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Posts Tagged ‘Paignton Chess Congress’

Paignton Approaches (26.09.2017.) 948

The Paignton Congress starts a week tomorrow with entries coming in all the time. Meanwhile, here’s a game from the 1996 event by then Paignton resident, Gary Lane, who won it that year. Here he faced a former joint-British Champion. Notes condensed from those originally kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Gary Lane. Black: Alan Phillips.  Bishop’s Opening [C24]

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 A good way to avoid the Petroff which has the reputation for being a bit dull. 2…Nf6 3.d3 c6!? A line known as the Paulsen Defence after Louis Paulsen (1833 – 91), one of the world’s leading players in the 1860s. 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bb3 The bishop retreats which is part of the opening plan in this line so that …d7-d5 lacks bite because it won’t be attacking the bishop on c4. 5…0–0 6.0–0 d6 7.Re1 Na6 8.c3 A slow, gradual way to create a pawn centre with an eventual d4, and it also allows an escape square for the bishop to avoid an exchange of pieces. 8…Nc5 9.Bc2 Bg4 10.Nbd2.

The middlegame plan is to prevent any counterplay so that White can slowly build up his kingside pieces in preparation for an attack. 10…Ne6 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nf1 Ne8 13.Ng3 Bg6 Black should think about exchanging some pieces to avoid getting a cramped position. 14.d4 Bf6 15.Be3 catching up on development. 15…Qc7 16.a4 a5 17.Qe2 The queen moves to the 2nd rank in order to coordinate the rooks and keep an eye on the possibility of …b7-b5. 17…c5 18.d5! 18…Nf4?! 19.Qd2 Nh5 Black avoids losing a pawn but now the initiative allows White to step up the kingside pressure in an effort to make the most of the black pieces’ lack of harmony. 20.Nf5 Bd8 21.g4 Nhf6 22.Kh2 There is no rush as Black has no hint of counterplay, so there is time to reinforce against a possible later kingside attack. 22…Qd7 23.c4 23…h5!? Black was in no mood to sit and wait so tried to mix things up. 24.Rg1 hxg4 25.hxg4 Nh7 26.Rg3 26…Nef6 27.Rh1 Re8 28.Bh6! forcing home the advantage because acceptance of the sacrifice would lead directly to mate. 28…Nxe4 Desperation, but there’s nothing better. 29.Bxe4 gxh6 30.Qxh6 Bf6 31.Kg2 The king steps out of the way to unleash the rook on the h-file which is all part of the plan 31…Qd8 32.g5! Bh8 33.N3h4 White can now force checkmate. 1–0

Last week’s problem by Mansfield was solved by 1. Nd3! and there’s nothing Black can do to prevent 2.Qf5#.

The opening round of the British Problem Solving Championship closed at the end of July, and there were more correct solutions sent in by WMN readers than any other provincial daily, so congratulations to all those. By now they will have received the postal round comprising 8 more positions in various categories and of increasing difficulty. The best solvers of these will be invited to participate in the Final at Eton College next February.

Meanwhile, here is another 2-mover by Dave Howard, having its first showing worldwide.

White to Mate in 2

Next Up …… the Paignton Congress (16.07.2016.)

Like football, no sooner has the old chess season been put to bed than the next looms quickly over the horizon. This means the Paignton Congress cannot be so far away – in fact it starts seven weeks tomorrow, Sunday 4th September. Entry forms may be downloaded from the website If necessary, further details may be obtained from the event Secretary, Alan Crickmore on 01752-768206 or e-mail

After his recent run of tournament successes the likely winner is local Grandmaster Keith Arkell, who has made this event virtually his own for over 20 years, so much so that other GMs seem to leave it to him without challenge, one exception being 2008 when Gawain Jones shared 1st prize with him. An extra 2 GMs would greatly add to the interest.

60 years ago, the winner at Paignton was Francis Kitto (5/7) with Andrew Thomas and Wolfgang Heidenfeld both on 50%. This was their individual game.

White: A. R. B. Thomas. W. Heidenfeld.

