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Posts Tagged ‘Mrs. W. J. Baird’

MMmmm…. 1,000 down and counting

In the final round of the recent British Championship in Hull, 3-times champion David Howell (2009; 2013 & ’14) was drawn against Luke McShane, and one of them had to win if either was going to try to catch Michael Adams and force a play-off.

White: D. Howell (2687). Black: L. McShane (2669).

Ruy Lopez – Steinitz Defence Deferred. [C72]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 This was not the moment to be experimenting with unusual openings in the hope of catching one’s opponent unawares, as it’s always liable to rebound on one’s head, so familiar, well-trodden ground should be safer, in this case the centuries-old Ruy Lopez. 3…a6 4.Ba4 d6 Key move in the Steinitz Defence Deferred, but McShane knows most variations in this opening well and is well-versed in this one. 5.0–0 Bd7 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Be7 11.Bf4 0–0 12.Rad1 Qc6 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Qxc2 15.Rc1 Qf5 16.Rxc7 Attack and… 16…Bf6 counter-attack. 17.Qd2 Rfc8 18.Rfc1 Rxc7 19.Rxc7 Re8 Theatening …20.Qb1+ 21.Qc1 QxQ+ 22.BxQ Re1#.  20.h3 Playing a “safe” opening is all very well, but someone has to get aggressive at some point, and Black takes up the challenge. 20…h5 21.b3 g5 22.Be3 Re5 winning the d-pawn 23.Rxb7 Rxd5 24.Qc1 Be5 Black is now throwing almost everything he’s got at the White king’s position. 25.Rb4 Qd3 Mate alert! 26.f4 Qe2 threatening Rd1 winning the queen, after …Rd1+. 27.Kh2 gxf4 28.Bxf4 Rd2 29.Qc6 Kg7 30.a3 h4 31.Rc4 Qe3! Utilising the pin on White’s bishop. 32.Qe4 Qg3+! 0-1 resigned in view of 33.Bxg3 Bxg3+ 34.Kg1 Rd1+ mate.

In the subsequent play-off, McShane and Adams played 2 games at RapidPlay speed, resulting in 1-all, necessitating another two games at Blitz speed, both of which Adams won. So the £10,000 1st prize went to him, while McShane had to be content with £5,000. But it wasn’t just about the money. However, McShane could be proud of his play under that maximum pressure.

The 68th Paignton Congress starts a week on Sunday, 2nd September, at the Livermead House Hotel, and entry forms can be downloaded, and entries even paid for, at the event website

The solution to the starter problem for the next British Solving Championship has been announced. The best responses were, not unnaturally, from the big national dailies, while those from the Western Morning News were the only ones from any provincial newspaper.

The answer to last week’s problem was 1.f4! and depending on what Black tries, White will have 3 mates available viz. 2.Qb4; Nxb7 or b8=Q.

As this is my 1,000th column I have chosen a 2-mover in the shape of the letter M, the Roman numeral for a thousand, which was composed by Mrs. W. J. Baird née Edith Elina Winter-Wood (1859 – 1924) whose ancestral home was at Hareston in Brixton, near Plymouth.

Dr. Robert Dunstan – Cornishman (21.06.2014)

At the weekend I received a request for information about a Dr. R. Dunstan who was an active player in Devon for 25 year after 1904. It was a name I’d seen many times in the records but about whom I knew nothing, so I was prompted to do some research. It turned out he was one of the best Cornish players Cornwall never had.

He was the 8th of 9 children born to Robert, a Surveyor of Mines, and Anne, living at 68, Trevecca Cottages, Liskeard. He trained as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital, married Emily from Launceston soon after qualifying and had 4 children under the age of 6. He practiced in London until 1904 when he moved to Paignton. He flitted from club to club, playing for Torquay, Plymouth, Paignton, and Exeter at one time or another, and played for Devon, usually on top board. During WWI he was medical officer of troops in Paignton, probably at Oldway Mansion when it became a hospital for officers. In 1951 this became the home of the Paignton Chess Congress.

His two sons qualified as doctors and played chess, Walter becoming a member of the Teignmouth club and John getting 2 games published in the British Chess Magazine.

Here is one of the 10 games Robert had published in the BCM, this one from 1914 with notes by the then British Champion, F. D. Yates.

White: C. E. T. Jenkinson (Cornwall). Black: Dr. R. Dunstan (Devon).

Queen’s Gambit – Cambridge Springs Var. Orthodox Defence [D53].

