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Posts Tagged ‘Hampshire Chess’

A Cornish Renaissance Continues (21.03.2015.)

The Cornish Renaissance continues apace, as evidenced by their win over Hampshire at Honiton in the last round of the Inter-County Championship, though the 11-5 victory was helped by Hants being unable to raise a full team and defaulting 4 games. This scalp, added to those of Devon and Gloucestershire, meant Cornwall finished 2nd in the West of England section and now go on to meet Norfolk in the National Stages quarter-final. Somerset finished 1st by virtue of their win over Devon reported last week, which in turn pushed Devon down to 3rd place.

Here are the details (Cornish names first in each pairing).

1. Jeremy Menadue (190) ½-½ D. Tunks (196). 2.Theo Slade (178) 0-1 G. Pafura (192). 3. Mark Hassall (173) 1-0 R. Marsh (176). 4.Grant Healey (176) ½-½ A. Cooper (175) 5. Mate Csuri (175) 0-1 D. Fowler (174). 6.David Saqui (170) 0-1 T. Davis (167). 7. Robin Kneebone (173) 1-0 C. Priest (147). 8. James Hooker (171) 1-0 S. LeFevre (146). 9.Simon Bartlett (168) ½-½ Miss G. Moore (144). 10. Colin Sellwood (156) 1-0 D. Culliford (137). 11. Gary Trudeau (155) 1-0 J. Young (129). 12. David J. Jenkins (133) ½-½ R. Hartley (126).

This was a bright win for the Cornish.

White: Gary Trudeau (157). Black: J. Young (129).

Sicilian Defence–Najdorf Variation [B90]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.g4 Qa5? losing a tempo. These open Sicilian Defences are often played on a knife-edge, but this move hands the initiative entirely to White.  10.Nb3 Qd8 11.g5 Let the attack commence. 11…Nd7 12.0–0–0 The Yugoslav system, whereby White castles long and attacks quickly on the other wing. Black, of course, should attack the castled king a.s.a.p. but his loss of a tempo hasn’t helped. 12…Nb6 13.f4 Be6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nb8 16.Bd4 White is taking complete control of the centre. 16…Rg8 17.Bxg7 Rxg7 18.Qd4 Rg8 19.Na5 Qc7 20.Rd3 N8d7 21.Rc3 Qb8 Better might have been 21…Nc5 and if 22.b4 hoping to win the pinned knight 22… Nc8 23.bxc5 Qxa5 and Black would have gone some way to implementing his thematic plan. 22.Bg2 Nc5 23.Re1 Kd7 24.Rce3 Re8 25.h4 Qc7 26.Bh3+ Kd8 27.Rxe7 Qxe7 28.Rxe7 Rxe7 29.Qf6 Nc8 White is running out of pieces with which to inflict the coup de grace, but those he has are superbly positioned and the final assault plays itself. 30.Bxc8 Rxc8 31.Qxd6+ Rd7 32.Qf8+ Kc7 33.Qxc5+ Kd8 34.Qb6+ Rdc7 35.d6 1–0.

The solution to last week’s 2-mover was 1.Qe5! Only Black’s two bishops can move, and if it’s the white square one, then 2.Qa5mate, or if the other then it’s 2.Ra1 mate.

In this position, Black is threatening both the pawn on e3 and to free his rook with axb. How can White best deal with this?

White to move and win.

Somerset beat Hants (29.11.2014.)

The Somerset captain reports on their match against Hampshire at Mere on Saturday. The final score of 12 – 4 to Somerset looks like a crushing defeat for Hants, but it was far from that, apparently, as many games were keenly contested until late on. However, the fact that Somerset out-graded their opponents by, on average, 11 points on every board, made it likely that the stronger team on paper would pull through.