Grünfeld Defence  [D78]

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 Nf6 5.0–0 0–0 6.c4 c6 7.Nc3 h6 8.Ne5 Thomas was not one to hold back from taking the high ground when the opportunity arose. 8…Be6 9.f4 Nbd7 10.b3 dxc4 11.bxc4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 Nh7 13.Qd3 Qd7 14.Bb2 Bh3 15.Ne4 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Rfd8 17.Nc5 Qc8 18.e6 f5 Taking the pawn would allow in the White Queen with 18…fxe6 19.Qxg6 to be followed by Nxe6. 19.Nd7 There is no immediate threat from the knight and pawn, and Black could bring his knight in from the rim, with something like Ng5. But Black opts to eliminate the knight & pawn immediately. 19…Rxd7. If 19…Ng5 20.Qa3. 20.exd7 Qxd7 21.Rad1 White is planning to control the d-file after playing d5 when possible. 21…Ng5 22.Ba3 Re8 23.d5 e6 24.h4 Ne4 25.dxc6 Qxc6 26.Qd7 Rc8 27.Qxc6 Rxc6 28.Rd8+ Kh7 29.Rd7 White’s bishop threatens to move to either b2 or f8. 29…Rb6 29…Kg8 Black could try 30.Rxb7 Rxc4 but after 31.Rd1 there is little hope. 30.Bf8 The bishop cannot be further defended. 1–0

This was only revenge for Thomas as the two had met just a few days earlier in Rd. 4 of the British Championship at Blackpool, when Heidenfeld (B) won after sacrificing a rook in a French Defence.

The Jewish Heidenfeld (1911-81) was born in Berlin but ahead of the rise of Nazism emigrated to South Africa where he became National Champion eight times. After the war he moved to Ireland where he became their Champion six times. His autobiographical book of games is called Lacking The Master Touch, (1970) now highly sought after.

The solution to Dave Howard’s 3-mover last week was 1.Bd7! after which White has four 2 move mates depending on what Black tries. For example, 1…Kf4. 2.Qf6+ Ke4. 3.Qf5 mate or 2…Kg3 3.Qf2 mate.

This position arose between fellow Bristolians Tyson Mordue (W) and Steve Dilleigh in a tournament in Torquay a decade ago. How did White win a small but significant amount of material?

White to play and win material

Oldway Update

It is fair to say that Paignton Congress regulars, and others, have viewed the on-going saga of the development of Oldway Mansion with a mixture of  concern, trepidation and a certain amount of scepticism.

The latest news appeared recently in the local paper and gives the current position.

THE final deal has been signed for the £12million Oldway Mansion development. 

Four months after being granted planning permission and following weeks of negotiation, the flagship project has been given the final green light.

IT’S A DEAL: Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver and James Brent shake hands to mark signing of agreement to develop Oldway.

Under an original 2010 deal, Torbay Council was expected to receive £1millon premium plus a percentage of profits from the sale of houses being built in the grounds of the mansion.

Under the deal now agreed, the council will pay developers Akkeron Regeneration £400,000 towards a new indoor bowls club building, an enhanced marriage ceremony room and the restoration of the gardens.

The council says this is in recognition of the changes since the original conditional contract was signed in August 2010.

The housing numbers were scaled down to meet opponents’ requests. As part of the scheme, 48 three and four-bedroom townhouses will be built along with a new orangery and cafe.

The original deal would have given the council a £50,000 deposit after a development scheme was agreed and £1million within two years of planning consent or the ‘practical completion of the hotel’. The council was also set to be paid 15 per cent of the profits from the redevelopment.

The deal has now been agreed by the council and Akkeron Regeneration, the development arm of Akkeron Group. The mansion will be fully restored and conserved, and the currently derelict ancillary buildings converted into a spa and fitness centre. Over 75 full time jobs will be created.

Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver said: “I am very pleased that an agreement has been reached that ensures the development is carried out in a way which preserves and enhances the buildings and grounds for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors.”

