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Paignton Congress Results (15.09.2012.)

Last week’s Paignton Congress enjoyed some of the best weather of the summer which put all players in a good mood. The favourite, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, won the Premier Section for the 18th time in his career, but there were many other prizewinners all the way down the order.

Premier: 1st K. Arkell 6/7 pts. 2nd= R. Bates (Hackney); D. Ledger (Bedford) & D. Mackle (N. Abbot) all 5 pts.

Challengers: 1st= C. Costello & A. Footner (Yeovil). 3rd= R. Thompson (N. Abbot) & Y. Tello (Wimbledon). Grading prizes: U-162: T. F. Thynne (5). U-155: A. Price (Leamington) 4½.

Best slow starters: A. Hibbitt (Grendel) & Jackson (Coulsdon) both 3½.

I’ll give all the other winners next week.

The key game in Arkell’s campaign was this Rd. 6 win, which allowed him to coast home with a short draw in the final round to become clear 1st and take home a cheque for £600. Notice how, as in Rd. 1 published last week, he makes full use of his bishop pair to force fatal weaknesses in Black’s position.

White: K. C. Arkell (234). Black: Zaki Harari. (193)

Queen’s Gambit Accepted. [D20]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Qxd4 White is happy to exchange queens early on, keeping things simple and knowing his endgame technique will probably win the day. 5…Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bxc4 Bb4 9.f3 0–0 10.Bf4 b5 11.Be2 c5 12.Nc2 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Be6 14.Kf2 Nbd7 15.Rhc1 Nb6 16.Ne3 c4 17.Nc2 Na4 18.Nd4 Rac8 19.Bd1 Nc5 20.Bc2 Rfd8 21.Rd1 h6 22.Be3 Bd7 23.Rd2 Kf8 24.Rad1 Ke8 25.g4 Ng8 26.Nf5 Bxf5 27.gxf5 Rxd2+ 28.Rxd2 Nf6 29.e5 Nfd7 30.f4 Ke7 31.Kf3 Rc6 32.Rd1 making as if to move it to g1. 32…Rc7 33.Rd6 But no, the rook moves forward instead. 33…a5 34.a3 Rb7 35.Rc6 Nb3 36.Be4 Rb8 37.Bd5 a4 38.Rc7 Kd8 39.Ra7 f6 40.e6 1–0 The advanced pawn must win the game.

The next congress for the Bristol League will be held 3rd–5th January 2013 in the city centre Bristol Hilton Hotel, a big change from the Filton Leisure Centre.

The solution to last week’s letter “P” problem was 1.Nc8 threatening 2.Nb6 mate or Ne7 mate, and Black cannot prevent both.

Black’s position here is clearly hopeless, but how can White administer the coup de grace in just 2 moves?

White to mate in 2.

Paignton Congress Starts (08.09.2012.)

The Paignton Congress got under way on Sunday afternoon, with about 200 players enjoying the baroque environs of Oldway Mansion. The first round of the Premier Section is usually a chance for the top players to impose their class on the lesser lights, though there are always exceptions to the rule. In this case, Exeter’s Graham Bolt succeeded in extracting a draw from 2nd seed, Richard Bates. On the other hand, top seed Grandmaster Keith Arkell made no concessions to his Westcountry opponent, who was joint winner of the Exeter Congress back in March, in this faultless display.

White: Dave Littlejohns (180 – Taunton). Black: Keith Arkell (234 – Paignton).

