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Posts Tagged ‘Exeter & District League’

Exmouth’s Exciting End-of-Term Experiences.

If there has been a more concentrated and closely contested climax to a season, I don’t recall it.

Four matches, four victories and two trophies in 12 days represents as rich a reward as anyone at the club could reasonably expect.

Let’s start on Saturday 22nd April in the Mamhead Cup, Devon’s Division 2. With one match to play, Exmouth and Newton Abbot were joint leaders on match points, but Exmouth having scored a half point more in games. So Exmouth simply did not have to score less points against the final opponents, Teignmouth, than Newton Abbot did against Barnstaple. As Newton Abbot did win their match 3.5 – o.5, Exmouth had to beat Teignmouth by at least the same score …. or more – a big ask. But they equalled Newton Abbot’s winning margin, so winning the Mamhead Cup by half a game point.

Exmouth Teignmouth
1 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ W. H. Ingham 162
2 M. Shaw 163 1 0 Rev. C. Doidge 124
3 C. J. Scott 151 1 0 N. F. Tidy 122
4 M. Belt 127 1 0 A. Webster 82
609 ½ 490

Three days later, on Tuesday 25th April, there was an away match against Exeter in the E. Devon RapidPlay League. This turned out to be not quite as close a match as the previous one, thus winning that league, and a second trophy in 4 days. (Photos below)

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

The following Saturday, Exmouth entertained Newton Abbot in the final round of the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s Division 1. There was no trophy at stake this time as Exeter had already secured overall victory by virtue of their narrow win over Exmouth earlier in the year, but nevertheless rivalry is always keen. Both teams were without 2 top players, but the six pairings looked to favour the home side.

However, at the halfway point, Exmouth went 1-0 down, and had no discernable advantage in the other 5 games, so it was backs-to-the-wall time for sure. Oliver Wensley went right down to K+P vs K but his king was in front of his pawn and the opposing king was not inclined to allow him the freedom to move aside, so game drawn. Then rather suddenly, the other four games, in spite of their closeness throughout, all went Exmouth’s way, leaving the final score 4.5 – 1.5, certainly a scoreline that belies the actual play.

DCCA    –   Div. 1   Bremridge Cup        29.04.2017.
Exmouth grd Newton Abbot grd
1 W. Braun 195 1 0 P. Brooks 185
2 S. Martin 185 0 1 A. W. Brusey 169
3 P. D. Hampton 166 1 0 V. Ramesh 139
4 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 A. Kinder 125
5 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ C. V. Howard 143
6 C. J. Scott 152 1 0 J. E. Allen 145
1043 4½ 1½ 910

Exmouth vs Newton Abbot: A study in collective concentration.

Bd. 1: Paul Brooks vs Walter Braun.

Bds 3 & 4: Ramesh vs Hampton & Abbott vs Kinder.

Bds 5 & 6: Howard vs Wensley & Scott vs Allen.

This was closely followed by another home match on Wednesday night, against Exeter in the E. Devon League Div. 1. This time the odds seemed to favour the visitors, with Barbara Newcombe, a newcomer this season to OTB chess,  playing her first 1st team match for the Club. Her draw against the experienced Will Marjoram, in the face of a 40 point difference in their grades, seemed to inspire the others, the home side running out 3.5 – 0.5 winners.

So the situation is that, with only 3 teams involved, Exmouth have lost to Seaton but beaten Exeter, who play Seaton next week. If Exeter win that match it could be 3-way tie situation – unless complicated tie-breaks come into play. Who knows, a third trophy might come our way, but no-one here’s holding their breath on that one.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   League  Div. 1     03.05.2017
Exmouth grd Exeter grd
1 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 Dr. T. Paulden 185
2 O. E. Wensley 168 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 169
3 Dr. M. O. Marshall 162 1 0 R. Whittington 139
4 B. Newcombe 85 ½ ½ W. Marjoram 125
591 ½ 618

Exmouth's winning RapidPlay team: Seated (l) Chris Scott & Alan Dean (capt.). Standing (l) Bob Jones & Michael Marshall.

Exeter's home team: Seated (l) Sean Pope & Reece Whittington. Standing (l) Richard Player & John Maloney.

Rd. 1 gets under way.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

E. Devon League’s Climactic Finish

The League’s prizegiving and end-of-term match has been held at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, at the kind invitation of the management, for the past 12 years or more, and it was no different this time.

First, the presentations……

Div. 1 was won by Exeter Rooks and Felix Schulte received the trophy from League President, Brian Aldwin.