James Brent, chairman of Akkeron, said: “In these times of austerity, the public and private sectors need to work in close partnership not only to protect our heritage but to create homes and jobs for our communities.”

Steve Parrock, chief executive of the Torbay Development Agency, said: “I am delighted that four years of hard work from the TDA and council have come to fruition.”

Paul Hawthorne, chairman of the Friends of Oldway, said: “We welcome the finalising of the agreement.”

Torbay Civic Society chairman Ian Handford said: “Rather than see this important building go into irreversible decline, the Civic Society has supported the renovation proposals while ensuring important public access to the main areas and the estate is maintained.”

Work will begin on site at the earliest opportunity with the project due to be completed by 2015.

The cafe is open for business until next year and the developer is keen to work with the operators as long possible. The tennis courts will be open for business for next few months and will re-open next year.

Both bowls clubs are unaffected for time being — the indoor club is staying open until the new club opens. The outdoor club is investing in ground improvements.

Public access to the gardens and grounds will be carefully managed to ensure the public can enjoy safe access during the development and any temporary restrictions will be carefully considered and minimised, says Torbay Council.

The mansion is available for meetings and events until next March. Most weddings are now being undertaken at Cockington, with the wedding room returning to Oldway in 2015.

The registrars are moving to Paignton Library in mid October. Access to Singer Collection continues.”

Although everyone involved in the scheme appear to be happy with the way it’s going,  hardened cynics may point out that what originally appeared to be a £1 million plus, selling price on the mansion plus a 15% cut on the houses going to the Council, now appears to be a near half million sum going to Akkeron. Also, in spite of the fairly detailed nature of the report, there’s nothing specific about the hotel aspect of the overall scheme, which has been the chief concern of the Congress organisers and players.

Paignton Congress – New Venue (06.10.2012.)

After 62 consecutive years at the same venue, the Paignton Congress must now take an enforced break from Oldway Mansion as developers are due to move in next summer to start converting the building into a hotel. Originally, the Committee were minded to take a complete break for 2013 as nowhere else could quite match Oldway’s surroundings, but this year’s players were keen to carry on at an alternative venue if one could be found. Congress Secretary, Alan Crickmore now tells me that the Livermead Hotel, Torquay has answered a prayer, and is set to be next year’s venue.

The 47th Dorset Congress starts next weekend at the Bournemouth International Hotel. Details obtainable from their website

This miniature is from last year’s event.

White: Meri Grigoryan (176). Black: Paul Helbig (175)

Trompowsky Opening [A45]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Bxb8 Rxb8 7.Qxa7 Qc7 8.Na3 Ne4 9.Nb5 Qc5 10.Qxb8 Qxf2+ 11.Kd1 Qc5 12.b4 Nxc3+ 13.Nxc3 Qxc3 14.Rc1 left. 14…Qd4+ 15.Ke1 Qxb4+ 16.Kf2 Qb6+ 17.e3 Qb2+ 18.Ne2 1–0

The Westcountry has its share of resident Grandmasters; Michael Adams in Taunton, Keith Arkell in Paignton and Peter Wells of Swindon, and to these can now be added C. J. A. “Christopher” Jones of Henbury, Bristol, who was recently awarded FIDE’s title of Grandmaster of Chess Composition. He was born in 1951 on Tayside, attending Dundee High School  and later Corpus Christi, Oxford . After a period of distinguished playing and administration in Scotland, he moved to Bristol in 1978, where, as Christopher Reeves reports, he has had prodigious success over the past ten years with his helpmates in 3 moves, establishing himself as the leading exponent in the field. I’ll have one of his simpler problems next week. 

In last week’s position, Adams (White) lost out to 1…Re2+! 2.Kxe2 any other king move and he is mated on g2. 2…Qxg2+ 3.Ke1 Qxh1+ 4. Kd2 Qxf3 5.Ke1 and 5…h4 wins.

Here is a 2-mover by the great American philanthropist/problemist Alain C. White (1880 – 1951), composed when he was just 11 years old.

White to mate in 2.