The details were as follows: 

1 Jack Rudd 224 1 0 Tunks, Dominic R 197
2 Peter E Chaplin 189 ½ ½ McDougall, William M 189
3 Andrew F Footner 187 ½ ½ Bellers, Chris J 185
4 Matthew J Payne 186 1 0 Marsh, Roger DW 176
5 Mike Richardt 184 1 0 Fowler, David W 173
6 Patryk Krzyzanowski 182 ½ ½ Knox, Stuart W 170
7 David P Littlejohns 178 1 0 Davis, Timothy 167
8 David Painter-Kooiman 178 0 1 McLeod, Fraser N 166
9 Barry Morris 175 1 0 Jones, Gareth Aneurin 158
10 James Byrne 165 1 0 Priest, Christopher PA 158
11 David Peters 164 0 1 Thompson, David F 156
12 Gerry N Jepps 163 1 0 Ashmore, Roy E 147
13 Andrew M Gregory 158 ½ ½ Chapman, Timothy J 144
14 Darren Freeman 158 1 0 Chilton, James I 143
15 Chris S Purry 152 1 0 Moore, Gillian A 142
16 Maciej Blocinski U/G 1 0 LeFevre, Stephen D 142
  totals 2785 12 4   2613

Somerset vs Hants Details (29.03.2014.)

As reported last week, Somerset won the WECU Championship by beating Hampshire 8½-6½ in a close match at Mere. The details were as follows (Hants names first in each pairing). 1. I. Thompson (217) 1-0 D. Buckley (212). 2. J. Tambini (198) 0-1 J. Rudd (211). 3. D. Tunks (188) ½-½ P. Krzyzanowski (199). C. Bellers (186) 1-0 B. Edgell (198). 5. P. Cooper (182) 1-0 M. Payne (193). 6. D. Fowler (181) 0-1 P. Chaplin (189). 7. S. Knox (167) 0-1 A. Footner (183). 8. D. F. Thompson (160) ½-½ D. Littlejohns (182). 9. T. Davis (159) ½-½ B. Morris (174). 10. C. Priest (158) ½-½ G. Jepps (158). 11. G. Jones (158) ½-½ C. Purry (165). 12. Miss G. Moore (147) 0-1 J. Byrne (161). 13. R. Davenport (140) 0-1 D. Peters (158). 14. J. Chilton (139) ½-½ W. Taylor (157). 15. R. Ashmore (137) ½-½ J. Fewkes (152).  Somerset also won an U-160 match by 3½-2½ the details of which are:- 1. T. Chapman (135) ½-½ A. Champion (154). 2. D. Culliford (131) ½-½ D.  Freeman (148). 3. M. Pope (119) ½-½ U. Effiong (142). 4. S. Murphy (113) 0-1 P. Wojcik (141). 5. J. Barnett (111) 1-0 T. West (137). 6. T. Cutter (109) 0-1 S. Pickard (111).

The next big event is the Bristol Spring Congress on the weekend of 11th – 13th April. Details from G. Mill-Wilson on 0779 0167415 or e-mail This is followed by the WECU Championship and congress in Exmouth. Details from Meyrick Shaw on 01395-275494 or e-mail:

In this game from last year’s event, a former WECU Champion loses out in a lively game.

White: Paul Helbig (180). Black: John Stephens (191).

Closed Sicilian Defence [B26]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Rb8 7.Qd2 b5 8.Nge2 Nd4 9.0–0 e6 10.Nc1 b4 White usually tries to get in a quick kingside attack, with Black countering later on the queenside, but here it is the other way round. 11.Nd1 Qa5 12.c3 bxc3 13.bxc3 Nc6 14.f4 Now White’s attack gets under way.Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba6 16.f5 exf5 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Bh6 Be5 19.Ne3 Nd4 20.Rab1 Kd7 21.Nf4 Bxf4 22.Bxf4 Qxc3! Black cleverly wins another pawn.  23.Qxc3 Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Nxc3 25.Rxb8 Rxb8 26.Nc4 Bxc4 27.dxc4 Rb2 28.Bg5 Rxa2 29.Bf3 Rb2 30.g4 a5 31.gxf5 Nc6 32.Bf6 Ne5 33.Bxe5 dxe5 34.f6 Rb1 35.Rxb1 Nxb1 36.Bg4+ Kd6 37.Bf5 Nc3 38.Bxh7 a4 0–1.

