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E. Devon Congress 2016 Results (12.03.2016.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

White A. Rozanov – J. Rudd. 

Giucco Piano – Classical Variation [C50] 

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

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

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

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

White to mate in 2 moves

East Devon Congress – 3rd & Final Day.

The final round found 3 players in the joint lead on 3.5/4. Arkell’s draw had been at the expense of John Wheeler, and Rudd’s was due to requesting a bye in order to play for his county on Saturday afternoon. However, the computer draw dictated that they should not not meet, and Arkell was paired against local player Graham Bolt, while Rudd faced the enigmatic Russian, Andrei Rozanov. Both won their games, and the two ECF titled players, master and pupil, shared the honours.

Andrew Smith, who had surprisingly lost his 1st Rd. game, came through with 4 straight wins to finish clear 3rd. Exeter player, Dr. Dave Regis secured the U-180 Grading Prize, and Andrew Waters (Rainham) won the U-164 prize. 

The full prize list as supplied by Sean Pope is as follows.

Section Position Name Club Points Prize (£)
OPEN 1st= Keith Arkell (GM) Cheddleton 170.00
  1st= Jack Rudd (IM) Barnstaple 170.00
  3 Andrew Smith Bourne End 4 80.00
  Grading <180 Dave Regis Exeter 40.00
  Grading <164 Andrew Waters Rainham 3 40.00
MAJOR U-155 1st Martin Harris Newcastle-u-Lyme 160.00
  2nd= Matthew Best Exeter 4 90.00
  2nd= Stuart Ross Newport 4 90.00
  Grading <142 Robert Wilby Plymouth 3 10.00
  Grading <142 David Rogers Exmouth 3 10.00
  Grading <142 Jorgen Nielsen Wimborne 3 10.00
  Grading <142 Leif Hafstad Exeter School 3 10.00
  Grading <131 Eddy Palmer Exeter 3 40.00
MINOR U-125          
  1st Alex Poyser Exeter Uni. 5 160.00
  2nd= Alan Stonebridge Wellington 4 45.00
  2nd= Norman Tidy Teignmouth 4 45.00
  2nd= Josh Blackmore Newton Abbot 4 45.00
  2nd= Richard Scholes Exeter 4 45.00
  Grading <111 David Burt Bournemouth 3 14.00
  Grading <111 Kevin Huntley Salisbury 3 14.00
  Grading <111 Alan Fraser Beckenham 3 14.00
  Grading <99 Christine Constable Bude 3 20.00
  Grading <99 Gary Behan Plymouth 3 20.00
  Team Prize   Exeter Uni. A 15½ 40.00
TOTAL         1382.00


Final round: Bd. 1 - Graham Bolt vs Keith Arkell

Bd. 2: Rozanov vs Rudd.

Top game in the Major, won by Harris (Black)


Top game in the Minor, won by Alex Poyser (W) the only player with a maximum 5/5 pts.

East Devon Congress 2016 – Day 2

Rd. 2 started with Keith Arkell down among the pack, after his draw against John Wheeler, and due to face Stephen Appleby. Steve knew this in advance and collared me to ensure that when Keith came in, a little late as per usual, I would be present to take a commemorative snap. This was duly done (see below). Several new faces appeared, those who’d taken a Friday evening bye.

However, several byes were taken in the afternoon, mainly by the Cornish players involved, plus Jack Rudd, as Cornwall were due to play Somerset at Exminster, a couple of miles outside Exeter. This displayed an admirable loyalty to both their county team and the Congress, but did little for their form, as all three, Saqui, Sellwood and Constable, all lost, in a heavy defeat.

1 Jack Rudd 215 1 0 Jeremy Menadue 187
2 Ben P Edgell 200 1 0 James Hooker 178
3 Patryk Krzyzanowski 199 0 1 Robin Kneebone 177
4 Stephen AJ  Whatley 195 1 0 David Saqui 175
5 James Byrne 178 1 0 Gary Trudeau 160
6 Andrew F Footner 174 1 0 Colin Sellwood 155
7 Andrew M Gregory 165 1 0 Richard Stephens 147
8 Darren Freeman 165 1 0 John Wilman 141
9 Barry Morris 163 1 0 Adam Hussain 130
10 Chris S Purry 154 ½ ½ David R Jenkins 119
11 Roger D Knight 153 1 0 John Constable 119
12 Lander Bedialauneta U/G 1 0 Barry Childs 112
13 Mark R Baker 151 0 1 Jason Henderson UG
14 Neville N Senior 151 1 0 Hugh Brown 94
15 Adrian W Champion 134 1 0 Gabriel Rusalowitz UG
16 Chris TJ McKinley 129 1 0 Chris Hussain UG

One thing began to emerge during the day was the burgeoning strength of the Exeter University players. There were two University teams of 4 in for the Team Prize, and there were other players not included. Since the demise of the University Chess Club some decades ago, after an illustrious history, the number of notable players emerging from the campus to participate in local matches and tournaments, have been few and far between. Past efforts by Exmouth and Exeter club members to revive things on site have met with little positive response. These days, however, players are coming out of the University in significant numbers. Some are joining the local City Club to augment their teams, but there are surely enough to form their own University teams to particiapte in DCCA and Exeter & Dist. Leagues. It just needs a good student organiser to get a grip on things.

A special moment in the chess career of Stephen Appleby, though ultimately it didn't end well for him.


Rd. 2: Rudd vs Littlejohns & Regis vs the Russian Andrei Rozanov


Rd. 2 - Bd. 1 in the Major - Devon elder, Ivor Annetts vs Exeter School pupil, Leif Hafstad.

East Devon Congress 2016 Rd. 1

If ever a sign were needed of the enduring popularity of this Exeter-based event, in spite of its financial problems of recent years, the entry of 53 in the Open was surely it, in spite of the fact that the Committee always seem to issue their entry forms much later on than most congresses – often a matter of weeks rather than months. The list of entries, (see below) shows much more than the “usual suspects”, but an eclectic mix, with a good sprinkling of new faces. Russia and Norway appear in the Club column; there’s a significant Cornish contingent; Devon ex-pats returning to the fold (e.g. Piper – Holsworthy// Shapland & Hutchings – Barnstaple // Lowe – Paignton), not to forget former Kenyan Champion, Humphrey Andolo.

At the top of this exotic pile, by some margin, was Paignton-based GM Keith Arkell, fresh from his 1st= at Bristol the previous weekend. Just before the start, his Rd. 1 opponent, John Wheeler, was sitting patiently behind the black pieces awaiting his opponent’s arrival, and I jokingly warned him against trying the Caro-Kan as Keith was an acknowledged expert, which of course he already knew. But he needed no words of warning from me as he set about squeezing a draw from the game. In fact, at the beginning of  a double rook and pawns ending John was a pawn up. Keith was able to win it back but could make no further progress. and a draw was agreed.

The entry for the Open Section.

Arkell arrives a little late.


Bill Adadway moves against No. 2 seed, Jack Rudd.


General view of a well-filled playing hall.