Paignton Congress Day 3

Victor Cross, the morning’s controller, appeared on time, after having been stranded in France. His explanation of exactly what happened was too complicated to get my head round at that time in the morning. Everything then went off relatively smoothly. I became locked into a long, finely balanced endgame involving just a knight each and 3 vs 2 pawns. It went on long after all other games had finished and a good crowd gathered round, watching to see if I could hold things together. After eventually beng mated seconds before my flag fell, Victor explained why our game had gone on so long – so engrossed in the game at move 36, we put the clock back 30 minutes instead of the required 15, without anyone noticing, so it went on almost half an hour longer than the next longest. I suggested we should pass the hat round for entertaining the crowd for so long.

John and Christine Constable are familiar figures on the Westcountry chess scene as they run a book stall at most events. For several years they used to take turns; one playing in the Minor Section while the other minded the shop, and then changing roles at the next event. Recently John has tended to give way to Christine who usually plays. Also, they have moved from their erstwhile Coulsdon base in Surrey to Bude on the north Cornish coast.

Now they are starting a chess club in the town, with a 12 week beginners’ course starting on 20th September at 6 p.m.  on Thursday evening at the New Life Centre in the Strand. More experienced players are invited to fortnightly meetings from 27th September. For further details see

Chess clubs come and go over the years, but I can find no record of a chess club ever having existed in Bude, which is surprising for a town of c. 9,000 in a relatively remote corner of the South West, although nearby Holsworthy would have provided an outlet for players for some years until that, too, folded.

The Premier games finished as follows:

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

Access the games here ▼

Boniface Memorial Congress Results (01.09.2012.)

Last weekend’s Steve Boniface Memorial Congress in Bristol appears to have been a closely contested affair with no one player able to dominate proceedings. Local organiser, Dave Tipper, has kindly supplied the scores which were as follows (all players Bristol-based unless otherwise indicated):

1st= Jim Burnett (200 – Worksop) & Chris Timmins (175) both 4/6 pts.

3rd Nigel Hosken (196 – Cheltenham) 3½. 4th= Tyson Mordue (201); Steve Piper (181 – Salisbury); Peter Davies (174 – Cardiff) & Jody Johnson (160) all on 3 pts. 8th= Steve Dilleigh (183); Robert Thompson (176) & Richard Edney (158-IOW) all on 2½. 11th= Peter Jaszkiwsky (169 – Kettering); Ian Ponter  (165); David Dugdale (158); Michael Meadows (156) & Ian Matthew (156 – Portsmouth). 16th Michael Harris (159) 1½; 17th Roger Hardy (153) 1.

The Paignton Congress starts tomorrow at the soon-to-be-redeveloped Oldway Mansion, with local grandmaster, Keith Arkell, favourite to win, after his 2nd place at Hinckley last weekend. He will also be taking the opportunity to launch his autobiography, Arkell’s Odyssey, which will be available for sale and signing. Here is a Paignton 1988 game of his from the book.

White: Tyson Mordue (2224). Black: Keith Arkell (2430).

Sicilian Defence – Scheveningen Variation. [B85]. (Notes by the winner)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Qc7 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0–0 Be7 9.f4 d6 10.Kh1 Bd7 11.Qe1 0–0 12.Qg3 Nxd4 If 12…b5 13.a3 (13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Nxe5 15.Bh6 Ne8 16.Bf4 Bd6). 13.Bxd4 Bc6 14.Bf3 Rfd8 15.Rad1 g6 16.Rfe1 b5 17.Qf2 Rab8 18.e5 Ne8 19.Bxc6 Qxc6 20.Ne4 dxe5 21.fxe5 Ng7 22.Nf6+ Bxf6 23.exf6 Nf5 24.Be5 Rbc8 25.h3 h5 26.c3 h4 27.Qf4 Rd5 28.Kh2 Rcd8 29.Rxd5 Qxd5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Qxa4 Qd2 32.Qe4? He should have done something about this b-pawn, but in any case I obviously have a positional advantage. In the Sicilian, Black often stands well once he has survived the initial onslaught. 32…Qxb2 33.Rb1 Qf2 34.Bc7 Rd2 35.Rg1 Qc5 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Bf4 Rf2 38.Qe8 Rxf4 39.Qxf7+ Kh6 40.Qg8 40…Qxg1+ Not strictly necessary, but it forces a quick end to the game. 41.Kxg1 Ng3 42.Qf8+ Kh5 43.Qc5+ g5 44.Kh2 Rf1 45.Qe7 Rh1# 0–1

After last week’s difficult Olympic-themed problem, here’s a little more accessible 2-mover.

