Posts Tagged ‘Exmouth Chess Club’
The Newman Cup is Devon’s RapidPlay Tournament, held by Exmouth numerous times in recent years. Their defence started with a reverse at the hands of Tiverton last month, making their away match to Seaton a crucial one.
It is a commonplace that away matches to Seaton are held in the depths of winter, when the trip there has to be made during the rush hour, with a great wind blowing and rain thrashing down. Last night was no exception. Progress was slow and the venue was reached with only minutes to spare before the scheduled start of 7 p.m. However, on arrival, the venue was locked and the key-holder unobtainable as a group of chess-players and others huddled in the doorway. Eventually, she arrived and play started just a few minutes late.
Rd. 1 started well with Simon Blake winning quickly and Oliver Wensley getting a draw, but Chris Scott was overwhelmed by the very steady Steve Dean, and Meyrick Shaw’s position, playing a Closed Sicilian, ran short of time and came unstuck against Steve Martin. So Rd. 1 was lost 2.5 – 1.5.
Fortunately, in this competition there’s always a second bite of the cherry, which is where Exmouth often hit back after an early loss. So in this case, when Blake won again. Scott played quickly, leaving Dean to get behind on the clock and he cracked under the pressure. Shaw invited the Alekhine’s Defence, but Martin opted not to play 2.e5 but preferred 2.d3 and soon found himself on the back foot with his King’s position in a mess and pieces undeveloped. Shaw managed to maintain th einitiative and eventually got a 2nd queen, forcing resignation. the 3-0 lead ensured a won match, and it mattered not that Wensley ran out of time in a winning position.
|Seaton||Grd||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 1||Rd 2||Exmouth||Grd|
|1||Steve Martin||162||1||0||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||164|
|2||Steve Dean||148||1||0||0||1||Chris Scott||154|
|3||Alan Dowse||113||½||1||½||0||Oliver Wensley||146|
|4||Nicolas Bacon||108||0||0||1||1||Simon Blake||100|
The latest grading list is out this morning, and it shows Exmouth players as having drifted up or down to a greater or lesser extent.
Here is the table in full, and will remain in force until the next list is published in Jan. 2014.
|129415F||Abbott, Mark V||156||X||172||A||159||E||164||E|
|242270A||Badlan, Tom W||80||C||88||C||83||E|
|214854H||Derrick, Ken W||206||C||210||C|
|111446D||Gosling, Brian GE||151||A||154||A|
|181711F||Grist, Ivor G||103||C||104||C|
|140874E||Hodge, Fred R||101||C||108||C||121||E||123||D|
|266234G||Hurst, Kevin J||184||A||174||D||150||E|
|113895K||Jones, Robert H||133||A||128||A||150||B||149||D|
|116002D||Murray, J Stephen||148||C||144||B||133||E|
|118154D||Rogers, David R||149||A||135||A|
|155629A||Stephens, John KF||190||X||191||A||187||B||186||D|
|242384E||Toms, David A||150||B||161||B|
|285021H||Wensley, Oliver E||157||B||173||A||146||D||144||D|
Simplified a little and converted to standard grade order, it looks like this:
|214854H||Derrick, Ken W||206||C|
|155629A||Stephens, John KF||190||X||187||B|
|266234G||Hurst, Kevin J||184||A||150||E|
|285021H||Wensley, Oliver E||157||B||146||D|
|129415F||Abbott, Mark V||156||X||159||E|
|111446D||Gosling, Brian GE||151||A|
|242384E||Toms, David A||150||B|
|118154D||Rogers, David R||149||A|
|116002D||Murray, J Stephen||148||C|
|113895K||Jones, Robert H||133||A||150||B|
|181711F||Grist, Ivor G||103||C|
|140874E||Hodge, Fred R||101||C||121||E|
|242270A||Badlan, Tom W||80||C||83||E|
Last weekend, Exmouthian, Meyrick Shaw, shared 1st prize in the Major Section (U-175) of the prestigious e2-e4 chess congress at Northcote House, Sunningdale. He scored 4.5/5 points, as did the Nigerian Mustapha Othman, both sharing £450 in prizemoney. They drew in Rd. 4, having been in the sole lead, and went on to win their last round game. Meyrick’s tournament grade was 197 compared to his current standard grade of 168, which is surely bound to rise in the new list.
His games, together with all the others, are downloadable from the e2-e4 website.
The venue is Northcote House, an impressive neo-Georgian structure built in 1930, set in 65 acres of parkland.