Div. 1 Runners-Up were Newton Abbot and Mark Cockerton received the trophy.

Div. 2 winners were Tiverton Thinkers and Jon Duckham accepted the trophy.

Runners-Up In Div 2 were Exeter Gambits and Brian Aldwin made sure he took the cup home.

Exeter Prestissimo won the RapidPlay League and John Maloney received the trophy.

The match changed in format last year, due to the rise and rise of the Exeter Club’s membership and the decline in interest of the Tiverton and Sidmouth clubs. No blame is attached here – it’s just how clubs always gradually rise and fall, both in numbers and  and strength over the years, and ’twill ever be so. However, one must adjust accordingly.

Therefore, this year the match took the form of an Exeter vs The Rest double round rapidplay. Last year’s match was drawn 9-9, but this year’s line-up looked to favour the city team, though it proved to be a little closer than expected.

Details were as follows: (Tim’s Team – named after League Secretary Tim Paulden – consisted of Exeter players on the top 16 boards. Bob’s Team – named after the League’s Jamboree team captain, Bob Jones).

Bd Tim’s Team Grd R1 R2 Bob’s Team Grd R1 R2
1 Paulden, T 185 1 ½ Underwood, J. 186 0 ½
2 O’Neill, P 185 1 1 Abbott, M. V. 178 0 0
3 Hartmann, L 184 1 ½ Wensley, O. E 170 0 ½
4 Schulte, F 180 0 1 Duckham, J 158 1 0
5 Chan, J 151 1 0 Gosling, G. 153 0 1
6 Dean, A 145 1 1 Annetts, I. S. 151 0 0
7 Amos, J 141 1 0 Scott, C. J. 149 0 1
8 Simpson, I 133 0 0 Keen, C 138 1 1
9 Palmer, E 124 0 1 Belt, M 133 1 0
10 Maloney, J 120 0 1 Fotheringham, G 130 1 0
11 Player, J 115 0 1 Cockerton, M 125 1 0
12 Marjoram, W 115 1 1 Jones, R. H. 118 0 0
13 Scholes, R 111 1 0 Haines, M 100 0 1
14 Jenkins, G. 106 1 0 Maber, M 100 0 1
15 Dean, S 100 0 0 Thomson, D 100 1 1
16 Murray, T 60 0 0 Thorpe-Tracey S 90 1 1
17 Lee, Mike 80 1 0 Grist, I. G. 87 0 1
18 Lee, Max 40 0 0 Minor, T 68 1 1
19 Cubbon, R 50 1 1 Dye, J 50 0 0
11 9 8 10
Grand Totals 20 18

E. Devon League Annual Prizegiving 2015 (04.06.2015.)

The League’s annual prizegiving took place at its usual venue of the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, followed by a match.

 The winners’ names were announced by League President, Brian Aldwin, and the presentation was made to a representative of the winning team concerned.  (see photographs below).  Details of the various sections can be summarised as follows:

  Div. 1: 4 Bds  – U-640    
    1 2 3 4 5 6 Tot.  
1 Exeter Rooks X 2 0 2 2 2 8 Cottew Cup
2 Newton Abbot 0 X 2 2 2 1 7  
3 Exeter Bishops 2 0 X 2 0 2 6  
4 Exmouth Eagles 0 0 0 X 2 2 4 GP: Turner Cup
5 Exmouth Elephants 0 0 2 0 X 2 4  
6 Tiverton 0 1 0 0 0 X 1  


  Div. 2: 4 Bds – U-480    
    1 2 3 4 5 Tot.  
1 E. Budleigh X 0 2 1 2 5   Polsloe Cup
2 Seaton 2 X 2 1 0 5   Polsloe Cup
3 Sidmouth 0 0 X 2 2 4 GP: Mainstay Cup
4 Exeter 1 1 0 X 2 4  
5 Tiverton 0 2 0 0 X 0  


  4 Bds   -   U-560    
    1 2 3 4 5 Sub. bonus Total
1 Exeter Prestissimo X 2 4 2 3 11 4 15
2 Tiverton 2 X 2 4 4 12 2 14
3 Exmouth 0 2 X 2 4 8 1 9
4 E. Budleigh 2 0 2 X 1 5 0 5
5 Exeter Gambits 1 0 0 3 X 4 1 5

The presentations were followed by a match between those present. In the past this has been between teams drawn from the 3 coastal clubs and those inland i.e Coast vs Country, but this formula has become somewhat redundant in recent years, with the arrival of Newton Abbot on the one side and the demise of Sidmouth on the other. Therefore it had been agreed to try a revival of an old formula, not used in Devon for over 20 years.  That is a President’s vs Match Captain’s match, with teams drawn from whoever turned up on the night. The way it worked was as follows:

(a) Players likely to be presnt should submit their names beforehand.

