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Frome Congress Game (31.05.2014.)

The recent Frome Congress was won by Paul Byway on 4½/5 points, winning the Qualifying Place for this year’s British Champion in the process. This was a key win from Round 4 in which, having gained a small advantage, he kept everything as simple and risk-free as possible thereafter.

White: Paul Byway (185). Black: Theo Slade (173)

Queen’s Indian Defence. [E14]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.d4 e6 4.e3 Bb7 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nc3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Qa4+ Bc6 9.Bb5 Bxb5 10.Nxb5 Nbd7 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Bd2 a6 13.Nc3 Qc7 14.0–0 Bd6 White can now win a central pawn that puts Black on the back foot for the rest of the game. 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Qe4+ Ne5 Black cannot save the knight with 16…Ne7 because of 17.Qxa8+. 17.Qxd5 Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 0–0 White is now concerned to minimise Black’s attacking opportunities and rely on his own endgame technique to utilise the extra pawn. 19.g3 Be5 20.Bc3 Bxc3 21.bxc3 Qe5 22.c4 Rfd8 23.Rad1 g6 24.Rd5 Rxd5 25.Qxd5 Qxd5 26.cxd5 From now on, Black finds himself in a straightjacket 26…f5 27.Rc1 Rc8 28.d6 Kf7 29.d7 Rd8 30.Rxc5 Rxd7 31.Rc6 Ra7 32.a4 a5 33.Kg2 Ke7 34.Kf3 Kd7 35.Rb6 Rc7 36.Rb5 Ra7 37.Kf4 Ke6 38.h4 Ra6 39.Kg5 Ra7 40.h5 gxh5 41.Kxh5 Kf6 42.g4 fxg4 43.Kxg4 Ra6 44.f4 Re6 45.Kf3 Ra6 46.e4 Ke6? Black is losing anyway, but this is probably the quickest way of ending it. 46…Ra8 would have kept things going a little longer.  47.Rh5 Ra7 48.Rh6+ Ke7 49.Rxh7+ Kd6 50.Rxa7 1–0

In last week’s position, White’s knight on b3 is “overloaded”, trying to both defend the rook and prevent …Nd2 mate, so Black can simply play QxR! threatening mate on b2.

This week’s 2-mover is the start of the 2014-’15 British Solving Championship. White is playing up the board and is able to mate on his 2nd move against any Black defence. Find the 1st move, the “key”, and submit that in any one of three ways:- (a) by post to Paul Valois, 14, Newton Park Drive, Leeds, LS7 4HH, (b) by e-mail to or (c) via the website Don’t forget to mention this publication when you do so and there is no entry fee this year. The closing date for this starter round is 14th August, after which all entrants will receive the answer and those who got it right will receive the postal round, comprising 8 more difficult problems. Best of luck with it.

White to play and mate in 2.

25th Frome Congress Prizewinners (17.05.2014.)

The 25th Frome Congress finished on Sunday evening and attracted 145 players. The main winners were as follows (all scores out of 5):

Open Section: 1st Paul Byway (Hertford) 4½. 2nd= Carl Bicknell (Horfield) & Barry Morris (Bath) 3½. The British Championship Place went to Byway. Grading prizes U-181: Theo Slade (Barnstaple). U-170: Stephen Appleby (Gillingham).

Major (U-170): 1st Tim Woodward (Trowbridge) 4½. 2nd= Paul Jackson (Coulsdon); Karl Biswas (Oxford); Mark Littleton (Wimborne) & Ivor Annetts (Tiverton) all 3½. Grading prizes U-156 Alan Papier (Bristol & Clifton); Paul Tew (S. Wales); Roger Knight (Yeovil); Mark Leonard (Trowbridge) all 3. U-145 Tim Chinnick (Hanham).

Intermediate (U-140): 1st Jamie Macdonald (Wimborne) 5. 2nd= Thomas Cooper (Trowbridge); Max French (Frome) & Keith Bateman (Salisbury). Grading Prize U-131: Greg Willett (Bath). U-120 Joe Clapp (Norton Radstock) both 3½.

Minor (U-115): 1st= Stephen Crockett (Redditch); Matthew Hutt (Wilts) & Frank Cheeseman (Kent). Grading Prize U-106: Gary Woods (Norton Radstock). U-90: Keith Sherlock (Yeovil).

The trophies for the highest placed Somerset players in each section were awarded as follows: Bonner Cup (Open) B. Morris. Leon York Cup (Major) T. Woodward. Roy Hossell Cup (Intermediate) T. Cooper. Cyril Chapman Cup (Minor) I. Stringer (Yeovil). Jean Mackereth Cup: Ungraded player in the Minor. M. Maber (Taunton).

The team competition was won by Bath, comprising Peter Cusick, John Leon, Greg Willett & Barry Morris).

Cornwall were the surprise package in this year’s Inter-county Championship, and here is one of their wins against Gloucestershire. Others can be found on their website

White: Grant Healey (165). Black: Phil Denison (158).

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nf6 5.c3 Nc6 6.Bd3 cxd4 7.exd4 Bd6 8.Bg5 0–0 9.0–0 e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Nd2 h6 13.Bh4 Qd6 14.h3 g5 15.Bg3 Bxg3 16.fxg3 Qxg3 17.Rxf6 Qxd3 18.Rxh6 g4 19.Rh5 Qg6 20.Rxd5 gxh3 threatening mate on g2. 21.Qf3 Qxg2+?? leading to a swift end. Black needed to develop his queenside pieces without delay with either 21…Be6 22.Rd6 Rad8 23.Rxd8 Rxd8 24.Qf2 Bd5 25.Nf3 etc. Or; 21…Bg4 22.Qf4 f6 23.Rd4 Be6 etc. 22.Qxg2+ hxg2 23.Rg5+! Kh7 24.Kxg2 and mate on h1 cannot be avoided. 1–0

Last week’s position ended with 1.QxR+! and if 1…RxQ Black will get mated on the back rank.

How does Black win significant material in this position which arose from a top game earlier this year?

Black to play and win significant material.