Caro-Kann Defence – Steinitz Variation. [B17]

1.e4 c6 Arkell’s favourite response to 1.e4 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 Steinitz’s recommendation that gives his name to this variation. 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Ng3 c5 Black often makes this early second advance of his c-pawn. 7.c3 e6 8.Bb5 a6 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.0–0 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Qxd4 Black is not afraid to exchange queens as he can rely on his superior endgame technique. 12.Nxd4 Bc5 Watch how the black bishops work as a pair to undermine White’s position. 13.Nc2 Bd7 14.Be3 Be7 15.Rad1 Rc8 16.Nd4 0–0 17.Rfe1 Rfd8 18.Bc1 Ba4 A seemingly fruitless move, yet it tempts White to weaken his pawn structure, fatally so as it turns out. 19.b3 Be8 20.Bb2 b5 21.h3 Rd7 22.Ndf5 Bc5 If 22…exf5 23.Rxd7 Bxd7 24.Rxe7. 23.Rxd7 Bxd7 24.Ne3 Bc6 25.Kf1 Nd5 26.Nxd5 Bxd5 27.Ne4 Be7 28.f3 f5 29.Nd2 Bf6 Attacking c3 and forcing White onto the back foot. 30.Nb1 a5 31.Bc1 a4 32.c4 bxc4 33.bxa4 If 33.bxc4 Bxc4+ 34.Kf2 Bxa2 and Black’s a-pawn will take some stopping. 33…c3 Black’s pieces all have open lines along which to harass White’s scattered queenside. 34.Na3 Bxa2 35.Nb5 Bb3 0–1 If 36.a5 Bc4+ winning the knight.

The event finishes today with Round 7 starting at 9.30 a.m.

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Qb8! forcing KxP followed by 2.Qb6 mate.

Following the recent Olympic-themed problem we have this 2-mover by Edith Baird – née Winter-Wood (1859-1924) originally of Plymouth. She was the darling composer of her day and was adept at all sorts of novelty compositions, including “letter problems” like this one in the shape of a “P”, which we may imagine to stand for the Paralympics. White to play.

Paignton Congress Day 7

The Paignton Congress has enjoyed some of the best weather of the summer which has put all players in a good mood. The favourite, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, won the Premier Section for the 18th time in his career, after the predictable short, safe draw in the final round. But there were many other prizewinners all the way down the order.

Premier: 1st K. Arkell 6/7 pts. 2nd= R. Bates (Hackney); D. Ledger (Bedford) & D. Mackle (N. Abbot) all 5 pts.

Challengers: 1st= C. Costello & A. Footner (Yeovil). 3rd= R. Thompson (N. Abbot) & Y. Tello (Wimbledon). Grading prizes: U-162: T. F. Thynne (5). U-155: A. Price (Leamington) 4½.

Best slow starters: A. Hibbitt (Grendel) & Jackson (Coulsdon) both 3½.

The key game in Arkell’s campaign was this Rd. 6 win, which allowed him to coast home with a short draw in the final round to become clear 1st and take home a cheque for £600. Notice how, as in Rd. 1 published last week, he makes full use of his bishop pair to force fatal weaknesses in Black’s position.

White: K. C. Arkell (234). Black: Zaki Harari. (193)

Queen’s Gambit Accepted. [D20]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Qxd4 White is happy to exchange queens early on, keeping things simple and knowing his endgame technique will probably win the day. 5…Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bxc4 Bb4 9.f3 0–0 10.Bf4 b5 11.Be2 c5 12.Nc2 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Be6 14.Kf2 Nbd7 15.Rhc1 Nb6 16.Ne3 c4 17.Nc2 Na4 18.Nd4 Rac8 19.Bd1 Nc5 20.Bc2 Rfd8 21.Rd1 h6 22.Be3 Bd7 23.Rd2 Kf8 24.Rad1 Ke8 25.g4 Ng8 26.Nf5 Bxf5 27.gxf5 Rxd2+ 28.Rxd2 Nf6 29.e5 Nfd7 30.f4 Ke7 31.Kf3 Rc6 32.Rd1 making as if to move it to g1. 32…Rc7 33.Rd6 But no, the rook moves forward instead. 33…a5 34.a3 Rb7 35.Rc6 Nb3 36.Be4 Rb8 37.Bd5 a4 38.Rc7 Kd8 39.Ra7 f6 40.e6 1–0 The advanced pawn must win it.