(b) The players are the listed in grade order, top to bottom, and pairing cards made out.

(c) Once it is ascertained they are present in the room, Team A has the top-graded player. Then Team B is then allocated the next 2 top-graded players, and then Team A gets the next 2 – and so on to the bottom of the list. This guarantees two teams of approximately equal strength. The only slight adjustments that need to be made is where this formula pairs 2 players from the same club. It is unlikely that two players from Newton Abbot or Seaton would wish to travel a long distance only to play a club colleague they’d played in their club the night before.

(d) It had been decided to make it a rapidplay match – 30 minutes per player per game, with colours reversed for a 2nd game.

The evenness of the teams was demonstrated by the outcome. All the President’s men won the 1st round by 9-7, but lost the 2nd round by the same score, making it 16-all at the end. Details as follows:-

  Captain’s Team       President’s Team    
Bd.   Rd 1 Rd 2     Rd 1 Rd 2
1 T. J. Paulden 1 1   K. J. Hurst 0 0
2 S. Martin ½ ½   A. W. Brusey ½ ½
3 M. Shaw ½ 1   G. Body ½ 0
4 C. J. Scott ½ 0   T. F. Thynne ½ 1
5 K. P. Atkins ½ 0   O. E. Wensley ½ 1
6 E. Palmer 1 0   B. G. Gosling 0 1
7 K. Hunter 1 1   M. Belt 0 0
8 A. Dowse 1 1   J. Maloney 0 0
9 R. H. Jones ½ 0   R. Scholes ½ 1
10 M. Hussey 0 0   R. Player 1 1
11 Mrs. H. Welch 0 1   G. Fotheringham 1 0
12 S. Blake 0 ½   M. Maber 1 ½
13 G. J. Jenkins 0 1   A. Brinkley 1 0
14 M. Lee 0 1   G. Elliott 1 0
15 T. Murray 0 0   P. Darlow 1 1
16 T. Miner ½ 1   B. Marsh ½ 0
    7 9     9 7
    16     16


Eddy Palmer (Exeter Rooks) receives the Cottew Cup as League Champions, from Brian Aldwin and Tim Paulden.

Meyrick Shaw receives the Turner Cup from League President, Brian Aldwin, as the Grading Prize win for Exmouth Eagles.

Hazel Welch (Seaton) & Brian Gosling (East Budleigh) share the Div. 2 Mainstay Cup.

Steve Martin (Sidmouth) takes the Div. 2 Grading Prize.


Finally the fun stuff is over and it's down to the serious business of the evening.

E. Devon League Annual Coast vs Country Match

The League’s annual prizegiving and Coast vs Country match took place on 3rd June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth.

A number of factors led to the match being a very one-sided affair this year. Firstly, several of Exmouth’s top players were unavailable for one reason or another and the largest club, Sidmouth, failed to produce a single player, which meant that the Coast could only raise 12 players. These had to be supplemented by a number of players from Exeter and Newton Abbot in order to get even numbers.

Over the top 9 boards, the points were shared 4.5 each, but below that, the Coast could only muster 2 points, and one of them came from an on-loan Exeter player. The Coast were well-outgraded on 17 of the 19 boards, so perhaps did well to get 6.5 points.  Perhaps the new Coast captain next year (whoever that might be) will be able to get a better response, otherwise some re-thinking might have to be done about the format. Perhaps a version of the DCCA’s old President vs Match Captain’s match, whereby teams are picked on the night from whoever turns up. First “picker” chooses one player while the next chooses two. Food for thought, anyway. The games will appear on the League website asap.

The details were:-

  3rd  June 2014       Manor Hotel  
Bd Coast Team Grd     Country Team Grd
1 M. Shaw 176 0 1 Dr. T. J. Paulden 184
2 Dr. J. Underwood 171 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 180
3 O. E. Wensley 157 0 1 G. Body 166
4 B. G. Gosling 152 ½ ½ Dr. C. E. Keen 141
5 A. S. Kinder 152 1 0 J. Duckham 147
6 C. J. Scott 145 ½ ½ I. S. Annetts 152
7 W. R. P.Taylor 139 0 1 W. T. Marjoram 142
8 M. Belt 129 1 0 J. Waley 132
9 R. K. Hunt 125 ½ ½ E. J. Palmer 133
10 R. H. Jones 132 0 1 D. Thomson u/g
11 F. R. Hodge 98 0 1 J. Knowles 128
12 Mrs. H. Welch 109 0 1 J. Amos 129
13 M. A. Haines 91 0 1 R. A. Scholes 103
14 M. Lee u/g 1 0 J. Maloney 110
15 T. Badlan 79 0 1 E. Kelly 103
16 T. Miner u/g 0 1 R. Player 95
17 B. Marsh 49 0 1 G. J. Jenkins 112
18 L. Hafstead u/g 1 0 A. Brinkley 80
19 T. Murray u/g 0 1 T. Finch 90

