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Posts Tagged ‘Hellevoetsluis’

Dutch Invade Again (24.07.2010.)

In November 1688, William of Orange and his army of 30,000 men and horse set sail from the Dutch port of Hellevoetsluis bound for the northeast coast of England. However, autumnal gales blew the fleet westward and they landed unexpectedly at Brixham, from where the invited invaders marched on London to depose the highly-unpopular James II. That geographical connection was further cemented in 1988 when Torbay twinned with Hellevoetsluis, and one of the strongest links since then has involved the Hellevoetsluis Chess Club whose members regularly visit Torbay and play various clubs in the area. The latest visit was last weekend when their team of 4 played Exmouth on Saturday (lost 4-0), then came 3rd in a six team rapidplay tournament at Newton Abbot and on Monday played a match against Teignmouth (drawn 2-2) at Forde House, the same building where the future King William III spent his 2nd night on English soil.

There have been a number of Scottish winners of the British Championship, including Robert Combe and Jonathan Rowson. On the other hand, the number of English players who have won the Scottish Championship is rather less, because of the eligibility rules. However, the Cornishman, Andrew Greet, overcame this as he has been living and working in Glasgow for the past two years, and in coming 1st in their 117th Championship last weekend, he is the new Scottish Champion. The key game came in the last round when he was paired against the confusingly-named Andrew Green, a game that Greet won.

Here is a miniature from the Saturday match.

White: Bonne Faber. Black: Brian Hewson.

Scandinavian Defence [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 a6 5.Be3 Nf6 6.Nf3 b5 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.Qd2 e6 9.0–0–0 it was brave to castle long where Black’s pawns are already advanced. 9…Nbd7 10.h3 Rd8 11.Rhg1 Be7 Black is not tempted to exchange bishop for knight as it would open lines to Black’s kingside. 12.Be2 0–0 13.Bf4?! Qb6 14.g4 each side is poised to attack, but Black’s is the more potent. 14…b4 15.Na4 Qa5 16.b3 Bc6 resigned, in view of  17.Nb2 (or 17.Nc5 Nxc5 and White cannot re-take without losing his queen). 17…Qxa2 18.c4 bxc3 19.Qxc3 Ba3 20.Ng5 Rb8 and Black’s threats cannot all be met.

The solution to last week’s problem by Sam Loyd was 1Qa5!, a waiting move that threatens nothing in itself, but whichever rook or bishop moves a mating move will arise.

This 2-mover of 1914 was by Godfrey Heathcote (1870-1952), one of Britain’s finest composers.

White to mate in 2 moves.

Exmouth vs Hellevoetsluis (17.07.2010.)

The Borough of Torbay has been twinned with the port of Hellevoetsluis in Holland since 1988. This is no accident , for that year was the tercentenary of the landing at Brixham of William of Orange on his way to assume the British throne in the “Glorious Revolution”.

The background to this great event in 1688 lay in the growing unpopularity of King James II. In fact, the British had had an uneasy relationship with the Sturat Kings for most of the 17th century. From 1603 James I was a Catholic assuming the monarchy of a Protestant country; Charles I was famously executed; his son Charles II was restored to the throne and became the “Merrie Monarch”. He died without legitimate issue (though with 12 illegitimate ones) and was succeeded by his brother James II, who possessed the ability to alienate great swathes of the country to the point where they wished to be rid of him. William of Orange, who had pragmatically married his own 1st cousin, Mary Stuart, was invited to “invade” the country whereupon he would be acclaimed as the new king.

He set sail from Hellevoetsluis with an army of 30,000, heading for the North East under the terms of Plan A. However, unfavourable winds took the ships down the English Channel instead, and they landed at Brixham unexpectedly and unforeseen on November 5th, anniversary of an earlier plot to usurp a Catholic Stuart king. Nevertheless, this plan was successful, James fled into exile and William & Mary reigned as joint monarchs.

The tradition of a small fighting army of Dutch, leaving Hellevoetsluis and landing in Torbay continues to this day, in the form of a group of chessplayers under the leadership of Jan Straatman. As in 1688, they are welcomed by the English before commencing a token battle. In fact, this chess link is one of the most fruitful and regular aspects of the twinning connection as they have visited at least 8 times.

The latest encounter is taking place this weekend. A small group of 4 players flew in to Exeter Airport on Saturday morning, and their first match was against Exmouth the same evening. It had been difficult for the home team to field a team that more closely matched that of the visitors as their identities were unknown until the day of the match. After drinks in the bar of the Manor Hotel and an exchange of souvenirs, the match got under way.

  Exmouth       Hellevoetsluis  
1 Brian Hewson 184 1 0 Bonne Faber 133e
2 Dave Rogers 149 1 0 Jan Straatman 117e
3 Bob Jones 140 1 0 Wim Nordermeer 108e
4 Malcolm Belt 119 1 0 Wim Heijer   95e
      4 0    

Hewson’s game ended fairly quickly after he followed a policy of sensible piece development before initiating a quick winning attack. The other games, however, were all more closely fought. Jones had won a piece in the opening, but  without due care and attention could easily have fallen to one of several back rank mates. Belt was left with Bishop + 3 pawns against Rook and 2, yet somehow managed to usher two pawns to the 7th rank on opposite sides of the board; the rook could stop one but not the other from queening. Rogers had positional pressure, but could only win after swapping off all pieces and leaving himself with a strong extra pawn.

Their visit continues on Sunday with a team rapidplay tournament taking place at Forde House, Newton Abbot, where William stayed on his 2nd night, with his army encamped on Milber Downs nearby.

Here are some scenes from the Saturday match:-

Seated (l-r): Wim Heijer; Bonne Faber; Jan Straatman; Wim Nordermeer. Standing: Brian Hewson; Dave Rogers, Malcolm Belt, Bob Jones.

The Dutch team in action.

Hewson makes a move against Faber

Jan Straatman makes a move.

R+2 vs B+3 - which way will it go?

Exmouth vs Hellevoetsluis (17.07.2010.)

It is now 8 years since the Club entertained a team of 8 from the Dutch club of Hellevoetsluis (See Club History section for details). Now we are due to host them again, this time involving only teams of 4.

Trefor Thynne of the Newton Abbot Club is acting as host for the weekend and will bring them over from Torbay on Saturday afternoon, ready for a 5.30 p.m.  start at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth.

Exmouth’s team will be:- 1. Brian Hewson; 2. D. R. Rogers. 3. R. H. Jones. 4. M. Belt,  which reportedly will be a fair match with the Dutch team.

Manor Hotel, Exmouth.

Map showing the whereabouts of the Manor Hotel.