Posts Tagged ‘Exmouth Chess Club’
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.||+||-|
Exmouth’s Bremridge Cup encounter against Teignmouth was their last match of the season, and there was nothing at stake, except, perhaps, the wooden spoon. Nevertheless, games were played with all seriousness, and although the final scoreline may sound like an end-of-term romp, this was certainly not the case.
Tindal played the White side of a Closed Sicilian very quickly and a rook & pawn ending was soon reached, with Jones 2 pawns up, but it needed careful play and in the end it boiled down to a single pawn that couldn’t be prevented from queening.
The Hurst-Ingham game involved a complex position, but Hurst managed to conclude matters in 19 moves. Hart entered the endgame on the back foot, but Hindom rather lost his way which enabled Hart to negate any serious threat and a draw was agreed. Gosling was the nearest to having a field day, as all his pieces had open lines bearing down on the enemy king, to which there was no adequate defence.
The most double-edged game was Halmkin-Wensley, in which the Teignmouth player got short of time at the sharp end of the game, and Wensley was offering pieces that couldn’t be taken without giving in to a mating attack. In the end he did find a way through to mate the White king.
This left Meyrick “The Python” Shaw with a tight control of the position, and a supported passed pawn on d6. However, to maximise this advantage he had to relax his grip and open the position up, which gave Gorodi scope to break out of the straight-jacket he was in, and make threats of his own. Shaw monitored all threats and with only BvsN it was the d6 pawn that won the day.
|Bremridge – Div.1||21.04.’12|
|1||Kevin Hurst||186||1||0||Bill Ingham||166|
|2||Oliver Wensley||164||1||0||Peter Halmkin||150|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||1||0||John Gorodi||149|
|4||Anthony Hart||145e||½||½||Kevin Hindom||135|
|5||Brian Gosling||150||1||0||Norman Tidy||130|
|6||Robert Jones||130||1||0||Bill Tindal||108|
So Exmouth thus won their first and last match in this premier tournament, losing to Newton Abbot and Tiverton in between – at least avoiding the wooden spoon.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Newton Abbot were playing Tiverton to determine top spot in the Bremridge Cup, and their captain, Trefor Thynne has kindly sent in his account of that match.
“The fixture list for this year’s Bremridge Cup threw up an extremely tasty last-round pairing with 2010 and 2011 holders Newton Abbot travelling to Blundell’s School to face Tiverton on 21st April, both sides having won all three of their matches to date. The visitors went into the match with the advantage of knowing that a 3-3 scoreline would be sufficient to retain the trophy since they had a favourable “goal difference”. However, the gradings of the two teams were likely to be close so a tough struggle was in prospect.
And so it turned out with hard-fought games on each board. The first three results were all draws, on Bds 4 (Thynne – Duckham), 5 (Kinder- Annetts) and 2 (Homer-Hewson). Only in the final hour, as the time control approached, did Newton Abbot’s players get on top, first on Bd 6 where Paul Brooks, playing an English Opening against Keith Atkins’ Dutch Defence, converted pressure into a material advantage. On Bd 3, perhaps the best game of the match, Alex Billings maintained his fine form this season and kept control in a complex position against Simon Bartlett. This settled the outcome of the match and a good day for the visitors was made better when Dominic Mackle showed exemplary endgame technique to defeat Ben Edgell on top board. So Newton Abbot retain the title of Devon’s top club. The league has been very interesting this year with 5 teams competing. It could be even better and more representative of all parts of the county if Plymouth (who certainly have the players on paper) and Barnstaple were to join in”.
|1||Ben Edgell||198||0||1||Dominic Mackle||204|
|2||Brian Hewson||186||½||½||Steve Homer||180|
|3||Simon Bartlett||165||0||1||Alex Billings||165|
|4||John Duckham||155||½||½||Trefor Thynne||161|
|5||Ivor Annetts||156||½||½||Andrew Kinder||157|
|6||Keith Atkins||146||0||1||Paul Brooks||160|
Exmouth’s win over Barnstaple on Saturday marked the end of that tournament for another year. The final table is as follows:
|Mamhead Div. 2||1||2||3||4||5||Pts||F||A|
Tiverton were undoubtedly deserved winners. Our fate was sealed by the topsy-turvy match against Teignmouth; a blundered rook by each side and a breathless blitz finish between Redman and Brusey that could have gone either way but finished in a draw, as did the match. The unlikeliest result was surely Newton Abbot’s last place.
Still, a good result for Exmouth, considering the unavailability of top players at times.
Following the fortuitous win against Tiverton in the DCCA RapidPlay league, thus securing the trophy with the away match against Seaton still to be played, Exmouth seem to have hit a winning streak. In defence of their Exeter & District League Div. 1 trophy, they have made a perfect start, following up their win against the Met. Office with another against Exeter by an even more convincing margin. These game points may prove useful in a tie-break situation at the end of the season.
|Exeter League Div. 1||21.03.2012|
|1||John K. Stephens||173||1||0||Simon Waters||167|
|2||Oliver E. Wensley||164||1||0||Sean Pope||149|
|3||Meyrick Shaw||150e||½||½||Peit Dobber||150|
|4||Tony G. Hart||145e||1||0||Jonathan Waley||132|
On Saturday, they had a trip to Newton Abbot to play their Div. 2 match. The home team may have felt somewhat stretched as they were committed to playing an 8 board match at the same time, though they didn’t stint on this team, being just 5 points short of the permitted maximum.
On Bd. 1, they had the Torquay schoolboy, Jeff Leung, a rapidly rising star, though perhaps his weakness is playing too quickly and not extracting the maximum advantages from some of the positions he gets. Although excellent at rapidplay, Stephens does take his time in the crucial middlegame stages, and in this case won the day. The crucial game was on Bd. 4, the last game to finish, where Shaw’s strong nerves in the run up to the time control with his flag hanging in a complicated position were commendable!
|Mamhead Cup||640 max||24.03.2012|
|1||Jeff Leung||165||0||1||John K. Stephens||173|
|2||Alex Billings||157||1||0||Brian G. Gosling||150|
|3||Andrew Kinder||162||½||½||Tony G. Hart||145e|
|4||John E. Allen||150||0||1||Meyrick Shaw||150e|
This result leaves that league like this…..
|As at 25.03.’12|
With all matches played, Newton will finish bottom. If Exmouth beat Barnstaple to reach 5 points, and that’s a big if, the key match will be Tiverton vs Teignmouth, with Tiverton probably favourites to reach 6 points – though anything is possible, of course. After all, who would have put money on Newton Abbot coming last?!