The match was preceded by the prizegiving, at which League President Brian Aldwin presented the five cups on display.

  Premiership Div. 1            
  Teams 1 2 3 4 tot  
1 Newton Abbot X 1 2 2 5 Cottew Cup
2 Exeter Rooks 1 X 0 2 3  
3 Exeter Bishops 2 0 X 1 3 Turner Cup
4 Tiverton Titans 0 0 1 X 1  


  Championship Div. 2              
  Teams 1 2 3 4 5 tot  
1 Exeter Gambits X 2 2 2 2 8 Polsloe Cup
2 Seaton 0 X 2 2 2 6 Mainstay Cup
3 Sidmouth 0 0 X 2 1 3  
4 Tiverton 0 0 0 X 2 2  
5 East Budleigh 0 0 0 1 X 1  


  Teams P W L D F A Bonus Tot
1 Tiverton 6 5 1 0 17 7 3 14
2 Sidmouth 6 3 0 3 12½ 11½ 2 8
3 Exeter Prestissimo 6 2 2 2 12 12 1 7
4 Exeter Gambits 6 0 1 5 17½ 0 1


Andrew Kinder receives the Cottew Cup on behalf of Newton Abbot

Charles Keen receives the Premiership team Grading Prize.

Championship winners Exeter Gambits l-r Richard Scholes, Eddy Palmer, R. Player & Brian Aldwin.

Hazel Welch receives the Mainstay Cup as Seaton's team grading prize

Ivor Annetts receives the RapidPlay prize for the Tiverton Timebombs

E. Devon League Prizegiving & Match

The Exeter & Dist. League’s annual prizegiving was held on Tuesday 4th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the owners.

This year was marked by having all the cups available at the same time for presentation. This was due entirely to the efforts of League President, Brian Aldwin and Secretary Tim Paulden, who have invested considerable time and energy in getting all the existing trophies engraved up-to-date, plus the purchase of 2 new trophies to replace lost ones. The reduction in the number of leagues from 4 to 2, has been compensated for by having extra prizes  in the new divisions – the equivalent of grading prizes in a congress.

The first business of the evening was to present the 6 cups. Photographs below

This was followed by the now-traditional match between the league clubs situated on the coast (Exmouth, Sidmouth & Seaton) and those inland (Exeter, Exeter Juniors, Tiverton & the Met Office), nicknamed the Coast V Country match. After a couple of last minute tweaks, two 18 player teams of very similar strength were produced, and battle commenced.

The Coast went into a 9-5 at one stage, on the verge of victory, but the Country got 2.5 pts from the last 4 games to finish, to haul back 1 point of the deficit. The final scores were as follows:

Bd. Coast Grd Club Country Grd Club
1 J. K. Stephens 191 Exmouth 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 181 Exeter
2 K. J. Hurst 174 Sidmouth 1 0 Dr. T. Paulden 177 Exeter
3 Dr. D. A. Toms 161 Sidmouth 0 1 G. Body 162 Exeter
4 B. G. Gosling 154 Exmouth 1 0 J. Duckham 155 Tiverton
5 S. Martin 152 Sidmouth 0 1 I. S. Annetts 152 Tiverton
6 T. Bons 135e   ½ ½ W. Marjoram 146 Exeter
7 C. J. Scott 135 Exmouth 1 0 l. Ten Holter 100 Exeter
8 M. Belt 136 Exmouth 1 0 J. Knowles 128 Tiverton
9 R. H. Jones 128 Exmouth 0 1 E. Palmer 126 Exeter
10 A. Dowse 123 Seaton ½ ½ J. Waley 123 Exeter
11 G. Susevee 121 Sidmouth 1 0 G. J. Jenkins 118 Exeter
12 F. R. Hodge 108 Exmouth 1 0 R. Scholes 109 Exeter
13 Mrs. H. Welch 104 Seaton 0 1 R. Whittington 106 Exeter
14 S. Blake 100 Exmouth ½ ½ R. Player 100 Exeter
15 M. Haines   96 Seaton ½ ½ T. Finch   98 Exeter
16 T. Badlan   88 Exmouth ½ ½ A. Brinkley   85 Tiverton
17 G. Susevee   89 Sidmouth 1 0 J. Wheadon   83  
18 T. Murray   70   0 1 B. Aldwin 100 Exeter
  Totals 2265   10½   2249  

The games scores will shortly become avaiable on the League section of the Exeter Club website.