White to mate in 2 moves

Paignton Congress – The Future? (23.06.2012.)

The Paignton Congress, held each September at Oldway Mansion, is one of the oldest and most venerable events on the chess calendar. It was set up in 1951 by the Devon County Chess Association, partly to commemorate its Golden Jubilee while being its own contribution to the Festival of Britain.

Originally built as the home of multi-millionaire, Isaac Merritt Singer, Oldway was turned into a golf & country club by his son, Paris, and after his death in 1932 and the club folded in 1946, the local council purchased the estate for £45,000.

It was an early example of mutual self interest, as the Council, keen to extend the holiday season after the schools went back, reserved the Ballroom for the Congress rent free for several decades. Later, as their finances became more constrained, a rent was introduced, but it was still a relatively modest one.

In recent years, with its finances ever more restricted and the Oldway estate starting to fall into disrepair, Torbay Council were forced to sell it to property developers. As negotiations took place, there have been several years of uncertainty about the Congress’s future under a new regime.

This year’s event, the 62nd is now fast approaching and over 70 entries have been received by Congress Secretary, Alan Crickmore. However, he has recently been informed that it will not be possible to hold the congress there in September 2013 as the builders will have moved in, converting the mansion into a high-class hotel. Beyond that, it is unclear how the event will be able to fit into its new environment. The Ballroom will remain but the hire charge may prove prohibitive.

The charm of the event down the years has been the venue, and radical changes to that must cast a cloud over the future of the congress. Without being too alarmist, one has to consider whether this year’s Paignton Congress will be the last.

Last week’s game ended when Stuart Conquest played 1.Bxg7! Qxg7 (the only move as all others allow 2.Nh6 mate) 2.NxQ RxN 3.Qe6+ leaving White with Q+P for N+B, more than enough for a Grandmaster to win comfortably.

This position is from a game earlier this year. Black is the exchange up with active pieces and may be entertaining thoughts of a win, but White had an immediate knockout blow. Can you spot it?

Devon CCA A.G.M. 2012

The Devon Association held its postponed AGM at the Met Office, Exeter on Friday 15th June.

(1) ECF Membership Scheme:

The main focus of interest  lay in how the Association should approach the ECF’s new Membership Scheme, due to replace its Game Fee system on 1st September 2012. Under this new regime, players are urged to enter at one of 4 levels; i.e. (a) Bronze level (costing £12 net per person per annum) which would cover the grading of all games played in clubs, leagues and county matches. (b) Silver level, (costing £18 net per person per annum) would include all these plus games played in congresses. (c) Gold level (£26 net) would include FIDE-rated event, like the Paignton Premier, and (d) Platinum level (£60) for those wishing to go the extra mile in their support for the work of the ECF.

No one is obliged to enter the scheme at all, but non-members will be charged a punitive £2.00 per game graded, so non-members playing more than 6 games per year would be out of pocket. It makes financial sense, therefore, for active players to become Members. However, to leave this purely up to individuals (the laissez-faire option) invites an administrative nightmare at best, and chaos at worst, as already over-worked unpaid officials everywhere would have to sort out what to do in cases where Members play non-Members, and after identifying them, how much money to claim off whom, and how and when etc. etc.

It was agreed unanimously that all Devon-affiliated clubs should incorporate the £12 Bronze level membership fee into their annual subscriptions, so that all club members are automatically ECF Members, thus eliminating all the above paperwork and hassle. This is not quite so much as it sounds at first, as clubs will not have to pay Game Fee as they have in the past.

