 10.Nd4 Bxc5 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bg4 Qd6 13.Bh3 Rae8 14.Qd2 Bb4 15.Bxf6 Rxf6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Qe2 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rxd5 Nd4 20.Qh5 Ref8 21.Re5 Rh6 22.Qg5 Rxh3 23.Rc5 Qg3!! (see diagram)

Black's gold coin moment?


The gold coin moment. “The most elegant move I have ever played!” wrote Marshall.” The queen is offered 3 ways and White cannot accept the offer in any form. (a) If 24.hxg3 Ne2 mate. (b) If 24.fxg3 Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Rxf1 mate, and (c) if 24.Qxg3 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxg3+ 26.Kg1 Nxf1 and Black will be a piece up”.

However, a number of authorities are unsure as to the truth of the story. Golombek, in his A History of Chess, casts doubt on it, as does Edward Winter in his Chess Notes. Did the citizens of Breslau in 1912 really have gold coins jangling in their pockets in case they felt a sudden urge to shower them on folk, however deserving? The Cornish certainly didn’t.

Dave Howard’s 2-mover last week was solved by 1.Ne4!

Somerset Retain Top Trophy (14.03.2015.)

The Devon vs Somerset match at the weekend was always likely to be a championship decider, and so it proved. The 1st teams were closely matched on paper for the most part, except for the top 4 boards, all of which went Somerset’s way, making their winning total 10-6, thus retaining the Harold Meek trophy for another year. The details were:- (Somerset names first in each pairing).

1.J. Rudd (221) 1-0   D. Mackle (209). 2.D. Buckley (205) 1-0 J. Stephens (196). 3.A. Wong (199) 1-0 S. Homer (184). 4.B. Edgell (197) 1-0 J. F. Wheeler (184). 5.M. Payne (189) 0-1 P. Sivrev (175). 6.P. Krzyzanowski (187) 1-0 J. Fraser (178). 7.M. Blocinski(185) 0-1 J. Underwood (180). 8.P. Chaplin (182) 1-0 D. Regis (181). 9.A. Footner (182) 0-1 A. Brusey (181). 10.B. Morris (178) ½-½ B. Hewson (176). 11.D. Littlejohns (177) ½-½ M. Abbott (173). 12. D. Painter-Kooiman (175) 1-0 S. Martin (171). 13.J. Byrne (172) ½-½ M. Shaw (173). 14.D. Peters (171) 0-1 W. Ingham (168). 15.G. Jepps (171) ½-½ T. Thynne (168). 16. F. Felício (162) 1-0 M. Stinton-Brownbridge (168).

Devon fared better in the 2nd team match, played over 12 boards. They led by 6½-3½ but Somerset won the last 2 games to finish losing by a single point.

1. D. Freeman (163) ½-½ K. Atkins (160). 2. C. Purry (159) 1-0 N. Butland (158). 3. M. Staniforth (158) 0-1 D. A. Toms (159). 4. A. Gregory (157) 1-0 C. J. Scott (154). 5. C. Strong (155) 0-1 M. Hui (150e). 6. M. French (154) ½-½ B. Gosling (148). 7. M. Worrall (151) 1-0 P. Brooks (152). 8. C. McKinley (149) 0-1 O. Wensley (151). 9. M. Baker (148) 0-1 A. Frangleton (151). 10. C. Fewtrell (148) ½-½ A. Kinder (147). 11. J. Fewkes (145) 1-0 W. Taylor (142). 12. A. Champion (143) 0-1 V. Ramesh (138).

The West of England Championship starts a fortnight on Friday, 3rd April, at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. With its relatively limited accommodation already nearing maximum, there’s little time left for late entries, so don’t delay. Enquiries to Meyrick Shaw on 01395-275494 or e-mail wecu@hotmail.co.uk.

This last round miniature gave White 1st prize in the recent Bristol Congress.

White: P. Krzyzanowski. Black: M. Lewis

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.e3 0–0 10.Be2 c6 11.0–0 Bf5 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nd7 14.b4 a6 15.a4 Qe7 16.b5 axb5 17.axb5 f5 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Ra6 Rxa6 20.Qxa6 Rf6 21.Qc8+ Bf8 22.Rb1 Black now abandons his defences with fatal consequences. 22…Qa3?? 23.Qxd7 Qxc3 24.Ng5 and mate on h7 is unavoidable. 1–0

In last week’s position Rudd played 1.Rxd4! threatening both f2 and e5. 1…Nd2 (If 1…exd4 2.Bxd4 R2f7 3.Nb6+ Kb8 4.Be5 winning). 2.Rxd2 Rxd2 3.Rc4 Qxc4 4.Bxc4 Rxg2 5.Nb6+ and mate will follow after Qxe5+.