Unusually, a full set of trophies.

Ivor Annetts receiving the Championship trophy, the Cottew Cup; the 1st time Tiverton have ever won it.

The old 2nd Div. trophy, the Turner Cup, now used as a grading prize in Div. 1, won by Sidmouth City, captained by team captain, Kevin Hurst.

Seaton won Div. 2 (the Championship), the Polsloe Cup here collected by Hazel Welch.

E. Devon League Div.1 Exmouth vs Exeter

The League rules state that 1st division teams must not exceed a total grade of 640 (as distinct from Under-640, as in DCCA’s Div. 2). For this match, on Wednesday 13th February 2013,  both captains were quietly pleased to have assembled a team of maximum strength, only revealed when team lists were exchanged. No pressure, then.

Exmouth won the toss and took white on Bd. 1.  Shaw on Bd. 3 built up his position slowly at first, but opened it up with a couple of pawn captures and mated on move 24. This inevitably put pressure on the other Exeter players, but no clear advantages were perceptable for some time on the other boards. The Amos-Hodge game proceeded to a roughly equal B vs N endgame, but Hodge’s knight was eventually pushed to the back rank, while the king invaded his pawns and he had to resign – all square.

The Paulden-Abbott game proceeded to an endgame, without a clear advantage to either side, and as White’s time ran to the last minute of extra time, a draw was agreed.

In the top game, Black allowed his pieces to become constricted on the queenside, which allowed White to probe for openings on the undefended king’s wing. There was just enough time for the h-pawn to run through for a 2nd queen, forcing Black to give up a rook for it.

Bd Exmouth Grd     Exeter Rooks Grd
1 John Stephens 192 1 0 Dr. Dave Regis 179
2 Mark Abbott 167 ½ ½ Dr. Tim Paulden 177
3 Meyrick Shaw 166 1 0 Dr. Charlie Keen 155
4 Fred Hodge 115 0 1 Jeremy Amos 129
    640   640


Stephens & Abbott (nearest) in action.

Meyrick Shaw (W) heading for a quick (-ish) win.

Amos vs Hodge amid the daffodils.


A release of tension amid post-match analysis.

Coast v Country Match 2012

The Exeter & District League’s annual “Coast vs Country” match took place on Tuesday 12th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the Management. This event started in 2003 as a celebration of the League’s 50 years’ existence and has been held ever since. The Coast team comprises players from the clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton, while players from Exeter and Tiverton make up the Country team. There is always a problem equalising the numbers in both teams and there has to be a bit of flexibility, with one or two players helping out the opposition, but the matches are usually very closely fought.

This year, the recipe was complicated somewhat, by a late influx of juniors, and after the teams were evened out, the even later withdrawal of John Morrison, left 11 yr old Guy Susevee without an opponent. Nevertheless, he ended up having probably more chess than anyone else in the room, as the early finishers gave him several friendly games.

Looking at the team lists on paper beforehand, the Coast team were bracing themselves for a sizeable loss, as they were outgraded by 6 points per board, on average, but it didn’t work out like that, with the Coast eventually winning by one of the bigger margins in the series 11.5 – 6.5.  9 year-old Reese Whittington set the ball rolling by beating his opponent in 8 moves, and it went on from there.

The final details were as follows:

  Coast Grd       Country Grd  
1 Stephens J. K. 175 Exmouth ½ ½ Hewson, B. W. 186 Tiverton
2 Abbott M. V. 170 Exmouth 1 0 Annetts, I.S. 156 Tiverton
3 Wensley, O. E. 165 Exmouth ½ ½ Keen, C 155 Exeter
4 Shaw, M 160 Exmouth 0 1 Duckham, J 155 Tiverton
5 Gosling, B. G. 159 Exmouth ½ ½ Dobber, P 149 Exeter
6 Belt, M 131 Exmouth 1 0 Marjoram, W. 148 Exeter
7 Scott, C. J. 130 Exmouth ½ ½ Atkins, K. P. 148 Tiverton
8 Jones, R. H. 131 Exmouth ½ ½ Body, G 147 Exeter
9 Palmer, E 125 Exmouth 1 0 Waley, J 132 Exeter
10 Hodge, F. R. 122 Exmouth 0 1 Amos, J 130 Exeter
11 Badlan, T 104 Exmouth 1 0 Knowles,J 125 Tiverton
12 Ebanks, O 105 Exmouth 0 1 Maloney, J 120 Exeter
13 Blake, S 100 Exmouth 1 0 Scholes, R 114 Exeter
14 Porter, L 88 Seaton 0 1 Thomson, D 114 Exeter
15 Haines, M 88 Seaton 1 0 Maynard, A 100 Tiverton
16 Trott, T 92 Ex. Juniors 1 0 Aldwin, B 98 Tiverton
17 Whittington, R. 85 Ex. Juniors 1 0 Murray, T 80  
18 Susevee, Greg 84 Sidmouth 1 0 Finch, T. 64  
19 Susevee, Guy 88 Sidmouth          
  totals 2214   11½   2321  
  average 123       average 129  















In recent years this event has been combined with the presentation of trophies to teams who have won their leagues during the season. This year it was decided to hold that back until the AGM in September. However, one presentation was made; this was by Devon’s match captain, Brian Hewson, to his Player of the Year, Mark Abbott, who had won all his 5 games for the county during the season. As neither would be at Devon’s AGM on the following Friday, it seemed appropriate to take this opportunity.


Mark Abbott (r) - Devon's Player of the Year 2012.

Bds 6 (nearest) to 1.

Bds. 11 (nearest) - 16.

Bds 17 & 18.

Hodge vs Amos & Palmer vs Waley.

Top game: Stephens vs Hewson.

Coast team's top players.

Graham Hesse Dies

President of the Teignmouth Chess Club, Graham Hesse (85) passed away at his Dawlish home over the Christmas period.

Graham Hesse as Mayor of Dawlish in 2002.


He was born in Bournemouth before the family moved to Exeter in 1936. After completing his education and trying various jobs, he settled in the Bristol area and became a Research Assistant at the University of Bristol Department of Anaesthetics, based at Bristol Royal Infirmary, eventually being promoted to Chief Physics Technician on the University staff. He retired in 1982 and went to live in Dawlish.

He was always very active in local politics, somewhat left of centre. The combination of career and politics had left no time for chess, but he had been infected by the virus at an early age, passed on by his father, and retirement allowed him to take it up again, fitting in visits to the Teignmouth Club, where he became President.

His father was L. E. (Ted) Hesse, a founding father of the Exeter & District Chess League in 1953. Ted was its inaugural Deputy President, and soon raised to the Presidency a few years later. He was a member of the old Civil Service Club in Exeter, along with such young tyroes as Ray Shepherd, Bill Frost, Eric Soper and E. W. Bailey, to name but a few.

Here are a couple of pictures of Ted Hesse in action.

Ted Hesse (extreme right) at the 2nd Exeter League AGM.

Ted Hesse (left) at the League AGM in May 1961

Exeter Simultaneous

Starting to panic about the East Devon team for the WECU Jamboree on Sunday, needing two low graded players, I went up to the Exeter Club last night in the hope of dragooning a couple of players. Failed totally in that respect, but found it was the evening of their annual pre-season warm-up, when the new Club Champion takes on the rest of the membership in a simultaneous match, in this case Graham Bolt.
I was invited to take part, and in order not to have wasted the trip up from Exmouth I joined in and made the numbers up to 10.
Once under way, Graham raced around the boards, never spending more than 10 seconds per move at any one game, and twice declining proffered draws for the sake of the hope of some exciting play, before going on to lose both games. However, he paid the price as he lost 6 games, drew one and won 3 , as follows:-

Bd Opponent Grd    
1 R. H. Jones 130 1 0
2 Sean Pope 149 1 0
3 Charles Keen 155 1 0
4 B. Page-Thomas u/g 0 1
5 Ben Newman u/g ½ ½
6 Terry Earnshaw u/g 0 1
7 Richard Scholes 114 0 1
8 Piet Dobber 149 1 0
9 Giles Body 150 1 0
10 J. Amos u/g 1 0

Not that he was troubled in any way about his fortunes – as everyone had had a good time.

Meanwhile, I still need two players for Sunday.

Graham Bolt - Exeter Champion 2010 - 11

David Clive Scott – Funeral (22.08.2011.)