Here is the full list of winners:-

Section   Winners Grd Club Pts/7
           
Premier 1st K. C. Arkell 2451 Paignton 6
  2nd= R. A. Bates 2376 Hackney
    D. J. Ledger 2262 Bedford
    D. Mackle 2227 Newton A.
    S. Berry 2325 Wimbledon
GP U-2110 1st= A. Crombleholme 2099 Bushbury
    D. Cutmore 2057 Wood Green
GP U-2040 1st= A. Pickersgill 2019 Eastbourne
    T. Spanton 1977 Hastings
    J. C. Wells 184 N. Norfolk
Slow starter 1st R. J. Webster 2088 Ashfield 3
           
Challengers 1st= C. Costello 166 Weisse Dame
    A. F. Footner 174 Yeovil
  3rd= R. Thompson 176 Newton A. 5
    Y. Tello 163 Wimbledon
GP U-162 1st T. F. Thynne 158 Newton A. 5
GP U-155 1st A. Price 154 Leamington
Slow starter 1st= A. Hibbitt  156 Bristol
    P. G. Jackson 163 Coulsdon
Intermediate          
  1st M. Wilson 149 Wigston 6
  2nd P. Wood 139 Hastings
  3rd T. Greenaway 141 Torquay 5
GP U-137 1st R. Taylor 136 Ashfield
GP U-136 1st M. Ingram 126 Peterborough 4
Slow starter 1st N. F. Tidy 119 Torquay 4
           
Minor 1st= L. Bullock 113 Hackney
    A. Davison 117 King’s Head
    R. Hamilton 123 Metropolitan
GP U-114   Fay Ainscow 109 King’s head 4
    A. Doust 104 Marple 5
Slow starter   D. McGeeney 107 Bristol 4
           
American 1st= J. Hawkesley 171 Hull
    R. Westra 169 Hull
  3rd N. Dennis 167 Maidenhead
           
5 Rd. Morning 1st= A. F. Footner 174 Yeovil 4
    A. Hibbitt 156 Bristol
    R. Saunders    
    R. Gamble 172 Derby
    R. Thompson 176 Newton A.
GP U-155   M. A. Roberts 152 Holmes Chapel
GP U-136   L. Bullock 113 Hackney 3
Slow starters 1st= R. Piggott 137 Wantage
    R. H. Jones 130 Exmouth
    P. Smith 141 Hastings
    G. Rosser 127 Torquay
           
RapidPlay PM 1st= M. Henley    
    A. Archer-Lock 178 Maidenhead
  3rd= A. Brown 186 Norhtampton
    S. Burke 184 Ashfield
    C. Archer-Lock 177 Maidenhead
           

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Paignton Congress Day 6

This was the final day of the 5 Rd. Morning event. After some tense and exciting play, the prize list shaped up as follows:

  5 Rd. Morning Pts Prize
1st= Andrew Footner 4 £130
  Raymond Gamble
  Arthur Hibbitt
  Robert Sanders
  Robert Thompson
GP Malcolm Roberts £50
GP Lee Bullock 3 £50
Slow Paul Smith £5
Starter Robert Jones
  G. Rosser
  R. Piggott

As usual, a prizegiving was organised shortly after the final game to finish. Arboter Vic Cross dragooned Ewart Smith to had over the cheques.  Usually acticing in an official capacity, Ewart was here purely in the role of player, which he found relaxing for a change. With two Smiths and Joneses in this section, I’d wondered whether Arbiter Vic Cross would get round to pairing them up at some point. That finally occurred this round where Ewart met Michael Jones to make it a Smith v Jones affair.

Smith v Jones

l-r: Messrs Footner, Hibbitt, Sanders, Thompson & Gamble, beneath Napolean's Coronation

The penultimate round takes players to the sharp end of things, and in this case, Arkell assured himself of at least a share of 1st prize, ending Harari’s fine run; he now only needs a safe draw in the final round to stay clear of all rivals.