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Ne4 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nxe4 This is not good positional judgement. The Black pawn on e4 is a useful wedge, delaying White’s development. In giving up command of the centre, White hands the initiative to Black. 7…dxe4 8.a3 0–0 9.Ne2 f5 10.Nc3 Nd7 11.Rc1 Here 11.Qc2 to be followed by 0–0–0 and f3 would have been better. The queenside counter-attack is too slow to be effective. 11…Nf6 12.Be2 Bd7 13.c5 Giving up command of d5. This comes in useful for Black later. Preferable was 0–0 followed by f3. 13…c6 14.0–0 Nd5 15.Bc4 Rf6 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.Ba2 f4 18.exf4 Rxf4 19.Qd2 Raf8 20.Rc3 Qf6 21.Rg3 h5 Now that Black’s heavy pieces are effectively placed, it only requires the advance if this pawn to complete an attack consistently carried through. 22.b4 h4 23.Rc3 Qg6 24.b5 Bg4 25.Bb1 Bf3 26.g3 Qg4 27.b6 Qh3 28.Rxf3 exf3 0–1

Last week’s elementary 2-mover by Mrs. Baird was solved by 1.Kf6! and depending where the Black king moves the rook will mate on either h3 or d8.

The English Chess Federation’s 2014 Yearbook contains an article on new problems first published last year and this one, by Barry Barnes, is one of the 2-movers.

White to play and mate in 2

Bristol’s Boniface Memorial Congress (14.06.2014.)

The Steve Boniface Memorial Congress finished on Sunday evening at Bristol’s  Holiday Inn, with the following emerging as prizewinners: (all scores out of 5)

Open Section:  1st Chris Beaumont (Bristol & Clifton) 4½. 2nd= Tim Paulden (Exeter), Carl Bicknell & Peter Kirby (both Horfield) 4. Grading prizes:  U-178  Chris Timmins (Bristol).             U-165 Joe Fathallah (Wales).

(27 players participated).

Major (U-155): 1st G. A. Harvey (South Bristol) 4½. 2nd= Alex Rossiter & Neil Derrick (both Bristol Cabot) 4.

Grading Prize: Paul Gillett (Cirencester) 3½. 20 Players.

Minor (U-125): 1st Chris Snook-Lumb (Swindon) 5. 2nd Alastair Marston (Bristol Cabot) 4. 3rd=  Richard Porter (Bristol University), Steve Williams (Cwmbran) & Amol Telang (Bristol & Clifton) 3½.

Grading Prizes (U-110): Martyn Maber (Taunton) 2½. (U-90) James Dettman (Pete’s Potentials) 2.  22 Players.

Here are a couple of games from Round 3 in the Open.

White: G. Willett (126). Black: H. Andolo (176).

English Opening  [A29]

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e5 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.d3 Be7 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.0–0 0–0 9.a3 a5 10.Be3 Be6 11.Nd2 f5 12.Bxb6 cxb6 13.b3 Rc8 14.Nc4 Nd4 15.Bxb7 Rc7 16.Ba6 Ra7 17.Bb5 f4 18.Nxe5 Qc7 19.Nc4 Qc5 The bishop can’t move so must be protected, though this cuts it off from the defence, with fatal consequences. 20.a4 Qh5 21.Nd2 Bb4 22.Nce4 Nxe2+ 23.Kh1 Bxd2 24.Qxd2?? Qf3# 0–1. White might have wriggled free after 24.f3 Nxg3+ 25.Nxg3 fxg3 26.Qxd2 though Black’s much greater freedom of movement, not to mention his 50 point grading advantage, would probably win the day.

The following game helped Timmins on his way to a grading prize.

White: C. Timmins (167). Black: J. Waterfield (179)

Queen’s Pawn Game [D01]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7 4.e3 g6 5.f4 Bg7 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Bd3 c5 8.0–0 b6 9.Qe1 Bb7 10.Qh4 White’s forces are starting to mass on the kingside. 10…Re8 11.Ne5 a6 12.Rf3 Nf8 13.f5 c4 14.fxg6 Nxg6 If 14…cxd3 15.gxf7+ Kh8 Black’s rook is going nowhere, so… 16.Rg3 with the threat of Bh6. 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Rh3 Qd6 17.Rf1 Bc8 18.g4 Be6 19.Bh6 Nh5 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.gxh5 f6 22.Rg3 fxe5 23.Rxg6+ Kh7 24.Qg5 and mate on h6 cannot be avoided. 1–0

Many more games may be found on the League’s website –

In last week’s position, Black could finish in 3 forcing moves, starting with the sacrificial 1…Rg1+ 2.Kxg1 Qh2+ 3.Kf1 3.Qh1 mate.

This simple 2-mover was composed by Edith Elena Baird shortly before she died in Paignton in 1924.

White to mate in 2