Last week’s 3-mover was solved by 1.Bb1 threatening 2.Qxa2 mate, so Black must play 1…Nb4 and then 2.Kb7 leaving Black the option of either taking the bishop or moving the defending knight.

In this position, White last played h5 to which Black played the natural-looking counter Re4. What did White now play to earn a double !! and the full point?

White to play a "Magic Move".

Devon vs Hants (08.02.2014.)

Devon have experienced several defeats at the hands of Hampshire in recent years, so it was of some interest to see whether changing the venue from Wincanton to the old Roman town of Ilchester might have some effect on the eventual outcome. Ilchester, the only Roman town in Somerset apart from Aqua Sullis, situated as it is beside the old Fosse Way at its junction with the A303, seems to have changed little since its historic heyday, with the Town Hall probably built on the site of the Roman Forum. 

The playing room is comfortable, warm and well-lit, with a small analysis area and kitchen adjacent. The only disadvantage was that it was an upstairs room, making the carrying of equipment somewhat more onerous.

The first result in was a quick draw between former colleagues Regis and Bellers, but closely followed by a win for Jonathan Underwood, and Devon were never headed from then on, although never by more than 1 or 2 points. Eventually, with the last game in progress, Devon led 8-7, but with Stephens down to his last 2 minutes, abandoning his recording and having to move almost instantly in a complex unclear position. Yet somehow he managed to coordinate his remaining 3 pieces, Queen, rook and a knight had hadn’t moved for 44 moves, into a mating net. Match won 9-7.

  Devon 1st       Hampshire 1st  
1 S. J. Homer 189 ½ ½ I. D. Thompson 217
2 J. K. Stephens 186 1 0 W. M. McDougall 192
3 P. D. Sivrev 183 ½ ½ D. R. Tunks 188
4 Dr. D. Regis 180 ½ ½ C. J. V. Bellers 186
5 J. Fraser 180 ½ ½ P. F. Cooper 182
6 B. W. R. Hewson 179 0 1 D. W. Fowler 181
7 J. F. Wheeler 176 ½ ½ A. McDougall 173
8 A. W. Brusey 167 ½ ½ F. N. McLeod 168
9 M. Shaw 176 ½ ½ S. W. Knox 167
10 Dr. J. Underwood 171 1 0 D. F. Thompson 160
11 T. F. Thynne 166 0 1 C. P. A. Priest 158
12 W. H. Ingham 169 1 0 S. J. Smith 158
13 P. Brooks 163 ½ ½ G. A. Jones 158
14 S. Martin 166 1 0 Miss G. A. Moore 147
15 M. Stinton-Brown. 155 0 1 B. A. Kocan 146
16 N. Rahimili 148 1 0 J. I. Chilton 139
      9 7    
  Devon 2nd       Hampshire 2nd  
1 O. E. Wensley 157 ½ ½ T. J. Chapman 135
2 B. G. E. Gosling 152 ½ ½ K. G. Steele 134
3 A. S. Kinder 152 ½ ½ J. G. Young 133
4 C. J. Scott 145 ½ ½ D. Culliford 131
      8 0 Defaults  
      10 2    


Here are some views of the match in progress.

General view of the Main Hall

General view of the top boards

Top 4 games - Bellers V Regis nearest.

Boards 9 - 12 (nearest)

Bd. 16 Chilton V Rahimili nearest.

Hants Beat Dorset (21.12.2013.)