The term Amaurosis scachistica is an ailment diagnosed in some detail by the physician, Tarrasch, the main symptom being the making of obvious but uncharateristic blunders, better known in English as Chess Blindness. Tarrasch claimed there was no sure preventative treatment and he had some evidence that it may actually be infectious, calling this amaurosis scachistica chronica communis.
After Exmouth’s final home match of the season yesterday, against Teignmouth in a Division 2 match, we have further evidence to support the infection theory. In a small room with just 8 players, it can be deadly, spreading like wildfire in a very short time, each blunder more profound than the one commited just minutes earlier.
It all started on Bd. 3, where White, tempted by a hot pawn on the other side of the board, took it with his queen, thereby abandoning her protection of a rook that was being eyed up by the Black queen. There swiftly followed …QxR+ and the game was over. The stars on top board seemed to have some natural immunity to this craziness, and Stephens, having recently realised that his strength might lie in rook+pawn endgames, true to his instincts quickly reached such a position and ran his a-pawn to queen, forcing a win. Exmouth at this stage were 2 up with 2 to play, but the infection was spreading rapidly.
On Bd. 4, the Teignmouth player attacked the enemy queen with a bishop. White responded by advancing a pawn, discovering a check by the queen. What a blunder – but instead of taking the queen, Black simply moved his king aside. Both players obviously badly infected and the outcome clearly impossible to predict. Teignmouth reduced the arrears by winning this game, but at least the Bd. 2 game was safe, where the home player was never seriously troubled and the game seemed to be heading for at least the draw required to win the match. They had got down to rook + bishop vs rook + knight, where the former had the positional advantage. But you know what knights are like…… The knight checked on a square where it could be taken by the bishop, the perpetrator fully expecting an exchange of the minor pieces. White saw the check, but not the fact that it also forked his rook. As on Bd. 4 earlier, he moved his king away and was amazed to see his rook snaffled. End of game – end of match. Exmouth had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.
Several players considered calling in to the local A & E Dept. on the way home, but it would have done no good. As Tarrasch correctly predicted, there is no known cure.
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||192||1||0||A. W. Brusey||174|
|2||M. Shaw||166||0||1||J. G. Gorodi||148|
|3||Dr. D. A.Toms||159||1||0||N. F. Tidy||119|
|4||I. G. Grist||96||0||1||J. Ariss||120|
The Newman Cup is DCCA’s RapidPlay trophy. As in recent years, the only entries were Exmouth, Tiverton and Seaton, playing each other at home and away. Last Wednesday evening was Exmouth’s last match, entertaining Seaton at their Age Concern Day Centre in New Street. Having beaten and drawn against Tiverton, and beaten Seaton away, and knowing that Seaton had beaten Tiverton in their first encounter, the title was Exmouth’s to lose. Not that anything was to be taken for granted as Seaton were able to field a much stronger team for this 2nd match.
In fact, after losing the toss and having Black on Bds. 1 & 3 Seaton won the first round. With colours reversed the crucial moment came after Stephens and Wensley won on Bds 1 & 2. Jones was locked into a rook and pawn ending against the dangerous M. Adams (Martyn, not Mickey). With two minutes left each, the play was getting wild, and although Jones had what was probably a winning position – with best play - anything could go wrong, and knowing that a draw would ensure at least a drawn match, and with it, the title, offered a draw which was quickly accepted. Another factor in his offer, was that Blake was winning on Bd. 4. but in the last few seconds the win evaporated, and the match was, in fact, drawn.
Exmouth thus finished this tournament with a win and draw against both opponents.
|Exmouth||Grd||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Seaton||Grd|
|1||J. K. F. Stephens||184||1||1||0||0||S. K. Dean||152|
|2||O. E. Wensley||136||0||1||1||0||K. Alexander||129|
|3||R. H. Jones||148||½||½||½||½||M. Adams||127|
|4||S. Blake||96||0||0||1||1||A. Dowse||110|
Tiverton vs Exmouth – Mamhead Cup Div. 2 – 16.03.2012.
Saturday Afternoon At The Tomato doesn’t have quite the same ring about it as the mid-70s classic jazz-fused song “Midnight At The Oasis”, but there was at least a tiny bit of Tiverton chess history involved as it was their first match at this experimental venue. “Tomato” is the striking title of a tapas bar, near the town centre in Tiverton, with a spacious room upstairs, which the owner lets free of charge, provided all the refreshments are purchased at the bar downstairs.