The full results were:-

Bd   Paignton     Premier  
    Rd. 6        
1 (4½) K. C. Arkell 1 0 Z. Harari (4)
2 (3½) D. Mackle 1 0 S. Berry (4)
3 (3½) P. R. Kemp 0 1 D. Ledger (3½)
4 (3½) S. P. Dilleigh ½ ½ A. M. Stone (3½)
5 (3) J. F. Wheeler 1 0 D. B. Rosen (3½)
6 (3) D. O. Collier 0 1 R. A. Bates (3)
7 (3) R. A. Barton 1 0 A. M. Brown (3)
8 (3) D. A. Cutmore 1 0 J. P. McKenna (3)
9 (2½) M. Healey 0 1 A. Crombleholme (3)
10 (2½) R. J. Webster ½ ½ J. Hodgeson (2½)
11 (2½) J. C. Wells ½ ½ J. Burnett (2½)
12 (2½) M. J. Simons ½ ½ M. J. Cutmore (2½)
13 (2½) J. W. Bass 1 0 I. Lewyk (2½)
14 (2) J. Waterfield 1 0 D. LIttlejohns (2)
15 (2) G. Bolt 1 0 A. Archer-Lock (2)
16 (2) T. Spanton 1 0 C. Archer-Lock (2)
17 (2) C. Herda 0 1 K. Gregory (2)
18 (2) J. Coburn 0 1 A. W. Brusey (2)
19 (2) A. Pickersgill 1 0 N. Mahoney (1½)
20 (1½) J. Hickman 1 0 G. P. Taylor (1½)
21 (1) P. Cheshire ½ ½ S. Burke (1)
22 (1) M. Shaw 1   bye  

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Paignton Congress Day 5

Paignton 2012 has pioneered the English Chess Federation’s new Membership Scheme, which has been two or three years in the making and finally came into force on 1st September, with Paignton starting the very next day. It is perhaps a little too complicated to fully explain here, but most players seem to have taken it on board, and new members are signing up in droves every day.

To some extent, it has been the brainchild of the ECF’s Executive Director, Andrew Farthing; at least, he has been the midwife present at the birth. He had planned to play at Paignton and had paid his entry fee, but the past few weeks, with the birth immanent, have taken their toll on Andrew, and although he has taken the holiday, he feels his constitution is not up to a strenuous 7-round event like this. But he has been around the place most days, enjoying the ambience.

Andrew was brought up in Cheltenham, home to, among other things, a chess club with a rich history. He was born there in 1964 and attended Cheltenham Grammar School. He first went to the town chess club at the age of 11, a shy, quiet child entering a smoke-filled room of elderly gentlemen, too involved in their own game to pay him any heed. Eventually, one old cove came up, put him at ease and had a game with him, even letting him get away with a draw. That man, he was to learn later, was none other than Dr. Jim Aitken,  many times Scottish and West of England Champion.

Andrew went  up to Oxford University to read Modern Languages. On going down, he put all that to one side and joined Lloyds Bank, where he rapidly worked his way up through the ranks, eventually being able to retire at the age of 48 to devote himself to voluntary work such as, though not exclusively, the ECF.

He is due to step down in October when he will have completed 2 years in office. The new Membership Scheme, putting the ECF on a sounder financial footing, in the wake of the withdrawal of the annual government grant, will be his legacy. After retirement he will be able to get back to playing chess in c. 15 congresses  and 130 games per year.

Andrew relaxing on the South Terrace.

Backed by the magnificent south facade.

 In the afternoon, Arkell held Berry with Black to remain clear 1st, while Harari’s good run continued to put him in clear 3rd. Here are the full details. 