Last season, the Hampshire and Dorset teams didn’t get together because of a misunderstanding over the start time. This season they got it right and Dorset fell to their opponents by 5–11. Hants names first:-  1.D. Thompson 0-1 M. Littleton. 2.B. Cooke 1-0 G. Searing. 3.S. Smith 1-0 J. Cherryson. 4.C. Priest 1-0 D. Aldwinckle. 5.Miss G. Moore 1-0 J. Balem. 6.B. Kocan ½-½ P. Brackner. 7.S. LeFevre ½-½ I. Willis. 8.J. Young ½-½ P. Errington. 9.R. Devonport ½-½ P. Bland. 10.T. Chapman ½-½ P. Jackson. 11.J. Watts 0-1 F. Fallon. 12. R. Ashman 1-0 J. Kelly. 13.A. Syed 1-0 K. Spooner. 14.K. Steele ½-½ M. Rogan. 15.P. Gething 1-0 M. Kaye. 16.S. Murphy 1-0 Mrs. M. Cox.

NB: Marian Cox had only turned up with her husband, Reg, to watch the match, but as Dorset turned up a player short, she was asked to put in a guest appearance for them.

The premier tournament of the 5th London Classic, the Super Sixteen Rapidplay Knockout was won by the American Hiraku Nakamura. The best British performance was by Michael Adams who reached the Semi-Final by beating Peter Svidler 2-0.

White: M. Adams. Black: P. Svidler.

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Qc7 8.a4 Be6 9.Be2 h6 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.h3 Be7 12.Nh2 0–0 13.Ng4 Qc6 14.Qd3 Rfc8 15.Rfd1 Adding pressure to the d-file. In this opening, Black usually hopes to get in …d4 thus freeing up his position. Here he fails to do so and pays the price. 15…Rab8 16.a5 Nc5 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 Allowing White to win the d-pawn and control of the d-file. 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Be7 20.Rd2 Bg5 21.Bxg5 hxg5 22.Bg4 b5 23.axb6 Rxb6 24.Nd5! The bishop is pinned. 24…Rb7 25.f3 Rcb8 26.b4 1-0. If 26…Bxd5 27.Rxd5 Ne6 28.Bxe6 fxe6 Black would have 2 sets of doubled pawns, which in a rook ending is not worth wasting energy on when there is a return game to be played soon after. Play might continue 29.Rd6 Rxb4 30.Raxa6 Rc4 31.Rxe6 g4 32.hxg4 Rxc2 33.Rxe5 Rbb2 34.Kh2 Rxg2+ 35.Kh3 and White is 2 pawns up.

The solution to last week’s world premier problem was 1.Nde6! Black’s tries are answered thus: 1…Nxc4 2.Qa8#; 1…Qxc4 2.Qd7# and either 1…Qxg5 or 1…Qxh1 are both answered by 2.Nc7#.

Anyone with more than a few spare minutes over Christmas may like to try this one by Devon’s own “Genius of the Two-Mover”, Comins Mansfield (1896 – 1984). He composed this one in 1930 as a 50th birthday present to his mentor, the American philanthropist, Alain White. It was included in a collection of 185 problems from around the world published under the title Problems By My Friends.

White to mate in 2

Cornwall’s Inspirational Leadership (07.12.2013.)

Somerset have been in all-conquering form of recent years but on Saturday they were unable to overcome Cornwall, having to be satisfied with an 8-8 draw. The Cornish lost on the top 4 boards by 3-1 and the same on the bottom 4 boards, but remarkably  scored 6 of the 8 points available on boards 5 – 12, to level things up. The details were: (Somerset names first).

1. J. Rudd 1-0 M. Hassall.

2. P. Chaplin ½-½ J. Menadue.

3. D. Littlejohns 1-0 M. Csuri.

4. M. Richardt ½-½ S. Bartlett.

5. B. Morris 0-1 D. Saqui.

6. C. Purry ½-½ L. Retallick.

7. A. F. Footner 0-1 G. Healey.

8. D. Painter-Ko 0-1 T. Slade.

9. J. E. Fewkes 1-0 C. Sellwood.

10. G. N. Jepps 0-1 G. Trudeau.

11.A. Champion ½-½ J. Nicholas.