So, to be a member of a Devon club is to be a ECF Member (Bronze level). It will be up to individual clubs to compile a list of its own members and fill in an ECF-generated form giving all the members’ details they require and paying the moneys due.

Congress organisers will have to devise their own way of ensuring whether entrants need to upgrade to Silver membership. Some may automatically incorporate the extra £6 into their entry fee, and be prepared to refund this to any player able to demonstrate their prior Silver Membership.

(2) Paignton Congress: The other item of interest and concern lay with the future of the Paignton Congress. Its Secretary, Alan Crickmore, had been in contact with the MD of the Akkeron Group, the company who had been negiotiating with Torbay Council for the purchase of the Oldway Mansion and estate, and had learned that the project had moved on apace. The developers will be ready to move their men in soon after this year’s Congress. In contrast to what they had said earlier, they plan to tackle the mansion itself first, turning it into a hotel, with rooms in the main building and the Rotunda. Thus, there will definitely not be a Paignton Congress in 2013. The new owners have indicated that the Ballroom will be available for Congress again in 2014, but whether their hire charge will be sustainable remains to be seen. Without being defeatist we may have to be prepared to find that this year’s Congress is the last.

(1) Competitions & Prizegiving:

The team competitions were very much the Tiverton and Newton Abbot show, as evidenced by the photographs below, with Exmouth putting up a good challenge in those sections they entered.

  Bremridge Div. 1 1 2 3 4 5 F A Tot.
1 Newton Abbot 2 2 2 2 18½ 8
2 Tiverton 0 2 2 2 13 11 6
3 Exmouth 0 0 2 2 12 12 4
4 Exeter 0 0 0 1 10 14 1
5 Teignmouth 0 0 0 1 17½ 1


  Mamhead Div. 2 1 2 3 4 5 F A Tot.
1 Tiverton 2 1 2 1 10½ 6
2 Exmouth 0 2 1 2 9 7 5
3 Barnstaple 1 0 2 1 4
4 Teignmouth 0 1 0 2 6 10 3
5 Newton Abbot 1 0 1 0 7 9 2


  Schofield Div. 3 1 1a 2 2a 3 3a F A Tot.
1 Newton Abbot 2 1 2 2 11 5 7
2 Teignmouth 0 1 1 1 3
3 Tiverton 0 0 1 1 2


  Moyle Div. 4 1 2 3 4 F A Tot.
1 Tiverton 2 2 2 8 4 6
2 Newton Abbot 0 1 2 6 6 3
3 Exeter 0 1 2 3
4 Teignmouth 0 0 0 0


  RapidPlay 1 1a 2 2a 3 3a F A Tot.
1 Exmouth 1 2 2 2 18 14 7
2 Tiverton 0 1 2 1 4
3 Seaton 0 0 1 0 1


  Individual Champions Club  
1 Open John Stephens Exmouth  
2 Intermediate Oliver Wensley Exmouth  
3 Minor Tony Tatam Plymouth  
    Ken Alexander Tiverton  
4 Ladies Jacqui Barber-Lafon Newton Abbot  


General Secretary Alan Maynard presents the Bremridge Cup to Trefor Thynne of Newton Abbot.

Trefor Thynne presents the Mamhead Cup (Div.2) to Alan Maynard of the Tiverton Club.

The Schofield Cup (Div. 3) went to Newton Abbot.

The Bloodworth Shield for junior teams went to Torquay Boys' Grammar School.

Paignton Congress – Arkell’s Early Strike (10.09.2011.)

The Paignton Congress got under way on Sunday with a near-record entry of 215.

Here is a clinical win from Round 1 by the tournament favourite, Keith Arkell, who is fresh from a crushing 1st place in the international Jessie Gilbert Memorial tournament, which he  won by 2 clear points.

White: David Littlejohns (174). Black: Keith Arkell (226).