Bd   Paignton     Premier  
    Rd. 5        
1 (3½) S. Berry ½ ½ K. C. Arkell (4)
2 (3) R. A. Bates 0 1 Z. Harari (2½)
3 (2) S. P. Dilleigh ½ ½ D. Mackle (2½)
4 (2) D. Ledger 1 0 M. J. Simons (2)
5 (2) D. B. Rosen 1 0 J. Burnett (2)
6 (2) R. A. Barton ½ ½ J. F. Wheeler (2)
7 (1½) D. A. Cutmore ½ ½ D. O. Collier (1½)
8 (1½) A. M. Stone 1 0 M. Healey (1½)
9 (1½) P. R. Kemp 1 0 G. Bolt (1½)
10 (1½) J. Hodgson ½ ½ J. C. Wells (1½)
11 (1½) A. M. Brown 1 0 C. Archer-Lock (1½)
12 (1½) J. P. McKenna 1 0 A. Pickersgill (1½)
13 (1½) A. Crombleholme 1 0 J. W. Waterfield (1½)
14 (1½) I. Lewyk ½ ½ R. J. Webster (1½)
15 (1½) D. Littlejohns ½ ½ T. Spanton (1½)
16 (1½) K. D. Gregory ½ ½ A. Archer-Lock (1½)
17 (1) N. Mahoney 0 1 J. W. Bass (½)
18 (1) M. J. Cutmore 1 0 J. E. Hickman (½)
19 (1) A. W. Brusey ½ ½ C. Herda (½)
20 (½) S. J. Burke 0 1 J. Coburn (½)
21 (0) G. P. Taylor 1 0 M. Shaw (½)
22 (½) bye   1 P. L. Cheshire (0)

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Paignton Congress Day 4

As most players at Paignton know, there has been, after 62 years in the same room, a cloud of uncertainty over the future of the event, due to the fact that the Borough Council are in the process of handing over the Oldway estate to property developers, the Akkeron Group. This has been on the cards for several years, and in recent months little seems to have been happening. The Council’s problem has been the on-going cost of maintaining the mansion to the standard set by its builder, Paris Singer. The out-buildings are mostly derelict and unusable, while the mansion itself is starting to go the same way – the roof is defective and water is starting to penetrate the structure. Even in Ballroom there is a dark, menacing-looking patch of rot high up on one of the walls.

However, on arrival last Sunday, it was clear that things have moved on. Most of the 300 council employees that are based in the Mansion have moved to other premises and their office spaces are now empty, as is much of the car park; no longer is it a nightmare to find a space in – parking has never been so easy. And it has been confirmed that there will no chess at Oldway in September 2013 as the builders will have moved in by then.

At first, after some unsuccessful preliminary enquiries about possible alternative venues , the Committee was minded to take a sabbatical for 2013 and see how accommodating the new management might be once the Mansion-cum council offices had been turned into a top class hotel.

Early this morning, the restaurant manageress let it be known that Akkeron’s MD, James Brent, with a group of (presumably) project managers had been seen working their way around the extensive grounds, taking photographs with “a very large camera”. Around 10 a.m. Congress Secretary Alan Crickmore set off in chase, in the hope of collaring Brent to talk about the prospects for 2014, but the group had vanished.

Talking to the Mayor on Sunday, it was clear that the developers do not have a completely free hand to do anything that takes their fancy. Written in to the contract is the restriction that what parts of the house are currently open to the public – the entrance hall, gallery and Ballroom – must remain largely unchanged and open to the public, as the estate was originally was bequeathed by the Singer family to the community, conditions that the Council itself has had to adhere to for 65 years.

Later, there was a surprise visit by Mark Jones, Akkeron’s Development Manager, in company with Iain Masters, Senior Development Surveyor of  the Torbay Development Agency. Jones was certain that the Oldway conversion project was programmed to run over 18 months, starting next summer, so there was no way they could accommodate the Congress in 2013 or 2014 – something of a downer. However, Masters was sure that Torre Abbey would make an ideal alternative venue. It is adjacent to the Riviera Centre and near the sea-front. It’s currently under renovation, but should be ready to take bookings from next summer. It can seat 200 people for functions, and, although very different from Oldway, is an even more historic site. It used to host large chess events in the 60s & ’70s – the WECU Championship being one.

Something to watch out for.

Meanwhile, back at the board, of the 3 joint leaders, Berry and Bates shared the points, leaving Arkell able to push on into clear first. Harari is not one of the Paignton regulars, but is making a strong run, taking the scalp of Dave Ledger.