Relatives, friends and colleagues gathered at Exeter Crematorium for the funeral of Dave Scott this afternoon, with every seat taken and a dozen forced to stand.

It was a Humanist service taken by Alison Orchard, and the coffin arrived to the strains of  The Eagles’ Hotel California, which did not seem entirely inappropriate. There were no hymns or prayers, of course, and the cross had been removed from the chapel, but Ms. Orchard’s eulogy was frank, comprehensive and sympathetic, and just about says it all. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here verbatim – little more needs to be said.

“We have gathered here today in a spirit of celebration to say our goodbyes to Dave Scott. Please be seated. 

You have come here today because Dave’s life touched yours. Your presence is, therefore, a testament, in itself, to Dave but it is more than that because it also gives comfort to others: it matters that you are here. On behalf of Rob, Steve and Naomi, I would like to thank you for coming here today to let them know their sorrow is shared; a warm welcome to you all. 

More technically minded and logical than religious, Dave chose to live his life without recourse to the church. This occasion will, therefore, be secular in nature. Our simple ceremony today will be – in effect – a series of reflections and music which have significance to Dave’s life and we hope, in that way, you will feel Dave close as you say your goodbyes. My name is Alison Orchard, I am a celebrant with the British Humanist Association and it is a privilege to join you here. 

Humanists see human existence as part of one great continuum which is evident throughout all nature. For millions of years, life on earth has evolved, such that each one of us builds on lives that come before us and become the foundation for lives that come after us. Death is an essential dynamic in that process of progression, and, in that way, death is as natural as life. 

It’s natural, too, that you should feel great sadness today; grief is the price that we have to pay for loving someone and sharing their life and it’s rarely easy to say goodbye. 

But today is more difficult for you because Dave also died younger than most and had been struggling with life for the past few years; probably more than you realized because, as a person who was always smart, on the ball and hardworking until recently, his drink problem wasn’t always as evident as it might have been. Perhaps you are, therefore, bringing a mixture of complex emotions, such as regret and shock, with you which compound your sadness today and I expect you are grieving, not only for the life that was, but also for the life that might have been. 

But it’s important to remember that life is rarely perfect or tidy, we all struggle in different ways and we all cope in the best way we can. 

And now, to honour that, an extract from ‘The Journey of Life’ by Winston Churchill: 

Let us be contented with what has happened and be thankful for all that which we have been spared. Let us accept the natural order of things in which we move. Let us reconcile ourselves to the mysterious rhythm of our destinies, such as they must be in this world of space and time. Let us treasure our joys but not bewail our sorrows. The glory of light cannot exist without its shadows. Life is a whole, and good and ill must be accepted together.

The journey has been enjoyable and well worth making …… 

Let’s look Dave’s death in the face with honesty, but also with dignity and with love and understanding. In that way, I hope you will be able to say your goodbyes with the peaceful spirit that, as a proud man, he would have wished and you can celebrate all that he has left you and the world. 

Each life plays its own – small but vital and unique – part in the history of the universe and humankind. And so it was with Dave, and we can celebrate that he conducted his time on earth with such intelligence, good humour and motivation, making such a valuable contribution to our society and community. 

Here is his story. 

Born on 12th March, 1954, here in Exeter, Dave was the younger of two sons, with older brother, Alan, born to Charles and his wife, Lorna. He didn’t speak much about his childhood but we know he collected stamps as a boy and, with his brother, loved cycling. He attended Hele’s School where he particularly enjoyed Maths and the Sciences and he went on to study for his ‘A’ Levels at Exeter College. 

He grew up to be a slim young man with fair hair and he was, by all accounts, a mod with a scooter as a teenager. Dave began his career by studying for his H.N. C. in Surveying, Cartography and Planning at Brunel Technical College in 1976 and Bristol Polytechnic in 1978. He then went on to complete his postgraduate diploma in Town and Country Planning; he was best in his class and received an award for the ‘Best Performance by the first professional entrant of 1981-82′. 

Starting his career in town planning at Exeter City Council, Dave became a member of the ‘Royal Town Planning Institute’ in 1984 and so continued an impressive career, mostly working in forward planning and conservation in mid Devon, and based at Tiverton. 

Undoubtedly Dave was highly respected as a professional and he was valued as a colleague for his technical abilities as well as his dry sense of humour. In 1992 he completed his Diploma in Management Studies at Plymouth University. His boss, Jonathan Guscott, wrote to Rob, Steve and Naomi, to say: 

I worked with your father for nearly ten years and was impressed by his obvious intelligence and self deprecating good humour. 

and his colleagues in other letters and tributes have said: 

Dave was an intellectual giant who loved debate and discussion, those who worked with him appreciated his acute sense of fairness, his generous nature and his relaxed attitude.  