12.M. Baker 0-1 J. Wilman.

13.D. Freeman 1-0 R. Smith.

14.N. N. Senior ½-½ D. J. Jenkins.

15.R. Knight 1-0 M. Richards.

16.C. Strong ½-½ D. R. Jenkins.

Cornwall’s previous match, against Hampshire, resembled a comedy of errors. A combination of illness and misunderstandings led to them arriving without any chess clocks, and their opponents turned up so late they would have been defaulted had there been any clocks. Eventually, some clocks were acquired locally and after lengthy negotiations between the two captains a match was played over 12 boards, which Cornwall won 7-5. However, it took several weeks of protracted discussion between interested parties before the result was finally agreed.

The details were as follows (Cornwall names first):-

1. M. Hassall v D. Tunks (did not play).

2. J. Menadue 1-0 T. Davis.

3. R. Kneebone 0-1 D. Fowler.

4. S. Bartlett ½-½ G. Jones.

5. D. Saqui 1-0 C. Priest.

6. L. Retallick ½-½ A. Manning.

7. T. Slade ½-½ Miss G. Moore.

8. G. Healey 1-0 B. Kocan.

9. C. Sellwood ½-½ S. Le Fevre.

10.G. Trudeau 0-1 J. Young.

11. J. Nicholas 1-0 R. Ashmore.

12. R. Smith 1-0 J. Barnett.

13. D. Lucas 0-1 S. Murphy.

Cornwall’s website has been recently upgraded (, and on it one can read, amongst other things, a fuller report on the match by their new match captain, Professor David Jenkins, together with his amusing and erudite Cornish chess adaptation of Henry V’s call to arms at the Battle of Agincourt, as imagined by Shakespeare. As Cornwall are doing so well lately, it must be working. Devon had better beware when they meet at Saltash in January.

In last week’s ending, White wins by force: i.e. 1.Rf8+ KxR. 2.Qf7 mate.

Here is a new 2-mover by David Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2 moves

Close Encounters of the Chessy Kind.

At the weekend the first blows were traded in this year’s Inter-County Competition, with Somerset and Hants meeting at Mere. while Gloucestershire met Cornwall at their usual venue of Exminster Village Hall.

Both matches were very tightly contested, with the first match ending in an 8-8  draw, and Cornwall losing by the odd point to Gloucestershire. This may presage a series of close encounters for the rest of the season.

Next weekend, Devon II meet Dorset in an U-160 match at Luppitt. Will this one go down to the wire?

Full details are as follows:- 

  Sat. 20.10.2012.       Mere  
Bd Somerset  Grd     Hampshire Grd
1 J. Rudd 220 1 0 J. Tambini 203
2 D. Buckley 208 0 1 M. Yeo 203
3 P. Krzyzanowski 191 1 0 I. D. Thompson 199
4 D. Littlejohns 180 ½ ½ D. Tunks 193
5 A. Wong 178 0 1 A. McDougall 188
6 P. Chaplin 176 1 0 O. Gill 188
7 A. F. Footner 174 0 1 W. McDougall 180
8 D. Painter 172 ½ ½ D. Fowler 174
9 C. Purry 165 ½ ½ S. Knox 174
10 N. N. Senior 162 0 1 C. J. V. Bellers 170
11 J. E. Fewkes 162 ½ ½ P. Cooper 169
12 G. N. Jepps 161 1 0 I. Stipcevic 165
13 C. McKinley 152 ½ ½ F. N. McLeod 164
14 S. Pickard 151 0 1 R. D. Marsh 162
15 A. A. Champion 147 ½ ½ T. Davis 161
16 R. Knight 139 1 0 S. Smith 157
  Totals   8 8    


