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EXMOUTH CHESS CLUB SUMMER-TIME HANDICAP 2018

NB: A = Grades are current standard-play rounded to nearest 5.

B = No. of minutes on clock for each player

A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 total
1 Braun 200 10 .…X ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… ……… .1.…… ..1.…… ……… ……… ……… ……… 2
2 Abbott, 185 10 X
3 Wensley 175 15 X
4 Shaw 175 15 X
5 Murray 145 30 X
6 Dean 140 35 X
7 Adams 130 40 X
8 Selley 130 40 0 X 0 0 0
9 Jones 130 40 0 1 X 00 1 2
10 Belt 115 45 1 11 X 0 3
11 Blake 100 55 X
12 Newcombe 95 55 X
13 Grist 85 60 0 1 X 1

End of Season matches (05.05.2018.) 984

Devon’s last match in Division 1 was played out on Saturday between Exmouth and Newton Abbot. As both teams had already lost home and away to Exeter, there wasn’t much to play for, except to avoid the wooden spoon. In this, Exmouth succeeded narrowly, but there were wins for both teams.

At quickplay Paul Hampton has few equals on the local circuit. He won this game, but missed a mating combination.

White: P. D. Hampton (172). Black: C. V.  Howard (154).

Bird’s Opening  [A03]

1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.b3 Be7 5.Bb2 c5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 b6 8.Qe1 Bb7 9.d3 Qc7 10.Ne5 Bf8 11.Nd2 0–0–0 12.Ndf3 Ne8 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.c4 Now knowing which side Black has castled, White wastes no time in launching an attack against it. 14…Nd6 15.b4 Nf5 16.cxd5 exd5 17.bxc5 Bxc5 18.d4 Bd6 19.Rc1 threatening Bb5. White can ignore the threat to his e3 pawn as the knight would be needed to defend the white-square bishop, especially with Black’s king & queen are in line. 19…Kb7 20.Ne5 Bxe5 21.fxe5 Nxe3 White gifts the e-pawn as it frees up all his pieces.  22.Ba6+ Kxa6 23.Qxe3 Qd7 24.Rf3 Rc8 25.Rcf1 f6 26.exf6 gxf6 27.Rxf6 Rc7 28.Ba3 Qg7 29.Bd6 Bb5 30.R1f2 Rc4 31.Be5 Re8 Welcome to the game. Now Black has options. 32.Qa3+ Ra4 33.Qd6 Qg4 34.h3 Qe4 35.Kh2 Rc8 36.Rf7 Bd3 The killer move. 37.Rxa7+! The killer move. 37…Kxa7 38.Qd7+ Check and forking both rooks. 38…Ka6 39.Qxc8+? Wrong rook; White missed a mate in 4 by taking the other rook viz 39.Qxa4+ Kb7 40.Rf7+ Rc7 41.Rxc7+ Kb8 42.Qe8# 39…Ka5 40.Qc3+ Ka6 41.Rd2 1-0

A rapidly-improving junior, Ramesh showed his growing class with this win over a more experienced opponent.

White: V. Ramesh (164). Black: S. Martin (186)

Sicilian Defence – Dragon Variation [B72]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 Nf6 8.f3 Bd7 9.Qd2 a6 10.h4 h5 11.0–0–0 b5 White having committed to castling long, Black moves to launch a pawn storm, but it takes a lot of moves to get the a & b pawns onto really threatening squares, which perhaps could be better used completing piece development  12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Kb1 Qc7 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Bd7 16.Rhe1 a5 17.Bd3 b4 18.Qf2 Rb8 19.Bd4 Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Black has left castling too late 20…Rg8 If 20…0–0 21.Rxe7. 21.Re2 e6 22.dxe6 Bxe6 23.Rde1 Kd7 24.Re5 Ke7 25.R5e4 Qc5 26.Qxc5 dxc5 27.Re5 Rgc8 28.Bxg6! Not difficult to see; just the fruit of everything that’s gone before. 28…Kf6 29.Bxh5 Re8 30.b3 Rbc8 31.Bg4 Rc6 32.Bxe6 fxe6 It’s now a pure R&P endgame, except that Black doesn’t have enough of the latter. 33.Kc1 a4 34.g4 axb3 35.axb3 c4 36.bxc4 Rxc4 37.R5e4 Rc3 38.R1e3 Rec8 39.Rxe6+ Kf7

The solution to last week’s ancient teaser was 1.Rhg7! Wherever the king or knight move will allow one of the rooks to mate on the back rank.