Here are the rest of the results:

Bd   Paignton     Premier  
    Rd. 4        
1 (3) K. C. Arkell 1 0 S. P. Dilleigh (3)
2 (3) S. Berry ½ ½ R. A. Bates (2½)
3 (2) Z. Harari 1 0 D. Ledger (2½)
4 (2) D. Mackle 1 0 J. McKenna (2)
5 (2) J. F. Wheeler ½ ½ A. M. Stone (2)
6 (2) J. Burnett ½ ½ M. Healey (2)
7 (1½) A. Pickersgill ½ ½ J. H. Hodgson (1½)
8 (1½) M. J. Simons 1 0 D. Littlejohns (1½)
9 (1½) G. Bolt ½ ½ A. M. Brown (1½)
10 (1½) J. W. Bass 0 1 P. R. Kemp (1½)
11 (1½) D. O. Collier 1 0 A. W. Brusey (1½)
12 (1½) J. C. Wells ½ ½ A. Crombleholme (1½)
13 (1½) J. Waterfield ½ ½ I. Lewyk (1½)
14 (1½) T. Spanton 0 1 D. B. Rosen (1½)
15 (1½) C. Herda 0 1 R. A. Barton (1½)
16 (1½) J. E. Hickman 0 1 D. A. Cutmore (1½)
17 (1) C. Archer-Lock 1 0 J. Coburn (½)
18 (1) A. Archer-Lock ½ ½ M. J. Cutmore (½)
19 (1) M. Shaw 0 1 R. J. Webster (½)
20 (½) G. Taylor 0 1 K. D. Gregory (½)
21 (0) P. L. Cheshire ½ ½ N. Mahoney (½)
22 (½) S. J. Burke 1   bye (0)

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Bd. 1: Arkell vs Dilleigh and the other top boards.

Paignton Congress Day 2

The Morning 5 Round tournament got under way on time, in spite of one or two setbacks. Local controller, Victor Cross was due to act as Arbiter, but late the previous evening he phoned in to say he was marooned in France on a train that had broken down and would be unable to make it to Oldway in time. However, John Ariss, another local Arbiter was able to step in at short notice.

Then the pairing board brought in specially for this event, had removable boards numbers from another event that no-one had changed, (not unconnected with Victor’s absence)  so bore no relation to the actual tables in the room where 2 rows of clocks had been set on the half hour. Some players were sitting down at tables all over the room while others stood by puzzled, trying to work out what had gone wrong. The confusion was quickly sorted and play got under way on time.

The Boniface Morning section gets under way. Former British Ladies Champion, Gillian Moore, in foreground.

As Rd. 1 finished by 1.30 , players were gathering for the start of the 2nd round of the other sections.

Michael Healey (Richmond) in head-dress on his way to a Rd. 2 win against Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth).

The Premier results were as follows:-

    Premier     Round 2  
1 (1) K. C. Arkell 1 0 D. B. Rosen (1)
2 (1) S. Berry 1 0 D. Cutmore (1)
3 (1) A. Stone 1 0 M. Cutmore (1)
4 (1) M. Simonds ½ ½ J. Waterfield (1)
5 (1) C. Herda 0 1 J. McKenna (1)
6 (1) M. Healey 1 0 M. Shaw (1)
7 (1) S. Dilleigh 1 0 R. A. Barton (½)
8 (½) C. Archer-Lock 0 1 R. A. Bates (½)
9 (½) S. J. Burke 0 1 D. J. Ledger (½)
10 (½) J. W. Bass ½ ½ J. H. Hodgson (½)
11 (½) T. Spanton 0 1 J. Burnett (½)
12 (½) A. Pickersgill ½ ½ A. M. Brown (½)
13 (½) J. C. Wells ½ ½ P. R. Kemp (½)
14 (½) J. F. Wheeler ½ ½ J. E. Hickman (½)
15 (½) D. O. Collier ½ ½ A. Archer-Lock (½)
16 (½) G. Bolt ½ ½ K. D. Gregory (½)
17 (0) D. Mackle 1 0 R. J. Webster (0)
18 (0) Z. Harari 1 0 N. Mahoney (0)
19 (0) G. P. Taylor 0 1 A. Crombleholme (0)
20 (0) J. Coburn 1 0 I. Lewyk (0)
21 (0) P. Cheshire 0 1 D. Littlejohns (0)
22   bye     A. W. Brusey  

Access the games here

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The launch of Keith Arkell’s autobiography created some interest among players, many of whom opted to take the chance to get their purchases signed by the author while the opportunity was there.