  Sat. 20.10.2012.       Exminster  
Bd Glos Grd     Cornwall Grd
1 D. Lambourne 180 ½ ½ J. F. S. Menadue 187
2 J. Jenkins 170 0 1 M. I. Hassall 185
3 P. J. Meade 169 1 0 L. Retallack 183
4 D. Vaughan 166 ½ ½ S. Bartlett 164
5 P. Dodwell 163 0 1 J. Wilman 159
6 P. Denison 162 1 0 G. Trudeau 152
7 G. Taylor 154 0 1 C. Sellwood 140
8 M. Claypole 149 ½ ½ J. Nicholas 140
9 M. Ashworth 148 ½ ½ D. J. Jenkins 135
10 R. Dixon 142 0 1 C. Reeves 134
11 A. Walker 141 ½ ½ C. Long 127
12 P. Baker 140 1 0 D. R. Jenkins 125
13 A. Richards 139 ½ ½ A. Barkhuysen 124
14 P. Bending 133 ½ ½ P. Spargo 119
15 I. Blencowe 130 ½ ½ D. Lucas 118
16 default       default  
  Totals   7 8    

Cornwall vs Hants & Devon vs Somerset Results.

After the earlier matches this season in which Devon beat Cornwall (11½-4½) and Hampshire beat Devon (10-6), simple logic would dictate that a Hants-Cornwall match should be a very one-sided affair. Yet the Cornish are always capable of turning the logic of the chessboard on its head, and they beat Hampshire 7-5 at Gittisham Village Hall last Saturday, thanks to wins by Robin Kneebone, Gary Trudeau, Theo Slade, Colin Sellwood and David Jenkins, backed up by draws from Messrs Hassall, Retallack, Bartlett and Wilman. Hampshire’s three winners were Ian Thompson, Tom Anderson and Lawrence Pearman.

As reported last week, Theo Slade became the West of England U-12 Champion the previous weekend, and was not overawed on this occasion by making his debut on Board 7. This was his game in which he exploits his opponent’s unwise captures.

White: C. Priest (151). Black: T. Slade (147).

Queen’s Bishop Opening [D02].

1.d4 e6 2.Bf4 d5 3.Nf3 Bd6 4.Bxd6 Qxd6 5.e3 Qb4+ 6.Nc3 Qxb2 7.Nb5 Qb4+ 8.c3 Qe7 9.Qa4 c6 10.Nxa7 A very dangerous move – trying to grab cheap pawns like this often rebounds. 10…Bd7 11.Ne5 f6 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Rb1 13.Na6 Now the jackdaw knight is trapped. 14.Nxc6 Nc7 If 14…bxc6 15.Bxa6. 15.Qc2 bxc6 16.Bd3 f5 Sealing off the centre from White’s attacking pieces and freeing f6 for his knight. 17.0–0 Nf6 18.Rb7 With the centre sealed, White must try to dominate the b-file in order to generate some activity. 18…0–0 19.Rfb1 Ne4 20.c4 Nd6 21.R7b6 Rfc8 22.c5 Ndb5 23.Qb3 Ra3 24.Qc2 Now another piece is trapped. 24…Na8 25.R1xb5 cxb5 26.Bxb5 Qe7 27.Rd6?? The rook can be taken for nothing, but Black doesn’t spot this at first. 27…Ra7 28.a4? Clearly White doesn’t notice the danger either, but Black needs no second invitation. 28.Ra6 would avoid further unequal loss of material. 28…Qxd6 White resigned in view of 29.cxd6 Rxc2.

Meanwhile, at Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset I comfortably overcame Devon I by 10½-5½, even though two Somerset players failed to turn up and reserves had to be drafted in at the last minute, both of whom won their games. By way of compensation, Devon’s 2nd team won equally comfortably (10-6) and thereby retained the Wayling Cup. More details next week, together with the results from the East Devon Congress which continues today in Exeter.

Last week’s 2-mover by Dave Howard was solved by 1.Ng8!

The British Solving Championship was held last weekend at Eton College and the new Champion is the Scottish GM Colin McNab (61/65 pts), followed by J. Mestel (59) and J. Nunn (56). The best non-seeded competitor was David Hodge. This 2-mover is one of the problems used in the competition.