In this level-looking position from 1995 White noticed a breakthrough move.

What did he play?

Revd. Bremridge’s Wooden Spoon Avoided (28.04.2018.)

Exeter having already won the Bremridge Cup by beating home & away the other two teams, Exmouth and Newton Abbot, these were left “playing for peanuts” as the Tournament Secretary put it. However, this proved more difficult than usual. On the first occasion, Newton Abbot couldn’t raise a team for their away leg and the match was postponed until 28th April. For their home leg, it was Exmouth that couldn’t raise a team, but it was too late in the season for a postponement, so that was declared “unplayed”.

In an effort to infuse a small element of significance to the match it was felt the teams could be fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. And so the games were played slowly and seriously. The first point went to the visitors in the shape of Vignesh Ramesh who overcame a 22 point deficit to beat his experienced opponent. Then nothing happened for some time, when four games seemed to finish in a flurry. John Stephens exploited his extra pawn in a R&P ending, got it to the 7th rank and Black could do nothing about it.

Underwood’s and Hampton’s games also finished at this time with wins for the home team. Meanwhile, Walter Braun was struggling to defend his position a piece down, Steve Homer, who, being the player he is, was never going to let up.

With the score at 3-2 it was left to Brian Gosling and Josh Blackmore to finish things off. They were down to a black-square bishop each and a sprinkling of pawns. The game went on for some time long after the other players had gone. Blackmore was making all his moves in the last 5 seconds of each incremental 30 seconds, but Gosling managed to retain a very slight edge, and chipped away at the pawns. There was a moment when Blackmore might have been able to sacrifice his bishop for his opponent’s last pawn to leave a draw, but the chance passed, and Gosling was able to mop up pawns on his was to a win, leaving the final score 4-2 and the Wooden Spoon was avoided.

Bremridge Cup (Div. 1)   28.04.2018.
EXMOUTH Grd NEWTON ABBOT Grd
1 Dr. W. Braun 203 0 1 S. J. Homer 181
2 Dr. J. Underwood 192 1 0 P. Brooks 170
3 J. K. F. Stephens 189 1 0 T. F. Thynne 170
4 S. Martin 186 0 1 V. Ramesh 164
5 P. G. Hampton 172 1 0 C. V. Howard 154
6 B. G. E. Gosling 160 1 0 J. Blackmore 147
1,102 4 2 986

Walter Braun vs Steve Homer (Bd.1)

Bd. 2: Paul Brooks vs Jonathan Underwood

Charlie Howard makes a move against Paul Hampton on Bd. 5

Josh Blackmore vs Brian Gosling on Bd. 6 last to finish after a tight endgame.

left: John Stephens vs Trefor Thynne with Steve Martin in view on right.

Exeter Retain Top Prize (24.02.2018.) 974

Devon’s Premiership club competition was decided on Saturday when Exeter travelled all the way to Exmouth for the final showdown. Both 6-player teams’ grade total were almost 1,100 which made it a very strong event, but the result was the same as in recent encounters, a 3½-2½ win to Exeter.

Details: Exmouth names first in each pairing. 1. J. Stephens (189) 1-0 G. Bolt (188). 2. W. Braun (197) 0-1 L. Hartmann (183). 3. Dr. J. Underwood (191) ½-½ Dr. T. Paulden (189). 4. S. Martin (184)  ½-½ P. O’Neill (187). 5. O. E. Wensley (175) ½-½ C. Lowe (179). 6. B. Gosling (160) 0-1 Dr. D. Regis (165).

Here is the game from Board 1.

White: J. Stephens. Black: G. Bolt.

Sicilian Defence – Maroczy Bind [B38].

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Be3 c5 Transposing into a Sicilian Defence. 5.c4 The Maroczy Bind, the idea of which is to discourage Black from playing …d5 which would free up his position. 5…cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 0–0 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.f3 a6 11.Qd2 Rc8 12.b3 Re8 13.0–0 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Qa5 15.Qe3 Qh5 16.Qf2 e6 17.Rfd1 Bc6 18.Bb6 Nd7 19.f4 Qh6 20.Be3 Bf8 21.b4 b5 Allowing White to obtain 2 passed pawns, which become more important as the game goes on, and White takes every chance to make equal exchanges 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Nxb5 Bxe4 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 25.Nxd6 Bxd6 26.Rxd6 Nf6 27.Rd4 Qf8 28.Qh4 Qg7 29.Rc4 Rxc4 30.Bxc4 Nd5 31.Qd8+ Qf8 32.Qxf8+ Kxf8 and now those pawns can spring to life. 33.Bc5+ Ke8 34.g3 Kd7 35.a4 Nc3 36.a5 Kc7 37.Kf2 Bc6 38.Ke3 Nd5+ 39.Kd4 f6 40.b5 Bd7 41.Bf8 Kd8 42.b6 Resigned 1–0.