Here is another world premier 2-mover from reader Dave Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2

Cornwall Beat Devon (14.02.2015.)

Cornwall met their only neighbours on Saturday in the annual Inter-County match, beating Devon by 8½-7½. This was their first victory over Devon in 23 years and only the third since 1973. Individual scores were as follows (Devon names 1st in each pairing)

1. D. Mackle 1-0 J. Menadue 2. J. Stephens 0-1 T. Slade. 3. S. Homer 0-1  M. Hassall 4. P. Sivrev 0-1 G. Healey 5. J. Wheeler 1-0 Csuri. 6. J. Fraser 1-0 D. Saqui 7. J. Underwood 1-0 R. Kneebone. 8. D. Regis 0-1 J. Hooker. 9. A. W. Brusey ½-½  S. Bartlett 10. B. W. Hewson ½-½ L. Retallick 11. M. Shaw 0-1 J. Wilman. 12. G. Body 0-1 G. Trudeau. 13. W. Ingham ½-½ J. Nicholas 14. T. F. Thynne ½-½ R. Smith. 15. M. Stinton-Brownbridge ½-½ M. Hill 16. I. S. Annetts 1-0 R. Stephens. Cornwall won 8½-7½.

2nd team (U-160): 1. K. P. Atkins ½-½ D. R. Jenkins. 2. C. J. Scott 0-1 N. Robinson 3. N. Butland 1-0 M. Richards. 4. P. Brooks ½-½ A. Barkhuysen. 5. J. Duckham ½-½ D. Lucas. 6. O. E. Wensley 1-0 D. Hutchinson. 7. A. Kinder 1-0 M. Jones. 8. W. Taylor 0-1 I. Renshaw. 9. V. Ramesh 1-0 J. Rodrigo. 10. R. Wilby 0-1 B. Childs. 11. N. Hodge 1-0 R. Pascoe. 12. N. Bacon ½-½ A. Slade. Devon won 7-5.

This was the second game to finish and seemed to galvanise the other Cornish players to a great collective effort. It contains what Jeremy Menadue called “what they used to call a gold coins on the board moment”. Notes kindly supplied by Menadue and the winner. 

White: M. Shaw (173) Black: John Wilman (150).

King’s Indian Defence [A48]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.c3 b6 4.Bf4 g6 5.e3 Bg7 6.Nbd2 A London system. 6…cxd4 7.exd4 0–0 8.Bd3 Bb7 A quiet start. 9.Nc4 Rather committal. 9.Qe2; 9.0–0. 9…d6 10.0–0 Nh5 A typical plan against the London. 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bd2 b5 13.Ne3 this looks a great square for the knight. 13…Qd7 14.Nh4? Decentralising and weakening the d4 square. Better might have been 14.Qb3 with a double attack on g6 and b5. 14…Nf4 covering the g6 weakness. 15.Bc2 e5 16.Ng4 White seems to be building up pressure on Black’s king. 16…h5 17.Ne3 Qh3!! That gold coins moment! 18.Nf3 Nxg2 The combinations play themselves. 19.Ng5 19.d5 Nf4. 19…Nf4! a memorable move. 20.Re1 White has to play 20.d5 but it’s not nice. If 20.Nxh3 Nxh3#. 20…Qh4 The queen knows when it’s not wanted. 21.Nf3 Nh3+ 22.Kf1 Of course this is wrong but other king moves also lose. e.g. 22.Kg2 Ng5; 22.Kh1 Nxf2+ 23.Kg1 wins. White resigned before Black could play Qxf2 mate. 0-1.

Dr. Jago’s problem last week was solved by 1.Qh3! If 1…Kxd5 or 1…Pe1=Q then 2.Qd3 mates. If Pe1=N to protect d3 then 2.Be6 is also mate.

As today is St. Valentine’s Day here is an appropriate 2-mover from the darling of the problem composers a century ago, Devon’s own Edith Baird. Can you see how the four islands of pieces spell out the word LOVE?

White to mate in 2.