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Penrose at Aberystwyth (19.07.2014.)

The British Championship starts today at Aberystwyth University for the 3rd time in its history. It was first held there in 1955 when Harry Golombek won the last of his 3 British titles, and again in 1961 when Jonathan Penrose won the 4th of his 10 titles. Although the many other sections will get under way on Monday, as the Championship itself used to, this year it will start and end two days earlier than usual. Games may be followed live on britishchesschampionships.co.uk/

Here are two wins by Jonathan Penrose in the 1961 campaign, from Rds. 2 and 4 respectively,

White: J. Penrose. Black: Derek Ellison.

Ruy Lopez – Steinitz Defence – Siesta Variation. [C74]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 f5 The sharp Siesta Variation popularised by Capablanca in 1928. However, Penrose was the sharpest of sharp players and could easily handle this kind of play. 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.0–0 Bd3 8.Qb3! White ignores the threat to his rook. 8…b5 9.Qd5 Bxf1 10.Qxc6+ Ke7 An ugly move but the only option. 11.Bc2 Bc4 12.d4 Nf6 13.Bg5 h6 14.dxe5 hxg5 15.exf6+ gxf6 16.Nbd2 Freeing up White’s rook. 16…Kf7 17.Nxc4 bxc4 18.Qd5+ Kg7 19.Nd4 Threatening Ne6+ winning the queen. Black has surrendered all the white squares. 19…Kh6 20.Qf7 White now has a choice of mates, either Qg6 mate or Nf5 mate. 1–0

The next game was against Tiverton’s Andrew Thomas, who fell for a little-known trap in a familiar opening.

White: Jonathan Penrose. Black: A. R. B.  Thomas.

Ruy Lopez – Close Defence [C88].

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.d4 Nxd4? Tempting, but it’s a trap that loses the exchange and a pawn. 9.Bxf7+ Rxf7 10.Nxe5 Should Black save his rook or knight? 10…Ne6 11.Nxf7 Kxf7 12.e5 The point. 12…Bb7 If 12…Ne8?? 13.Qf3+ winning the other rook. 13.exf6 Bxf6 Leaving White the exchange up, but Black’s minor pieces are well-placed and White is made to work for his full point. 14.Nc3 Bxc3 15.bxc3 Kg8 16.a4 Qf6 17.Be3 Rf8 18.Qd3 Ng5 19.Bd4 Qh6 20.Re3 c5 21.Be5 c4 22.Qxd7 Bc6 23.Qd6 Qxd6 24.Bxd6 Rd8 25.Be7 Rd5 26.a5 Rf5 27.Rd1 Now White has extricated both rooks, the end is near.  27…Ne4 28.f3 Nf6 and Black resigned without waiting for a reply. Rd6 will be a killer blow. 1–0

Penrose finished a clear point ahead of his nearest rival, while Ellison and Thomas finished level on just 4 points.

In last week’s position, David Howell played 1…Qg3! hitting both knights and setting up an unstoppable attack on g2.

In a Bristol Tournament last year, Megan Owens fell to White’s clever little combination.

White to play and win.