The East Devon Congress started last evening in Exeter’s Corn Hall, and continues until tomorrow evening. With 3 days to go, there were no late Grandmaster entries; no John Nunn, as last year, acting as a magnet attracting enough players to make it a record entry for recent years. Total entries at this point are 137.

Future events include the following:

(a) West of England Championship & general Congress at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth over Easter weekend i.e. from Fri. 30th March – Mon. 2nd April.

(b) Fri. 18th May.29th Frome Congress

(c  Sat. 26th May. 50th Frome Congress.

A report was received this week of the death of a regular and popular player in Westcountry congresses, Robert Everson of Dartford, Kent. Like Simon Bartlett, who passed away last year, Robert also worked in the chemical industry and developed an inoperative brain tumour. A fuller obituary and photograph may be found on keverelchess.co.uk/blog.

In last week’s position, Black’s queen was overloaded trying to protect both c6 and f7, enabling White to play 1.Bc6 and if 1…QxB 2.Qxf7 mate.

Leafing through an old copy of Chess Life this week, I found a page of positions entitled Find The Zingers! (It’s an American magazine) and this is one from their Intermediate section. White to play.

Find The Zinger! White to play

Devon’s Div. 1 (Bremridge Cup) Retained (13.02.2018.)

Saturday was the defining day for this year’s destination of the Bremridge Cup, when Exeter were due to travel to neigbours Exmouth for their return match. Exmouth needed a win to retain any hope of wresting the cup from Exeter’s grasp, while a draw would be enough for Exeter to retain the trophy.

With this in mind, Exeter drafted in Exeter University student Lorenz Hartmann to beef up their team list, while Exmouth were able to field former local hero John Stephens. Unfortunately, this was offset by having three “unavailables”, but even so, the home team were slightly stronger on paper.

Things started badly for Exmouth, when Dave Regis was able to take full and immediate advantage of his opponent’s opening plan which left his king marooned in the centre and unable to move left or right to avoid the on-coming storm. 0-1

Boards 3, 4, & 5 were more cautious affairs all players keen not to miss any lurking dangers, and draws were agreed.

This left the top two games to settle matters. There was a distinctly continental flavour about Bd. 2 in which Hartmann, over from Germany doing in doctorate in Maths (in Game Theory, wouldn’t you know it!) was playing Viennese FIDE Master Walter Braun, currently enjoying his second period of residence in Exmouth. However, a slight slip in his early mid-game calculations enabled Hartmann to get a central pawn storm going, which proved impossible to resist. This was the win that clinched the title.

Which meant that Exeter team captain, Graham Bolt, didn’t need to worry too much about the way his own game was going. After Stephens had established 2 connected queenside pawns, he swapped off material whenever possible, increasing those pawns’ significance all the time until they were impossible to resist. It was consolation for Exmouth, but not quite enough.

Full details:-

D.C.C.A. Bremridge Cup                 Played Sat. 17.02.2018.
EXMOUTH Grd EXETER Grd
1 John Stephens 189 1 0 Graham Bolt 188
2 Walter Braun 197 0 1 Lorenz Hartmann 183
3 Dr. Jon Underwood 191 ½ ½ Dr. Tim Paulden 189
4 Steve Martin 184 ½ ½ Paul O’Neill 187
5 Oliver Wensley 175 ½ ½ Chris Lowe 179
6 Brian Gosling 160 0 1 Dr. Dave Regis 165
1,096 1,089

Nearest: Bd 2 Hartmann (W) vs Braun & Bd. 1 Stephens (W) vs Bolt

Two Doctors heading for a draw: Underwood (W) vs Paulden.

Regis (W) vs Gosling

O'Neill (W) vs Martin

Castle With A Twist (10.02.2018.) 972

Cornwall’s championship and general congress will be held on the weekend of 9th – 11th March at Carnon Downs. The winner of the top section, the Emigrant Cup, will be declared the Cornish Champion, while the Falmouth Cup is for players graded 145 or below in the January list. Full details may be found on the website cornwallchess.org.uk.