Caro-Kann Defence – Exchange Variation. [B13]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 In these circumstances, the weaker player is always liable to seek equal exchanges in the hope of keeping things as simple as possible. However, this is often exactly how Grandmasters like it. 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.Bf4 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Bd6 9.Bxd6 Qxd6 10.0–0 b5 11.Re1 Nf6 12.Qd3 Rb8 13.a3 a5 14.Nd2 0–0 15.Rad1 Rfc8 Black plans to attack on the Queenside and moves his big guns into position. 16.g3 Ne7 17.Nb3 b4 The forward march continues. 18.cxb4 axb4 19.a4 This little skirmish has broken up White’s pawn structure. 19…Qc6 20.Nc5 Nd7 21.Nxd7 Qxd7 22.Ra1 Nf5 23.Bg4 Nd6 24.Be2 Qa7 25.Red1 b3 26.Ra3 Nc4 27.Rxb3 Nxb2 The knight is protected by the rook on b8 even though they are not in direct contact, so the fork must win material. 28.Rxb8 Qxb8 29.Qd2 Nxd1 30.Bxd1 Qb6 0-1 White resigned, as he is materially down and his isolated pawns will inevitably get picked off.

Arkell’s closest rival is Colin Crouch who is returning to Paignton after an absence of 6 years, during which time he has suffered serious illness which has left him somewhat physically impaired, and he is now seeking to re-establish himself in the chess world.

In last week’s position, White won quickly after 1.Qe4+ Bf5 (if 1…Kg7 2.Nxe6+ forking king and queen.) 2.Qxf5+! Kxf5 (the knight still threatens a fork). 3.Be4+ Kxg5 4.Bc1 mate.

Devon’s two titled players met last week at an international tournament in Coulsdon. The game went as follows:-

White: K. C. Arkell (2432). Black: J. Rudd (2278).

Blumenfeld Counter-Gambit [E10]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.d4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.Bg5 exd5 6.cxd5 d6 7.e4 a6 8.a4 Be7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.axb5 Bxb2 11.Ra2 Bf6 12.Bd3 0–0 13.0–0 Ra7 14.Nbd2 Re8 15.Nc4 Rae7 16.b6 Bg4 17.Ra3 Bd4 18.h3 Bxf3 19.Qxf3 Nd7 20.Rxa6 Ne5 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Bb5 Rf8 23.Rb1 f5 24.exf5 Ref7 25.Bc6 Rxf5 The position below has been reached. Black has a potent Kingside attack while White has threats on the other wing. How did White respond here that caused Black’s instant resignation?

White moves and Black resigns.

Paignton Congress 2011 Day 7

As those who are familiar with Oldway will know, the Torbay Registry Office is housed in an adjacent room in the mansion. Its grandiose architecture  makes it one of the most popular wedding venues in the county and Saturdays are the most popular day, notwithstanding any odd chess congress that might be trying to share the venue. Today there were ten weddings booked in, and a conveyor belt approach was necessary. When any one group was in the Registrar’s room going through the ceremony, the previous group was outside on the steps having their photographs taken while the next group was assembling in the marbled foyer below, the nervous laughter of bridesmaids intruding on the concentration of the players nearest the door. Tattooed arms and smokers were everywhere…  and that was only the girls, many tottering around on steepling heels. This morning, there must have been some sort of delay in the early fixtures, for by mid-morning a tight queue had formed and three wedding parties had gathered in the entrance hall, intermixing and eyeing up the dresses and fashions of the other groups.

Meanwhile, in the Ballroom everyone had remembered the earlier start (9.30 a.m. – not 2 p.m.) and amid excitement of a different kind, the prizes were being sorted.

At the top of the Ron Bruce Premier, Torbay residents were paired on top table, Keith Arkell and Dominic Mackle. The former is noted for his long endgames in which he is able to nurse the tiniest of advantages to an eventual win. This has always been one of his great strengths. Recently, however, he seems to have been unaccountably infused with a touch of whimsy and has been playing sharp, snappy games involving weird openings and Queen sacrifices, (no, honestly!), and he has been having successes with it.  Today he played 1…b5, the Polish Defence, and finished with a queen & knight each, and the interplay of his two pieces brought off a nice, and relatively quick finish, leaving him in clear 1st place, and back-to-back tournament wins.