White to play & mate in 2.

Hants vs Somerset Results (31.12.2011.)

The recent match between Hampshire and Somerset resulted in easy wins for Hants in both the 1st and 2nd teams. There are the details (Hampshire names first).

1. M. Yeo (196) 1-0 J. Rudd (213). 2. P. Hackman (191) 0-1        D. Buckley (201). 3. D. Tunks (187) ½-½ P. Krzyzanowski (188). 4. O. Gill (184) 0-1 A. Footner (173). 5. F. McLeod (176) 0-1   P. Chaplin (172). 6. R. Marsh (174) 0-1 G. Jepps (161). 7. P. Cooper (172) 1-0 D. Peters (157). 8. C. Bellers (169) 1-0 N. Senior (156). 9. J. Wilkinson (167) 1-0 P. Humphreys (155). 10. I. Stipcevic (u/g) 1-0 P. Flexman (154). 11. T. Anderson (161) ½-½ A. Champion (153). 12. D. Fowler (158) ½-½  C. Purry (151). 13.P. Kocan (158) 1-0 R. Morgan (147). 14. A. Samuels (155) 1-0 T. Wallis (145). 15. D. Thompson (154) 1-0 D. Wood (145). 16. C. Priest (151) 1-0 A. Byrne (134). Totals 10½-5½.

The 2nd team match was played out over 12 boards and finished thus:-

17. T. Chapman (149) ½-½ L. Cutting (u/g). 18. S. Smith (149) ½-½  C. Strong (132). 19. P. Barber (149) 1-0 C. Stanton (129). 20. A. Beaney (146) ½-½ M. Baker (129). 21. G. Moore (145) 1-0 S. Hill (125). 22. K. Steele (136) 1-0 S. Cook (123). 23. D. Culliford (136) 0-1 R. Fenton (121). 24. M.  Pope (135) ½- ½ M. Cooper (118). 25. J. Young (126) 1-0 R. Waters (113). 26. Double default. 27. J. Barnett (112) 1-0 R. Turner (112). 28. J. Davis (103) ½-½ P. Ploskonka (90). Totals 7½-3½

Somerset 1 fared very well on the top boards, getting 4½/6 points, but didn’t win a single one below that. Here was one of their bright spots from Board 4.

White: O. Gill (184). Black: A. F. Footner (173)

Scandinavian Defence [A00]

1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 immediately departing from conventional lines d4 3.Nce2 e5 4.Ng3 Be6 5.Nf3 f6 6.Bb5+ Nd7? This develops a piece, though it is immediately pinned which give White attacking chances.  7.Nxe5 fxe5 8.Qh5+ Ke7! If 8…Bf7 9.Qxe5+ Be7 10.Qxd4 and White has 3 pawns for his knight, but still needs to develop those pieces asap; or if 8…g6 9.Qxe5. 9.Bxd7 Nf6 10.Qxe5 Qxd7 11.Nf5+ Kf7 12.Nxd4 Re8 13.Nf3 Bg4 14.Ng5+ Kg6 It looks like a King-hunt, but Andrew assures me his was an attacking King. 15.Qg3 and now White’s lack of development suddenly looks fatal. 15…Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Rxe4+ 17.Kf1 Bd6 18.Qc3 Rhe8 Threatening mate on e1. Also winning is 18…Be2+ 19.Kg1 Qg4 20.Qh3 Qxh3 21.gxh3 Bf3 etc. 19.d3 too little too late, though there is nothing better. 19…Bb4 0–1.

The game illustrates the dangers of attacking before all one’s pieces are able to join the fray once the initial forces have been liquidated.

The solution to last week’s problem by Alain White was 1.Rf4!

This week’s 2-mover is another world premier by David Howard of East Harptree, near Bristol. In spite of the maximum number of knights, the problemist’s favourite piece, it’s not one of his most difficult, so the seasonal festivities are no excuse for not having time to solve it.