Devon’s Division 1, the Bremridge Cup, is a limited affair with only three clubs involved this year, playing a double round. Division 2, the Mamhead Cup, is more interesting with seven teams competing. The holders are Exmouth who have had to survive several close encounters as they try to retain the cup. At the weekend they travelled to Dartmouth in order to play the burgeoning South Hams Club. The venue was the magnificent house called The Keep built in 1856 like a castle with tower and turrets, in order to blend in with its situation overlooking the even more historic Dartmouth Castle and the whole estuary.

This match looked like going to the South Hams team until an unlikely late twist turned the tide. It was ironic that it should be a castle that administered the coup de grace.

White: P. McConnell (128). Black: M. Belt (119). King’s Indian Defence [A47]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 b6 4.Nf3 Bb7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Be7 7.Nbd2 Nh5 8.Bg3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 h6 10.Qc2 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nc6 12.a3 Rc8 13.Qa4 0–0 14.Ke2? White ultimately pays the price for keeping his king in the centre. Better was 0-0. 14…d6 15.Rh2 Qc7 16.d5 exd5 17.Qg4 with 3 pieces bearing down on Black’s rather lonely king 17…f5! The best reply, though it loses material in the short term. 18.Bxf5 Rxf5 19.Qxf5 Black’s exchange sacrifice not only staves off the immediate threats but also allows his knight & white-square bishop a chance to work in concert, which they do to great effect. 19…Ba6+ 20.Kd1 Ne5 21.Nd4 Bd3 22.Qe6+ Kh7 23.f4 Bc2+ 24.Ke1 Nd3+ 25.Ke2 Nc5 26.Qxd5 Bd3+ 27.Kf2 Bf6 28.Kg1 Ne4 Threatening a back rank mate. 29.Nxe4 Removing the immediate threat, but it’s not enough. 29…Qc1+ 30.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 31.Kf2 Rf1# 0–1

The 43rd East Devon Congress starts a week on Friday at the Corn Hall, Exeter, details of which may be found on a new website called Chess Hawk. The site’s front page via the calendar has links to the congress brochure and means of paying to enter, plus a list of current entries. The Open Section looks like being a strong tournament with 17 players graded above 170, and more entering all the time as Rd, 1 approaches.

Hopefully, solvers will have realised that the queen in last week’s position should have been white.

This position arose last year between a Cornish and Devon player, Jeremy Menadue (Truro) and Matthew Wilson (Teignmouth). Black’s pieces are somewhat cramped which allows White (Menadue) to reap material benefit. How did he do this?

White to play

Exmouth’s January 2018 Grades

The January ECF Grading List was released earlier today.

Most folk are a few points up or down.

Dave Adams’s old Scottish grade has not yet been integrated with his new ECF one. Also, Susan Selley’s first grade is 89 RapidPlay, and will doubtless need a few more games before it rises to its rightful level.

Name Standard Previous Rapidplay Previous
Abbott, Mark V 186 A 183 A 172 177
Adams, David J 136 F
Adams, David John 132 E
Belt, Malcolm 116 C 119 B 122 118
Blake, Simon 102 E 106 E 107
Braun, Walter 197 D 203 D
Dean, Alan J 140 C 140 D 141 139
Grist, Ivor G 86 C 84 C 74 75
Jones, Robert H 128 C 128 B 139 138
Murray, J Stephen 146 C 147 A 145 144
Newcombe, Barbara 96 D 92 D 82 83
Rogers, David R 131 A 130 A
Scott, Chris J 163 C 160 B 141 150
Selley, Susan A 89
Shaw, Meyrick 176 A 169 A 186 186
Stephens, John KF 189 D 189 C 179
Wensley, Oliver E 175 A 172 A 169 164
Associates
Dean, Steve K 158 A 161 A 165 163
Hampton, Paul DJ 175 C 172 B 194 193
Martin, Steven 184 A 186 A 156 159
Underwood, Jonathan 191 C 192 C 177 180
Gosling, Brian GE 160 A 154 A 150 148

Devon’s First Div. 1 Match of the Season (29.10.2017,) 957

Devon’s 1st league match of the season took place on Saturday between old rivals Exmouth and Exeter, in the 1st Division, the Bremridge Cup. It was also a small piece of chess history as it was the first time DCCA had decreed that digital clocks should be used in their league matches, in this case giving each player 90 minutes thinking time, and an extra 30 seconds being automatically added by the clock each time a move was made. It resulted in a 4-2 win for Exeter, but there will be a return match later in the year. Here are 2 games from the match – a win for each team.