Arkell (r) & Mackle analyse their game watched by 4X Paignton winner, Peter Griffiths.

In the Rowena Bruce Challengers, local junior Robert Thompson was hoping to avoid the final  round disaster he had in yesterday’s Morning event, in which he lost in time trouble and missed out on a prize. However, he managed to do it once again, losing the game, but at least he could only be caught and finished 1st=, pocketing a cheque for £217 instead of the £350 he seemed sure of at the outset.

In the Minor, congress veteran, Dave Burt, was on fire throughout the week and finished clear first, and it was nice to see three lady players all in the prizelist in this section.

Here is a summary chart of all the winners. 

Premier   Grade   Pts. Prize
1st Keith Arkell 2409 Paignton 6 £600
2nd Steve Berry 2310 Wimbledon £400
3rd= Colin Crouch 2365 Harrow 5 £75
  Johan Henriksson 2289 Stockholm
  Dave Ledger 2228 Bedford
  Francis Rayner 2148 Hastings
GP U-2130 Ian Clark 2071 Wimbourne £13
  Alan Crombleholme 2104 Dudley
  Dominic Mackle 2065 Newton Abbot
  John Wheeler 2120 Cosham
U-2060 Dave Regis 2015 Exeter £50
Slow starter Ken Gregory 2059 Cosham £20
Challengers (U-180)          
1st= Robert Thompson 178 Newton Abbot £217
  John Waterfield 173 Clifton
  Richard Webster 172 W. Bridgford
GP U-168 Colin Costello 167 Carlisle 5 £50
U-157 Andrew Price 152 Leamington £50
Slow starter Mel Young 159 Hastings £20
Intermediate (U-150)          
1st= Nigel Dicker 139 Glastonbury £217
  Mark Stone 134 Petts Wood
  Ray Kearsley 145 Wimbledon
GP U-140 Matthew Wilson 136 Wigston 5 £50
U-133 Peter Grant-Ross 133 Kings Head £12
  John Springall 127 Teddington
  David Walshaw 132 Jesmond
  Faye Ainscow 132 Kings Head
Slow starter Philip Gordon 127 BCA £35
Minor (U-125)          
1st Dave Burt 121 Poole £350
2nd= Edward Carnie 121 Eccleshall 5 £60
  Joseph Farrell 119 Metropolitan
  Malcolm Turner 117 Brixham
  Rod Burroughs 103 Sheffield
  Roger Waters   Taunton
GP U-114 Doreen Helbig 109 Keynsham 4 £17
  Christine Constable 111 Coulsdon
  Caroline Robson 110 Enfield
U-106 Nathan Mills 102 Brixham 4 £50
Slow starter Vincent Brady 102 Metropolitan £20
American (U-180)          
1st= Geoff Harrison 141 Gosforth £75
  Richard Desmedt 155 Wombwell
3rd Norman Andrews 136 York £30
5-Rd. A.M. (U-180)          
1st= D. Siddall 162 Austin Friars £275
  R. Bryant 178 Chester
3rd= J. Wells 179 N. Norfolk 4 £50
  H-B Muele 165 Dresden
GP U-155 Ray Gamble 152 Spondon £17
  D. Openshaw 155 Cavendish
  P. Smith 150 Hastings
U-138 M. Walker 129 Mutual £10
  J. Reinhardt 138 Dresden
  M. R. Stone 134 Petts Wood
  B. Miles 116 Coulsdon
  R. Hale 116 Beckenham
Slow starter P. Foley 135 Upminster £20

N.B. All scores out of 7 except the morning event.

N.B. Rd. 7 games may be accessed here:-


Remember – here is a summary of where games may be accessed, as and when they become available

Rd. 1 games
Rd. 2 games
Rd. 3 games
Rd. 4 games
Rd. 5 games
Rd. 6 games    
Rd. 7 games