Dave met Maggie, settling in Exeter, eventually building a family home in Queens Rd, where Dave, like many men, did not enjoy the household chores but carried out a great deal of DIY. 

He had an eye-opening initiation into fatherhood with the birth of twin sons, Rob and Steve, and, as a hands-on father, he had to cope with one twin throwing their dinner on the floor, whilst he then bent down to pick it up the other threw their dinner on his head! They thought that was a fine game! Naomi was born to complete their family. 

The children have fond memories of their family holidays, usually camping, and have many funny stories to tell. On one holiday to France, theirs was the first car off the ferry but Dave didn’t know where to go so he drove tentatively towards the car park to get his bearings. Unfortunately, all the drivers behind him assumed he did know the way and so they all snaked several times around the car park behind him before he finally managed to find the way out! 

Another holiday was spent in Wales. It had been unusually hot for some time and they put their tent up in a hollow in the parched field. Of course it poured relentlessly the next day and they soon discovered that they had set up camp in a dried up river bed! Their tent was floating on a foot of water. 

Jonathan Guscott wrote: 

We had many talks and it was obvious to me that Dave was a proud father who loved his children deeply. 

Dave was a dedicated Dad who was involved in his children’s lives and was always there for them. He went fishing with Steve and collected stamps with Naomi. But, perhaps the most significant hobby that Dave shared with his children was that of playing chess and under his tutelage Rob was to become an international junior player. 

A sound club level player himself, Dave really came into his own as a chess coach, he adapted to each individual’s needs, explaining things at an appropriate level, and he seemed to have the knack of bringing out the best in others, especially the juniors, to nurture new talent. Not only did he begin the Isca Junior Club, which was successful and achieved a lot, he worked hard to plan and run chess tournaments in the area and ran the Devon junior U-11 team for 2 years. 

There are many people – here and not here – who have much to thank Dave for. 

Dave had many interests. Cricket was something of an obsession. He played a as spinner when he was younger but, after his own cricketing career was over, he would listen to or watch it whenever he could. He has been known to take annual leave from work whilst the Ashes were on and he would try desperately to tune into Radio 4 longwave, even if it crackled ridiculously, whilst on holiday in France. Always notorious for a sarcastic sense of humour himself, he enjoyed watching comedies like Blackadder, One Foot in the Grave and Life on Mars. He loved cooking adventurously, perhaps enjoying cooking more than eating. Woodland inspired him and he would comb the woods for mushrooms in autumn and bring them home to eat. It is fitting that his ashes will be scattered in woodland and, in time, he will become part of a place he loved in life. 

Sadly, everything and everyone we cherish passes out of our lives. Perhaps it is only when we face this truth as those we love and admire die, that we can see how precious every day life really is. 

We can take comfort that, despite a couple of very challenging years, Dave died peacefully in his bed. He is now beyond suffering and we have a sense of peace and release for him. 

And now, to end our tribute to Dave, a piece written by Robert Louis Stevenson which Rob, Steve and Naomi chose for today: 

That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it……. who never lacked appreciation for the earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had. Whose life is an inspiration and whose memory is a benediction. 


Dave, We treasure so much that you brought to this world and to our lives. Thank you.

With respect we leave you in peace and, with love, we let you go. 

Grief can and does change. However low this has made you, I hope you can turn back to life – in your own time and your own way – and embrace it to the full and enrich your own and others’ lives. It doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten Dave or that you aren’t missing him: it simply means that you’ve learnt, may be from Dave himself or this experience itself, that life is for living and loving, for being and doing. 

You will laugh again and, when you do, Dave will be right there with you. Through all the things he said and did, and the life you shared, Dave has become part of you and the cycle of humanity so, through your life now, he will live on.

 Our final reading says it all really: 

You can shed tears that he is gone or you can smile because he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him or it can be full of the love you have shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live for yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn back or you can do what he’d want, smile, open your eyes and love and go on

Thank you for sharing in our ceremony today. You are warmly invited to join family and friends at The Buckerell Lodge and to share more memories next. There will be a retiring collection in aid of the Devon Junior Chess Association. You can leave a donation here in memory of Dave if you wish or later, via the Funeral Directors, Exeter and District Funeral Services if you’d rather”. 

This was followed by another of Dave’s favourite tracks, the Beatles’ Let It Be, which again was quite fitting.