White: Chris Scott (160). Black: Jeremy Amos (144).

Sicilian Defence – [B32]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 It is generally reckoned that if Black, playing the Sicilian Defence, can get in …d5 without incurring any setback, he is well on the way to securing the initiative, so White, if he gets the chance, will try to protect against it by playing c4, called the Maroczy Bind, 6…a6 7.N5a3 f5 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Bg5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Nc2 0–0 12.Bd3 f4 13.Be2 g5 Black is really throwing caution to the winds. 14.Bg4 Nd4 15.Be2 g4 16.Nxd4 exd4 17.Nd5 d3 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qxd3 Qxb2 20.0–0 f3 21.gxf3 gxf3 22.Bxf3 Bh3 23.Bg2 Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Rxf2+ 25.Rxf2 Qxa1 This skirmish leaves the position materially level, but Black’s pieces could not be further apart, while White’s have the freedom of the board to unite against an undefended king. 26.Qxd6 Qg7+ 27.Kh3 Threatening Rg2 winning the queen. 27…Qc3+ 28.Kh4 Qe1?? Losing his queen by force. 29.Qg3+ Kh8 30.Rf8+ Rxf8 31.Qxe1 Kg7 32.Kg5 Rf7 33.Qc3+ Kf8 34.Qe5 Rg7+ 35.Kh6 Re7 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.Qxh7+ 1–0

White: John Morrison (144). Black: Brian  Gosling (148).

Vienna Game  [C27]

1.e4 d6 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.f4 Signature move of the Vienna Opening with the idea that if 4…exf4 5.d4 wins back the pawn while setting up a strong pawn centre. 4…Bg4 5.Be2 Bxe2 6.Qxe2 c6 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.d4 Qa5 9.Bd2 Qc7 losing a tempo. 10.0–0 exd4 11.Nxd4 0–0–0 12.Nb3 h5 13.a4 Ng4 14.a5 Be7 15.h3 Ngf6 16.Qc4 White keeps probing at weak spots. 16…Rhf8 17.Be3 Nc5 18.Nxc5 dxc5 19.Qe2 White could have opened up the position with 19.Bxc5 Bxc5+ 20.Qxc5 which would have won a pawn, but he declined that option. 19…Kb8 20.e5 Nd5 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.Qxh5 d4 23.Bd2 c4 24.Qf3 Bc5 25.b4 cxb3 26.Qxb3 Opening the b-file to Black’s king. 26…d3+ 27.Kh1 Bd4 28.Rac1 dxc2 29.Rxc2 Qd7 From its unprepossessing square, White’s bishop suddenly strikes out and delivers a fatal blow. 30.Bb4! Rfe8 31.Bd6+ Ka8 32.Rc7 1–0

In last week’s position, Philidor decided he could take the knight, allowing Black to continue 1…d2, on the verge of queening, but the rest of his moves are forced. 1. Rc7+ Kg8. 2.f6 gxf6 3.exf6 Rd4+ 4.Ke5 Rd5+. 5.Kf4 Rd4+. 6.Kg3 Rxg6. 7.hxg6.

This week it’s White to play & mate in 2

White to play & mate in 2

Exmouth’s 1st Match of the Season (21.10.2017.)

A tiny bit of chess history was made in Exeter on Saturday 21st October 2017 when Exmouth took on their near neighbours, Exeter, at Oxygen House, Grenadier Rd., Exeter. This was the first inter-club match under the aegis of the Devon County Chess Association to be played using digital clocks. The rate of moves, dictated by the clocks was 90 minutes for all moves, with 30 seconds added each time a move was made. Given, for example, a 60 move game this would provide an additional 30 minutes to the hour and a half, making a total of 2 hours thinking time per player, close to that allowed hitherto by analogue clocks. Several differences arose out of this change: (a) players had to write down all moves, right to the end of the game, as there would always be at least 30 seconds in which to do this. (b) Also, there would no need for the furious, frantic “time-scramble”, so often a feature of the previous system.

The match was preceded by the presentation of the Devon individual championship cup for the 2016-17 season. The previous champion, Steve Martin, in the visitors’ team, had brought the cup with him and was able to hand it over to his successor, Graham Bolt, captain of the home team – photo below.