This was Exmouth’s 7th match of the season, and were so far undefeated, but any temptation to say they wanted to squash their opponents was firmly resisted. Just as well, too, because any squashing was done by the home team.
It all started so well, too, as John Stephens ended with a pretty finish in a pawn ending. At the other end, Simon Blake was the exchange up going into the endgame – a rook + 2 minor pieces vs 3 minor pieces. However, these included two knights, and these can become very slippery if given half a chance, and a knight check won a bishop, and it was downhill from thereon in. But at least the other two games looked solid enough, giving reasonable expectations of yet another drawn match. Gosling agreed a draw, which left Shaw wondering whether to also settle for a draw or try and for a win in order to win the match. But it was one of those positions in which whoever tries to push for win, usually ends up losing, and this is what happened, giving Tiverton the match.
|1||B. W. R. Hewson||174||0||1||J. K. F. Stephens||192|
|2||S. Bartlett||164||1||0||M. Shaw||166|
|3||I. S. Annetts||152||½||½||B. G. E. Gosling||164|
|4||J. Knowles||128||1||0||S. Blake||96|
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.
|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|
Exmouth Club Member, Obie Ebanks, was reported by his brother Kim, to have been killed in a traffic accident on Christmas Eve. This happened on the A30 near Honiton at 11.30 a.m. on the dangerous stretch of road between Rawridge and Monkton, when the car he was driving ran head-first into an articulated lorry coming up the hill. It took the emergency services 7 hours to remove his body from the car.
Obie had been a member of the Exmouth Club for about 2 years, after moving to the town from Leytonstone in East London. After a period of unemployment, he had recently got steady work as a hospital car driver for the South West Ambulance Service, and it may be that he was on one of these missions of mercy when the accident happened.
It comes as a surprise to many to learn that he would have been 60 in June.
His two abiding hobbies were chess and boxing. He had been a member of the Repton Club, England’s most famous training establishment, the base for many champions. Obie’s amateur career started well, winning his first 20 fights, but his 21st was his first taste of defeat and he retired from serious competition thereafter. However, he maintained a fitness regime for the rest of his life.
He leaves two sons, Obie jr. and Levy, his mother aged 78, and two sisters & 2 brothers, one of whom, Kim, lives in Exeter.
The funeral will be held at Exeter Crematorium on Thursday 10th January, starting at 2.00 p.m.
Buzzer Tournament – 2012.
It’s been a few years since the Club held what was at one time a regular pre-season informal get-together, but having now settled in at our new premises at the Age Concern premises in New St., June’s AGM agreed to revive it, and to be held on the last Wednesday in September.
In the event, no less than 12 players turned up to participate in what is essentially a bit of nonsense, enjoyable as long as one doesn’t take it too seriously. Apart from regular members who new this was planned, there were surprise visits by one-time member, Luke Venton, who happened to be back in his home town on a week’s holiday. Also, Ivor Grist made an unexpected visit, having recently moved to Exmouth from the Bath area, having been a member of both Bath and Norton Radstock.
Particpants can arrive or leave at any time as necessary. On arrival, they add their name to the chart and play anyone who is free to play. Key to the event is a small device, originally made by Fred Hodge, that emits a “buzzing” sound every 10 seconds, though in reality it’s more of a piercing squeak. The player whose turn it is to move, must move on the sound.
It’s almost weird how, at the start of every game, the 10 seconds feels like an eternity as one trots out one’s favourite opening moves, but as the position inevitably becomes complex, that same 10 seconds feels like the blinking of an eye, and many crass blunders are made as a result as threats are overlooked.
However, the deserved winner on the night was Club President, Mark Abbott, who arrived last but proceeded to carve up the field like a hot knife through butter, playing faultlessly throughout to record a 100% performance.
1. On arrival, check whether your name is on the chart. If not, fill it in.
2. Find an opponent, toss for colour and start the game in time with the buzzer. Move alternately on the buzzer.
3. Fill in the result on the chart and find another opponent.
4. Illegal move = loss of game.
Meyrick Shaw had recently had a birthday, and brought his cake down for members to enjoy a slice.
The ECF’s latest grading list is now out and here are Exmouth’s details.
As ever, it’s a tale of ups & downs, but this time considerably more up than down, as can be seen from the chart below. Congratulations to all those who’ve worked hard to get their performances up this season.
Let’s not forget the work of the Devon graders, Sean Pope and Ray Chubb, in getting this all done in good time.
|July ‘12||Last Yr.||+||-|