Copies available from the publisher – enquire by e-mail jones_r53@sky.com for more information.

Front cover of Arkell's Odyssey - not easily missed.

The back cover gives more detail of its contents.

Paignton Congress 2012 Day 1

Sunday morning, and the organisers arrived in ones and twos to start getting things set up ready for a 2p.m. start. All of them had done it all before, some of them many times, so everyone seemed to get on with their jobs without panic or fuss.

By 1 pm the players started to arrive, and on the Gallery outside the Ballroom, numerous conversations sprang up readily between old friends and acquaintances, all animated by the anticipation of forthcoming combat, while others quietly scanned the wallcharts to eye up the opposition in their own particular section.

One early point of interest was the fact that Grandmaster Keith Arkell, Paignton’s most frequent winner, was using the occasion to launch his autobiography, Arkell’s Odyssey, and a table had been set up to facilitate a signing session before the round started. The first customer was Joe Coburn (see photo below).

The Mayor and his wife/consort arrived relatively early (1.15) and were interested in chatting informally to officials about the past and future of this perennially popular event. At 1.40 they took to the stage in company with Paul Brooks, the new President of the Devon County Chess Association, the event’s parent body, and DCCA General Secretary, Alan Maynard. (see photo below). A few minutes speech from each left just time for a photo opportunity on top board before time was called and the serious business of the day began.

Round 1 is usually the time for the top players to assert themselves against weaker opposition, though things don’t always follow this pattern. Nor did they in this case as local player Graham Bolt drew with 2nd seed Richard Bates. No such mistake by top seed Keith Arkell who overcame Taunton’s Dave Littlejohns, joint winner of this year’s East Devon Congress, in a relatively short game (for him).

Here’s how the other games finished:-

Bd Paignton     Premier  
  Rd. 1        
1 D. Littlejohns 0 1 K. Arkell  
2 R. A. Bates ½ ½ G. Bolt  
3 K. Gregory 0 1 S. Berry  
4 D. Ledger ½ ½ J. W. Bass  
5 M. J. Cutmore 1 0 D. Mackle  
6 J. H. Hodgson ½ ½ S. J. Burke  
7 A. W. Brusey 0 1 A. M. Stone  
8 J. Burnett ½ ½ A. Pickersgill  
9 R. J. Webster 0 1 M. J. Simons  
10 A. M. Brown ½ ½ J. C.Wells  
11 J. Waterfield 1 0 Z. Harari  
12 P. R. Kemp ½ ½ T. Spanton  
13 A. Archer-Lock ½ ½ J. F. Wheeler  
14 J. McKenna     G. P. Taylor  
15 J. Hickman ½ ½ D. O. Collier  
16 A. Crombleholme 0 1 C. Herda  
17 N. Mahoney 0 1 M. Healey  
18 I. Lewyk 0 1 M. Shaw  
19 J. Coburn 0 1 S. Dilleigh  
20 D. B. Rosen 1 0 P. Cheshire  
21 D. A. Cutmore 1   bye  
22 C. Archer-Lock ½   bye  
23 R. A. Barton ½   bye  
24          

Rd. 1 Games from the Premier may be found here:

http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/games/current/paignton20121/base.htm

Joe Coburn becomes Arkell's 1st customer.

Mayor & consort pose with Paul Brooks at Keith Arkell's board.

May the best man win!

Down to the serious business - Dave Littlejohns vs Arkell

Titled player and leading contender, Dave Ledger (r) looks deep in thought.

Peace descends on the multitude.