Both teams were under-strength for a variety of reasons, but were still closely matched. Exeter had had to draft in a reserve at a few hours notice when Leif Halfsted phoned in sick. His replacement, Jeremy Amos, was the first to lose, but Exmouth’s lead lasted about 2 minutes when Oliver Wensley missed a trick, lost a piece and fell to Chris Lowe. Then it was Exeter’s turn to take the lead, after John Morrison, always dangerous when allowed the freedom to attack, pulled off a short, sharp combination that would have led to mate, had not Gosling resigned.

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel encouraged Exeter’s Bolt and Regis to agree to draws, making the score 3-2. This left Braun and Paulden to determine the final outcome. In a tight endgame they got down to a N & B each with a scattering of pawns. Paulden was down to his 30 secs per move, while Braun had plenty of time left, but seemed to move even more quickly than his opponent. He had extra pawns and felt there were no possible tactics and his play should be routine. Unfortunately, in this he was wrong, and lost his bishop. It was still very difficult for Paulden to make progress, but it was probably the effect of always having 30 seconds thinking time, as opposed to having to make instantaneous moves, that helped him keep finding the best moves, pressurising the position, to a point where his opponent had to throw in the towel. Result 4 – 2 to Exeter.

Exeter Grd Exmouth Grd
1 Tim Paulden B 183 1 0 Walter Braun 203
2 Graham Bolt W 196 ½ ½ Steve Martin 186
3 Chris Lowe B 176 1 0 Oliver Wensley 172
4 Dave Regis W 166 ½ ½ Steve Dean 161
5 Jeremy Amos B 147 0 1 Chris Scott 160
6 John Morrison W 144 1 0 Brian Gosling 154
Totals 1012 4 2 1036

Devon's individual champion 2016, Steve Martin, hands the cup to his successor, Graham Bolt (l).

Some nervous banter between players just before the kick-off

Exeter team captain, Graham Bolt, makes his move.

Chris Lowe, formerly of the old Paignton Palace club, makes his move against Oliver Wensley, Devon's Player of the Year, last season.

FIDE Master, Walter Braun (r), awaits Tim Paulden's reply to his Nimzo-Larsen opening.

Steve Dean (r) played his first match for Exmouth and earned a well-deserved draw after his usual steady play.

The first game to finish proved to be Exmouth's only win, as Chris Scott (l) overcame the late replacement, Jeremy Amos.

John Morrison (r) is always a dangerous attacking player, and as the opening transposed into a Vienna, it suited his style of play and he didn't miss out.

Exmouth’s Buzzing Start (13.09.2017.)

Exmouth Chess Club got their new season off to their traditional start of the dreaded  Buzzer Tournament. Key to the whole event is the battery-powered, home-made device that emits an unmistakable, unmissable warbling buzz every 10 seconds. Whoever’s move it is must move immediately the buzzer sounds, after which the opponent has 10 seconds thinking time.

It never fails to amaze and amuse, the extent to which those 10 seconds seem to vary, from the time one is playing the 1st 6 moves of one’s favourite opening to the final 6 moves or so, when fending off an attack that seems to come from all directions. They’re not the same thing at all.

In spite of the dreaded prospect of a whole evening of this mode of torture, 11 members were keen to get stuck in. In spite of the disparity in grades, the six lowest-graded players all beat someone of a higher grade, and all the top players lost a game, with the exception of FIDE Master Walter Braun, and even he dropped a half point before he got up a head of steam.

The final chart looked like this:

Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
1 Bob Jones 138 X 0 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½
2 Malcolm Belt 118 1 X 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Ivor Grist 75 0 0 X 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
4 Barbara Newcombe 83 0 ½ 0 X 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0
5 Chris Scott 150 0 1 1 X 1 1 0 ½ 0 0
6 Alan Dean 139 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 X 0 ½ 0 0 1
7 Mark Abbott 177 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 X 1 0 0 ½ 6
8 Simon Blake 102 0 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 X 0 0 0
9 Meyrick Shaw 186 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 X 0 ½
10 Walter Braun 190e ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 X 1
11 Oliver Wensley 164 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 0 0 X 6

Walter Braun (nearest) & Malcom Belt deep in thought. In the backgound Barbara Newcombe plays Club President Mark Abbott and Oliver Wensley faces Simon Blake.

Scott vs Braun & Grist vs Belt, while Alan Dean watches developments.

Wensley vs Blake alongside Newcombe vs Abbott